September 29, 2009

It's good to know that fighting to win is something Obama passionately believes in.

Michelle Obama:
First lady Michelle Obama vowed Monday to "take no prisoners" as she and her husband launch an unprecedented bid for Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid....

"It's a battle -- we're going to win -- take no prisoners," the first lady said with a smile at a roundtable discussion with reporters in the White House State Dining Room....
On another front, asked to "define victory in Afghanistan," Barack Obama famously said:
I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.
(Emperor Hirohito came down?)

154 comments:

Eric said...

I'm glad we have such a genius for a president.

Fred4Pres said...

So it is more important for Chicago to get the Olympics than it is for the United States to prevail against an enemy that attacked our soverign shores and killed our country people, took over a nation and brutalized its women and minorities, and is openly seeking our destruction?

Synova said...

I know that getting the Olympics is a big deal and all but I'm trying to imagine some other President doing this and I'm wondering if Obama would bother if it wasn't Chicago... but most of all I'm wondering where he's finding the time.

Photog714 said...

Thus spake Obama: I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

And this worries him ... why? Would he have preferred that Hirohito not surrender? Or perhaps that we had surrendered to Hirohito?

So much about Barack Obama's beliefs lie buried in his simple admission that he finds Japan's surrender worrisome.

I find the presidency of Barack Obama very worrisome indeed.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

Yes, and that turned out so badly too; with the US having to fear kamikazi attacks for years after that surrender, and the poor Japanese never being allowed to progress culturally or economically past the stone age.

No, we certainly don't want a "victory" like that.

madawaskan said...

The Sun God set.

Anyways sorta on topic the best take down in awhile was just four words- from Rich Lowry-

Frank Rich: Patton of the Panjshir.

Fileted the hypocrisy outta of him.

Rialby said...

Althouse, I love your blog but I just have to say... YOU voted for this clown. He's no different this September than he was last. Some of us saw it. Somehow you didn't. Please explain what you saw.

chuck b. said...

Sports is very important to the One. During the campaign, he said SportsCener was his favorite TV show. And then there's this, (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21010.html):

“When you hear he likes ‘Entourage,’ you have to go, ‘That figures,’” said Robert Thompson, a professor of pop culture at Syracuse University. “Anything Obama does is cool by definition. He’s the Internet president, he’s the BlackBerry president, and now, I suppose, he could be called the HBO president.” Obama likes “Entourage” so much he even rearranged his campaign schedule not to miss an episode.

***

BARF.

rhhardin said...

I always felt that the Japanese overdressed for the surrender.

Hirohito however was indisposed and sent Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu.

John Burgess said...

Our genius President must get his history from Howard Zinn or somebody.

Hirohito wouldn't deign to step foot on the USS Missouri. His flunkies signed.

WV: haini = malformed haiku?

madawaskan said...

The guys and gals in theater should claim to be from Chicago-might work?

What the hell.

btw for the media idiots saying that Petreaus has remained "silent" on McChrystal's report, well just because the media did not cover it doesn't mean he has.

Petraeus gave a long conference and answered many questions at Quantico less than a couple of days after. Reporters were there a plenty.

Yet the story is Petraeus is suspiciously silent- actual false reporting....a new low?

PatHMV said...

Emperor Hirohito did not "come down" to surrender to Gen. McArthur. The entire ceremony was carefully arranged to minimize the emperor's personal loss of face, to preserve the stability of Japan. The emperor did make an address to the Japanese people telling them that he was accepting the joint declaration of the U.S., China, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. Notably, the word "surrender" appears nowhere in the document. It's terrifying that the man in charge of our foreign policy has such a poor knowledge of history.

raf said...

It's not as if it was Obama's choice to go pitch for the Olympics. O is still a junior member of the Chicago machine; Daley has called in a marker.

wv: aptandac. Tapdance scramble. Almost.

tjl said...

"I know that getting the Olympics is a big deal and all but I'm trying to imagine some other President doing this"

Well in a way it's reassuring to know that instead of staying in DC where he might actually do something to advance his agenda, he's off to Copenhagen to give yet another urgently needed speech.

edutcher said...

I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

Would he have preferred an invasion of the Home Islands? The surrender was the best course for everyone. Japan knew it had lost and the US was spared probably a campaign almost as ghastly as the Russian Front. Yet Barry is worried because Japanese self-esteem might have suffered

(That MacArthur, rather than Nimitz and Howlin' Mad Smith, would be calling the shots on land would have kept the casualties from becoming apocalyptic, but still...)

susana said...

On this one, I DO question Pres. Obama's judgment ..there are so many reasons to believe that Rio will get the aught-16 olymipic games. I'm not sure why he just didn't submit a well written letter, on POTUS letterhead, to the WOC. Nothing good can come from this.

traditionalguy said...

How do you win an Olympics bid? It is not by being the best presenter of a fantasy of Olympic Glory. As an Atlantan where we won a bid in 1992 for 1996, I can tell you that it is ALL about money paid and promised to be paid. So Michelle may have a George Soros credit card in use to make Obama look like a conquering world hero to keep the meme of Conquering Obama's glory going strong.

Fred4Pres said...

I like Entourage too, but there is something untoward about a President placing such an emphasis on a regional issue. Is it so small and petty for a POTUS. You get a solid business guy/baseball commissioner like Peter Uberroth in LA or a local buisnessman to the rescue like Mitt Romney in Utah. The current President needs to bring the Olympics to Chicago? Why is this something for the President? Why is Michelle and Barack so into this?

I was watching Ken Burns' documentary last and the difference of Teddy Roosevelt and the National Parks was just so much more high minded. Something about this is really strange.

Meade said...

Obama's misusage is telling: "...invokes... Emperor Hirohito coming down...?" Yes, let's make invocations to our enemies to come down to our poor humble beseeching level. Let's beg their pardon and beg them to surrender.

Montagne Montaigne said...

So what does victory in Afghanistan look like, you fucking geniuses?

More dumbfuckery from Althouse.

Crimso said...

Not the Olympics, you fucking genius.

edutcher said...

We win, they lose, Montaigne. The Taliban is broken and Al Qaeda is driven from the country, as was the case in Iraq.

And I didn't have to use bad language to say it.

WV "poopyel" Montaigne's idea of civilized discourse

jr565 said...

Even excusing the error about Hirohito signing the surrender (hey he's a community organizer not a historian, cut the man a break), what's wrong with the idea of Japan surrendering at the end of WWII?
He's ashamed of THAT victory?!?

Crimso said...

On second thought, I'm quite wrong. Obama should be pushing for doing whatever it takes (especially including taking no prisoners) to have the 2016 Olympics in Kabul.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Dearest edutcher,

There are no Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The Taliban were "broken" in 2001.

So, what does victory look like? Will Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden sit at a table at Bagram Air Base and sign a paper?

That is the simple point that Obama made, that Althouse wants to make into some kind of symbol of fecklessness, as compared to the playful brashness of Michelle Obama in the quote, two things which have nothing to do with each other, yet here we are listening to a chorus of braying DUMBFUCKERY. Oops, pardon my salty language.

susana said...

Obama is a genius and that's half the problem. No one else it.

jr565 said...

Montaigne wrote:
"So what does victory in Afghanistan look like, you fucking geniuses?"
Hey why don't you ask the dems? Weren't they for the longest time saying that THIS was the real war that must be fought (as opposed to the war of choice that was Iraq) and which Obama escalated. Surely they had some idea of what victory might be like? Hmm, maybe they should listen to their generals who are asking for more troops ot fight the war that they promoted?

