Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peace Process

When it comes to the threat of war, we are very impatient.

The U.S. envoy to the IAEA, Ambassador Glynn Davies, said in Vienna on Friday that international patience with Iran was running out and that "round after round" of fruitless talks could not continue.

Speaking to reporters in Washington later, the U.S. official said the vote showed "unity of purpose" among major international powers on Iran, and repeated that time was growing short for Tehran to come clean about a nuclear program that Western governments fear is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge.

The official declined to be drawn on what sort of consequences were being contemplated, although British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said harsher sanctions could be on the way if Iran ignored the IAEA vote.

U.S. President Barack Obama and European leaders have given Iran until the end of the year to begin talks on the nuclear stalemate.

Once we are actually spending billions and losing thousands of lives, the impatience suddenly evaporates.

Obama is likely to add at least 30,000 to a force that will total 100,000 in Afghanistan. An equal number will remain in Iraq, meaning last year's anti-war candidate will ironically have more soldiers in harm's way - 200,000 - than Bush did at the height of the Iraq "surge."

And don't call this boost a "surge" because insiders know that's a misnomer.

It will be an escalation without any plan on the horizon to draw down the additional forces, like in Iraq.

[Peter] Bergen says the extra troops can secure more roads and pockets thick with Taliban in the next two years, but ending the war "is a long-term project."

It's not just how many boots are on the ground, it's how they're used.

That's why many strategists are embracing the idea of hiring Pashtun tribal militias or embedding Special Forces to "go native" for years and win tribal allies by spilling blood with them side by side.

But the wisest ideas all involve facing the hard truth that we will be in the fight for many more years amid polls that show the public - American and Afghan - losing patience.

That hard dose of reality required to win gives the enemy plenty of ammo in the meantime for their propaganda denouncing Americans as occupiers who refuse to leave.


satch said...

I have yet to lose a moment of sleep over Iran's nuclear program, but I usually have trouble sleeping after reading nitwits like Mona Charen or Charles Krauthammer blatting on about the need to start bombing Iran so Israel doesn't have to.

On Afghanistan; every time I hear some pundit expounding at length on what wonderful fighters the Afghans are, I start to wonder: if the average Joe Afghan wants his daughter to go to school, why isn't he willing to pick up a gun and defend the school from Taliban threats to blow it up? And I'm generally a pretty pacific guy, but I'd be sorely tempted to put a round between the eyes of anyone threatening to throw acid in my daughter's face. And if the Taliban are so unpopular, why is it like pulling teeth to get the aforementioned Joe Afghan to even tell U.S. troops where the IEDs are planted? Early on, Obama had a real chance to get out from under Bush's wars, but during the campaign, he seemed to think he couldn't get elected without promising to keep at least one war going, so he started beating McCain over the head with Afghanistan. Now it sounds depressingly like he's about to assume ownership.

Anonymous said...

"Now it sounds depressingly like he's about to assume ownership."

Not "about". He owns it. And it is time to stop thinking of this president as FDR and start thinking of him as LBJ because he does not have the faintest ghost of a chance to get those troops back out once he has capitulated to the right wing hysterics and the pentagon macho mentality.