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The Most Important Number in Politics Today



The Vietnam war still lingers as a political issue. AFP/Getty Images

52

That's the percentage of Americans who believe the war in Afghanistan has turned into a situation like the one the United States faced in Vietnam, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey.

That a majority of the CNN sample believe there is a direct correlation between Afghanistan and Vietnam should be of significant concern to the Obama administration given the lingering influence of the three-decades old conflict on the American psyche and the president's upcoming decision regarding troop levels in the country.

The difficulties of "winning" the war in Vietnam -- a hard-to-pin-down enemy, uncertain goals that changed frequently -- turned that conflict into a political nightmare, playing a major role in President Lyndon Johnson's decision not to run for reelection in 1968 and vexing President Richard Nixon for years as well. These challenges are also frequently cited in describing the current situation in Afghanistan.

The specter of Vietnam shadowed the political process for decades after the war ended -- with Democrats spending years trying to convince the American public that they could be tough on foreign countries when the situation demanded it.

(So powerful was the legacy of Vietnam on the Democratic party that many people viewed -- and continue to view -- the 2002 vote for the use of force resolution against Iraq through that lens. Votes by people like Sens. John Kerry (Mass.), John Edwards (N.C.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) were seen as necessary to avoid being attacked by Republicans as soft of matters of national defense in a national presidential election.)

In many ways, the election of President Obama seemed to end that stage of American politics as the war in Vietnam was eclipsed by the flaws with then President George W. Bush's handling of the war in Iraq in voters' minds.

But, the data from CNN provides a stark reminder for the administration that the conflict in Afghanistan is viewed very skeptically by the public.

Less than four in ten voters favor adding more troops to Afghanistan while 59 percent said they opposed such a move. Within that 59 percent who opposed adding troops, 28 percent wanted to withdraw all troops, 21 percent wanted to reduce the number of boots on the ground and eight percent wanted to keep troop levels the same.

From a political perspective, these numbers cast Afghanistan as something close to a no-win situation for the president. With the wars in Vietnam and Iraq as a backdrop, voters are worried about further involving U.S. troops in a conflict where victory may be hard to define.

How President Obama decides to move forward in Afghanistan and, as importantly, how that decision plays with the American public will have a major say in how the incumbent looks at he prepares for his 2012 reelection bid.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 19, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

The REAL enemy is the same now as it was back in the sixties: American politics! All BS aside. It's been that way for decades and it isn't at all likely to change, no matter who is in office. All but the selectively blind should be able to see this.

Posted by: stape357 | October 21, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I grew up during Viet Nam. It was a stomach churning time because I found myself freqently horrified by the blood,death and torture I viewed from my home livingroom and college dorm room courtesy of the evening news. Unlike Viet Nam,I know the US is in Afghanistan because the attack 9/11 launched from there. Capturing Bin Laden is the end game as well as is the captivity of his operatives. Our American freedoms and dreams are at steak if we pull out before our job is done. We can not afford to send the message to the World that Bin Laden won. That would be the price if we give up and pull out of Afghanistan. We have to help stabilize that government and convince the world with diplomacy that it would behoove it as well to aid with his capture and the capture of others like him to ensure security for all nations to live a lifestyle of their choice.

Posted by: Carolyn207 | October 20, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I grew up during Viet Nam. It was a stomach churning time because I found myself freqently horrified by the blood,death and torture I viewed from my home livingroom and college dorm room courtesy of the evening news. Unlike Viet Nam,I know the US is in Afghanistan because the attack 9/11 launched from there. Capturing Bin Laden is the end game as well as is the captivity of his operatives. Our American freedoms and dreams are at steak if we pull out before our job is done. We can not afford to send the message to the World that Bin Laden won. That would be the price if we give up and pull out of Afghanistan. We have to help stabilize that government and convince the world with diplomacy that it would behoove it as well to aid with his capture and the capture of others like him to ensure security for all nations to live a lifestyle of their choice.

