Sarah Palin is giving President Obama foreign policy advice from her Facebook account...
...and the news media is eating up every word her ghostwriter writes.
In a nation of three hundred million people, there have got to be more than the three hundred names we see week in and week out who have opinions worth exploring.
In all the articles about policy, you never see the number "165 million dollars a day", which is how much it is estimated the U.S. spends each day we are in Afghanistan, mentioned at all. I guess the actual cost is just an abstraction that most of these commentators believe a cash strapped nation shouldn't be worrying about, but in my book, A BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK for anything means we are spending real money.
We are approaching the Afghanistan conflict as if we are engineering a corporate takeover - add a few troops here, deploy a few weapons there, redefine what a "successful" outcome is, and then call it a day...
...the same way we did in Iraq or the laundry list of other countries bigger than Grenada that we have battled over the years since World War II.
The last time we won a war where we crushed the enemy in body and spirit was World War II. Our leaders had a different mindset back then, namely, one that acknowledged more frankly, although not publicly, our vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
Our nation wasn't filled with "USA! USA!" chanters but with people who all were related to someone serving in the war effort. We were a nation whose fear of the possibility that we could actually lose caused a large majority of us to understand that our way of life was on the line.
We are not willing to send the one hundred thousand or two hundred thousand or three hundred thousand troops it could take to crush the opposition forces in Afghanistan. Our allies aren't willing to pony up any more than a nominal amount of their own forces.
The way we felt for a few months after September 11th was the way we felt for years after Pearl Harbor. It was a fear so great that we locked up Japanese Americans by the thousands.
We are not yet afraid enough of the things that could happen to do those terrible things to another nation that we know will work.
I champion Barack Obama's presidency on this blog week in and week out, not because I believe he is a perfect leader, but because I believe he deserves a chance to succeed or fail like any other president. Most of us have normally forgotten we even have a president by now, nine months after a presidential election, but our parochial and narrow minded press will continue to report practically every breath he takes as long as the public keeps tuning in.
Obama's not seasoned yet, not by a long shot, but no other president in the modern era has been either, whether they acted like it or not, in nine months. Somewhere between the fading of the hoopla after getting elected and the re-emergence of the hoopla to get re-elected, you find out what kind of president you really have.
President Obama is a pretty smart guy, smart enough to know how much of a sticky wicket that "eeny meeny miney mo" warfare in Afghanistan has become.
Our leaders in the 1940's didn't have to deal with fighting only the parts of a country that opposed us in WWII - we were committed to killing everybody we could until our opponents surrendered.
If we had danced around the idea that "war=killing people" in World War II the way we do now, we could have very well lost that war.
We had to kill a million people in Iraq before we could convince ourselves that we could leave in good conscience.
So boil it down to number, Mr. Obama, the way they do in corporate boardrooms - how many Afghans do we have to kill to make this mission successful?
I know you can't say this, Mr. President, but that's pretty much it - how many people are we willing to kill to get what we want, and how much is it going to cost? Or in liberal speak, how rich are we prepared to make our defense contractors?