I’m so mad I made a Tweet

Affordable Care Act should NOT be on the table. Give it a chance to work! Congress should move forward and start resolving other issues.
—@songdogmi, Nov. 21, 2012

This was presaged by this op-ed piece by John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives. Apparently, bringing repeal up for a vote over 30 times during this session of Congress did not sufficiently demonstrate the utter pointlessness of this session of Congress.

You know what I want, then? A vote to repeal the resolutions supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While you’re at it, vote on the resolutions for the Gulf War, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War while you’re at it. Finally, repeal the law that makes the bald eagle the national bird, and replace it with the turkey. The bunch of turkeys in Congress ought to be real comfortable with THAT.

Or, y’know, Congress could move on and solve some other issues. I’ve heard that we have some.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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4 Responses to I’m so mad I made a Tweet

  1. songdogmi says:

    Sure. I mean, if the partner countries had better ideas that the U.S. military overlords wouldn’t let them try (very possible), maybe they should stay. But otherwise…. nah. Let ’em go home. I mean, did we learn nothing from Vietnam?

    • zenicurean says:

      I’ve drawn loose Vietnam parallels to Afghanistan myself, but I think the key dilemma is that you did learn something from Vietnam — Washington took home at least two lessons, but the problem is that they’re diametrically opposite ones.

      I always thought Obama setting a fixed withdrawal schedule was a mistake given that the US is more or less by necessity and political inertia committed to stabilising Kabul. There’s not much Obama could’ve done about that; you can all thank Mr Bush for that.

      That said, I’d be pleased to get everyone’s troops out of there as fast as feasible, albeit as things stand I don’t pretend that means “ending the war” so much as not being involved with it anymore. (So my position here is not motivated by me wanting Americans to raise up their collective hands and go “Welp, now that we’re out, our hands are sure clean!”, because that’s not how it’ll work. Mr Bush broke it, so Washington bought it, as it were.)

      • songdogmi says:

        You’re right, just because Western troops leave won’t mean the war will end. It will, probably, move to a new phase, and maybe things will settle down into something stable again. It might not be a stable regime we like, but stability is a virtue in itself. To me, at least, it seems the outcome is inevitable and we are only prolonging it in a painful way.

        I have to admit to supporting the notion of a fixed withdrawal schedule early on, blind at least partly to the problems that would cause. Certainly the generals should have had a schedule, otherwise how else can one make any project work — but announcing it so the Afghans knew it too was too big a problem. (Not that their intelligence couldn’t have figured it out, anyway, I suppose.)

        You’re right that Obama inherited a lot of strictures put in place by Bush’s strategy. I’m not knowledgable enough to know whether Obama could’ve tweaked anything differently and made the results better. I rather fear he was kind of stuck with the Afghan exercise lasting through his first term and beyond because of the way it ran through Bush’s tenure.

      • zenicurean says:

        Well, the whole Afghan war is a kind of an either/or proposition if you’re a Washington politician: Either one believes that it is “winnable”, under some sort of coherent armistice criteria that substantially preserves the new Kabul regime, or that it isn’t “winnable” under such criteria.

        The former assumption would seem to require that the Taliban be brought meaningfully to the negotiation table (we know there are currently clandestine negotiations going on, which I approve of), but that means militarily depriving the Taliban (and assorted others; they’re not an entirely coherent bunch) real hope of a post-US-withdrawal political restoration. This means a basic commitment to the Bush project of beating them down with military force. The Taliban are professional rebels and religious zealots, and unlike Americans they’re not liable to give away anything on the negotiation table that hasn’t already been taken from them by force. Predictably enough, Mr Obama signalled his basic agreement with this position the second he ordered the troop surge. I don’t think he had a whole lot of choice, but that’s the bottom line.

        But here’s the rub: The latter assumption by all rights implies that the USA needs to bail immmediately; the Kabul government must be betrayed completely, and as soon as possible. None of this farting around with troop surges. Taking this option would be a painful sting to US diplomatic credibility, but it’s logical in order to minimise US human and material costs: There’s no point keeping troops around if you think they’re there essentially for nothing. In some sense Mr Obama communicated agreement with this position when he set a public withdrawal date, and assured us that it’d hold regardless of what was actually happening on the ground in real life. Which, of course, is the complete opposite of what you’d want to do under option one.

        And this, I suppose, is where some of the Vietnam parallels come rather starkly: Sometimes it seems that Washington is equally thoroughly committed to both fighting this war and not actually fighting this war.

        (Then there’s the whole moral dimension of all this. I won’t go into it here. But suffice to say that whichever option we pick, we kinda lose. Also, sorry for the million edits. It’s late and I’m not at my best!)

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