December 5, 2009 by David Gillaspie
A history geek stopped by. She’s been in before. She says she’s a history fan. You can be a fan of many things, Olympic wrestling for example, but history? I don’t believe it. People who say they’re fans of history are people who carry a grudge and call it history.
“Wars aren’t named after Presidents, Mr. Will, no matter what an armchair quarterback might think. They get named for the countries they chew up, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq X2, Afghanistan. Unless it’s a World War, then they get numbers.
While you ponder the choices made for the Obama section of the Afghan War, take a moment to consider these points:
1. Does he have a general who wants to expand the war into neighboring countries and go nuclear like Truman had in Korea?
2. Does he have a legend in command that he’ll have to replace, like MacArthur in Korea?
3. Is he choosing bombing targets from the john like LBJ supposedly did during Vietnam?
4. Is he making it a point to act irrational like Nixon bragged about to keep the Vietnam leaders off guard?
5. Is he the fall guy for a bad ending like Gerald Ford with Vietnam?
6. Does he have a coordinated General Staff with an executable plan like Bush I in the first Iraq?
7. If he has a chance to blast the retreating enemy like Bush I’s Highway of Death from Kuwait to Iraq, will he sign off on it?
8. Will current events in Afghanistan demand another war in ten or twenty years like Iraq with Bush I?
9. Will Americans come under foreign command like the Balkan War and Clinton?
10. Is there any chance of seeing another wincing, pained Rummy news conference where he clearly shows he didn’t care about doing his job in Iraq II?
11. Is there a power behind the scenes that cares more about their career than American lives like the VP for Bush II in Iraq II?
12. Is there a chance of any other President putting on his male cheerleader leotard/flight suit and taking center stage with a carrier landing like Bush II in Iraq II?
That’s one list to check against. Everybody makes different lists. They all have the same goal: peace. Go ahead, say it out loud. Peace. Peace in Iraq. Peace in Afghanistan. Peace is tough.
How tough is Afghanistan? We can agree the Russians have a different approach to military matters. Have you seen the video of recruits getting hazed in a hallway? Brutal. They couldn’t get it done in Afghanistan.
What kind of leadership would it take to nation-build Afghanistan? Russian apologists can cut him out of pictures as fast as they can, but they can’t remove Stalin from world history. In a way, Stalin is the meter for gauging social brutality. You can get away with horrible things as long as you don’t move the needle to Stalin. And they still couldn’t get it done in Afghanistan.
Why apologize or downplay the idea of getting rulers of Afghanistan to the negotiating table, the warlords, corrupt politicians, the Taliban, the leader of the opium union, the president of the national hashish co-op.
Invite them to start making deals they can live with, deals that can be delivered. Make politics work. If Obama does this, if he creates peace, then it will be his peace. He’ll have earned it. No one earns a war.”