Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Obama Firm On Afghanistan Deadline

CBS News' Chip Reid reports President Barack Obama is going to stay firm on the July 2011 for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan.

I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a "target."

After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in – there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It's etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.

I do not see Obama being able to keep that promise. The Hamid Karzai government is corrupt. Former Deputy Special Representative Peter Galbraith says he was ordered to cover up the fixed election.

β€œAt other critical stages in the election process,” he wrote in The Washington Post, β€œI was similarly ordered not to pursue the issue of fraud.

The New York Times reports Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan's president, is a major player in the heroin trade. Afghanistan's CIA station chief attempted to have President Karzai move his brother out of the country to no avail.

The current number of Afghan born troops is 90,000. The police force is 93,000. Police jobs are auctioned off. High ranking police officers use their positions to enrich themselves. Afghanistan is ranked as the second most corrupt country in the world. There is no realistic way for Afghanistan to reach the benchmarks Obama has set.

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At December 03, 2009 7:34 AM , Blogger tas said...

There is no realistic way for Afghanistan to reach the benchmarks Obama has set.

Which means we'll just keep pouring more troops in there... If we had paid attention to any benchmarks on Afghanistan building it's own government, military, and police force, we would have pulled out a long time ago and wished Karzai luck in avoiding a fatal coup that would surely take place if we weren't in the country covering his lazy fucking ass.

Of course, Karzai knows from past history that our benchmarks are bullshit and we'll continue to support him, so the new Afghan dictator-for-life isn't in a hurry to get his shit together.

Juan Cole has a great overview of the current state of the Karzai government. Karzai has yet to pick out a new cabinet, and "Nader Khan Katawazai, an MP from Paktika, complained that only 30 of the 238 MPs attended Monday's session. This is the government we are being asked to prop up with blood and treasure? Only 30 legislators bothered to come in to work?"

This is bullshit. In his speech, Obama spoke of an Afghan government that was ready to accept our support -- this is a baldfaced lie worthy of escape from George W. Bush's or Dick Cheney's lips. Karzai has proven time and again that he's too incompetent to have executive office over a whole nation. Why is Obama supporting Karzai with 30,000 more troops? This is like pissing into the fucking wind.

At December 03, 2009 11:02 AM , Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Take this to the bank:

We will lose the war in Afghanistan. Just as in Iraq, every serviceman or woman who has died there has died for no reason. Russia and merrie old England learned this lesson a long time ago. You would think....Never mind.

Suffice to say, on my best day I do not receive one tenth of the information that President Obama receives. I don't read any of the Presidential Daily Briefings that are placed on his desk every morning. Obviously he is in possession of a wealth of intelligence that you and I are just not privy to. Maybe we should be giving him the benefit of the doubt - and I have been doing just that, I promise you. But from my vantage point it appears to me that this president has failed to learn the lessons that have been passed onto us down the decades by the administrations of Franklin Delano Rossevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson - lessons involving bold action in times of economic crisis (more on that another day) and the utter folly of waging wars that cannot be won.

Let this be etched in stone:

Any country that would view its women as inferior beings not entitled to basic human rights is not worth one drop of ANYBODY'S blood.

I want to believe in this president. He is the chief executive I worked harder to elect than any other in my lifetime. I realize that it is simply far too early in this administration to write a final assessment of his term of office. That being said, my confidence in the Obama White House is ebbing rapidly. Where in the hell is all of this change I could believe in? Is the Bush Mob still in charge? What gives?


No, I am still exceedingly grateful that John McCain and Gidget von Braun did not win the election last year. Have another sip.

Tom Degan
Goshen NY


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