“The Biden Plan”

I have to confess I have grown extremely fond of our VP and the job he is doing since being sworn in as our VP.  More and more I have to come view his selection as running mate as one of the best decisions Barack Obama has made.  However in my opinion one of the worst decisions the president has made is not to follow his VP’s advice in regard to Afghanistan but instead decided to follow the advice of his more hawkish Sects of State and Defense.  Unlike many of my fellow lefties I was pretty ambivalent when the president committed more troops to the war effort.  After all he had campaigned on an increased effort in Afghanistan.  However with the recent changes in the command structure I think it’s now time to take a cold hard look at just what we can accomplish in that wretched war torn corner of the globe.  Frankly I wanted us to succeed in nation building in Afghanistan, the plight of women in that country breaks my heart, the behavior and policies of the Taliban appalls me on a very gut level.  But after 10 years the Taliban is still a viable force within that country and the population of that country seems unwilling to deal with them on their own.  Without an honest partner I don’t feel we can defeat the Taliban and the Karzai government is a lot of things, honest is not one of them. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t for a minute think our military presence in Afghanistan is soon coming to an end. quite the opposite.  Al Qaeda is still a real threat to America and the West.  Constant pressure must be brought to bare on them to lessen their effectiveness in waging terrorist attacks and judging by the success we’ve been having as of late in Pakistan following the strategy put forward by the VP for Afghanistan I think it’s getting very close to the point where I feel we should be applying the same tactics in Afghanistan.    The other point is that the American people are losing their taste for this war, as well they should, it’s been a very long one!  Barack Obama in my opinion cannot win re-election if we are still involved at current levels in Afghanistan, nothing will do more harm to Democratic Party unity than a party battle over this war.  While it’s almost a certainty that the economy will be in better shape come the next general election things will still be tough.  The Democrats need to provide a rational, united front to what the repugs present, that will not be possible if we Dems are engaged in a battle over this war. 

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53 Comments

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53 responses to ““The Biden Plan”

  1. dog's eye view

    I read the Frum piece and feel a subliminal David Frum fit coming on.

    =======

    Well reasoned post, Brian.

    Agree that we need to scale back our goals and get out of there.

    I think it would be an incredible win-win situation if the U.S. made a lot of long-term visas, suitable for formal study and/or entrepreneurial training, available to Afghan citizens and allowed them to take an education and exposure to a Western democratic political system back with them.

    Afghans can do their own nation-building, at least in the urban areas.

    Although their personal security, in the aftermath of our departure in force, could be dodgy.

    Wish we’d promote a market for opium poppies grown for analgesic purposes, and make medicine out of them.

    The War on Drugs. Another lost cause.

  2. hey Doots what’s going on with your Gov’s race? Tweety said Perry’s numbers are dropping and Bubba is heading down to campaign for the Dem candidate.

    • dnd

      Hippieprof,
      Palin seems to only endorse candidates that are sure things. So it seems to me that her influence might be as questionable as her intellect. Makes for good tabloid/gossip TV though…

  3. dooty

    Brian,

    I have no special knowledge about Gov Good Hair as the late Mz Molly Ivans called him. Bill White is pretty popular in Houston since he was the mayor there for several terms and did some pretty good things. I just don’t know how that translates to the rest of the state. If Tweety is saying the race is getting closer then great.

  4. dooty

    Shep Smith is from the deep south. Remember his reporting of Katrina from that bridge?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/25/shep-smith-rages-fox-news_n_625463.html

  5. good catch doots, it’s a wonderment to me that Smith is still at Fox.

  6. BP gets help from former gov’t disaster expert

    WASHINGTON — BP says it has enlisted the help of James Lee Witt, the Federal Emergency Management Agency director in the Clinton administration and an expert on disaster response.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCwT6Y4817C8JFad2gbP_Mq8AVCQD9GHUMR82

    BP finally gets one right!

  7. Woman Sues Church For Performing Gay Unions

    • dnd

      “Colorado Democratic Party chairwoman Pat Waak and GOP Senate hopeful Jane Norton scolded Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck on Thursday, saying his departure 10 years ago from the U.S. attorney’s office shows he is unfit for office.”

      http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15372557

      I’m not sure who’s funding Ken Buck, but his teabagger style commercials run nonstop on cable here.

  8. dooty

    like I said yesterday, “Ignorance Abounds!”

    • dnd

      Ya know what I’m curious about: what is McChrystal doing now. The news reported that he resigned as Commander of U.S. and NATO Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. But they did not say he resigned his commission, which means he’s still in the Army.

  9. dooty

    MSNBC is reporting that workers are finding oil 6 inches below the surface on the beaches at Pensacola. And there is a storm brewing in the Yucatan part of Mexico. This is not gonna be good in a few weeks.

  10. Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone’s McChrystal Profiler, Says Troops Are Happy That General Was Ousted

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/25/michael-hastings-rolling_n_625261.html

  11. TempeBev

    dnd – I wondered the same thing – if he’s out or just out of Afg. Haven’t seen anything that makes it clear. Oh yeah, hi from New Mexico. Much cooler at 7,000 ft plus. Heard AZ was 111.

  12. dog's eye view

    Bev: enjoy New Mexico, you lucky traveler.

    Where you be, precisely?

  13. top of the morning peeps

  14. dooty

    Buenos dias Brian.

