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Archive for May 2012

The Senate Is The Key To November

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Richard Cohen’s piece in the Washington Post yesterday will go gently into the good night, another forgotten piece of wisdom in the deluge of dross commonly known as Election Season. That would be sad, so I’m going to do my part to have the piece and the implications it explores, at the very least, remembered, by someone, somewhere.

The core of the column is this. Romney is weak and if faced with a determined Congressional GOP hijacked by Grover Norquist and the hard-right, will buckle to their insanity. He has already indicated as much by embracing Paul Ryan’s frankly evil budget plans. And that is only the beginning.

But there’s more to this than meets the eye, because the key to whether Romney would buckle, or on the flip side, whether Obama has any hope of getting anything done is what happens in the 33 Senate Contests. We know that the math favors the GOP, and if the right can prevent Obama from getting momentum enough to push home downstream races, then they have a good shot at taking it back. If they keep the House – which is likely – then it’s game on.

Either Obama ( more likely ) will be President of the Veto Pen, or Romney ( less likely ) would be President Pantywaist, a willing tool of the bad guys as they tear this country asunder and delay the renewal of its glory for another decade or two or more.

If the Senate stays blue, then Romney can use the Democratic Senate as his excuse to be a nobody, and Obama can try to get stuff done as he’s gamely tried to do since the 2010 meltdown.

In other words, the equation is simple. GOP Senate plus Romney is real bad. Everything else. Meh.

Written by coolrebel

May 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Afghanistan: A Real War Cannot Just Be Ended. It Must Be Won Or Lost

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The United States has apparently been at war in Afghanistan for over a decade, the longest conflict in US history, and has decided in its munificence that enough is enough. It’s ending the war.

Not so fast.

First of all, the Taliban – the enemy in this conflict – have not been party to the ending of this war. There has been and will be no peace treaty. The Taliban have not surrendered, unconditionally or otherwise. As far as they are concerned, the US is withdrawing its forces, some might even say retreating. We would vehemently deny this, but we’re giving ground, freely, because we don’t think the costs anymore outweigh the benefits.

But war has its own logic, which is not the same as Obama’s twisted version that suggests that its time for the Afghans to stand up and show us what they can do. Armies are cultural phenomena. You can’t just create a good one. We tried to train a winning army in Vietnam and failed. It will fail again. Training the locals is almost always a smoke screen for our strategic unwillingness to do what it takes to win.

If a war is worth fighting for strategic reasons for over a decade, why would it be strategically wise to then simply withdraw, unless the situation on the ground makes that withdrawal strategically valid.

It has not.

We’re leaving this “war” in the hands of Afghan Forces. We did the same in Cambodia, relying on South Vietnamese troops to take Phnom Penh. They were unceremoniously repulsed, desperately hanging onto Huey Skids to escape being torn apart by Montagnards and VC. The same will happen again. Untried and untested, except under the strict tutelage of US forces, the Afghans will quite simply crumble. Easy pickings against hardened insurgents, who have shown that they can easily strike at the heart of Kabul with ease.

And then where will we be? Over the next decade, the Taliban will regain ground, and perhaps choke off what’s left of the Afghan government. And when the Afghan Army has its backs to the wall, will we go back in to bail it out?


So much for the President’s vaunted logic, so majestic so often, so lacking when it comes to matters of warfare.

Written by coolrebel

May 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm