Thursday, October 25, 2012

A kinder, gentler Taliban. (not!)

 
I heard about this speech a few weeks ago and have been waiting for it to appear online. I guess I was looking for Lara in all the wrong places.

It is long (19+ minutes) and I rarely watch videos online.
Over the years I’ve questioned our wisdom in going into Afghanistan in the first place but I understand revenge. I questioned the wisdom to go into Iraq.
Reasonable people can take either side on those issues and present good arguments for and against.
But bottom line we are still in both places and now face an even greater milestone as the date for withdrawal from Afghanistan nears. (I have a prediction on this I will share at the end.)
If our main reason was to get Osama then Bush got it going and Obama finished it up. Huzzahs to both of them (and a great SEAL team!) for that.
But if our foreign policy goals were bigger, and I imagine they were and still are, then it appears the battle has only just begun.
With the election so close upon us, each candidate will continue to take opposite sides – no room for agreement here no matter what the truth and compelling need really is.
Many people would say that since Ms. Logan works for CBS (liberal main-stream media) and is a reporter for 60 Minutes (just another liberal program of their parent) that she can’t be trusted to simply present the truth, but – if she still has a job – she is most certainly NOT simply parroting a company/corporate line. I guess she took some flack from fellow journos for expressing a pointed opinion and taking sides. Personally doesn’t bother me when journalists take sides and express opinions, just be upfront about where you started and where you plan to take us on this story you are telling.
If some of what she says is true – and again I take the position of 1) she’s been on the ground, behind the scenes, talked to numerous people in the know on both sides so she must know whereof she speaks and 2) she has nothing to gain professionally by speaking out as she did, then I must take some of this as true if not much, much more.
It’s too late to have more substantive discussions on this before the election and it’s only further compounded by the continued revelations of the leaked emails yesterday (picked up by Reuters) that indicate, STILL, that the current administration has not come anywhere close to clean on the killing of American diplomats in Libya.
But if we are going to keep sending young men and women into harms way, and spend billions and billions that we obviously don’t have to spend, then I’d say we need even more transparency from our government, and all those who have a say in what we do with our foreign policy.
My prediction mentioned earlier: If Obama wins the election, he will backpedal on the firm withdrawals promised. It’s just that right now to keep his base happy, he has to promise to draw down our military presence overseas. But once (if) elected, those promises won't matter.
Should Romney win, he’ll do the same thing. Slow down the draw-down but for different reasons. He’ll need to prove to his base that he supports our military, that he’ll do whatever he can to stop the Sequestration re: the budget that will impact our military; current and future.
So I think we’ll see the same thing but either one will call it something different than the other and give reasons that support their particular course of action.

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