Posted by: Carolyn207 | October 20, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Atten Chris Cillizza. Re: your column OF 10-20-"09, ON Afghaniston deployment.
It safe to say that the military results in this country are similar to the
disaster in vietnam. The only possible reason to wish to repeat that homicidal folly, is that we have a short memory in our Government, and an even shorter line of common sense. We cannot afford the dollars and cents to prosecute this wasteful conflict, we mourn the loss of young lives, and the causalties, and, peering into the future, we see no sign
of any return of any value. Our opinion is "Get out now, while we can" and hope for the best". signed: Cyrano the optimist!

Posted by: Cyrano | October 20, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

CNN (Craven News Network) polls do not the truth indicate. Rather, their questions can be and many times are phrased and couched to influence the results in the direction desired by the poll taker.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | October 20, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

shrink2:

Sorry I didn't see your comment earlier.

I do not mean to suggest that war deaths and accidental deaths are equivalent. My point is that "soldiers are dying" is not a proper justification for withdrawal. Soldiers die in war and in peace, and unlike Vietnam, today's soldiers choose to be soldiers.

However, you said in your post that the comparison is not someplace we ought to go. Curious why you think that. I believe that dead is dead. I understand why we were shocked and outraged by the tragedy of 9/11, but in the end it we should look at it as 4,000 murders and some hellacious property damage. Instead we launched a "War on Terror" which looked an awful lot like "War on Islam" and caused a lot more problems. And a lot more American deaths.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 20, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

There is no government in Afghanistan to support our efforts...that in itself is a major indicator that we should not waste our time there. We learned this horrific lesson in Vietnam. Al Qaeda is in southern Pakistan anyway. Save our troops and resources for something else.

Posted by: brt30 | October 20, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I am another who quit posting because of cf8's expulsion whereas jaked got to stay. there are some conservative moderates here that offer up a great discussion, whereas we all actually learn how cut and dried our opinions ARN'T, like Bobbywc, I think his moniker is. he writes posts that we can disagree with, but our reasons aren't exaggerated punditry. And his posts are respectful to those who disagree. I like to discover why people think differently than me, what in their life experiences made them the way they are. My dad, a WWII vet, encouraged us to vote, but we had to know WHY we were voting that way, especially if it was different than his. He didn't want us to just vote reactionary, automatic party line. I think as long as we all ignore the "talking point" posts that only insult and deride, they'll get tired of being ignored, just like you all do so well with the frequent NO poster on here, name excluded intentionally.

Posted by: katem1 | October 20, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Where is George Walker Bush on the issue?

Posted by: whocares666 | October 20, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Wars seem to be the one 'make or break' scenario for U.S. Presidents.

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 20, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I am a Vietnam veteran. I wonder how many people who responded to the poll were even around, or adults, when we were in Vietnam? I do see many parallels between Vietnam and Afghanistan. 1. The Afghans don't really support what we are doing. 2. This is a guerilla war which is practically impossible for our military to defeat. 3. The generals solution is more troops without specifying what would be accomplished by more troops 4. Our allies are luke warm, at best, about this war. 5. If we win it will do nothing to make America safer because Al Queda will move to another country and continue their terrorism. Our leaders, of both parties, were wrong about Vietnam and it is likely they are wrong about Afghanistan. Obama at least has enough sense and courage to ask the right questions even though the neocons are attacking him vigorously.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | October 20, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Rahm says that we have plenty of time to screw up this decision.. maybe this isn't even newsworthy ..considering it's something that can wait.. not like clunkers, healthcare, welfare state issues.

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 20, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Obama is from Chicago. The reason he is delaying a decision on troop strength is because he is checking to see which way the wind is blowing.

In many ways this is already worse than Vietnam, in terms of being able to define victory. It's the most rugged terrain in the world to fight a war. People are already calling it Obama's war.

So far, this decision will be the defining moment in his presidency. He needs to define the fundamental question, what are we doing there? Why not go home, now?

