Monday, November 30, 2009

Prepare for the Great Republican Balk

Obama will talk about timetables and benchmarks in his address tomorrow at 5 pm eastern, and I think most Americans want to hear him talk about how this war ends. I'd also like to hear Obama explain why we need to be there. Connect the dots. How does being there prevent a terrorist event in the U.S.?
But when it comes to war, republicans don't believe in goals or timetables. The longer the war, the more profit for war contractors and the better for the war machine that republicans hold dear. Republicans have been saying that there shouldn't be mention of exit strategies because, they say, that will tell the enemy that we're not serious.
What a bunch of hooey. And whatever happened to the supposed patriotic duty of supporting the president in a time of war?
I'm sure republicans will be muted, however, once War God Stanley McChrystal testifies in favor of Obama's plan for Afghanistan. McChrystal is expected to testify with NATO officials on Dec. 8.
“It’s accurate to say that he will be more explicit about both goals and time frame than has been the case before and than has been part of the public discussion,” said a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the speech before it is delivered. “He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.”

The officials would not disclose the time frame. But they said it would not be tied to particular conditions on the ground nor would it be as firm as the current schedule for withdrawing troops in Iraq, where Mr. Obama has committed to withdrawing most combat units by August and all forces by the end of 2011. More at NYT