|June 22, 2010|
|BP Mess Overshadows Afghanistan Disaster|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|President Obama's pledge to begin the exit of U.S. troops from Afghanistan next July is about as real as BP's $20B pot of gold is enough to make it right in the Gulf of Mexico. |
Meanwhile, Specialist Joseph Johnson, 24, and Private First Class Gunnar Hotchkin, 31, died June 16 in North Kunduz, Afghanistan, said the Defense Dept. today. That's reality. Johnson and Hotchkin were part of the inaptly named "Operation Enduring Freedom." A better moniker: "Operation Ever-Enduring Quagmire."
Does anybody believe that the Taliban will be under control by next July? It always was a phony timetable set to calm critics.
BP followed the same strategy. Its fund is less than half of the estimate of what is needed to restore the Gulf region. The fund is nothing more by a PR bone tossed to BP critics.
BP does provide a lively story for the media as the summer doldrums begin. The tabloid outrage over the weekend about CEO Tony Hayward attending the yacht race was pure gold. BP should put Hayward under lock and key. Or better still, the old heave-ho. Fox News and the rest of the gang had so much fun with Tony, they deftly segued into demanding that Obama give up golf and the Chicago White Sox while BP oil gushes.
Even Obama's media buddies are beginning to hammer him on BP. Staunch Obama ally and New York Times columnist Frank Rich yesterday urged Obama to throw Interior Secretary Ken Salazar overboard for failing to fire the Bush administration hacks occupying the Minerals Management Service.
BP, however, has been a godsend for Obama. That tragedy has kept the news of the Afghanistan disaster (66 NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan so far this month, the biggest number since last August) off the front page.
The New York Times today had the failure of Deepwater Horizon's blowout preventer as its lede story. There was an adjoining photo of a "controlled burn" of the BP spill with the headline, "Front Lines of Environmental Battle."
The story about Afghanistan, an even bigger front line for the U.S, ran on A-4. It dealt with "Working to Help a Haven for Afghan Women Blossom." With all due respect to CARE and the U.S. Agency for International Development, funders of the Kabul Womenís Garden, itís up to the Afghans to decide on whether they want to enter the 21st Century.
Obama may have "inherited" Afghanistan. That doesn't absolves him from making the tough decision on Afghanistan. "Staying the course," or a stretched out withdrawal are not the ways to go. Afghanistan is a loser for the U.S.
It's time to go ASAP.
(Image: White House)
Return to Latest News