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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

If Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Bank of America, AIG, GM, Chrysler, Fannie, and Freddie were each too big to fail, then why aren’t Pakistan…

…and Afghanistan…

…too big to fail?

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Here’s what we know about the Obama perspective on international affairs:

  1. Obama appointees think Karzai’s election in August was a fraud.
  2. Fraud also occurred during the 2004 election, when Karzai was initially elected.
  3. When Obama thinks a government has been removed without an election, he wants the old government to be reinstalled, no matter how poorly that government may have acted.
  4. Until that government is reinstalled, the Obama administration doesn’t recognize future elections, no matter how fair they may be.
  5. The Administration believes there is “clearly a difference” between the Taliban and al Qaeda.
  6. They also think the Afghan Taliban is not a threat to the United States.
  7. We are at war against al Qaeda, but maybe not the Taliban.
  8. The Taliban was removed from power through U.S. intervention in a longstanding civil war between the Taliban and the tribes of the Northern Alliance.
  9. “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed.”
  10. This White House has made significant policy shifts based on a brutally-oppressive regime’s statements and promises alone, or even in hopes that another government will change its behavior in response to our unilateral change.
  11. Leading liberal intellectuals believe that we must negotiate with the Taliban.

So, if the Taliban comes forward, apologizes for killing over 800 Americans over the past 8 years and for harboring al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11, and promises not to harbor terrorists in the future, will Obama let them have their country back?  Or at the very least, will he consider the matter of who governs Afghanistan to be an “internal matter” and get out of the way?

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Imagine this scenario.

You’re a Blue Dog Democrat from a Midwestern district who got elected in 2006.  You ran on a moderately anti-Iraq War platform, but you kept your national security credentials by saying we needed to do more in Afghanistan.  You won in 2008 by a healthy 8-point margin, but you had a weak opponent, and McCain won your district, 52-48%.

You were among those who initially expressed skepticism about Obamacare, which took some heat off the town hall meetings, but they were still filled with hundreds of grumpy constituents who beat you up with Pelosi and the President.  You’ve already got a strong opponent for 2010, and he’s used your votes for the stimulus bill and cap-and-trade (the latter which you really regret) to raise $250,000 in two quarters of fundraising.  You know you’ll vote against the House health care bill, but you don’t know what you’ll do on the compromise bill that will almost certainly emerge from the Senate.

One fine day, you get a call from the President himself.  After some pleasantries, he gets down to business.  The President asks for your support for his health care plan.  You respond that you just don’t know if you can support a public option, and you know you can’t support a bill with public funding for abortion.  The President says, “Forget the abortion stuff.  That comes out.  But I need the public option.  And I’m willing to stay in Afghanistan for your vote.”  You say, “Excuse me, Mr. President?”

The President explains: “That’s right, Congressman.  I have reviewed General McChrystal’s report, and I simply can’t abide the thought of conducting counterinsurgency operations with double the troops in Afghanistan for the rest of my presidency.  I see no way out of this without thousands more lives lost, and the government there is always going to be fragile.”

“I want to reduce our troop levels to a residual force that will be focused on protecting Kabul and providing remote support for attacks against terrorist targets in the border region.  But I know you and many of your colleagues feel differently.  And I am willing to compromise in a way that gets us enough votes to pass health care reform for all Americans while maintaining our force in Afghanistan.”

“I’ll accept McChrystal’s request and send 100,000 more troops to Afghanistan, but I can’t get the funds through the House without getting a public option on health care reform.  I’ll even phase in the health care plan over five years, so if it doesn’t work, we can fix it.  I’ve made the deal – I’ve got enough Afghanistan votes in the Progressive Caucus, and you and I know the Republicans will get us the rest of the way.  I just need you and a few more Blue Dogs to go along with the public option.”

“So,” says the President of the United States, “can I count on your vote?”

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