Re: Exit Strategy From War Zone
This is how you do it:
RIGA (Reuters) - NATO forces should be able to hand over responsibility to Afghanistan's security forces gradually in 2008, the alliance's secretary-general said on Tuesday.No "As they stand up, we'll stand down," focus-group tested bromides. No "benchmarks." Hell, this isn't even a real timetable, it's so watered-down and ambiguous as to be nearly-meaningless, but the point is, it's a positive step in a direction that makes it clear the intent of NATO is to get the hell out of a country it's not necessarily particularly welcome in before it's run out on a rail.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer gave a glimpse of NATO's exit strategy from its most dangerous combat mission in a speech to a security conference hours before the start of a summit of alliance leaders in Latvia.
"I would hope that by 2008, we will have made considerable progress ... and effective and trusted Afghan security forces gradually taking control," he told the Riga Conference, appealing to allies to provide more troops with fewer national restrictions on their use in the meantime.
See, true leadership, true courage, is the ability to stand up and say what you want to do, and give people an idea of how you'll go about it.
Three years ago, if you had stood up and said "We'll be in Iraq longer than we were in World War II," people would have been pissed, but your approval ratings right now would be higher than they are, simply because you spoke the truth about the length of stay, and perhaps even gave a good rationale for it ("If we left this job half-done, we'd leave Iraq in open civil war, and I don't want be responsible for that.")
You know, admitting that maybe you made a mistake, but were prepared to fix it, at least a little?
But as you've stood your ground, America has slid down the slippery slope of disgrace, and no matter how strong the rope is, or how powerful your aerobically-conditioned heart is, you cannot possibly single-handedly hold this nation up at the pinnacle of its prestige and respect in the world, just after 1993. You aren't Bill Clinton. In fact, you're a fucking idiot.
As an American, I'm ashamed that you aren't at the forefront of efforts to unite the world, to bring peace and stability to all nations, not just the ones you cherry pick for their resources. I read the papers daily and find examples of other nations' leaders holding talks, negotiating treaties, finding common ground. Hell, Hugo Chavez is making good on his promise to provide low-cost heating oil to the urban poor through Citgo! How embarassing for you that those urban poor are in the Bronx, in New Orleans, in Detroit and Cleveland and Cincinnati and St. Louis, all great American cities?
I love my country. I am a patriot of the first order. But when my government turns out to be worse than a third rate banana republic run by a tin-plated socialist dictator, when my president is the crazy uncle who has to be kept locked up in the attic when the family gets together to discuss the troubles of the world, I have to cringe.
snarkasm, snarcasm, snarky