I find it hilarious, that we are now hearing from the same crowd that in fact this is an unwinnable war too with no endgame in sight.

Obama said that Mccain said he'd follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell yet wont even follow him to a cave in Pakistan. Well Obama can't even make meet with his generals more than once in a blue moon to discuss such trivialities as providing troops for a war he promoted and escalated. If he can't do that, something tells me he's not too big on going to those caves in Pakistan either, let alone to the gates of hell. Ah, but the Olympics, he will fight to the death on that. What a wuss.

Quayle said...

Some friends of the Obamas must be in line to make a whole lot of money in Chicago.

Synova said...

Monty, he's supposed to be a good communicator.

Now, certainly, the "problem" with the word "victory" or, heaven help us, the phrase "mission accomplished" is that a whole lot of idiots are going to use it to make political hay by repeatedly demanding that they were promised a pony!... I mean, they were promised we were DONE already.

So sure, maybe Obama is intelligent enough to be aware of what his own side did to the use of the word and wants to avoid it. But he's apparently oblivious to the notion that part of his JOB is to be the Commander in Chief of the military and as such to communicate resolve and confidence. Those who *want* him to use the word "victory" understand that not even with Hirohito did it involve being *done* now. No pony!

Cedarford said...

Sometimes an Olympics is worth the money that the host nation forks out. (Athens, Seoul) Other times you have a wealthy nation with money to blow. (USA pre-globalism). Sometimes a nation gets both to trumpet their arrival as a great power AND has money to blow (1936 Berlin, 2008 Beijing).

Sadly, the US has no money to blow and hosting it in Chicago would show off a half-decayed city full of violent crime.

The rivals:

Tokyo - less than one murder per 100,000.
Madrid - 2 per 100,000.
Chicago - 18 per 100,000
RIO - 33 per 100,000 (almost all in the black slums)

Maybe it is weariness or acknowledgment how broke we are...but I don't think Chicago deserves to host the Olympics.

Here's hoping the Obamas and Oprah "go down."

===================
Rialby said...
Althouse, I love your blog but I just have to say... YOU voted for this clown. He's no different this September than he was last. Some of us saw it. Somehow you didn't. Please explain what you saw.


That Obama is demonstrably bad, still has virtually no one - even at tea parties - wishing they had elected McCain instead. Just about everything Obama wanted, McCain was for...plus additional new wars.

In fact, had McCain been elected, we would have still had the stimulus..but McCains idea was to give 100,000 directly to homeowners that bought a 400,000 house when they could only afford a 300,000 one instead to slug unions.
And on Amnesty, Cap&Trade, Healthcare, Closing GITMO, only interrogating terrorists nicely - McCain would have been worse than Obama because everything he did would be 90% of what Democrats want then stamped with the McCain "bipartisan" label.

Now what the Dems do they own. No McCain to sabotage his Party and give cover to his "dear friends on the other side".

Pity really. The Republicans had two excellent candidates...one done in because of his religion by the radical Religious Right, the other done in before he started by his last name (Bush, "The Smarter&Wiser One")

John said...

As someone pointed out above, the Emperor did not sign the surrender to McArthur. Anyone with access to the History Channel knows that. Obama's historic ignorance is breathtaking. It is the kind of thing that if Sarah Palin had said it, the media would be all over her. But since it would be racist to point out that Obama doesn't know much, it is passed over.

Pogo said...

Sounds like Obama's going for an easy victory, much needed after a series of screw-ups and impotent efforts.

Sort of embarrassing, like a college basketballer beating a high school kid because he can't cut it in the pros.

John said...

Pogo,

He is "winning" the people of Chicago the right to be ripped off by a roving band of Eurotrash known as the IOC, which when you consider who Obama is, is quite appropriate.

Rialby said...

Cedarford -
I can stand here now and say I wish McCain would have been elected. Was he my candidate? Hell no. I can remember pulling screaming at the TV when he won big on Super Tuesday. Yes, I agree that Evangelicals likely sunk Mitt Romney which is more than a shame. All that said, I would rather have a weak-tea Republican named John McCain in office today instead of the unproven Barack Obama.

Pogo said...

Heh; to be sure.

Although after seeing that Chicago high school 2x4 murder video, I imagine some of the attendees won't make it out of the city alive.

Larry J said...

Hey why don't you ask the dems? Weren't they for the longest time saying that THIS was the real war that must be fought (as opposed to the war of choice that was Iraq) and which Obama escalated. Surely they had some idea of what victory might be like? Hmm, maybe they should listen to their generals who are asking for more troops ot fight the war that they promoted?

Nah, they were just lying in an attempt to score political points. Hell, Obama even talked about invading Pakistan. Everyone knew they were lying. Now they're just being up front about it. After all, winning a war isn't nearly as important to them as scoring more political graft for the corrupt Chicago political machine. Staging a modern Olympics costs billions of dollars. There's a lot of room for graft and payoff when you're talking about that kind of money.

Rialby said...

pulling screaming = pulling my hair out and screaming.

I really don't know how much John McCain would have pushed through a Congress that would do anything to destroy his presidency. You might be right about what the Dems would have pushed in front of McCain that he would have signed. But - when it comes time to make the decision about Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, etc., I'd rather have McCain in the big chair than Obama.

John said...

Cederford,

The idea that McCain is a war monger is just complete and utter crap. McCain would have maintained some pretense of US strength and would have not emboldened our enemies the way Obama has.

The fact is that there are certain actions that no President, not even Obama, can tolerate. Sadly, Obama's constant groveling and apologizing is creating the impression among our enemies that those limits no longer exist. It is only a matter of time before one of them miscalculates and we end up in a war. Obama through his weakness is creating much more danger than McCain would have in his strength.

There is no way McCain would have turned over the stimulus to Pelosi and Reid. The stimulus was nothing but a 700 billion theft program for Democratic chronies. McCain was always a reliable deficit hawk and would have vetoed that piece of steaming crap.

We would at the very least be 700 billion dollars less in the hole right now and much less likly to be in a war had McCain won. That tips the scales for McCain no matter how lousy he would have been in other areas.

Montagne Montaigne said...

How some people including Rush Limbaugh get from that Obama quote to the notion that "Obama is expressing sympathy for the humiliation felt by the losing Japanese" is so much of a mystery to me that I must turn toward the heavens and to larger questions about the meaning of existence. It makes my head spin.

Simple point he was making. Victory will never be a bright line in Afghanistan the way it was in Japan, when people put down their weapons and wept when the emperor, who was considered divine, told them they had lost the war. That's never, never going to happen in Afghanistan, a simple point that you all know, so why in God's name do you persist in making things into something they are not, for the sheer pleasure of spinning new crap to bitch about?

Do you understand figurative language? "Invokes the notion?" As in, conjures up the idea? I guess it's a little abstract. But. Let me see if I can explain.

Obama isn't saying that Hirohito signed a surrender to MacArthur.

He is talking about the NOTION, the group of associations, the cliched narrative, the received history.

What do people think of when they think of "victory"? They think of V-E and V-J days. Total surrender.

