And It’s One-Two-Three What Are We Fighting For
It’s going to be difficult for us…prosecute…a war far away from home with the divisions we have here….I’m very depressed about it. Because I see no program from either Defense or State that gives me much hope of doing anything, except just praying and gasping to hold on…and hope they’ll quit. I don’t believe they’re ever going to quit. And I don’t see…any…plan for victory—militarily or diplomatically.
~LBJ to Robert McNamara, June 21, 1965.
Reaching For Glory by Michael Beschloss
General Stanley McChrystal’s alcohol induced candor is a blessing – we will once again be forced to take a look at Afghanistan. Other than some old stale news about mineral wealth and ponies there has been no good news out of that graveyard of empires. You have to wonder if there are conversations like the one above taking place in the White House. Some how I doubt it – LBJ was much wiser than Obama although not wise enough to listen to his gut. McChrystal spoke out because he is frustrated – so is everyone else. There is no end in sight, a majority of Americans now question the war and within a year it will be a 100% US effort. You can call it a war or COIN or anything else but you can’t win if you are making enemies faster than you kill them. And as Dave pointed out at Newshoggers the Afghanistan adventure does not pass the cost/benefit test even if there was a chance of winning. I have rarely agreed with Pat Buchanan but he got it exactly right when he said “they don’t hate us because of who we are but because of where we are” and that where is the Muslim world. Don’t forget that the reason bin Laden himself gave for the attack of 911 was US military personnel in the holy land of Saudi Arabia. It’s time to bring are troops home and defend our borders from within our borders. In the process we might make a few less enemies and make a real start in reducing the deficit.
After LBJ had given up on Vietnam in 1965 over 50,000 Americans died because LBJ was under pressure from the Democratic hawks, that would later become the Republican neocons, to continue. To those who say Afghanistan if not Vietnam I ask how much different is it. Obama is not as wise as LBJ but even he must see the futility before too long. Will he have the spine to say enough is enough?
Cross posted at Newshoggers