Posted by: alance | October 20, 2009 1:50 AM | Report abuse

With Obama at the helm, the voices of reason will prevail and Afghanistan will not be another Vietnam. Now as far as Pakistan is concerned, I believe that there also we must enlist the voices of reason and avoid getting entangled into Pakistan's domestic affairs.

Posted by: maitami | October 20, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Easiest election coast to victory ever coming. One simple message:

revoke Obama.

A landslide in the making.

Posted by: snowbama | October 20, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Well I think we are saying the same thing.

Karzai is a dead cause. It is not like he was going to matter. Speaking of women and children, his 'government' passed the world famous law this Summer, a mill stone for the 21st Century, providing for any man to starve a wife, in the case she considered no sex.

A week ago I saw Karzai defending his administration. His argument, hey, America is corrupt too.

But it did not have to be this way and we did blow it. I guess we just thought Afghanistan was a mop-up and it was time to settle a score, over in Iraq. Who knows why we went in and then lost focus. Until the people who made the decisions talk, it is all a guess.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 20, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Cc. What an intelligent and interesting blog

now that cf8 and drivl have left.

Hint. Hint.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

As well written as those posts are, Tet also pointed up the weakness of the ARVN. The NVA was not weak, or weakened materially by Tet. The Thieu-Ky regime was neither honorable nor effective. In that respect, Karzai presents a parallel.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 19, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Part 2:

That haunted him the rest of his life. Still, LBJ at least had the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to stake his claims to legitimate policy. Obama has no such pretext. The war started itself when special forces troops began showing up on the northern tier of Afghanistan in preparation for operations against the Taliban and most of the country, which detested the Taliban then and doesn't much like it now, rallied around the U. S. Forces and the Taliban took a powder. In essence it was special warfare gone spectacularly successful. Had George thereupon began worrying about Phase Two, Three, and Four in Special warfare, building up popular governmental entities from local through national, (Phase two and continuing) and insuring the Taliban stay out there in the tribal areas, where they were not exactly popular either, and weren't local and therefore lacked local support) Phase Three and continuing, and building up a real national Army, Police Force, and governmental entities, (Phase Four) we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now.

Note that this was just the kind of special warfare Rumsfield claimed to be trying to organize the Army for. The problem was those details, like the phases of special warfare, were just too little for Bush/Cheney to ponder, or insist on seeing through. Now we are stuck with the results of that neglect. We can still win, but the costs are lots higher. And now we no longer have the slightest hope of the broad bipartisan support BHO would need to successfully make the war happen. Note that while lots of the righteous ranters declare BHO to be too cowardly to take the military action needed, none of them offer to support him should he do so. There are about a thousand ways for us to fail in Afghanistan, and it seems that the Republicans would prefer one or more of those ways occur, soon enough to try to blame that failure on the Democrats. Bipartisan Support, in those circumstances, is simply politically impossible. Sorry, President Karzai, but when you go down, the Republicans see a chance to pick up a few seats in Congress because of it. That being so, you are toast. But hey, don't take it personally, it is American Politics.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 19, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

From ceflynline

Considered only from a Geographical and Military point of view, Aghanistan is nominally a more winnable war than Viet Nam, although Viet Nam was winnable and was actually won until Nixon took over. There is every reason to believe that we could seal off the Pakistani border and leave the Taliban and al Qaeda to ferment and irritate the Pakistani Tribal lords to the point where those war lords take real action to control the Taliban.

Abrams strategy of driving the NVA Army away from the cities and into the jungle worked. The Viet Cong was destroyed as an effective fighting force when General Giap decided to stage the Tet offensive in 1968. By the time we had cleaned up the tactical mess the organized VC units were wrecked beyond repair and were pulled back to base areas and left to disintegrate. It takes lots of troops out looking for the insurgents and accepting battle on their terms, and flooding any battle area with troops on a moments notice.

