The only problem with that statement is that it is a lie.
A curiosity about our stated objective is that, according to the estimate of CIA director Leon Panetta, there are fewer than 50 Al Qaeda left in Afghanistan. So, US strategy is a bit like taking a Glock semiautomatic handgun to hunt squirrels – and while we have come to expect such behavior from the good citizens of Arizona, it is something less than becoming as a US foreign policy objective.
But I hear you saying, wait- Al Qaeda has fled to neighboring Pakistan, and to defeat the 200 or so Al Qaeda in Pakistan we need a base in a friendly country from which to launch offensive strikes against the enemy with about 100,000 US troops.
Okay, so let me get this straight. We are in Afghanistan because we were attacked on 9/11. Check.
We were attacked on 9/11 because our foreign policy- dating back to the end of World War 2- dictates that the US enforce international order. This includes, but certainly is not limited to, decades of meddling in the Middle East. Check.
So, to prevent further attacks, our logic goes, we have expended trillions of dollars in wars since 9/11 doing the very thing that got us attacked on 9/11 to begin with.
Is that it?
Isn’t that a bit like alcoholic putting vodka in their cheerios to cure a hangover? Sure, the short term benefits might feel good, but in the end you wind up penniless, estranged from your family and standing at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel with a window squeegee trying to make enough change to buy yourself a fifth of old crow.
Of corse the main problem with our stated objective in Afghanistan – disrupt, dismantle, defeat, etc – is that it is a lie.
If this were Pinocchio, Obama would have an Eifel tower coming off of his face.
On NBC’c meet the press recently, Senator Lindsey Graham openly called for permanent US bases in Afghanistan. While this goes against the grain of our stated cut off date of 2014 to withdraw from Afghanistan, permanent military bases would be consistent with our foreign policy for the last 70 odd years. Namely: we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of the Imperial Agenda of the United States.
In the face of the Great Recession, tuition hikes, foreclosures, real unemployment near 20%, US Soldiers killing and dying, what will we Americans do when confronted with a President who continues to look us in the face and lie?
If history is any guide, we will elect him to a second term.