Such will not be the case. Instead, Obama will have his LBJ moment. The moment where he could have shown true leadership instead of political cowardice. He continues to allow special interests to dominate public opinion and punditry on the airwaves, without bringing the narrative of reality to counter it.
He will tonight talk of security and sacrifice; of destroying Al Qaeda and establishing democracy in Afghanistan. And it's all tripe.
Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan; they're everywhere else. Pakistan doesn't welcome this escalation. The Karzai Regime is corrupt and illegitimate.
Aside from the military and their families, is anyone sacrificing? Is anyone doing their part or doing without in this endeavor that is trumpeted to be such a calamitous threat to America itself? This underscores the hypocrisy of the Long War. It is at once both a dire threat to national security and the American way of life and such a non-issue that money need not be raised, bonds not be sold, national service need not be asked, etc... We are told simply to 'go shopping'. This 'war' [in Afghanistan] merely props up continued corruption and sets up a condition where the state will be unable to sustain itself if we ever leave. All while providing them free health care and your tax dollars. Add to this, the think tanks and companies that are making money hand over fist...and...have influence on policy and opinion. The invasion of Iraq was a fraud of epic proportions. The current endeavor is the epitome of fraud...both fiscal and intellectual. Any 'war' where we have taken the bait and played by the enemy's rules is fraud. Any 'war' where we consistently cannot define a mission, much less a metric for victory is fraud. A 'we'll know it when we see it' benchmark is a dishonor to those serving and those who have fallen.
Glenn Greenwald has an excellent piece today on the eerie similarities between the justifications for escalation in Iraq and escalation in Afghanistan.
In order to prepare Americans for Obama's Afghanistan escalation speech tonight at West Point (at least he's not wearing a fighter pilot costume), White House officials have been dispatched to speak to the media (anonymously, of course) to preview all of the new and exciting aspects of the President's plan. As a result, media accounts are filled with claims that there are major changes ordered by Obama that will transform our approach there.
But to anyone with a memory that extends back for more than a few weeks, all of this seems anything but new. In December, 2007, George Bush delivered a speech to the nation announcing his escalation in Iraq -- that one only 20,000 troops, compared to the 30,000-40,000 Obama has ordered for Afghanistan. It's worthwhile to compare what Obama officials are excitedly featuring as new and innovative ideas with what Bush said; I'm not comparing the Iraq and Afghan escalations: only the rhetoric used to justify them.