  15. dooty

    this could make everything change in the next few days to a week.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/26/gulf.oil.disaster/index.html?hpt=T1

  16. dooty

    isn’t this something we would all love to do nearly every day? This guy has become my hero.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/25/neil-cavuto-called-an-ass_n_626211.html

  17. He’s def going on to my heroes lists too doots!

    🙂

  18. isn’t this something we would all love to do nearly every day? This guy has become my hero.

    So why is it that reasonable people even try to go on Pravda-FOX anymore? They know they will simply be shouted down. Instead of having an opportunity to air their views, they have to know that they will be simply be made to look foolish.

    Much as we cheer here – you can bet that the interview did not help our side at all with the Pravda-FOX crowd.

  19. “Much as we cheer here – you can bet that the interview did not help our side at all with the Pravda-FOX crowd.”

    Could anything?

    • dnd

      I’m thinking we should start a pool to see who can most accurately guess the date when Gov. Brewer says AZ should seceded from the US.

  20. dog's eye view

    Gail Collins’ column today, on Nancy Pelosi’s effective leadership as Speaker of the House.

    “The Age of Nancy”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/26/opinion/26collins.html?src=me&ref=homepage

  21. Nancy is well on her way to becoming one of the legendary speakers.

    • dnd

      Why some don’t like Nancy P.
      1. She’s a Democrat
      2. She’s from San Francisco
      3. She’s from a powerful Baltimore political family
      4. She’s an Italian-American
      5. She’s the most powerful speaker since Sam Rayburn, though with much better hair
      6. The cat fight between her and Hillary.
      7. At 70, she’s as attractive as the much younger Sarah Palin.

      Time to get over it.

  22. TempeBev

    Yes, I am embarrassed to say I’ve seen what Jan baby has said – we’re just overrun with illegals going thru the holes in that “danged” fence bringing their illegal drugs with them. She is nuts. There was a great scenario suggested that if a legal dtr of an illegal mother got pulled over by the police an mama started speaking in Spanish, could the dtr be arrested. The answer was yes. It’s really stupid. I can’t imagine that they thought of all the possibilities that could come from the law. Full of shit!!!!!!

    This is our last day in Los Alamos NM – going to Grand Junction on our way to Salt Lake City tomorrow.

  23. dog's eye view

    Yesh.

    Historians will long be studying the Bush-Cheney administration, and reviewing the Obama-Pelosi-Reid record too, and will draw vastly different lessons from each.

    PS: I am feeling a little sad for VP Biden, the star of our blog thread, with the caption above his head “Could someone explain to me what’s so appealing about this guy?”

    LOL

  24. dooty

    interesting read.

  25. My favorite Senator was on State of the Union this morning, Jack Reed. I’d like to see Reed take over for Dodd on Banking next year.

    • dnd

      “O’Reilly: Obama Could Face Impeachment If He Pardons Illegals”

      Looks like O’Reilly is back on the crazy train after a sabbatical designed to distance himself from Glenn Beck.

      Reagan, whom O’Reilly worships, pardoned illegal aliens. He knows that, but does his audience?

  26. dog's eye view

    From NYTimes “The Caucus” on Senator Byrd:

    “Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, the longest serving senator in U.S. history, is “seriously ill,” his office announced Sunday afternoon.

    Mr. Byrd, 92, who twice served as Senate majority leader, was admitted to the hospital late last week with symptoms of heat exhaustion and severe dehydration as temperatures in the Washington area approached 100 degrees.

    He was initially expected to remain hospitalized for only a few days, but has since developed conditions that doctors are describing as “serious.”

    Mr. Byrd’s absence could pose a challenge to Senate Democrats as they try to pass the financial overhaul bill and win other procedural battles in the week before the Independence Day recess. With the midterm elections on the horizon, Washington is polarized and Democrats will need every vote they can get.”

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/27/senator-byrd-seriously-ill/?hp

    What not a surprise.

  27. dog's eye view

    Andrew Bacevich in the Washington Post, on long wars (and an “all volunteer” military) breeding contempt for civilian leadership, as demonstrated in the McCrystal Rolling Stone article.

    ” … Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. “A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War,” Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked.

    … After Vietnam, the United States abandoned its citizen army tradition, oblivious to the consequences. In its place, it opted for what the Founders once called a “standing army” — a force consisting of long-serving career professionals.

    … The result, once the Cold War ended, was greater willingness to intervene abroad.

    … The Long War is not America’s war. It belongs exclusively to “the troops ” …. Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag.

    Throughout history, circumstances such as these have bred praetorianism, warriors becoming enamored with their moral superiority and impatient with the failings of those they are charged to defend.”

    Endless War, a recipe for four star arrogance

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/25/AR2010062502160.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  28. If he’s still alive and not in a coma Sen. Byrd will be wheeled in on a gurney if his vote is necessary.

  29. TempeBev

    dnd – drove from Durango to GJ- beautiful!

    • dnd

      Bev,
      That’s a beautiful drive. Try it in the fall, when those western slope peaches are ripe and the aspen are turning gold. Nothing better.

  30. dog's eye view

    NYTimes adding to its story; language will fit just right in an obit.

    I wonder what they would do if he fell into a coma, or was incapacitated for months upon months …

    checking out a West Virginia paper; they’re likely to be thinking on succession.

  31. dooty

    MSNBC is reporting that Senator Robert Byrd has died. 92 years old and the longest serving US senator.

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