So the President has decided to "declare victory in Afghanistan and get out" except that neither he nor anyone else has a definition of "victory" and we're not actually getting out. By the end of the President's current term in 2012, there will still be more than twice as many U.S. troops in Afghanistan as when he took office.
The war that no one wants must go on. Just the other day, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, made it all too clear he doesn't want us.
At least 56 percent of us want all U.S troops out NOW. Even Congress is beginning to notice our discontent and they are getting restive. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman understand the public mood; they want early withdrawal. Democratic stalwart Rep. John Conyers expressed a growing sentiment:
Gosh, even the President noted, in announcing his minimal troop pullback, that we need a "pivot" on Afghanistan.
I'm sure those of "our people" who are called upon to die in this purposeless project must wonder who is caring for them.
The notion of "declaring victory and getting out" has an honorable history of a sort that seems to fit this President. The phrase is attributed (apparently not quite accurately) to Senator George Aiken, referring to the U.S.'s flailing imperial adventure in Vietnam. The idea is not a bad template for an over-extended empire in decline: when you can't "win," spin and cut your losses.
Aiken was a Senator from Vermont from 1941 through 1975. He supported much of the New Deal and was dubious about world-wide military engagement. In fact he was just the sort of liberal Republican (now extinct) that Barack Obama seems to be. Would that Obama had a little bit more of his savvy and enough stuffing to run with it.
Cross posted at Can It Happen Here?
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project
Jan Adams has worked with WarTimes/Tiempo de Guerras since its beginning, coordinating distribution during the three years when the organization published an antiwar tabloid newspaper. She is a lifelong political activist who has worked for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and for racial and economic equality with electoral and advocacy campaigns in many areas of the United States.
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