All it would take is lots of properly trained and led troops. McChrystal has probably concocted a perfectly valid and eventually winning strategy. All that takes is soldiers (80,000 more troops is apparently the real number. 40,000 is the minimal compromise.) Herein lies Obama's problem. Commit to sending the troops without broad based support and he gets to feel like LBJ, tortured for four years for doing the right thing. Not his war, not his real interest, but he was to honorable to write off Eisenhower's mistake.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 19, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

JFK WAS PLANNING TO DE-ESCALATE IN VIETNAM JUST PRIOR TO HIS ASSASSINATION

Armpeg @ 7:17 p.m. conveniently rewrites history to suit his extremist right-wing ideology -- although he inadvertently raises some parallels that should serve as cautionary historical precedents.

The "endless war" lobby again is on the march. It will take political skill and courage to chart a course that keeps the world at peace and does not once again plunge this national into horrific political chaos.

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA" (see "stories").

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 19, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"snowbama" @ 4:59 p.m. sez:

"The future of the Fix if rampant loony liberals continue to dominate the blog..."

===============================

Shouldn't this read,

"...if paid (shadow government contracted?) psy op trolls continue to dominate this blog?"

It appears to me that covert blog spamming campaigns are intended to destroy the free exchange of ideas on major media web sites and to control the conversation to suit the ideological leanings of an entrenched extreme-right element.

Now, when will naive Obama officials wake up and smell the police state?

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-fusion-center-spying-pretext-harass-and-censor

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 19, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

iPod is still a little funky. Of course the loons think it is impossible. In triplicate.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Poor Barry. At war with Fox. Busy surrendering to al queda. Can't pass a law. Can't make a decision. Needs czars to run things. Hiding under the desk while Nancy ruins everything. Mao is the best philo. Spend the day attacking Fox. Ignore murderous muslims
pretty typical libs.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Poor Barry. At war with Fox. Busy surrendering to al queda. Can't pass a law. Can't make a decision. Needs czars to run things. Hiding under the desk while Nancy ruins everything. Mao is the best philo. Spend the day attacking Fox. Ignore murderous muslims
pretty typical libs.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Poor Barry. At war with Fox. Busy surrendering to al queda. Can't pass a law. Can't make a decision. Needs czars to run things. Hiding under the desk while Nancy ruins everything. Mao is the best philo. Spend the day attacking Fox. Ignore murderous muslims
pretty typical libs.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

The war in Afghanistan is looking more and more like the Viet Nam War every day, and with an incompetent wimp like Obama in the WH, the concequences will be worse yet.
The Viet Nam War was started by Democratic President JFK (with the enthusiastic approval of the Democrat--controlled congress), when he ordered that all of our then un-armed military advisers to the government of S. Viet Nam stationed there, could start carrying weapons and fire back if fired on. He also ordered that 2,000 helicopters and their crews be sent there to back these newly armed advisers up in order to protect them. This started our military involvement there. When the war going on there got more and more un-popular with the American people/voters, with more and more of our guys getting killed or coming back maimed, the Democrats then as now wanted to cut and run. Unlike today though when we have a Democrat in the WH, President Richard Nixon was a Republican who wanted to win and withdraw with honor and was working politically to that goal. To force President Nixon to comply and cut and run in Viet Nam, the Democrats voted to cut off all funding for the war. The result was that we cut and ran in disgrace, something the Democrats want to repeat in Afghanistan. Having served in that he**hole once, I've seen all this Democrats wimping out before.

Posted by: armpeg | October 19, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I will try to get to get ceflynline's post.
I think I get the key-word for hold algorithm here. Lots of experience, sanitizing...

Posted by: shrink2 | October 19, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, the correct e mail address is actually ceflynline@msn.com

Posted by: ceflynline | October 19, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Before Jake and Snow, there was the Hall of Famer 37thandOSt. Here, posting to Fix's musings about an "October surprise" that would upend our 44th President is 37thandO (white space in original post):

"The October Surprise Was Obama's Redistribution "Spread The Wealth" gaffe


.


.


Obama is not a uniter Obama is a divider


Obama gave $20,000.00 in one year to a RACIST church which believes there are separate value systems - one value system for "whites" and one value system for "blacks."