That is not going to happen in Afghanistan. First of all, because we are not fighting a government. We are fighting an insurgency in two countries, one whose leadership has mostly been killed, and who manifests simply by being able to pop off shots, set bombs, harass people with threatening night letters, and otherwise intimidate people. It's like fighting crime, not an army. It will be over once the government is legitimate to the majority of the people or when we decide we can manage the problem of Al Qaeda without occupying the country.

I don't really care if you think I'm a condescending ass. I actually believe everyone here is smart enough not to be talked down to like this, but why do you (Althouse) always play the fool this way? What is the point?

tjl said...

"I would rather have a weak-tea Republican named John McCain in office today instead of the unproven Barack Obama"
Unproven? Au contraire. He's quickly proving that he'll outdo Carter in feckless sanctimony. There will be some short-term damage but in the long run it will be worth it because he'll leave the left so crippled it will take them another 20 years to recover.

John said...

Montaign,

That is probably what he is saying, or certainly I hope that is what he is saying. But, regardless, Hirohito didn't sign the surrender to McArthur. He doesn't appear to know that, which considering the state of our education system and where he went to school, that is not surprising.

edutcher said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

There are no Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The Taliban were "broken" in 2001.


Really? Somebody better tell Stan McChrystal that!!! I guess there's no fight in A-stan, after all, so Barry's been blowing smoke for 2 years (surprise!).

The Taliban was driven from power in 01 and AQ suffered heavy losses, especially after Bin Laden proclaimed Iraq the major theater of the war, but both are still in business. That's why Barry's afraid to make a decision

AJ Lynch said...

Meade:

Evoke vs. invoke. Very good catch you made pointing out where Mr. Eloquent wasn't.

Henry said...

Montagne is strategically right on this one, the fucking jackass, even if Obama contradicts his details.

No absolute victory is possible in a place like Afghanistan. Obama is right to avoid defining success with that word. Even "mission accomplished," as we've seen, is an opportunity for blowback. For the hawks out there, be aware that Obama, like Bush, needn't give the antiwar movement any easy rhetorical targets.

Take a minute and read Obama's whole quote:

OBAMA: I'm always worried about using the word "victory" because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.

You know, we're not dealing with nation states at this point. We're concerned with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, al-Qaeda's allies. So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like al-Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can't attack the United States.


Sounds like Bush.

Rialby said...

tjl - touche'

Really though, I can't look at McCain and Obama without seeing some rehash of Ford and Carter. Unfortunately, the MAD doctrine is no longer in play so we don't even have that working in our favor with Obama.

Play this game with your friends on the Left. Nuke goes off in NY. We don't know who planted it until 6 months later and even then we're only 90% sure. What do you do?

Henry said...

Montagne, you did yourself proud with your 8:38.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Synova, I just saw that your 8:19 made the point I was trying to make about the antiwar movement.

We needn't worry about the military not doing the job. We do need to worry about political leaders losing their nerve.

The irony, of course, is obvious.

Oxbay said...

Fail!

edutcher said...

Henry said...

Montagne is strategically right on this one, the fucking jackass, even if Obama contradicts his details.

No absolute victory is possible in a place like Afghanistan. Obama is right to avoid defining success with that word. Even "mission accomplished," as we've seen, is an opportunity for blowback. For the hawks out there, be aware that Obama, like Bush, needn't give the antiwar movement any easy rhetorical targets.


Let me make a partial argument against that. Yes, AQ may never be completely eradicated, but the same can be said for Nazism. At some point, however, AQ can be so discredited, both with battlefield losses and revulsion with it inside Islam, that, while it still may have some adherents, it does not pose a threat.

All anyone wants Barry to do is quit voting 'present' and make a decision. He had no problem shooting off his mouth for 2 years, now it's time to do something.

The argument about "Mission Accomplished" strikes me as a cop out. Because Dubya didn't stand up for himself is no justification for Barry to use that as an excuse to do nothing.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Interesting thing about the surrender of Japan. See this photo (from here).

See what's happening?

The American and other Allied officers are saluting the Japanese as they leave the ship after the signing.

The point was (I assume), it's over, and we're depending on your honor as a nation, Japan, to make that final. (A remarkable leap of faith, given how brutally the Japanese had treated POWs and captured peoples.)

Synova said...

"That's never, never going to happen in Afghanistan, a simple point that you all know, so why in God's name do you persist in making things into something they are not, for the sheer pleasure of spinning new crap to bitch about?"

That's not only not going to happen in Afghanistan. It's never going to happen, again, ever, in the History of the Modern World.

The chances of a nation warring with another nation *ever* *again* are next to nil. Not even in Iraq were we/are we warring with a nation. Saddam was deposed but that was nearly a side-show.

So, what of Victory then?

Never ever again in the History of the Modern World are we allowed to try to WIN?

(The post-apocalyptic world may revert to nations warring with and defeating nations... and that may happen in the future, but that is what it would take to see it again.)

Oxbay said...

Henry at 8:58. The people lost their nerve. That's why we have Pelosi, Reid, and Obama wielding the levers of power.

And people think the state run media are losing their power and influence. Behold our leaders and weep.

John said...

Synova,

I think nations will war again sadly. Also, there were partisian campaigns in conquered nations long before Iraq. We just didn't have CNN back then to cheer them on. Iraq was much less diffucult to subdue than Germany.

The point above about Obama not voting present is a good one. He shot his mouth off for two years. Well, now he has to make a decision. That decision would be a lot easier if he hadn't lied about his belief that Afghanistan is the real war all that time. He ran a loathsome and dishonest campaing. And that is now coming home to roost. Couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.

BJM said...

@Monty

"It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

JohnAnnArbor said...

As for the Olympics, I hope Rio wins. They've never been in South America before. Why should they be here for the fourth time?

Henry said...

eddutcher -- Personally I expect Obama to fold. But it hasn't (quite) happened yet and the point he makes in that interview (if you read the whole thing) is valid.

In the face of a long-term commitment to a war with a very indeterminate ending, Obama is right to tread carefully in how the war is framed. The Bush administration caused us immense political and military problems by expecting victory prematurely. If Kerry had been elected in 2004, the Bush administration's political failures would have meant losing militarily.

I have low expectations for the man, but I think Obama is framing the struggle correctly, if he will only follow through on it.

Time will tell.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Little-known fact: Detroit has bid for the Olympics repeatedly.

They were second in voting for the '68 Olympics. Wow, did the Olympics luck out there. What would they have done after selecting Detroit, then watching the '67 riots?

Montagne Montaigne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

Hirohito came down to Missouri.

wv- cheetos

rcocean said...

John:
The idea that McCain is a war monger is just complete and utter crap...There is no way McCain would have turned over the stimulus to Pelosi and Reid.

I find your faith in McCain both touching and pathetic. You obviously, haven't followed him closely over the years. There's nothing McCain loves more that a good war unless its "reaching across the aisle" to make the Democrats happy.

As for Obama's ignorance of history - give him a break. He's just a Harvard Law Grad.

John said...

"I find your faith in McCain both touching and pathetic. You obviously, haven't followed him closely over the years. There's nothing McCain loves more that a good war unless its "reaching across the aisle" to make the Democrats happy."

What you mean he supported Iraq and Afghanistan like the majority of Dems did? I don't like McCain particularly well, but he was never a huge spender and was a reliable fiscal conservative. If that doesn't jive with your pathetic hatred of the man, too bad. Sometimes life is like that. I find your denial of reality to fit the reality that exists in your head to be well not charming but very pathetic.

John said...

