Friday, June 25, 2010

Obama Misses the Afghan Exit Ramp

By Ray McGovern

"Is President Barack Obama so dense that he could not see why Gen. Stanley McChrystal might actually have wanted to be firedand rescued from the current March of Folly in Afghanistan, a mess much of his own making?

McChrystal leaves behind a long trail of broken promises and unfulfilled expectations. For example, there is no real security, at least during the night, in Marja, which McChrystal devoted enormous resources to conquer this spring.

Remember his boast that he would then bring to Marja a "government-in-box" and offer an object lesson regarding what was in store for those pesky Taliban in Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city?

But it’s now clear that there will be no offensive against Kandahar anytime soon. On its merits, that is surely a good thing, but it is a huge embarrassment for McChrystal and his former boss, the never nonplussed Gen. David Petraeus.....

Now, with some indiscreet comments to Rolling Stone magazine, McChrystal has managed to get plucked from the swamp as if some "deus ex machina" derrick from a Greek tragedy had appeared magically behind stage and lifted the hero out of an impossible situation.

Obama now has turned to what might be called "Petraeus ex machina" to salvage his benighted strategy in Afghanistan, but this new device is unlikely to lift the larger military cause out of grave danger. Instead, many of the U.S. troops committed to this dubious plan seem doomed in what is becoming a real-life tragedy."

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