Wednesday, December 2, 2009


So last night, President Obama took time out of his schedule to talk to the nation about Afghanistan. Given the nature and timing of the speech, I'm not sure what made the public madder: escalating a war they aren't confident about or delaying both NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. But throughout his speech the President laid out the goals, perils, pitfalls, and plans for his new Afghanistan strategy in one of the most serious and adult ways that any sitting Commander has ever done to the American people. It's just a shame it was in the service of a bad idea.

But that was just one of his audiences, what of his message to our elected betters who will be called upon to ratify this plan after he's already sent the troops over and started this strategy? Were their war boners mega-huge or just nominally huge?
On Capitol Hill, they will face a major fight over funding the war. In the House, as many as half of Democrats may oppose the administration's request for money to support the surge, forcing Obama to rely on a big block of Republican votes to get the legislation through the House and Senate.

Reactions Tuesday night illustrated the challenging environment for the president. Liberal Democrats expressed opposition to any escalation, while Democratic leaders signaled their reservations by saying they will take time to study the plan. Republicans applauded the troop increase but almost uniformly warned about sending mixed messages with talk of leaving.
Ahh Republicans, you filibuster everything but war. But it's nice to see our debate so clearly lined out: Democrats who are wary of adding troops and Republicans who are wary of ever letting them leave. But we all know where this will be headed: the "centrist" Democrats who fuck up any good legislation and cry about "fiscal responsibility" when it looks like money is going to be spent on actual humans, will help grease the skids for this escalation. It is their way.

So there we are, this is already a foregone conclusion, and the default consensus of our media and political elite is "if the President wants to bomb it or invade it, then he must have a good reason. Let's all shut up now". The troops are going, escalation is happening, and all that's left is a showpiece "debate" two months from now where funding is passed and the debate over the worthiness or intelligence of this plan is reduced to "do you want to win against the terrorists or are you still a pussy?" Ain't America grand? Onward ho! More war forever.

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