Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Obama Buys a Used War

When the President unveiled his vehicle for getting from here to there in Afghanistan last night, it was not, as W's chief of staff described the Iraq invasion in 2002, a "new product" but an eight-year-old jalopy retooled for an even longer, bumpier ride.

As Barack Obama "assumed full ownership," there was no shortage of tire-kickers, starting with John McCain, who judges wars on durability (i.e., 100 years in Iraq). The President reportedly placated his rival in last year's race by assuring McCain that the 2011 trade-in date could be modified by "conditions on the ground," a warranty loophole big enough to drive another Surge through.

The post-purchase debate will be all the livelier for an aging gas-guzzler that has none of the curb appeal of George W. Bush's choice, the Saddam Hussein 2003 model with such then-new features as WMDs and a shock-and-awe startup for quick acceleration.

At a pre-speech lunch, the President failed to sell even such an avid buyer of that previous rollout as Tom Friedman, who now complains the new transport has too many "moving parts," that "Afghans, Pakistanis and NATO allies all have to behave forever differently for this to work."

With so much sales resistance, Obama may want to look back at Lyndon Johnson's experience. LBJ was moving along just fine with his newly unveiled war on poverty until he switched off for a side trip aboard the sputtering Vietnam buggy, which eventually took his presidency over a cliff.

1 comment:

Fuzzy Slippers said...

Heh, love this. Yes, I can see the clunker analogy, even though I don't quite agree with it. The main goal is to stop al Queda from getting their hands on Pakistan's nukes. That would be ungood for us all, starting with Israel and working west from there, final destination the U. S. of A. BO didn't explain it very well and as usual tied himself in knots trying to please everyone all at once, but this isn't Vietnam. This is about a group of very crazy, very driven psychotics who want to kill us all. Really, they do. They've said it many times and have managed to kill quite a lot of us in case you hadn't noticed. :(