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Brian In NYC

Bit of overreach in your title there Laurie, Afghanistan is not the entirety of our foreign policy. Do you really believe that the Obama administration is acting in the same manner the Bush administration would have in regard to Iran and the info regarding the discovered nuclear processing plant(s)? What about Obama's decision not to deploy a missile system in Eastern Europe? Also I think you've come to the conclusion that McChrystal is going to get his requested 40,000 troops, I think you're wrong about this, in fact I believe McChrystal's days in Afghanistan will soon be coming to end.

Joe Ermigiotti

This is dead on. I was going to say that the official moment when the Demublicans embraced Bush's wars was the '06 election, after which they proceeded to do nothing to end the Iraq debacle (and still haven't), but as you point out at the end, this goes beyond Bush and Obama. This is just a continuation of US foreign policy going back to at least the Spanish-American War and the brutal occupation of the Phillipines (the latter being another good example of things you don't learn about in the public school system).

Scott Bowen

Every time I read about the fighting in Afghanistan, all I can perceive is the fact that we're chasing the bad guys in circles, in really rugged terrain. They hide, we seek, they shoot, we shoot, everyone goes back to base when the ammo runs out. Unless we're actually going to take all that real estate and own it (I'm being hypothetical), I'm not sure how this effort weakens any terrorist network. The locals don't like us. The U.S.-backed government is corrupt as hell. It's not Vietnam, but it's still too similar. What can we say "winning" is here?

Laurie Essig

I think all these politicians should be forced to read the many good accounts of the Soviet occupation (and I use the "occupation" word loosely) of Afghanistan. I lived in Moscow during much of that time and can say for certain that the US war is far more similar to that war than even Vietnam. But of course, as the historians say, unless we learn from history we are doomed to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it...


Hasn't Obama has put George Mitchell, the person who was most instrumental in making the peace in No. Ireland, on the job of creating peace in the Middle East and advancing a Palestinian state? Hard to think of a bigger sea change than that. A Palestinian state is one of Osama's demands and if we meet it we steal at least half his thunder.
The last president to undertake radical *dissimilarity* was Jimmy Carter. His (laudable) impatience produced a cascade of militancy--the greatest and most tragic foreign policy irony of my many decades of observation. A slower approach might well have produced a secular, democratic Iranian state and avoided the millions of deaths in the Iran-Iraq, the Gulf Wars I and II.

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