Let's sing altogether now: Afghanistan is President Obama’s war. Last night, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann sang a different tune.
My favorite bloviator scolded conservative columnist George Will for urging the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan. The war there "already is nearly 50 percent longer than the combined involvements in two world wars," noted Will in the Washington Post. Will wants the U.S. to manage Afghanistan militarily via Special Forces, drones, missiles and intelligence and concentrate U.S. forces on the border with nuclear-armed Pakistan, "a nation that actually matters."
Will is the first big-time conservative to jump ship on Afghanistan. Olbermann chided him and the right-wing for silently enduring nearly eight years of George Bush botching the mission in Afghanistan. Obie noted that Obama has been in charge for a little more than seven months. That, to Keith, is hardly enough time for the president to assume ownership of Afghanistan. Sorry Keith, you are wrong. It is time to move on.
The president stands at the crossroad. He can either surge (send more troops) or purge (withdraw soldiers and forget the idealistic notion of forging a modern state in a place that’s never had an effective central government). Will cites a Dutch NATO commander who said parts of Afghanistan are like "walking through the Old Testament."
Obama's liberal supporters are mounting a goal line defense, defending their guy against criticism over Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush has been a handy piñata, but the memory of that failed Presidency is quickly receding.
Obama has the right to ignore the majority of Americans who want to withdraw from Afghanistan. That's his right as Commander-in-Chief, just as it was Lyndon Johnson’s right to escalate in Vietnam. The Vietnam War overshadowed all of Johnson’s achievements on the domestic front. One only hopes Obama won’t suffer the same fate as LBJ.