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Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

EUGENE ROBINSON SAYS, "BRING THEM HOME, MR. PRESIDENT"

EUGENE ROBINSON SAYS, "BRING THEM HOME, MR. PRESIDENT"

Listen up. The Daddy already knows that some of you don't want to talk about war. But some things we just have to face. Remember: these soldiers are ours. That means we can't celebrate and remember them on one day out of the year. We must honor and celebrate them by doing everything we can to get them out of Afghanistan.

In Truthdig, Eugene Robinson, Editor of the Washington Post and Pulitzer-Prize winner for journalism, just wrote a brilliant piece. Even if you don't read it all, read some of it. You'll still get a lot out of it. Our soldiers are involved; an so is our integrity as a nation:

Check it out:
by Eugene Robinson Posted on Nov 12, 2009
The most dreadful burden of the presidency—the power to send men and women to die for their country—seems to weigh heavily on Barack Obama these days. He went to Dover Air Force Base to salute the coffins of fallen troops. He gave a moving speech at the memorial service for victims of last week’s killings at Fort Hood. On Veterans Day, after the traditional wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, he took an unscheduled walk among the rows of marble headstones in Section 60, where many of the dead from our two ongoing wars are buried.

As he decides whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Obama should keep these images in mind. Geopolitical calculation has human consequences. Sending more troops will mean more coffins arriving at Dover, more funerals at Arlington, more stress and hardship for military families. It would be wrong to demand such sacrifice in the absence of military goals that are clear, achievable and worthwhile.

And what goals in Afghanistan remotely satisfy those criteria?

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, recently sent two classified cables to officials in Washington expressing what the newspaper described as “deep concerns” about sending more troops now.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chosen by Obama to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has asked for perhaps 40,000 additional troops to carry out a counterinsurgency campaign. Armchair Napoleons in Washington, comfortably ensconced in their book-lined offices, insist that Obama must “listen to the generals.” But Eikenberry was a four-star general until Obama named him ambassador earlier this year. He commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006-07. He as well needs to be heard.

n what were described as sharply worded cables, Eikenberry reportedly expressed serious doubts about the willingness of Afghan President Hamid Karzai to tackle the corruption and mismanagement that have made his government so unpopular and ineffectual—and that have allowed the Taliban to effectively regain control of much of the country.

Karzai, you will recall, committed what observers described as widespread, blatant election fraud in “winning” a new term in office. In many parts of Afghanistan, the Karzai government is seen as so weak and corrupt that the Taliban has been able to move in as a lesser-of-two-evils alternative.

It is axiomatic that a successful counterinsurgency program requires a partnership with a reliable, legitimate government. If the Karzai regime is not such a partner, the goal that McChrystal would be pursuing with those extra 40,000 troops would not be achievable.

Obama is also reported to be considering scenarios in which he would send roughly 30,000 extra troops, somehow persuading our unwilling NATO allies to make up the difference, or send about 20,000 troops and modify the McChrystal plan, opting instead for a “hybrid” strategy that’s part counterinsurgency, part counterterrorism. I’m skeptical that either of these options sets goals that are achievable, and I’m certain that neither sets goals that are clear.

Following his visits to Dover, Fort Hood and Arlington Cemetery, Obama should focus the attention of the White House and the Pentagon on a question that too often is overlooked: What troops?

Our all-volunteer armed forces have been at war for eight years with no end in sight, serving tours of duty of up to 15 months in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many units have been called to serve multiple tours. By contrast, most Vietnam War veterans served a single one-year tour.

Fighting two big simultaneous wars with our armed forces stretched so thin has put enormous emotional, psychological and economic stress on military families. The suicide rate in the armed forces has climbed steadily, as has the incidence of stress disorders among veterans. The Pentagon is adept at shuttling its people around and has worked out how to provide the 40,000 troops McChrystal wants. But any new deployment would come at a heavy cost—a human cost—far beyond the billions of dollars required to train, equip, transport and maintain the units being sent.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

Eugene Robinson’s e-mail address is eugenerobinson(at)washpost.com.

11 comments:

MacDaddy said...

I am sorry but I lost the comments from this post. I value your comments and is very concerned. I'm checking with Blogger to see how this could happen. Please continue to comment on future posts. I think this is something technical.

MacDaddy said...

I think I can recover some of the comments from my blackberry.

MacDaddy said...

Vigilante said:
MicMac, unless Rachel or Keith is on, I teevee any more. Hazardous...socially and medically.

Rainywalker said:
MacDAddy,
If the USA is in danger send troops. Otherwise get out and work on bigger problems The 15 months figure is way off. Many-- and I mean many-- here at Fort Carson have spent between 36-48 months there already The difference in one respect here is that, during Vietnam we had the draft.Now we are cut mighty thin. 300 of those deaths last year were from suicide. If we send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan under any condition area 50 will need to be enlarged. And, Daddy, this will not be war; it will be the charge of the light bergage.
Rainy

XO: I agree with you and BigMac about Eugene serving as a kind of middle roader. In addition, I think he serves as the voice of reason. Blessings.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Mr. Robinson being a voice of reason to whom?He has worked as a journalist for the Washington Post for over twenty years in different places around the world.He is now write a column,which means he's allowed to say what he truely feels.That's if the editors at the Washington Post is feeling his true thoughts.I do understand the postion he's in but how long does a person continue to tell the half truth on issues and remains believiable as a columnist.Sorry for going a little off topic,but for Mr. Robinson to be calling the President out on this issue requires him to be straight up on all the issues.After all he is a journalist at heart.

MacDaddy said...

BigMac: You say Eugene speaks half-truths and holds back on his true feelings. He may be doing this. Who knows? I should let you know my bias. I have worked at 4 newspapers and wrote columns or features for another.

Having said that, I can assure you that both in-class training and working in newspapers, for the most part, try to write and speak close to facts. And I think Eugene makes some pretty heavy statements about the American condition with reasoned arguments. There are many different ways to say that our occupation of Iraq was wrong, that our continued, aimless stay in Afghanistan is wrong. He's said all that And he got the Pulitzer for doing so. Blessings.

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Macd:I won't argue the fact that both of you are journalists.Mr Robinson who is a native of Orangeburg,SC should know better then most to be mealy mouth about important issues.I should have just said from the door I believe he's reserved in his opinion simple because of the state of newspapers today.Even papers like the Wahington Post,NYT have let some of their best people go out to pasture.

Suzan said...

You are soooo right.

It's our dignity as a people that is involved.

Thank you for all you do to spread the word!

S

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Robinson is one of the better commentators of our day.
Let's hope President Obama thinks long and hard on this issue and doesn't try to placate anyone and only decides what is right for the common good of America.
So far, he's done a very good job.
Hope you are well MacDaddy. I'm on my way down to the sunny coast that we both love.

MacDaddy said...

BigMac: You are so right about the desperate financial crisis of newspapers all over the country. However, I'm not sure how much this plays in Eugene's comments.

Thanks for honestly speaking your opinion. I don't know if there is a right or wrong about Eugene. But I certainly appreciate the conversation. Blessings.

Sagacious: While I remain stuck here in cold Minnesota, You're packing up and leaving W. Virginia for sunny, warm Florida, walking on beaches and checking out the nature preserves, sitting outside, sipping cold ones with friends.

I hate you!

MacDaddy said...

Suzan: Dignity? Yes. Eugene is definitely old school. He's older, a child of the sixties. He's from that generation who was constantly being told by parents and relatives to do the right thing and make your race proud.

MadMike said...

I rank Eugene Robinson at the top of the list when it comes to journalism and journalistic integrity. Great post.