As far as McCain being a war monger, he never voted in support of a war that wasn't supported by large numbers of Democrats. So I fail to see where they puts him out of the mainstream. Again, Obama's weakness is more likly to get us into a war than anything McCain would have done.

AJ Lynch said...

McCain winning would have been like getting your car's tires patched and rotated with 90,000 miles on them. Future troubles would only be delayed not avoided.


Obama winning shows Americans it's time for new tires because he is too too far left. Obama has helped us to realize it is time for the govt to get back to basics.

We never would have made that realization under McCain. So Althouse, you and others done did good by voting for Obama.

Seven Machos said...

Here's a report from Ground Zero.

I was at a small party the other night, here in Chicago. The Olympics came up. Everyone there -- except me -- was an Obama voter and a Democrat. To a person, they did not want the Olympics. They thought it would be too much trouble, invite terrorism, and cause further tax hikes.

I found the tax hike part especially comical. Yes, let's raise taxes, of course, but not ones that affect the well-off yuppies.

Anyway, I was the only one who supports the bid, and I suspect that I am in the minority here in Chicago.

Rialby said...

AJ - I have thought that way myself. But at what cost? Once Obama and his cohort further build out the structure of their socialist "utopia", there will be no way to undo it. Once Obama throws away all credibility we have as the lone superpower, there will be no way to stop truly bad men from wreaking havoc.

I wish I could join you in applauding Obama's willingness to demonstrate the weaknesses of Leftism is practice but we're playing with fire here. And many will get burned.

AJ Lynch said...

Seven:

Why do you support the bid?

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel." -- Robert Frost

Seven Machos said...

AJ -- I don't crazy support the bid. I think it would be nice and fair for Rio to have it because Brazil has come a long way economically and politically in a short time.

But I do support the bid for these reasons: Taxes are already raised so that's a sunk cost. It would be an economic boon to the city, bringing jobs and money. It would provide a much-needed infusion of new infrastructure. The World's Fair here provided some great and timeless architecture. And it would be cool to be able to see the Olympic events.

Darcy said...

Crimso! LOL.

Seven Machos said...

There are no Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

This statement is obviously false and easily disproved. What leftist hothouses promote such fictions?

Ralph L said...

At least one of the Japanese signers committed suicide right after.

Mian said...

Look, I hate to say it, but O just doesn't seem to be comfortable with difficult issues like Afghanistan. He'd rather be dealing with bold but meaningless initiatives like the Olympics, which looks great but really don't matter much in the scheme of things. (All of you - without thinking too hard, name the last four summer Olympics, years and locations. How'd it go? Not too well, I bet...)

It concerns me mostly that O never finished a term in office and has never been properly seasoned for the lofty office he now holds. I think he's in way over his head and making far too many rookie mistakes. It concerns me a lot.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Seven Machos-- try to know something about what you're talking about before opening your trap. If you know about where in Afghanistan Al Qaeda is, you should probably get in touch with Centcom. You know nothing.

Methadras said...

Why is anyone not surprised by this President's foolishness? He's an incompetent fraud. What the hell will it take to convince people that this is a true statement?

Montagne Montaigne said...

McChrystal: No major al-Qaida signs in Afghanistan

The point, anyway, is that if one of the ways you identify victory in Afghanistan is that Al Qaeda has left the country, that has already happened. If the point is to render Al Qaeda ineffective forever, that will require establishing security throughout Afghanistan and pressuring Pakistan into securing its side of the border-- and helping them, a lot, with $$ and tech.

Either way, the war against Al Qaeda is delicate, complicated, requires an awesome commitment of will, and isn't dependent on sophmoric Bush-style cheerleading in whose absence you seem to feel lost.

reader_iam said...

Kitchen gardening in the White House's yard and the Olympics in Chicago's.

Is it just me, or... ?

wv: tagasi (depending on those who'd prefer to pay attention to back-burner things on account of back-asswards priorities)

MadisonMan said...

I'd also like to see the Olympics in Chicago, because there would be venues in and around Madison, and I'd like to see Olympic athletes in action.

Plus, if my son is in the Olympics in 2016, it's not far to go see him.

reader_iam said...

Well, at least the market for organic manure might well continue to look up.

vw: depasond

No way am I taking on that one.

exhelodrvr1 said...

PatHMV,
"It's terrifying that the man in charge of our foreign policy has such a poor knowledge of history."

It's because his summer vacations were too long. He is trying to fix that for future generations.

exhelodrvr1 said...

AJLynch,
"Obama winning shows Americans it's time for new tires because he is too too far left. "

Unfortunately, there is no guardrail, and there is a cliff on the left side. And that's the way the tires are pulling.

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

Fish in a barrel.

Memo to disturbed leftist commenters: the area that makes up the borderland between Pakistan and Afghanistan is fluid and very much stateless. You don't need a visa to cross.

Methadras said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

Simple point he was making. Victory will never be a bright line in Afghanistan the way it was in Japan, when people put down their weapons and wept when the emperor, who was considered divine, told them they had lost the war. That's never, never going to happen in Afghanistan, a simple point that you all know, so why in God's name do you persist in making things into something they are not, for the sheer pleasure of spinning new crap to bitch about?

Do you understand figurative language? "Invokes the notion?" As in, conjures up the idea? I guess it's a little abstract. But. Let me see if I can explain.

Obama isn't saying that Hirohito signed a surrender to MacArthur.

He is talking about the NOTION, the group of associations, the cliched narrative, the received history.

What do people think of when they think of "victory"? They think of V-E and V-J days. Total surrender.

That is not going to happen in Afghanistan. First of all, because we are not fighting a government. We are fighting an insurgency in two countries, one whose leadership has mostly been killed, and who manifests simply by being able to pop off shots, set bombs, harass people with threatening night letters, and otherwise intimidate people. It's like fighting crime, not an army. It will be over once the government is legitimate to the majority of the people or when we decide we can manage the problem of Al Qaeda without occupying the country.

I don't really care if you think I'm a condescending ass. I actually believe everyone here is smart enough not to be talked down to like this, but why do you (Althouse) always play the fool this way? What is the point?


Ah yes, the vaunted nuance of interpreting the words spoken by a man, who anyone or most anyone anyway, should have known that he was speaking in the figurative. Maybe The President is just to damn smart for the average yokel and leftists like you have the decoder ring to give us, like a titular head to an acolyte or a scribe, the true meaning of what the great leader has uttered. Or he could have invoked the figurative language interpretation bracket in his comment by just saying it, thus [figurative language] nuance [/figurative language] and saved you and us all the trouble of trying to glean that deeper, inner meaning of his every word.

Quite frankly, the man is over-communicative. A great communicator speaks plainly, honestly, and optimally. The fact that this man used a Hirohito/MacArthur surrender scenario comparative to project how Afghanistan is not definitive path to victory like the surrender of Japan was by trying to redefine what victory is or what it will mean portends a couple of possible meanings that he is trying to convey that he should have said plainly instead of pretending to be a deep and meaningful thinker. One possibility is that he sees no victory for America in Afghanistan unless Pakistan is reigned in or the second possibility is that unless AQ is destroyed in Afghanistan along with their Taliban collaborator/enablers then there can never be victory.

