Monday, January 24, 2011

SOTU Update II - Iraq & Afghanistan (Hitler watch on the side)

Oh yeah, Iraq and Afghanistan - getting us out of Iraq first, one of the main reasons we elected the President.  And hopefully out of Afghanistan.  He will modestly declare a victory in Iraq and announce our departure (which "Mr. Modest Foreign Policy President" should have done in 2003 - or better yet, never got us in the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons - but I digress).

He will also talk about being on schedule to start removing troops in Afghanistan.  He was right that Afghanistan was abandoned in favor of Iraq for all the wrong (well, see above).  It appears to be too late.  It probably already was when he surged there to help justify getting us out of Iraq.  But after two more long years, he has given the US military and the Afghan government every chance to make it and having not made it, the President will again have to put the best interpretation on the horrible situation at the same time recognizing the amazing service and sacrifice of our heroic troops and get us the heck out of there.

He very craftily (and I mean that in a good way) did not get ahead of the American people.  We have sadly put the wars out of our front pages.  But this allows us to withdraw without too much screaming from the right.  Both Iraq and Afghanistan may fail,  but it doesn't seem to make any difference if we stay or leave.  In fact, it may be worse if we stay and it's our guys (and gals) dieing right now!  So let's leave.  The helicopters on the top of the US Embassy in Saigon were even tolerated without us going back into that one we probably should have never been in to begin.

In between errands and house duties Saturday, I happened to watch a lot of Hitler on the History and Military Channels (There's always something WWII on).  The thing that struck me is how no major characters in our modern US politics are anything like Hitler - not Bush, Palin, Limbaugh, Newt and certainly not Our President or Pelosi (well, maybe Glenn Beck, just a little bit).  I mean Hitler was a class all his own.  Even in the early years with the Beer Hall Putsch, etc., it was all ludicrous and I don't see anything like that in current America.  Now, I still don't understand it and certainly don't understand how Germany went with him.  And I do not ascribe to the "it can't ever happen here" because the only explanation for Germany going with him was the horrible economic situation and humiliation of WWI (which was sort of their fault anyway, but I digress).  And horrible things could come out of economic and political collapse in our country.  FDR clearly saved us from the extremes of right or left when we could have easily gone one or the other as most of the rest of the world did.  And we certainly can NEVER FORGET the Holocaust and what the Nazis did to the Jews of Europe with a lot of complicity of those that stood by.

But having said all that, look at all the free and easy criticism all over the place of what ever crazy or even sane current US politician or figure you can think of.  I will concede that even the tea party has some value to let people vent and hopefully more rationally step back and think a little about the issues.  We still have a free press (as corrupt and inadequate as the MSM is) and we have a free and open internet as I'm evidencing now (even if nobody ever reads me).  So, we're a ways from seeing a Hitler in our current situation.  (Just let me know if Beck's friends all start wearing the same color shirt).

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! I'm enjoying your blog immensely, and the opportunity to read it on the "free and open internet"! You're spot on regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. Hoe tragic that our previous C-n-C took hi eye off the prize.


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