On his MSNBC program Countdown tonight, host Keith Olbermann delivered a brutal critique against President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. He concluded, “So, much of the change for which you were elected, Sir, has thus far been understandably, if begrudgingly, tabled, delayed, made more open-ended.”
Here is the video:
Olbermann offered some advice for Obama, “You should survey the dismal array of options in front of you — even the orders given out last night — sort them into the unacceptable, the unsuccessful, and the merely un-palatable, and then put your arm down on the table and wipe the entire assortment of them off your desk — off this nation’s desk — and into the scrap heap of history.”
He called the US military an occupying force, “But poll after poll, and anecdote after anecdote, of the reality of public opinion inside Afghanistan is that its residents believe we are fighting Afghanistan. That we, Sir, have become an occupying force. Yes: if we leave, Afghanistan certainly will have an occupying force, whether it’s from Pakistan, or consisting of foreign fighters who will try to ally themselves with the Taliban.”
Here is how he described Obama’s exit strategy, President Obama will be presenting an exit strategy for Afghanistan. The exit strategy that begins by entering still further. Lose to win, sink to swim, escalate to disengage. And even this disconnect of fundamental logic is predicated on the assumption that once the extra troops go in, when the President says “okay, time for adult swim, Generals, time to get out of the pool and bring the troops with you,” that the Pentagon is just going to say “Yeppers.”
He concluded by stressing the left is running out of patience with Obama, “So, much of the change for which you were elected, Sir, has thus far been understandably, if begrudgingly, tabled, delayed, made more open-ended. But patience ebbs, Mr. President. And while the first one thousand key decisions of your presidency were already made about the economy, the first public, easy-to-discern, mouse-or-elephant kind of decision comes tomorrow night at West Point at eight o’clock.”
Olbermann is completely wrong on every count. He offered lots of reasons to leave Afghanistan, but he didn’t discuss what would happen once the U.S. left. The Taliban is waiting the United States out, and as soon as Uncle Sam leaves, they will seize control of the country. You remember the Taliban don’t you, Mr. Olbermann? They were the reason why al-Qaeda was able to make Afghanistan their base of operations.
He is also neglecting to consider the political fallout here in the United States, if the military pulled out of Afghanistan. The Republicans would certainly use a withdrawal against Obama and the Democrats, and God forbid if al-Qaeda attacks the US again after the troops leave Afghanistan, because, justified or not, Obama’s Afghanistan decision will be blamed.
Keith Olbermann isn’t interested in discussing the issue of what do in Afghanistan in any depth. Instead, he is only interesting in providing his liberal audience with more red meat. This is why Olbermann is no different than Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Obviously, the solution is not to stay in Afghanistan forever, but Olbermann’s shortsighted advice would only lead to failure both in Afghanistan and political defeat for the Democratic Party.