What the president and neither you understand is that AQ through either Zawahiri or Bin Laden are in effect like Hirohito to his people. Of course they don't see themselves as God Emporers, but they use their followers as if they were. Like the Japanese under Hirohito, the promise of a great reward for the payment of self-sacrifice is the same sentiment used by the Taliban and AQ to their followers. You nor President Obama understand this simple fact. Two totally different peoples and cultures that employ different methods for acquiring the same results. Thus rendering his deep figurative useless and your interpretation of his figurative language that much more pointless. Neither of you achieved a thing. Let's play again sometime shall we?

Seven Machos said...

Montagne -- I was going to note also hat the Taliban is rapidly regaining strength (it has been responsible for numerous terrorist acts in the last few months), and that these groups are not cut and dried entities like the Lions Club. But I thought, why bother? You are stupid and incorrigible.

former law student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
former law student said...

I'm thinking back to when Obama wanted to achieve a goal (no nuclear arms for Iran) rather than declare victory, and the explanation became clear: Obama has a new guru, less sinister than Alinsky, and more Mormon than Mitt Romney. I refer to of course Stephen Covey of the Seven Habits:

Dependence to Independence

Habit 1: Be Proactive: Principles of Personal Choice
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind: Principles of Personal Vision
Habit 3: Put First Things First: Principles of Integrity & Execution
Independence to Interdependence

Habit 4: Think Win/Win: Principles of Mutual Benefit
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: Principles of Mutual Understanding
Habit 6: Synergize: Principles of Creative Cooperation
Continual Improvement

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw: Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal

Keeping nuclear arms from Iran is not a victory over them, but win-win (Habit 4) -- it maintains the status quo in the middle east: Iran not at war.

On the other hand, if Chicago gets the Olympics, other cities/countries will lose. So victory is the appropriate word to describe a zero-sum game.

I did get a chuckle out of C4's objections: When Atlanta was picked for the 96 Olympics, FBI statistics for 1989 showed Atlanta had the highest number of serious crimes reported per 1,000 residents in cities with a population of at least 300,000. And if "black slum crimes" are eliminated for Chicago as C4 suggests for Rio, it would be safer than Madison, Wisconsin.

former law student said...

Why is anyone not surprised by this President's foolishness? He's an incompetent fraud. What the hell will it take to convince people that this is a true statement?

People's expectations have been lowered after eight years of W. Half of the electorate were school children or not yet born the last time we had a truly competent President.

Revenant said...

That Obama quote has always bugged me. It isn't that he's saying something stupid, because that happens all the time. It isn't that he's downplaying his own country, because that, too, happens all the time.

What bugs me is that I don't understand who, aside from a few hardcore Japanese nationalists, is upset that the Japanese surrendered to the Allies at the end of WW2. Even the people who whine that we shouldn't have nuked them concede that it is good that we won the war. Hell, even the *Communists* were, and are, glad that the Japanese lost. The nuttiest, left-wingiest, America-hatingest professor I had back in college didn't even go so far as to be upset by the image of Japan surrendering (he didn't think it mattered, since we were both capitalist imperialist yawn snore etc).

So what the heck goofy-assed worldview is Obama speaking from, here? Is it just that he is bugged by the image of non-whites surrendering to white people?

JAL said...

Garden? There's a garden at the WH?

MM -- what does your son compete in? That would be so cool.

I got to watch the qualifying for the 96 Olympics kayaking on the Ocoee River in East Tennessee. Very interesting and a lot of fun.

wv rowthil
Something to do with Olympics. Or the name of the restaurant in Copenhagen where POTUS is taking his wife to dinner. It was time for another date night.

Seven Machos said...

Rev -- Interesting. Here's a notion, off the top of my head. Obama's worldview is incoherent but goes something like this: it's only good to use power (1) in a way that is intended to hurt no one and also (2) intended to help everyone, but particularly the most politically correct groups.

Intent is the key here.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Seven Machos-- you are dumb.

"the border area is fluid" yes kemosabe. It's very fluid until an American soldier crosses the line, in which case it becomes a declaration of war on Pakistan. that's kind of the whole problem.

And sorry buddy, the difference between Al Qaeda and the Taliban is very crucial.

Al Qaeda is a group run by Ayman Al Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden, an Egyptian and a Saudi, with multinational recruits, who plot to commit terrorist acts against the US among others. If they are anywhere they are in northwest pakistan, where US forces can only operate remotely or covertly, certainly not openly like anywhere in Afghanistan.

As for the "Taliban" that word just means "Student." There was the old guard Taliban loyal to Mullah Omar who used run Afghanistan and sheltered Al Qaeda. But now there are the younger Taliban; the “have-a-go” Taliban; there are the “$10-a-day” Taliban; there are the local thugs and warlords… there are all sorts of networks and groups and individuals we have to work with or fight against.

the whole debate now is whether we want to just focus on tracking Al QAEDA IN PAKISTAN and kill them with drones and special ops, while letting Afghanistan alone.

The other option is building a working central government in Afghanistan with an army big enough to keep Al Qaeda from ever coming back.

I know, this is all very boring and people would rather talk about how ugly and bitchy Michelle is. But the presumption that "Obama doesn't think about Afghanistan and our troops gnah gnah gnah" is just the droning of losers.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Revenant-- you, unlike Machos, seem to be wholeheartedly dumb, not just smugly dumb. Tell me, how in the world does your fascinating mind construe that quote to imply some kind of sympathy for the Japanese?

former law student said...

So what the heck goofy-assed worldview is Obama speaking from, here?

In World War II, we -- mostly us, the US -- kicked the asses of the Japanese. Their Imperial forces had conquered half of Asia. We beat them back to their home islands, and destroyed their ability to fight with weapons more sophisticated than pointed sticks. We wanted and obtained unconditional surrender, including the permanent minimization of Japanese armed forces, never to be used away from Japan. We wrote Japan's constitution. We rubbed their noses in their defeat.

Are we going to achieve the same level of victory in a tribal, not centralized country like Afghanistan? Doubtful.

elHombre said...

People's expectations have been lowered after eight years of W. Half of the electorate were school children or not yet born the last time we had a truly competent President. (11:32)

So is Bush responsible for the fact that Obama is an "incompetent fraud," or is he just responsible for people's failure to perceive that Obama is an incompetent fraud?

No matter. It's Bush's fault. Fls, you never disappoint.

miller said...

Boy President is more interested in bright shiny things than in adult work and decisions.

former law student said...

is W. just responsible for people's failure to perceive that Obama is an incompetent fraud?

I couldn't figure out, back in 2000, why the GOP fatcats sent a mediocrity out to do a man's job. I got a clue after W's first big accomplishment, substantial reductions on fatcats' taxes. Then he wanted to show his daddy that he could kick Saddam Hussein's ass. Unfortunately that's where his incompetence came to the fore.

jr565 said...

Montaigne wrote:
"Seven Machos-- try to know something about what you're talking about before opening your trap. If you know about where in Afghanistan Al Qaeda is, you should probably get in touch with Centcom. You know nothing."


Yet funnily enough this too was a talking point raised again and again to suggest how incompetent Bush was. Namely the whole, where is Osama bin Laden and why haven't we found him yet Bush dropped the ball talking point. And the suggestion was made that Bush was not looking for him. When Bush said that getting one man is ultimately not as important as winning the overall war, you dems suggested that he just didn't care about getting Osama Bin Laden. Or that Bush already had Obama and was just waiting to spring an october surprise . And Obama ran on this rhetoric, and the dems and libs pushed this "Afghanistan is the real war on terror while Iraq is the diversion" all the way to the white house.