The worst is that Obama brought his children to this Church and exposed them to these HATE TEACHINGS - probably psychologically damaging his own children -


All so Obama could have the "poltical opportunity" of belonging to that Church?
How can you not be concerned about that?


How can anyone believe that Obama never heard any of these hate filled ideas when a 15 second visit to the Church's website revealed how RACIST it was?


BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY IS OUT THERE - JUST BECAUSE YOU IGNORE IT OR JUST BECAUSE YOU DECIDE TO OVERLOOK IT - THAT DOES NOT MEAN IT THAT BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY DOES NOT EXIST.


Remember that William Ayers in his manifesto for the Weather Underground in the 60s sought to create an alliance with the forces of BLACK LIBERATION THEOLOGY in order to disrupt America as we know it.


Do your research before you are so "proud" of some affirmative action guy.


You guys are sounding more and more like Joe Biden everyday.


If a white man said he was "proud" of Obama he would be called up for being condescending.


.


.

Posted by: 37thandOSt | October 30, 2008 9:59 AM |"

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

This can't be considered the most important number anywhere outside the Palm Restaurant. Obama inherited Afghanistan as he did the economy and the health care crisis. No one blames him. This will have no impact in 2012. He should pull out now but obviously powerful forces are tying his hands on this. We have no business there or in Iraq; we never did.
__________

My candidate for most important number: 1. And that "1" is Jake, the legendary blog killer who claims he's leaving. Wow.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 19, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, I tried to post a long analysis of the comparison between the wars. I got the "Held for the Moderator" message that says you will never see it.

If anyone is interested query me at ceflynline.com and I will post you a copy.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 19, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I am leaving this place because of "drindl" and "GoldAndTanzanite" (who admitted to being banned as "chrisfox8" yet still returns and posts crap all the time).

Posted by: JakeD | October 19, 2009 4:25 PM

______________

What! This a breaking news story worthy of a mention on the Faux News scroll. Jake leaving "Jake's Place."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 19, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/19/AR2009101902451.html?hpid=topnews

Poll: majorities support public option, health insurance mandate

Although I'm sure this is not news to anyone who has been following the debate.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 19, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"It is a complicated situation. But I don't think comparing the number of people who die each day from say, diseases, car wrecks and addictions, etc. to the war deaths is a good place to go."

No, that's a lousy comparison. You still need to think of these deaths as deaths, though. Yeah, they get paid to go to war, but I do feel we have a moral obligation to constantly reassess whether the sacrifices our soldiers make is justified. Are the goals we are trying to attain worth it? What is the likelihood of attaining these goals? I think Obama is going through such a reassessment now.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 19, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

mikeinm, this argument you made is one I have been waiting for. Vietnam drafted kids on all sides, us versus commies, cold warriors were sending bloody messages.

But the AfPak war, surely going to last longer, these soldiers know what they are going to and why they are choosing to do it. When 9/11 happened, today's 19yo were not competent to decide whether to become soldiers. They are now.

Our professional army is a problem almost as much as the Taliban mercenary army is a problem. They are all getting paid to fight.

If we think of their deaths and the deaths they cause in the same context as car wrecks, we are making a big mistake.

A roadside bomb is in fact not a tragedy. These people are choosing careers, they are being paid to be killing one other. It is no clash of civilizations.

It is a complicated situation. But I don't think comparing the number of people who die each day from say, diseases, car wrecks and addictions, etc. to the war deaths is a good place to go.


Posted by: shrink2 | October 19, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Gen. McCh's report was critical of Karzai. He was looking for a "work-around", as I read it. I favor a strategy that has a chance of working, and McCh's does, if Karzai is not a bloody obstacle.

But I think all our voices on the subject, including Holbrooke and McCh, see Karzai as that very bloody obstacle. MkeInMidland and Ceflyline have said anything else I might think about this, although I believe Ceflyline has overestimated the troop shortage. We should be able to "surge" 27000 Army and 8000 Marines, as it stands.

Except in the sense that shrink2 mentioned, that is, that Pakistan is the real goal of our Afg policy, this war bears no relationship to the war in VN.

