And the Goal is?
By: Patti Bankson
President Obama has revealed the result of his extensive musing on his Afghanistan problem… the â€œrightâ€ war, he calls it. Using a backdrop of uniformed West Point cadets was a winner, wasnâ€™t it? Made me wonder, though, whereâ€™s the criticism here regarding clever photo-ops like this one… you know, the criticism that G.W. got whenever he… oh, well. Obviously, thereâ€™s a difference here that I donâ€™t get.
Another yawner. Actually, his speeches reveal what little passion he has. Starting with the obvious, thereâ€™s at least a measure of passion in his marriage; thereâ€™re a couple of living proof children. Heâ€™s made verrrry passionate campaign speeches, before and since his election, so heâ€™s passionate about winning, whether the presidency or the approval of a crowd. Otherwise, thereâ€™s â€œno fire in the bellyâ€â€… in fact, thereâ€™s no fire anywhere. Now, I think â€œlaid backâ€ is good. â€œCongenialâ€ is good. Playing nicely in the sand-box is good. But, not necessarily the most important qualities needed in a president. Especially when one, like it or not, must step up to the plate as Commander-in-Chief.
Political opposition to this war shouldnâ€™t matter. Fact is… weâ€™re there. Well, not us…. but, our oh-so-young, men and women doing what theyâ€™re asked to do while lacking the backup and tools they need. Thereâ€™s no sure way to know the answer to this question, but if I had a loved one fighting in Afghanistan right now, Iâ€™d be asking, â€œWill he or she come home with all the body parts he/she left home with? Will he or she even come home at all?â€ If thereâ€™s a â€œNoâ€ in there anywhere, the next question Iâ€™d want answered is: â€œCould the outcome have been different if the request for the troop increase had been handled differently… sooner?â€
Itâ€™s reported that General McChrystal laid out 3 increase request â€œoptionsâ€: from the least, 10,000 (non-combat) troops up to a possible 80,000. In between was 40,000, the minimum the General believes is needed for a chance for success in Afghanistan. The President is sending 30,000… 10,000 fewer than whatâ€™s believed could give us a chance at success. Why?
Some say this is Obamaâ€™s Viet Nam. Possibly, with some differences… this is desolate, mountainous and arid; that was lush jungle and humid… and with some likenesses… Like sending our troops to fight with their hands tied behind their backs… to get injured and killed fighting a war politicians never meant to win in the first place!
That aside, if possible, I repeat, support the war or not, weâ€™re there! More of our sons, daughters, husbands and wives will be maimed forever and/or dead forever, unless they get the help they need, and deserve, to survive…in tact. So…letâ€™s ensure Afghanistan doesnâ€™t become Viet Nam II. Hereâ€™s how: (1) Tell the politicians to butt out. That was one of the Viet Nam problems: clueless politicians orchestrating war from their DC offices with political motives. (2) Let the Generals and their Warriors run the war. Let them have a GOAL, a reason for going on, for being there â€“ something else that was missing in Nam.. (3) Make the GOAL a big one, something the Warriors can feel good about when itâ€™s all said and done…something theyâ€™re chomping at the bit to do, and being held back from doing…. fighting to WIN.
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Â© 2009 Patti Bankson
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