Obama’s Exit Strategy
(American Conservative Blog) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan
If actions speak louder than words, President Obama is cutting America free of George Bush’s wars and coming home.
For his bottom line Tuesday night was that all U.S. forces will be out of Iraq by mid-2011 and the U.S. footprint in Afghanistan will, on that date, begin to get smaller and smaller.
Yet the gap between the magnitude of the crisis he described and the action he is taking is the Grand Canyon.
Listing the stakes in Afghanistan, Obama might have been FDR in a fireside chat about America’s war against a Japanese empire that had just smashed the fleet at Pearl Harbor, seized the Philippines, Guam and Wake, and was moving on Midway.
Consider the apocalyptic rhetoric:
“(A)s commander in chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest …”
“If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake …”
“For what is at stake is not simply a test of NATO’s credibility, what’s at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.”
After that preamble, one might expect the announcement of massive U.S. air strikes on some rogue nation. Yet what was the action decided upon? “I … will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.”
To secure America and the world, not 5 percent of the Army and Marine Corps will be surged into Afghanistan for 18 months — then they will start home...
What we heard Tuesday night was the drum roll of an exit strategy.
Chris Moore comments:
I hope Buchanan is right and Justin Raimondo (who believes the Afghanistan surge is a ploy to escalate with Pakistan) is wrong.
I don't believe Obama himself really has many principles one way or the other, and in fact is more of a puppet being danced by his brain trust, which is influenced by all sorts of lobbies and money powers, as Paul Craig Roberts recently wrote:
"The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it. President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order. Essentially, Obama is irrelevant. President Obama can promise that he is going to bring the troops home, and the military lobby says, “No, you are going to send them to Afghanistan, and in the meantime start a war in Pakistan and maneuver Iran into a position that will provide an excuse for a war there, too. Wars are too profitable for us to let you stop them.” And the mere president has to say, “Yes, Sir!” "
The Afghan surge is probably more of a holding pattern to see what develops in the midterm elections. If the Democrats are massacred because the anti-war base stays home in resentment of the surge, the withdrawal will proceed; but if the Dems have a respectable showing, I bet Obama will find some pretext to suspend the withdrawal per the orders of the money powers.
The pathetic irony is, facts on the ground in Afghanistan, which should have always been the determining factor, have almost nothing to do with the outcome either way.