Aside from the realpolitik concerns, is anyone else bothered by the notion that we might give up on the girls and women of Afg? I am.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh, merciful heaven, it's cruel to get my hopes up!

JakeD and the even more mindlessly multipost-dominating 'snowbama', formerly 'king_of_zouk' are leaving? Not in this bloody lifetime. It's one of the reasons I rarely post here anymore.

I, believe it or not, am largely nonpartisan. I welcome engaging on substantive issues with Democrats or Republicans alike.

Yet the excoriating rudeness, pettiness, endless (and often mindless) disrespect for the President and many in the Democratic party in general by these two is like the automatic barking of dogs at a rubbish tip (= junkyard)--without rhyme or reason.

The cacophony is too much to engage.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 19, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, American soldiers are dying over there. At a rate orders of magnitude lower than the Vietnam conflict. They also die in training accidents. All while engaged in their chosen profession.

Hundreds (thousands?) of Americans die every day at work or commuting to and from work. A roadside bomb is no more a tragedy than an 10-car pile-up on the expressway.

Meanwhile, our country does stand for some important principles. And one of them is that we don't cut and run on our friends. What Obama is trying to determine is whether Karzai et al can be our allies.

There was a reason Clinton limited his agression to cruise missiles. Perhaps we will go back to that stance. I think we should--but not this year.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 19, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Another Rationale, Besides Profiteering, for the "Endless War"...

AFGHAN WAR DEFLECTS ATTENTION FROM SECRET GOV'T SECURITY/MILITARY/INTEL DOMESTIC WAR AGAINST UNJUSTLY TARGETED AMERICANS

• An American genocide-politicide, enabled by the naivete of centrists, liberals

A federal-local, secretive executive branch-directed multi-agency coordinated action program -- an ongoing legacy of the Bush-Cheney years -- is committing a quiet genocide on thousands of unjustly targeted Americans via silent microwave/laser weaponry torture; covert financial exploitation; and a grassroots vigilante army fronted by community policing, town watch and anti-terrorism units who use covertly placed warrantless GPS devices and cell phones, to stalk, terrorize and vandalize their targets...

... protected by federal and local law enforcement who know all about it...

...an American Gestapo hiding in plain sight, unreported by a complacent mainstream media, unaddressed by naive and apparently misinformed Obama officials.

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 19, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The future of the Fix if rampant loony liberals continue to dominate the blog:

WASHINGTON – The New York Times Co. plans to cut 100 newsroom jobs, about eight percent of the total, by the end of the year, the newspaper reported Monday. The Times said management will mail buyout packages to the entire newsroom -- both union and non-union employees -- on Thursday and will resort to layoffs if not enough staffers accept.


CC - the writing is on the wall. Can you read. It may distinguish you from your posters.

the trajectory of allowing Libs to run things is clear - the sewer. Most of them are quite happy dwelling there, as you can see.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Did BO find Bin Laden yet???

Posted by: leapin | October 19, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

There is no hurry to send in troops, nor to pull them out.

Steady on, Mr. President.

==

They're dying over there, and for no apparent national security reason, so I would say the imperative to pull them out is quite strong.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 19, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Pay attention to that "graveyard of empires" stuff kids that's the straight uncut dope.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 19, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

The GOP wants Obama to make a statement, so that they can either, 1) cast him as weak, or dishonoring the dead by abandoning what they fought for, or 2) blame him when the war still doesn't go well with additional troops.

The Dems want him to make a statement so that they can have political cover.

What Obama has said to date is absolutely correct. He's not going to make a major commitment in Afghanistan without the Afghan government being seen as a credible partner. The Taliban insurgency is leverage against Karzai--play ball or we'll leave you to your own devices.

With winter coming on, US forces need to retrench and protect. We keep the strategy we have, at least until spring. By then we'll either have a partner or not. There is no hurry to send in troops, nor to pull them out.

