By Ray McGovern
March 28, 2009
"I was wrong. I had been saying that it would be naïve to take too seriously presidential candidate Barack Obama’s rhetoric regarding the need to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
I kept thinking to myself that when he got briefed on the history of Afghanistan and the oft-proven ability of Afghan “militants” to drive out foreign invaders — from Alexander the Great, to the Persians, the Mongolians, Indians, British, Russians — he would be sure to understand why they call mountainous Afghanistan the “graveyard of empires.”
And surely he would be fully briefed on the stupidity and deceit that left 58,000 U.S. troops — not to mention 2 million to 3 million Vietnamese — dead in Vietnam.......
Kennedy resisted the kind of pressures to which President Obama has now succumbed. (There are even some, like Jim Douglass in his book "JFK and the Unspeakable," who conclude that this is what got President Kennedy killed.)
Mr. Obama, you need to find some advisers who are not still wet behind the ears and who are not brown noses — preferably some who have lived Vietnam and Iraq and have an established record of responsible, fact-based analysis.
You would also do well to read Douglass's book, and to page through the "Pentagon Papers," instead of trying to emulate the Lincoln portrayed in Team of Rivals......
Professor Martin van Creveld of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the only non-American military historian on the U.S. Army’s list of required reading for officers, has accused former President George W. Bush of “launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 BC sent his legions into Germany and lost them.”
Please do not feel you have to compete with your predecessor for such laurels."