So where is OBL anyway and why is Osama taking his eye off the ball and not adequately funding the war that he and the other dems said was the true war to fight Al Qaeda? Why is Obama diverting from the real war on terror when he previously said it was so important? People are dying while Obama is lying you know. Hey, why isn't the media showing the photos of the draped coffins anymore? It's no longer politically viable to show dead kids (not men , kids) who died fighting Obama's war? Where are all the brave men and women calling people chicken hawks for not serving now that Obama has directed his attention back to the real war? Do they want other peoples sons and daughters to die fighting a war of choice? A war of THEIR choice? And after sending them off to die, Obama can't even meet with the generals whos hes charged to lead his men on a mission that he pushed for more than once?

Seven Machos said...

It's very fluid until an American soldier crosses the line, in which case it becomes a declaration of war on Pakistan.

That's not the argument here. The argument is whether Al Qaeda is in Afghanistan, which has nothing to do with what American soldiers do or do not do.

Anyway, thank you for the details you gleaned from Wikipedia. But, tell us: are you really trying to claim that Al Qaeda has no presence in Afghanistan? Really?

Also, Rev is pretty brilliant, even when he's wrong. I hope he's here, as I look forward to this one-sided battle of wits.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Seven Machos, I'll ask you real simple like. Where. In. Afghanistan. Is. Al. Qaeda.

elHombre said...

So what does victory in Afghanistan look like, you fucking geniuses?

More dumbfuckery from Althouse.

Oh, well said, Montagne. As always, your erudition is breathtaking.

Victory in Afghanistan may be divined by looking at the Great One's priorities, n'est-ce pas? Thus, Victory will be achieved if the Olympics are held in Chicago. Voila!

Seven Machos said...

Montagne -- So now you are asking me to tell you where Al Qaeda is. I have told you that the group has a presence in Afghanistan, just as it has a presence in New Jersey and New York.

Afghanistan is a rugged, mountainous, stateless place the size of Texas with very few cities. Thus, I am unable to pinpoint exactly where these people are.

It's comical to watch you change the topic (where the U.S, military is) or try to ask me a question that, obviously, I can't answer. It would be much easier for you to admit that if there is but one guy in a cave somewhere with ties to Al Queda, I am right.

Revenant said...

Tell me, how in the world does your fascinating mind construe that quote to imply some kind of sympathy for the Japanese?

The part where Obama flatly states that the idea of invoking the image of Hirohito [sic] surrendering to the United States "worries" him, in regards to victory over the Taliban. Either victory over Japan was a bad thing... or victory over the Taliban is a bad thing... or neither is a bad thing, and Obama likes to "worry" about doing something good and worthwhile.

Actually, the notion that Obama is actively trying to avoid doing something good and worthwhile would explain a lot of the last eight months. So you're right, MM -- I misjudged our President. :)

jr565 said...

Montaigne wrote:
Seven Machos, I'll ask you real simple like. Where. In. Afghanistan. Is. Al. Qaeda.


Wait are you suggesting that Al Qaeda somehow move around? Hmm so then if Al Qaeda decided to fight us in Iraq and not in Afghanistan and sent all their resources there, wouldn't that therefore make Iraq the central front in the war on terror and not Afghanistan? Then why did the dems suggest over and over that Afghanistan was the real war when we were fighting them predominantly in Iraq?
Or are the dems now suggesting that Afghanistan is a diversion from the real war on terror?

rcocean said...

McCain winning would have been like getting your car's tires patched and rotated with 90,000 miles on them. Future troubles would only be delayed not avoided.

Excellent point. Does anyone remember that McCain wanted Lieberman as his VP? You know, the liberal democrat from Connecticut? Does anyone remember that McCain spent 8 years stabbing the Republican party in the back and "reaching across the aisle" to Ted Kennedy and the Democrats?

Does anyone remember his crazy comment about "We are all Georgians Now?" Or "bomb, bomb, bomb bomb, Iran?" or " I Looked into Putin's eyes and I saw K_G_B?"

The man was a crazy, war-mongering, half-liberal, fruit-loop. That the Republicans nominated him, simply shows they deserve their label:

"The Stupid Party"

Montagne Montaigne said...

Wow, Revenant, you really tied yourself in knots to extract some kind of negative from the simple statement.

It is neither a statement in which any judgment over the value of Japanese surrender nor of defeating the Taliban is discussed at all.

It's a simple statement about whether the word "victory" and the scenario it entails apply well to the situation in Afghanistan. Answer from anybody with two brain cells: it doesn't.

Actually, the statement says NONE of the things you seem to think it says! Leading me to believe that speaking to you, in that we obviously don't speak the same language, is pointless.

I'll just go back to my original take on this particular topic: Althouse dumbfuckery.

Revenant said...

Seven Machos, I'll ask you real simple like. Where. In. Afghanistan. Is. Al. Qaeda.

The problem is, the question itself is pretty silly. It does no good to chase the enemy out of a territory if you don't take steps to prevent them from returning.

That's the reason for staying to establish a stable, friendly (or at least anti-Islamist) government in Afghanistan. Not to expel al Qaeda from the country, but to prevent them from setting up shop there again. Sure, at the moment they are safe in Pakistan. But if we are able to coerce the Pakistanis into ousting them, we don't want them to simply stroll back into Afghanistan again.

Revenant said...

Wow, Revenant, you really tied yourself in knots to extract some kind of negative from the simple statement.

It is a result of my tragic inability to misread simple English sentences.

John Clifford said...

Here's what I don't understand: why is it that the most powerful country in the history of the world, with the most powerful military in the history of the world, can never win an armed conflict... yet the little pissant rag-tag guerillas can never lose?

Actually, I should rephrase this... why do so many otherwise-intelligent people think the US can never win a war, and our enemies can never lose? (I know why... it's because they're all PUSSIES! They're afraid! They never learned that the only way to handle a bully is to make him more afraid of you than you are of him.)

Does everyone realize that the US has won in Iraq? That the war is OVER? We crushed our enemies? That we had won the war in Afghanistan? That we won in Vietnam (militarily), yet abdicated the battlefield?

The reason we didn't win in Vietnam, we almost didn't win in Iraq, and we're not winning today in Afghanistan, is that most of the leading class lacks the will to be as ruthless as our enemies. We get all wee-wee'd up (as our Dear Leader would say) over making life unpleasant for THREE high level terrorists at Gitmo... and our enemies gleefully torture and kill captured American soldiers with abandon, knowing that if they are subsequently captured they'll get three squares, a new prayer rug, and the best health care in the world.

When you're up to your ass in alligators, it's time to drain the swamp. If we want to win in Afghanistan, then we need to clean out the Pakistan enclaves where our enemies rest and regroup. F#@k destabilizing Pakistan, or pissing off the Arab street. And, once that's done, we need to burn through some of our aging ordnance over in Iran.

It's good to be loved, but it's better to be feared. The world may love Obama and hate Bush... but they feared Bush.

BTW, what kind of schmuck is Obama, when he knew about the second Iranian nuke facility late last year but only decided to announce it last week? All the while doing his, "I'm not George Bush, let's talk" shtick?

Synova said...

"That's the reason for staying to establish a stable, friendly (or at least anti-Islamist) government in Afghanistan. Not to expel al Qaeda from the country, but to prevent them from setting up shop there again."

