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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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What do Jane Norton, Ken Buck, Tom Wiens think about Obama’s Afghanistan mission and strategy?

Colorado’s Congressional delegation responded to President Obama’s Afghanistan speech with as much criticism and caution as well as support as we’re hearing and seeing in the media. It’s as if the politicians and pundits spent as much time anticipating Obama’s speech and strategy as he did. And the Congressional delegation and other critics are giving as many mixed messages as Obama did last night. At this point, Obama’s Afghan speech looks like an even bigger failure than his big health care speech was a few weeks ago. The speech clearly was designed to set the stage for Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, not to prepare the world for an American effort to win the war and subdue the terrorists who threaten America, Europe and the rest of the world.

Simply put, to use an old cliche, Obama and the military want to fight the last (Iraq) war when they should be fighting the Afghan war.

What will U.S. Senate candidates Jane Norton, Ken Buck and Tom Wiens say about Obama’s mission and strategy? We’re all waiting to hear.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) said in a statement released after Obama gave his speech that he supports sending more troops to Afghanistan. He was very critical of  

Obama’s so-called exit strategy that, supposedly, will be subject to conditions on the ground in 2011.

I think Coffman’s right.

Obama made the case for staying in Afghanistan and protecting our country against terrorists.

But he doesn’t have the political courage or resolve to both tell our military to win and to give them the resources and time to get the job done. And Coffman’s very correct in saying Bush’s Afghanistan strategy was no better than Obama’s is.

Indeed, Obama gave a Bushian speech in assessing the threats against America. And he clearly wants to pull a Rumsfeld and cheap out rather than win the war, which many think is unwinnable.

This is so clear that Afghans will pretend to cooperate with our troops, but they’ll play for the long term and try to suck up to the Taliban and al Qaeda because they think the terrorists will win in the long run.

The idea that diplomacy can work with the terrorists is dishonest and absurd. Almost as dishonest and absurd, I think, are the ideas that Westerners can make Afghans more politically honest than Chicago politicians and that semi-literate and illiterate Afghan police and troops will stop listening to the war lords and their religious leaders and decide to fight the Taliban.

Remember that most of the Taliban have been fighting for almost two decades while the Afghans who are supposed to take them out still haven’t figured out how to fight or how to be disciplined.

So, I fault Obama for his too clever attempts to play to the American right and left at the same time and for his appeasement-approach to diplomacy. And I fault the military for pretending or thinking that it can pacify Afghanistan, change it’s culture and replicate our very incomplete and semi-successes in Iraq.

No two people process facts and forecasts the same. Bush and Obama are proving that.

What’s really dangerous is that we not only have Afghanistan to worry about, but also our runnaway Congress, Climategate, Iran, N. Korea and, of course, for sports fans, the Tiger Woods story.

I’m wondering whether Obama timed his speech to distract Americans from the very divisive and incredibly critical debate over ObamaCare in the Senate?


Colo. congressional delegation wary of Obama’s Afghanistan surge plan. By Joey Bunch.

Political insiders assess the speech.

Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 12/02/2009 at 05:31 AM


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