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Did the Republicans leave a booby trap behind?

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 12/5/09

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Progressives--don't feel bad if you disagree with Obama's Afghanistan policy. Until recently he didn't agree with it either--Obama is trapped in the old John Kerry "I voted for it before I voted against it" quandary.

The article "Obama Had Rejected His Own Speech's Surge Rationale" at

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/12/02-0

describes, as the article states, "Proponents of escalation have insisted that the Taliban would inevitably provide new sanctuaries for al Qaeda terrorists inside Afghanistan unless the U.S. counterinsurgency mission was successful.
But during September and October, Obama sought to fend off escalation in Afghanistan in part by suggesting through other White House officials that the interests of the Taliban were no longer coincident with those of al Qaeda.
In fact, intense political maneuvering between Obama and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, over the latter's troop increase request revolved primarily around the issue of whether the defeat of the Taliban was necessary to U.S. anti-al Qaeda strategy."

McChrystal raised the specter of the Taliban aiding al Qaeda, but as the article states "Only three days later, however, the New York Times reported that "senior administration officials" were saying privately that Obama's national security team was now "arguing that the Taliban in Afghanistan do not pose a direct threat to the United States".

Obama's apathetic plan of keeping Bush 43 hawks as his advisers has acted detrimentally to peace loving progressives in the US, as the article states. "Gates and his allies had thus defined the options and stacked the deck in favor of the one they were going to support. And the fact that Obama's national security was lined up in support of that option was already on the public record. It was a textbook demonstration of how the national security apparatus ensures that its policy preference on issues of military force prevail in the White House."

Have heart liberals, because Obama has given himself some wiggle room as the article states "Obama's speech even included the suggestion that the defeat of the Taliban was not necessary to U.S. security. That point could be used by Obama to justify future military or diplomatic moves to extract the United States from the quagmire he appeared to fear only a few weeks ago."

Eugene Robinson is a progressive who supports Obama, but his article "Obama takes the wrong path in Afghanistan" at

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/03/AR2009120303606_pf.html

shows how liberals can be Obama supporters and dislike his Afghanistan policy, as it states "My belief is that if the Taliban begins losing ground, many of its fighters will just melt back into the population and bide their time until the president's July 2011 deadline arrives. At that point, will the Afghan military really be able to stand alone against even a latent Taliban threat? If not, Obama's deadline will be meaningless and U.S. forces will be stuck in Afghanistan, in large numbers, for the foreseeable future.
But even if the surge works, why wouldn't al-Qaeda -- or some like-minded group -- simply set up shop in Somalia? Or in Yemen, another failing state? Or in some other wretched corner of the world where central government authority is weak and resentment of the West's dominant power is high?"

At the beginning of the Iraqi theatre of GWOT, Rumsfeld's "slog" memo asked the question if the US could kill more terrorists than were being made by fighting in Islamic countries.

This article states "The "drain the swamp" approach to fighting terrorism doesn't work if the virulence can simply infect the next swamp, and the next."

The specific tactic--the surge, that Obama has chosen, hasn't worked even though we all are pretending it has.

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Is the surge actually the reason for the improvement in Iraq? Violence is reduced in Iraq because the US has retreated from the fight, not because of the surge.

The article "Explaining the Drop in Iraqi War Dead" at

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print/25280/

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Other than health care, everything that the democr... by kanawah on Sunday, Dec 6, 2009 at 2:34:25 PM
Maybe a picture tells a better story, until hearin... by Herstory on Sunday, Dec 6, 2009 at 2:49:18 PM