Steady on, Mr. President.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 19, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

It's Monday

Posted by: edtroyhampton | October 19, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, this thing is shaping up as a real debate. Had a Democrat started a war and screwed it up as bad as the neocons there would have been a coup or Grassy Knoll. The unfortunate reality is IF THE CHINESE are LENDING us the MONEY. IT IS OVER !

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

While there are some obvious similarities between United States military intervention in Afghanistan and Vietnam, there are some important differences too. Militarily intervening in the Vietnamese civil war was a huge mistake and had no legitimate national interest involved. The intervention was based upon false premises, based on the ignorance of policy-makers.

The initial attacks upon Afghanistan were directly related to the national interest of this country. However, the intervention has evolved from the initial justifiable goal of eradicating or bringing to justice those who were involved in attacking the United States to intervening in another civil war, on behalf of a corrupt regime. Most American troops should be withdrawn, keeping about ten or twenty thousand advisers to train an Afghan army.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 19, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I am leaving this place because of "drindl" and "GoldAndTanzanite" (who admitted to being banned as "chrisfox8" yet still returns and posts crap all the time).

==

This is of course another lie, for JakeD to leave TheFix would be like a fish leaving water.

On the odd chance it's the truth grateful posters can paypal me their gratitude at com cast dot.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 19, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I am leaving this place because of "drindl" and "GoldAndTanzanite" (who admitted to being banned as "chrisfox8" yet still returns and posts crap all the time).

Posted by: JakeD | October 19, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"When people leave this place it's snowbama and JakeD they name as the reasons"

This is quite true, CC, if you are paying attention.

George Bush invaded Afghanistan -- and we all remember that. I think the polls reflect more on him than they do on Obama, whom everyone knows had two wars he didn't start dumped in his lap.

Posted by: drindl | October 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

But Afghanistan is having little to no impact on Obama's image with Americans. They don't see it as his war yet.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | October 19, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Also, we have to stop pretending there is only a war in Afghanistan, there is a war in Pakistan and Afghanistan and there are other regional players which matter, like in Vietnam. What if there were no Cambodia and Laos, no Russians, no Chinese?

Looking at the Afghan war as having mostly to do with pacifying poppy growers in Helmand is a recipe for American death. Lots of monied interests would like to keep the AfPak war going as long as we want to bleed there. They can make that happen and they will. Once Rumsfeld etal lost Mullah Omar and ObL over Tora Bora, it was over, or should I say, it was not going to be over.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 19, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The polls, of voters, but more so of Congressmen, are the death watch for our presence in Afghanistan. Even if Obama could get 100% consensus in the ranks of his own party to pursue victory in Afghanistan, the republicans insistence on being fundamentally opposed to anything Obama does would be fatal to any political solution to the Afghanistan question.

Still, the President can go before Congress and say that, having listened to his Generals he has been convinced that it is possible for the U. S. to successfully pursue stability operations in Afghanistan, but to do it he will need a significant increase in the strength of the Army, (my estimation is 54 combat brigades, plus a significant increase in the size of the support contingent, perhaps another 50 brigades of support troops) over the next three years AND a significant tax increase to pay for it. having given Congress the charges, he can wait for the vote.

My prediction is that not one Republican would vote for the troops and absolutely not one Republican would vote for the taxes.

At that point he would be well advised to bring the Army and the marines home.

The question in this is, given that no Republican would support the troop increases, and none would support the taxes, just who would be responsible for the obligatory military withdrawal?

Posted by: ceflynline | October 19, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

When people leave this place it's snowbama and JakeD they name as the reasons, not drindl and GoldAndTanzanite.

Stupid GOP trolls, never ever stop trying to shape perceptions through lying. Appears to be a Fixed Action Pattern with those guys.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 19, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I see the obnoxious lunatic is bent on driving off all the posters.

Good Luck CC.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Wrong comparison. Viet Nam ended up a thriving society with a better-educated populace than ours.

Afghanistan is still going to be a fundamentalism-addled kingdom of opium and sand until the world dies.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think we have the right guy in office to turn tail and run away.

Posted by: snowbama | October 19, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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