I had the appalling thought the other day that Biden's partitioning solution for Iraq might actually be the best idea for Afghanistan. It's a tribal non-state so rather than try to force it into one nation ruled by the Mayor of Kabul, promote a decentralized association of autonomous regions with a severely limited representational central government with clearly enumerated and severely limited responsibilities.

stuiec said...

Whatever happened to intelligent diplomacy? "Take no prisoners" sounds so... belligerent.

In the spirit of compromise and in keeping with the President's thinking on Afghanistan, I propose that Tokyo take all martial arts events; Rio all the water-related events; and Madrid all of the remaining sports except track and field (and perhaps baseball). What could be fairer?

LoafingOaf said...

Cleveland fought for, and WON, the 2014 Gay Games! Isn't anyone gonna congratulate us! It will be lots of fun! And no downside, unlike the Olympic Games Chicago is pushing for.

Darcy said...

rcocean: I hated your last comment. But laughed out loud. It's pretty true, I guess.

jr565: Masterful at 12:00AM. But we'll win the Olympic bid! Yay! ;-)
It'll be safe to celebrate that. (Actually, I'm rooting against it now, just to see Obama pout. Meanness. Heh.)

And congrats, LoafingOaf!

Michael Hasenstab said...

Obama has close friends who are in the real estate business in Chicago, so off to Copenhagen he goes.

Tony Rezko, et. al. own no property Afganistan.

rhhardin said...

I propose the games be held underwater somewhere, just to avoid having to hear anything about them.

rhhardin said...

Belligerent best describes Michelle, owing to her great beauty.

LarsPorsena said...

Fighting for the Olympics?
Are you kidding?
Does anyone think he'd be going if the 'fix' wasn't already in?

It's a done deal and the 'fight'
is just a photo opportunity of BO
doing a victory lap.
That the issue is in doubt is laughable.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So what does victory in Afghanistan look like, you fucking geniuses?

Ideally a smoldering crater surrounded by a sheet a glass but then again I'm a dreamer.

Franco said...

Obama wants this for his friends and obviously he has lost all perspective. If this is so important, isn't he alienating the governments of the other contenders by using the power of the US Presidency? Is his not also an arrogant use of power?

"Take no prisoners" would be a great strategy in Afghanistan considering the trouble prisoners in Gitmo are causing the Obama administration.

It does seem that Obama is itching to use his skill, perhaps his only skill (salesmanship and false promises) to accomplish something...anything, and he has lowered his sights onto something within his skill set.

Note: look for a surprise visit to Iraq and/or Afghanistan to blunt criticism.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It's a battle -- we're going to win -- take no prisoners," the first lady said with a smile at a roundtable discussion with reporters in the White House State Dining Room....

And here I thought that we were done with cowboy diplomacy.

Hope n Change baby! I'm diggin it ain't ya'll? Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaw!

AllenS said...

"It's a battle. We're going to win," she boasted "Take no prisoners."

Last Thursday, at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, she said she was seated next to the first lady of Brazil at a dinner. "I adore her," Mrs. Obama said. "And -- but I said, 'You know I'm going to hug you now -- and then I'm going after you in Copenhagen.' And she said, 'You too.' "

The only thing missing is the promise that if you are taken prisoner, is the waterboard.

WV: bingo

That about says it all.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The only thing missing is the promise that if you are taken prisoner, is the waterboard

Uh no. Mrs. Obama is from Chi-town don't you know? They don't need to stinkin waterboard when a 2 by 4 over the skull works so much better.

AllenS said...

I stand corrected.

Shanna said...

As for the Olympics, I hope Rio wins. They've never been in South America before. Why should they be here for the fourth time?

Seriously, twice here since the 90’s, plus the next one's in Canada, which is right upstairs. Go Rio!

Henry said...

Montagne, if you're going to link to McChrystal, you might as well read him.

"I do not see indications of a large al-Qaida presence in Afghanistan now," McChrystal told reporters at the Dutch Defense Ministry, where he met military officials.

But he warned that Osama bin Laden's network still maintains contact with insurgents and seeks to use areas of Afghanistan they control as bases.

"I do believe that al-Qaida intends to retain those relationships because they believe it is symbiotic ... where the Taliban has success, that provides a sanctuary from which al-Qaida can operate transnationally," he added.


No large presence. No major signs. These statements do not mean "none".

In the midst of several cogent arguments you made a wild overstatement. Defending the wild overstatement doesn't help your case. You give a little you get a little.

AllenS said...

Shanna is correct about the Olympics being in Canada, Montreal to be exact, but here is the troubling aspect of this Olympic thing...

From wiki: The Olympics were a financial disaster for Montreal, as the city faced debts for 30 years after the Games had finished.

WV: sycling

New Chicago Olympic event. You don't want to know the rules.

rocketeer67 said...

As for the "Taliban" that word just means "Student."

Actually, no. "Talib" means "student"; "taliban" is plural.

You fail even at pedantry, Monty.

Roger J. said...

Monty does raise a very fundamental question that should drive our strategy in Afghanistan: what would victory look like? That determination should drive our strategic goals and objectives.

What worked in Iraq will not work in afhanistan precisely because afghanistan is simply not a state--merely a loosely knit group of tribes. And my suspicion is even if we were able to win some tribes over that would only stoke intertribal violence. The enemy of my enemy and all of that.

I simply don't see a good strategy in afghanistan, other than isolating it until such time as it becomes some sort of state; that doesnt mean withdraw but continue special operations, target killings of bad guys and those sorts of unsavory but necessary activities just to let the bad guys know we can.

Roger J. said...

With respect to the olympics in chicago perhaps they can introduce mob murder as a medal event. Fucking animals.

JAL said...

"within his skill set"

And his pay grade.

He needs to run for President of the IOC.

On second thought, I don't think that would be such a great fit, though he's get to go to all those nice dinners. The rest of the world can be pretty territorial. Though I think there is a lot of under the table stuff that goes on -- he's good at that.

Larry J said...

JohnAnnArbor said...
As for the Olympics, I hope Rio wins. They've never been in South America before. Why should they be here for the fourth time?


Actually, if Chicago wins, it would be the 5th time the US has hosted the games in the modern Olympic era.

1904 - St. Louis
1932 & 1984 - Los Angeles
1996 - Atlanta

I hope Rio gets the 2016 games. South America has never hosted any Olympics.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And my suspicion is even if we were able to win some tribes over that would only stoke intertribal violence. The enemy of my enemy and all of that.

I will submit that victory in the traditional sense is impossible in Afghanistan.

I also don't think it will ever become a state, at least in this or the next century. Aside from using modern weaponry and having cars, the societal mindset is somewhere in the 12th century and shows zero potential of even reaching the Renaissance level.

Personally I think our foreign policy should be re-formulated to one in which we simply accept that there are cultures which are savage and primitive, Afghanistan being one of them. That being said, I would simply make it clear that if you want to live in a tribal society that executes non-burkha wearing women and crush homosexuals under rocks then we'll just look at it as part of their rich cultural heritage and not be judgmental. That being said, if you host terrorists and they attack us, we will turn what few cities you have into small stones.

Roger J. said...

Hoosier--you said it much more pithily than did I.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Sigh... it wouldn't be a discussion about Afghanistan if someone didn't pop up and say "it's a savage land of savages from the 12th century"!

