SocraticGadfly: Obama’s Afghanistan speech wrap-up – ehhhh

December 02, 2009

Obama’s Afghanistan speech wrap-up – ehhhh

Juan Cole
makes a good case President Obama is misreading any analogies with Iraq and the surge there, and that most such analogies only exist in the minds of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment anyway.

Dan Froomkin has much more on this, including, in essence, a flip-flip mentality by Obama. Or, self-petard-hoisting, perhaps we should say.

Zbigniew Brzezinski has some concerns, too.

Glenn Greenwald gives Obama one kudo for not touting nation building. That said, here’s part of his nut graf:
Independent of motive, it is also quite unlikely that helping Afghans will be the unintended result of our ongoing war there. Just as was true in Iraq -- where we bribed and befriended religious extremists and others we spent years demonizing as "Terrorists," and now protect a government that is extremely oppressive to women, Christians and gays, and brutally violative of human rights in general -- we will do whatever benefits us and serves our interests in Afghanistan, even if that means empowering brutal, oppressive and misogynistic fanatics as long as they are willing to carry out our geopolitical directives.

So, if that’s the case, the Taliban is not likely to be able to control the whole country in the foreseeable future, and the remnants of al Qaeda (and the Taliban and allied agents, for that matter) are more a problem for Pakistan, why stay involved?

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