Richard Cohen: Is Obama Man Enough to Win in Afghanistan?
This is the president we now have: He inspires lots of affection but not a lot of awe. It is the latter, though, that matters most in international affairs, where the greatest and most gut-wrenching tests await Obama.
I’m not sure what foreign leaders the Troll is polling, but I imagine it would be difficult to measure, precisely, how much "awe" Obama actually inspires in them.
On the other hand, it could be that Cohen’s "awe-inspiring" theory of foreign affairs is just a made-up, bullshit platitude that’s as meaningless as speculating whether Obama has "the spine" to achieve victory in a completely unwinnable occupation.
The war in Afghanistan is eminently more winnable than was Vietnam. The Taliban is far from universally liked or admired. Still, the war will require more than a significant commitment of troops and, of course, money. It will take presidential leadership, a consistent staying of the course — an implacable confidence that the right choice has been made despite what can be steep costs.
Notice the Troll never defines what it means to "win" in Afghanistan. He does note, however, that all winning requires is the stuff of real men — "staying the course" and "leadership" and "confidence" (remind you of anyone?) — which can be loosely translated as "getting lots of people killed and spending trillions while stubbornly pursuing, Ahab-like, a non-existent pony."
Does he have the stomach and commitment for what is likely to continue to be an unpopular war? Will he send additional troops, but hedge by not sending enough — so that the dying will be in vain? […] … based on his zigzagging so far and the suggestion from the Copenhagen trip that the somber seriousness of the presidency has yet to sink in, we have reason to wonder.
Obama didn’t win the Olympics last week, but he pwned Tehran.
Still, America’s Concern Troll is very concerned that Obama’s just a big girl who doesn’t have the stones to finish the job in Afghanistan.
War, as everyone knows, is a simple matter of testosterone.