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Afghanistan off the Top of My Head

Afghanistan

Currently were in the middle of what could be called the largest finger-pointing, blame game, we’ve ever seen in the United States. Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for the dramatic pictures that we are seeing out of Afghanistan. American troops are pulling out after 20 years. President Joe Biden has decided that it is time for our troops to come home. We must understand that Donald Trump had already negotiated with the Taliban and set in stone that the American troops were coming home. Of course, it was possible for Joe Biden to reverse this decision and escalate the conflict.

We’ve been in Afghanistan for more than 20 years. We spent over $2 trillion. Thousands of Americans have died. Tens of thousands of Americans have been wounded/injured. Isn’t that enough?

What went wrong? In order to answer this question, I think is important for us to go back to the beginning. We were attacked on September 11 by Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was being shielded by the Taliban in Afghanistan. We decided to go after Osama bin Laden. In December 2001, we had Osama bin Laden cornered in the Tora Bora mountains. We had the Taliban on the run. We had additional assets in the area. For some reason, as far as I know the exact reason has never been pinpointed, we did not deploy additional assets in order to capture Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden slipped into Pakistan. Shortly thereafter, we turned our attention to Iraq.

Killing or capturing Osama bin Laden the Tora Bora mountains would’ve ended our military involvement in Afghanistan. Our troops would have come home. There would’ve been no discussion about nationbuilding. Instead, we would’ve discussed mission accomplished.

Overall, I think that we fell into a trap. We continued to throw good money after bad. We just “knew” that another surge would fix the problem. We didn’t want our prior blood, sweat and tears to be for nothing. We didn’t want to be labelled as a quitter. We … should have come home over a decade ago. That’s the real truth. There was no “good” time. No matter when we decided to come home there were going to be problems. There was going to be the problem of a Afghan military that simply wasn’t up to the task. We entered a lose – lose situation.  This is the truth.

By |2021-08-17T11:08:41-04:00August 17th, 2021|Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Bush Administration|0 Comments

Obama in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama showed up in Afghanistan today.

From NYT:

President Obama made a surprise trip here on Tuesday to sign a landmark strategic partnership agreement between the United States and Afghanistan in a midnight ceremony meant to mark the beginning of the end of a war that has lasted for more than a decade.

Mr. Obama arrived after nightfall under a veil of secrecy at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. He then flew by helicopter to the presidential palace, where he and President Hamid Karzai signed the pact, which is intended to be a road map for two nations lashed together by war and groping for a new relationship after the departure of American troops, scheduled for the end of 2014.

“With this agreement the Afghan people, and the world, should know that Afghanistan has a friend and a partner in the United States,” Mr. Obama declared as the Afghan leader looked on. “With this agreement, I am confident that the Afghan people will understand that the United States will stand by them.”

By |2013-11-03T17:14:58-04:00May 2nd, 2012|Afghanistan|Comments Off on Obama in Afghanistan

Rachel Maddow destroys Mitt Romney, why? (Update)

Last night, Rachel Maddow took her opening segment and simply roasted and toasted Mitt Romney. My question is why?

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Mitt Romney is not a strong candidate. He has never been a strong candidate. The whole Republican field is weak. Each of the candidates has huge flaws. This is no secret. Anyone who’s been following the campaigns can, off the top of their head, name tons of flaws that each of these candidates has. Yet, for some reason, Rachel Maddow decided that she needed to shine the spotlight on Mitt Romney.

You do not have to be a political junkie, as I am, to be able to understand that Mitt Romney has changed his position on several major issues. The healthcare law that he instituted in Massachusetts is basically the same law that President Obama tried to institute across the United States. This is a fact. Yet, somehow Mitt Romney has tried to parse this into something that it isn’t. If you remember that whole brouhaha over whether Mitt Romney really hunts or not and what he hunts, well, that was craziness. That was not some tricky question. Instead, that was Mr. “I’m awkward” Romney just trying to fit in. He doesn’t. He’s uncomfortable in crowds. He’s uncomfortable talking in front of people. Yet, here he is, running for president.

I love Rachel Maddow. I think she is the brightest woman on television. I just don’t understand what is to be gained by telling liberals, her audience, that Mitt Romney is who we think he is. I’m just saying. Okay, Mitt Romney has proven over the last several years that he will do anything, say anything and be anybody in order to become president. Okay, now it’s out there.

Update: Yesterday on NPR they introduced a segment by asking the question, “How would President Romney handle Afghanistan?” What? President Romney? A chill went up my spine. Now, I understand what Rachel was talking about. Think about it. President Romney. He can’t settle on one position for anything. Even Clinton was better at standing firm than Romney. There is almost no subject in which Romney hasn’t changed his position in some sort of major way. So, Romney on Afghanistan? My goal is for us, the American people, not to go through a Romney presidency. The fact that he is talking about doubling down, no, tripling down on Afghanistan…doesn’t make any sense to me. We need to get out. We need to leave a force that is large enough to crush any terrorist camp or outpost that pops up. That’s it. We need to come home. I’m not sure what Romney’s position is and whatever it is I suspect that it will change… with the wind.

By |2012-03-24T14:27:07-04:00March 24th, 2012|Afghanistan, Party Politics|4 Comments
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