The Washington Post editorial board is very, very upset that we are not going to spend the rest of eternity hemorraghing blood and money in Afghanistan, and had an impressively bad piece lamenting that we may not remain in a permanent war:
YOU CAN’T fault President Obama for inconsistency. After winning election in 2008, he reduced the U.S. military presence in Iraq to zero. After helping to topple Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi in 2011, he made sure no U.S. forces would remain. He has steadfastly stayed aloof, except rhetorically, from the conflict in Syria. And on Tuesday he promised to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.
The Afghan decision would be understandable had Mr. Obama’s previous choices proved out. But what’s remarkable is that the results also have been consistent — consistently bad. Iraq has slid into something close to civil war, with al-Qaeda retaking territory that U.S. Marines once died to liberate. In Syria, al-Qaeda has carved out safe zones that senior U.S. officials warn will be used as staging grounds for attacks against Europe and the United States. Libya is falling apart, with Islamists, secularists, military and other factions battling for control.
It goes on like that, but it isn’t even factually accurate in the first damned paragraph, as Jeffrey Goldberg (no dove) will attest:
During the course of our discussion, I asked him about the famous “red line” crisis – Obama’s last-minute decision to abort a missile strike and instead negotiate the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile – that colors so much of foreign-policy commentary today. Netanyahu issued what was for him a full-throated endorsement of an Obama initiative, calling it “the one ray of light in a very dark region.”
“It’s not complete yet,” he went on. “We are concerned that they may not have declared all of their capacity. But what has been removed has been removed. We’re talking about 90 percent. We appreciate the effort that has been made and the results that have been achieved.”
What matters to the odious Fred Hiatt and company is not the results, but that they were attained without great loss of life and limb- they are cut from the same cloth as the yellow press of yore. So, when Obama gives a speech at West Point that doesn’t begin or end with “LEMME SEE YOUR WAR FACE,” the Post editorial board is so distressed they issue another “OBAMA IS A PUSSY” opinion piece hours after the President finished speaking. Seriously:
At West Point, President Obama binds America’s hands on foreign affairs
By Editorial Board, Wednesday, May 28, 3:21 PM
PRESIDENT OBAMA has retrenched U.S. global engagement in a way that has shaken the confidence of many U.S. allies and encouraged some adversaries. That conclusion can be heard not just from Republican hawks but also from senior officials from Singapore to France and, more quietly, from some leading congressional Democrats. As he has so often in his political career, Mr. Obama has elected to respond to the critical consensus not by adjusting policy but rather by delivering a big speech.
In his address Wednesday to the graduating cadets at West Point , Mr. Obama marshaled a virtual corps of straw men, dismissing those who “say that every problem has a military solution,” who “think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak,” who favor putting “American troops into the middle of [Syria’s] increasingly sectarian civil war,” who propose “invading every country that harbors terrorist networks” and who think that “working through international institutions . . . or respecting international law is a sign of weakness.”
Few, if any, of those who question the president’s record hold such views. Instead, they are asking why an arbitrary date should be set for withdrawing all forces from Afghanistan, especially given the baleful results of the “zero option” in Iraq. They are suggesting that military steps short of the deployment of U.S. ground troops could stop the murderous air and chemical attacks by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. They are arguing that the United States should not be constrained by Cyprus or Bulgaria in responding to Russia’s invasion and annexation of parts of Ukraine.
I know they are dim bulbs, but how did they manage to quote him and then in the very next paragraph prove him right. “Arbitrary date” is code for we need to keep troops there forever, because in Fred Hiatt’s fever dreams, there will always be a threat in Afghanistan. “Military steps short of deployment” means raining hell down on the population in the hopes that we hit the right guys, and then when we don’t and the air war in Syria does not stop the civil war, then Fred Hiatt and company will be back demanding we send in troops. I honestly have no idea how how Cyprus or Bulgaria are constraining us, especially since NO ONE anywhere thought there would be a military response in Ukraine (which probably what upset them), and because the sanctions have worked and Putin is basically giving up the ballgame.
Have I mentioned I hate Fred Hiatt? And fwiw, the WaPO editorial board over the last two decades has done more damage to this nation than 1000 Edward Snowdens.
*** Update ***
Just go read Pierce.