Hey buddy, you see what your country would look like after 25 years of war... first let the russians come in and kill a million people, then 20 years of civil war. What state do you live in? Say it's Ohio... I wouldn't give Ohio 5 years of civil war before it degenerated into utter savagery.

madawaskan said...

Are you guys talking about Chicago or Afghanistan because if we are talking about the metrics of literacy, violence...oh forget it.

Straightening out Afghanistan or the inner cities. Could be a toss up.


To whomever is discussing the "large presence" mantra that goes around.

Want to explain how "if" Afghanistan is so hopelessly remote and hard to fight because supposedly the villages are remote and dispersed-

How in he hell do these same people become "aware" of a large military presence?

And if they do how does that spread to the populace in general.

During the interim of standing up ANSF you could probably get away with a larger presence for awhile-just a hunch.

I don't know if you can get the conflict in your theory.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know I am terribly sorry that the truth kinda stings but I can't help that. Afghanistan was a 12th century society before the Soviets came in.

Hey buddy, you see what your country would look like after 25 years of war... first let the russians come in and kill a million people, then 20 years of civil war.

Hey I got one better than that. take Germany 1618-1648, it was called the 30 years war and it killed about a quarter of the population before the bloodletting was done. After the Peace of Westphalis, Germany and Europe as a whole didn't desecend into barbarism.

What state do you live in? Say it's Ohio... I wouldn't give Ohio 5 years of civil war before it degenerated into utter savagery.

Well lets see, we actually did have a civil war in this country that lasted 4 years and consumed about 700,000 lives, a considerable figure considering the population at the time and after it was over, we continued to evolve politically and societally.

Thanks for playing. Let me know if you require further enlightenment.

Jeremy said...

Ann - Sucking up to the loyal Obama hating crowd.

What a shock.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know Monty, 25 years of warfare shouldn't result in me having the uncontrollable urge to kill women for baring their ankles. Or crushing gays under stones. Or shooting you in the back of the fucking head cause you shaved your beard. Or shooting you in the fucking head because you want to fly a kite. Or shoot you in the fucking head because you want to listen to Madonna. Or shoot you in the fucking head cause you decided to choose Jesus as your Savior. Or shoot you in the fucking head because your daughter is a slut and had pre-marital sex.

I call em like I seem em pal and that kind of behavior is what I call savagery. If that offends you, avert your eyes.

jr565 said...

John Clifford wrote:
"Here's what I don't understand: why is it that the most powerful country in the history of the world, with the most powerful military in the history of the world, can never win an armed conflict... yet the little pissant rag-tag guerillas can never lose?


That really is one of the fundamental fallacies and outright lies posited by the left. They keep saying you can't kill terrorists, it only makes the terrorists stronger (as if the terrorists are some form of Obi Wan Kenobi type figure). Yet the clear reality is, terrorists are humans. They can suffer battle fatigue, attrition, they can run out of equipment, be overrun. And even more so considering they are ragtag bunch with nowhere close to the budget we have for our military.
You'd think that if those rules applied to terrorists that they would simultaneously apply to us, simply on a logical basis. Namely, if they kill us, it only makes us stronger. So to the antiwar lefty it appears that entirely different logic guides us and them even though both sides fight the same war and both sides are humans and have to answer to the same wartime conditions. But, they are unstoppable terminators, we are boy/girl children sent to wars of choice. They don't have wars of choice. They are mere reactors to our evil imperialism.

jr565 said...

continued:
What the left are really saying is that, when it comes to wars and even tough foreign policy, they don't have the stomach to champion good while the terrorism have endless stomach to champion evil. So let the terrorists have their way.

paul a'barge said...

Click here

The man definitely has an issue with victory

wv: repeeply

elHombre said...

Cleveland fought for, and WON, the 2014 Gay Games! Isn't anyone gonna congratulate us!

Buggery is a sport? Who knew?

Congratulations.

Joe said...

As for the Olympic thing; I think the whole thing's a waste of time and money, but would rather that Rio get it since South America hasn't had an Olympics and Rio would be a rather cool place, especially if they keep their bikinis small.

Joe said...

How can anyone be sure that the participants in the Gay Games are actually gay, lesbian or bisexual?

former law student said...

Yet the clear reality is, terrorists are humans. They can suffer battle fatigue, attrition, they can run out of equipment, be overrun. And even more so considering they are ragtag bunch with nowhere close to the budget we have for our military.

And that explains the persistence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict how, exactly?

Hoosier Daddy said...

And that explains the persistence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict how, exactly?


I think it demonstrates the restraint of the Israeli military more than the resilience of the Palestinian terrorists.

former law student said...

I think it demonstrates the restraint of the Israeli military more than the resilience of the Palestinian terrorists.

Assuming this is the determining factor, the US is even more restrained than Israel, which can justify their actions by pointing out they are fighting for their very existence.

madawaskan said...

Cultural differences explain some of it.

In particualr in reference to time.

The time frames of an elected government versus a religious based movement or terrorist group.

One comes from the society of instant gratification-McDonald's the other-thinks long term and then some-like dying for the virgins in eternity.

Ten years in our time is equal to fifty given a certain mind set.

Synova said...

So... is Monty now arguing that the Afghan people can SO be civilized and is thus now arguing that we can SO gain victory there? (Victory being civilization, of course.)

What the country needs is interstate highways, truck stops, and John Deere dealerships. Then when someone blows up a road all his neighbors will beat him to death with sticks because they need to get their hard winter wheat and dried apricots to market.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Assuming this is the determining factor, the US is even more restrained than Israel, which can justify their actions by pointing out they are fighting for their very existence.

I think we're horribly restrained. I mean I can't help but chuckle when I hear how we defeated Hitler and Tojo without torturing anyone but somehow incinerating German and Japanese cities and their means of production and transportation was some kind of footnote.

Eric said...

Plus, if my son is in the Olympics in 2016, it's not far to go see him.

A man's got to dream.

David said...

How did I miss this post?

Did Obama actually say that?

Gaaaaaaaah! It's true. The guy does not know any history.

Hirohito not only didn't come down. He did not sign the surrender. That was totally unthinkable, and MaCarthur and his superiors knew that. Ask for that and you get no surrender.

Even though Hirohito was not there, the Japanese surrender was as good an example of victory as you can get. Our battleship, under out flag, in the harbor of their capital, with no negotiation of terms.

"These proceedings are closed."

jr565 said...

former law student wrote:
And that explains the persistence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict how, exactly?

Dont really see your point. The fact is that the lefts talking point suggests that we can't win, but that the terrorists can't lose. If they get struck down it only creates more of them. So that there is a separate logic depending on which side is fighting.

As far as the Israeli Arab conflict both sides have been figthing for years and are currently at a stalemate. the Palestinians could be wiped off the map, but as stated the Israelis not being monsters keep fightting by inches. But regardless both side suffer casualties and losses. That they keep fighting doesn't mean that one side operates under a different dynamic only that both sides are persistent.

Revenant said...

And that explains the persistence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict how, exactly?

I assume you're questioning the persistence of Palestinian terrorism rather than the persistence of the territorial dispute. There are, after all, territorial disputes that date back centuries.

Anyway, Palestinian terrorism persists primarily because other Muslim nations recruit and fund Palestinian terrorist groups. Even then, terrorist activity waxes and wanes; the 90s, for example, were relatively peaceful. A fresh batch of terrorists is recruited, get slapped around for a while by the IDF, and eventually give up and/or die. Then the process repeats again.