October 24, 2011
NYC Letter: Operation "Not Victory" IV
Day 1,006 of CHOPE
The drawdown in Iraq allowed us to refocus on Afghanistan and achieve major victories against al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
revealing his administration's new-found
powers of concentration
WASHINGTON October 22, 2011 White House
We do not begrudge Mr. Obama his OBL brag -- he pulled the trigger on OBL after all. And with nothing better than "vision" to sell his re-election, we realize Mr. Obama will be running endless OBL victory laps -- the man with the "vision" to kill OBL -- through next November. But OBL is long dead these past five months. Meanwhile Afghanistan slips away.
October 22, 2011 (Reuters) - Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday.
The remarks were in sharp contrast to recent tension between the two neighbors over cross-border raids, and Afghan accusations that Pakistan was involved in killing the chief Afghan peace envoy, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani, by a suicide bomber on September 20. Mr. Karzai:God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan. If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needs Afghanistan's help, Afghanistan will be there with you.
If you are shocked, dear skimmer, it is possible you've paid even less attention to Afghanistan than Team Barry. Mr. Obama's approach to Afghanistan has been [We search for the kind word.] dilettantish.
In March 2009 Mr. Obama announced a new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. While Mr. Obama dithered over a request for troops to implement his strategy, his NSC let slip they were clueless about their own mission execution orders to the theater commander. In December 2009 Mr. Obama announced an even newer new strategy and authorized ⅔ of an "unofficial request" for an additional 45,000 troops.
Mr. Obama's bold "not victory" strategy did little to inspire confidence within the Afghan government. What followed was an apache dance in the headlines between the American and Afghan governments about whether or not to enter into talks with the Taliban. Piqued by Washington complaints about his governance, Mr. Karzai twice threatened to throw in with the Taliban, changing his government's position from putting down a rebellion to leading a resistance -- against foreign occupation, that is, fighting American and NATO troops. When the State Department came round to chatting up the Taliban, Mr. Karzai abandoned his Taliban talks. Instead he approached Pakistan, leaving a whipsawn Pentagon in the middle.
Last May Mr. Obama invited Mr. Karzai to the White House for a high-profile smooth-down.
May 12, 2010 (Politico) - President Barack Obama welcomed Afghan President Hamid Karzai with some of the highest diplomatic trappings the White House has to offer — all intended to show the two leaders are reaffirming their sometimes shaky relationship.
... Obama insisted reports of tension between the U.S. and Karzai were "overstated," but added: "Obviously there are going to be tensions in such a complicated, difficult environment, in a situation on the ground with both Afghans and Americans are making enormous sacrifices."
... An hour-long Oval Office meeting, followed by a joint press conference in the East Room and an expanded lunch in the Cabinet Room were all part of the administration’s lavish attempt to make amends with a leader they found troubling just a month ago.
... Karzai said he can report back to the Afghan people that "I found a very supportive voice from President Obama." And he turned to look at Obama to express Afghanistan's "deep, heartfelt gratitude" for the United States' assistance.
"Afghanistan is grateful," he said, adding that the country needs his help.
Super thanks, America. Too bad about shooting you if push comes to shove. Bummer. [Hard sigh.] We might suggest the first pledge one secures from an ally is not to be shot at. [Pause.] "Grateful".
God forbid.Posted by Damian at October 24, 2011 02:00 PM