Historians may say that the effort to salvage President Obama's legacy began on Thursday May 7, 2009, when the New York Times published an Oped piece by Hassina Sherjan which included this quote: "Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, put it very clearly: “The Taliban were united under the leadership of Mullah Muhammad Omar. All the fighters follow and obey orders of one central command. The existence of moderates and extremist elements within the rank and file of Taliban is wishful thinking of the West and the Afghan government.”
If the Taliban won't negotiate, that means there can not be a negotiated end of the war and if that's true then the war must come to a conclusion via a military victory. Since the Democrats don't want to go into a round of national elections (be it 2010, 2012, 2014, or 2016) after losing the War in Iraq, that means that President Obama must not, under any circumstances, let Baghdad become another version of Ho Chi Minh City "on his watrch."
Since the number of troops necessary to impose a military victory in Iraq and Afghanistan would require a staggering amount of expenditures in both cash and lives, that would seem to be (realistically speaking) an unattainable goal.
That leaves only one course of action for President Obama. He has to fight a holding action and pass the problem on to his successor and that, in turn, means that he has to concede the fact that there will not be a VI Day (Victory in Iraq) and that means that he and his advisers will have to focus on building his future assessment by historians with other accomplishments such as the economy and innovative social programs.
Unfortunately the current economic outlook indicates that lofty goals will have to be put on hold for the time being.
President Obama's spin specialists will have to approach their challenge very aggressively because to some the Obama Administration's program resembles that portrayed in cartoons when the fast running bird (ostrich?) hands a stick of dynamite (trinitrotoluene) to the dog/wolf/coyote character and with a "beep beep" and sound effects indicating that he is departing a the same rate of speed achieved by a bullet, letting the hapless mutt "holding the bag" and then giving the audience a perplexed look after the inevitable big Kaboom!
If the cost of maintaining a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan remains stable during President Obama's term in office and if the economic recover is slow, that would tend to indicate that social programs will have to be downsized and or eliminated during the interim. If those cost skyrocket, then cutting social programs will become manditory.
The President will have to build a perception that he entered office with optimistic expectations and then use the old WMD explanation when it becomes apparent that a negotiated settlement is impossible: "He didn't know there was no possibility of a negotiated settlement."
So, just as Bush supporters did in the WMD debate, he can use the old "blindsided by reality" explanation and slowly spread the perception that radical al Qaeda members would rather die than sign a peace settlement.
As this process unfolds liberal pundits can use clever and poetical metaphors to explain the impasse, such as saying that asking al Qeda to convene a Peace conference would be very much like sending the chaplain to talk to a kamikaze pilot about the assertion that suicide is an unforgivable sin.
Maybe the President should do something more constructive such as helping Al Franken get started now in his efforts to raise funds for a reelection campaign?
Perhaps a good diversion will be to start a committee to decide where to locate the Obama Presidential Library?
Comedian W. C. Fields has said: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
Now the disk jockey will be permitted to replay Supertramp's "Logical Song," which he has played at least once before. The Pasadena City Council will have an interesting meeting tonight, so we gotta run along. Have a week in which you never hear the word "immutable." (As Dick Martin used to say: "Look that up in your Funk and Wagnall.")