Thing is, nobody seems to know what "works" means anymore. It isn't a matter of victory over terrorists now. Nor about doing anything to bring Osama bin Ladin to justice. As best I can tell, our strategy is to get out of Afghanistan and declare
OK. I'm supportive. It beats sending troops to slaughter for absolutely no reason.
Others, I should mention, are not as accepting of the speech that Obama gave the other night as I am. In fact, some are downright hostile:
Searching in Vain for the Obama MagicWow. And this from one of those European allies that Obama was going to do such a good job of winning back after Bush drove them away.
By Gabor Steingart, Der Spiegel
Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America's new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric -- and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.
One didn't have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama's speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.
An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan -- and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war -- and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.
It was as though Obama had taken one of his old campaign speeches and merged it with a text from the library of ex-President George W. Bush. Extremists kill in the name of Islam, he said, before adding that it is one of the "world's great religions." He promised that responsibility for the country's security would soon be transferred to the government of President Hamid Karzai -- a government which he said was "corrupt." The Taliban is dangerous and growing stronger. But "America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars," he added.
It was a dizzying combination of surge and withdrawal, of marching to and fro. [link]
There's a point here. But I'd rather not face it. There are too many precious American lives at stake. Obama must succeed - whatever that means. The alternative is too heartbreaking to consider.