Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Obama’s Afghanistan speech: America has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan


Transcript.

BUT BY JINGO IF WE DO, We’VE GOT THE SHIPS, WE’VE GOT THE MEN, WE’VE GOT THE MONEY TOO: “We did not ask for this fight.”


RAY’S HELL BURGER? “Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.”

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? “The Taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels.”

AFGHAN SPEECH DRINKING GAME – PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY: “Today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end.”

AND DISCOMBOBULATING: “I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies”. A sure sign of a winning goal: alliteration.


CONSISTENT: “In Afghanistan, we and our allies prevented the Taliban from stopping a presidential election, and -- although it was marred by fraud -- that election produced a government that is consistent with Afghanistan’s laws and constitution.” So we prevented the Taliban stopping a fraudulent election. Um, yay? And a fraudulent election is “consistent” with Afghanistan’s laws and constitution. Really kind of crappy laws and constitution. Just sayin’.

WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T STOP AND ASK DIRECTIONS: “Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards.”

AFGHAN SPEECH DRINKING GAME – PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY: “These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.”

NOTICE WHO HE LEAVES OUT – THEIR CHILDREN: “I have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed.”

Every picture of the cadets has to feature this red-headed woman. It’s the law.

CUE SOUND OF CRICKETS. CURIOUSLY FRENCH-SOUNDING CRICKETS: “Because this is an international effort, I’ve asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we’re confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead.”

AFGHAN SPEECH DRINKING GAME – PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY: “Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly”.

AFGHAN SPEECH DRINKING GAME – PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY: “But it will be clear to the Afghan government -- and, more importantly, to the Afghan people -- that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.”

YOUR AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD – DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT: “The days of providing a blank check are over.”

WELL THAT NARROWS IT DOWN CONSIDERABLY: “We’ll support Afghan ministries, governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and deliver for the people.”

I ALMOST FEEL LIKE I’M LEAVING SOMEBODY OFF THIS LIST OF OCCUPIERS. NOW WHO COULD IT BE... WHO COULD IT BE...? “The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They’ve been confronted with occupation -- by the Soviet Union, and then by foreign al Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes.”

The AP photog captures the full Mussolini mode

WHAT HE WANTS THE AFGHAN PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND: “So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand -- America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering.”

AH, THE OLD CANCER METAPHOR. NOTHING BAD EVER COMES FROM REFERRING TO PEOPLE AS CANCER: “We’re in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan.”

I’M SURE THE PAKISTANIS WILL BE THRILLED TO BITS TO HEAR THIS: “In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over. ... And going forward, the Pakistan people must know America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.” Um, do you guys have any oil at all?

“These are the three core elements of our strategy: a military effort to create the conditions for a transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan.” A military effort to create the conditions etc. This is as explicit as he ever gets about what he plans to do militarily in Pakistan, and by explicit I mean empty of all meaning.

Okay, let’s go back to the Mussolini

A FALSE READING OF HISTORY: “First, there are those who suggest that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be stabilized, and we’re better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. I believe this argument depends on a false reading of history. Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan”. Ah, the return of the Coalition of the Willing (COW) argument: 43 nations, bribed and coerced, completely settle the legitimacy of any war.

AFGHAN SPEECH DRINKING GAME – PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY: “It must be clear that Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that America has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan.”

WHAT HE REFUSES TO DO: “As president, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests.”

HE LIKES US, HE LIKES US! “That’s why our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended -- because the nation that I’m most interested in building is our own.”

SOUNDS KINDA GAY: “We’ll have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power.”

“I’ve spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships.”


WHO WE ARE: “And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom and justice and opportunity and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the source, the moral source, of America’s authority.” Talking about stuff, that’s the moral source of America’s authority. In case you were wondering.

THE GREAT POWERS OF OLD HAD ALL THE FUN: “For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. ... We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours.”

WILL CLOSE. ANY DAY NOW. “we must draw on the strength of our values -- for the challenges that we face may have changed, but the things that we believe in must not. That’s why we must promote our values by living them at home -- which is why I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.”

“It’s easy to forget that when this war began, we were united -- bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. (Applause.) I believe with every fiber of my being that we -- as Americans -- can still come together behind a common purpose.” EATING OUR BODY WEIGHT IN HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP BETWEEN NOW AND CHRISTMAS?

Wait, how did the Salahis get those uniforms?


So, troops will begin to come home in 18 months. Begin. That could mean one guy. And no end date, of course. Meaningless.

He was supposed to be setting benchmarks for Karzai to meet. he didn’t.

He was supposed to be setting benchmarks for the US to meet, to prove that the war won’t go on forever. He didn’t.

He was supposed to tell us how the war would be paid for. He didn’t.



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