Establishment essayist talks turkey about Obama’s war

Bob Herbert of the New York Times recently pointed out that:

A clash is coming [over the Obama administration's Afghanistan policy]. President Obama may be reconsidering his idea of substantially increasing the number of American troops, but no one at the higher echelons of government is suggesting that anything other than a long, hard, tragic and expensive campaign lies ahead — with no promise of ultimate victory, or even a serious definition of what would constitute victory.

According to Herbert, Americans will have another pointless war to endure, one which the elite who authorized and will prosecute the war cannot rationally justify. And, it will likely produce annoying blowback events just as it predecessors had.

Herbert continues:

The public has not been prepared for a renewed big-time, long-haul effort in Afghanistan. And if American casualties increase substantially, support for the war will diminish that much more. There is very little tolerance in the U.S. for the reality of war, which is why the images in the media are so sanitized. The public's concept of warfare, for the most part, is the product of Hollywood movies about the heroics of the so-called Greatest Generation, and video games.

This disconnect between what the public is expecting, or willing to accept, regarding the war in Afghanistan and what the White House and the Pentagon are in fact planning is vast. Americans want their politicians to concentrate on the economy here at home. After the long, sad experience in Iraq, and the worst economic shock since the Depression, they are not up for extended combat and endless nation-building in Afghanistan.

In other words, Herbert believes that American public in general wants its sitting government to produce outcomes which enhance its quality of life. How unrealistic they are! So many Americans despised the second Bush regime because of its inept war-mongering; they could not trust the McCain-Palin ticket to avoid additional disasters. The polls seemed to point to these conclusions. Why is it, then, that America's political elite cannot learn from its experiences? Why do Obama and the Pentagon believe they must compound the mistakes of their predecessors?

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