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06/24/2011 04:36 AM ID: 89861 Permalink   

Olbermann to Obama: "Don´t Press Your Luck" on Afghanistan, Libya


Keith Olbermann´s left-slanted political commentary show is back on the air, and back are the bombastic "Special Comment" segments. His Tuesday night comment was aimed at President Obama´s approach to the war in Afghanistan and Libya.

For Afghanistan, Olbermann advised Obama to take the advice given to President Johnson on Vietnam: "You must declare victory and get out." He pointed to polls in Afghanistan which indicate civilians think the U.S. is there to fight them.

"Mr. President, don´t press your luck," Olbermann said, warning that "every day we are still in Afghanistan and Iraq and now Libya" is another day Obama can be accused of participating in the military-industrial complex.

    WebReporter: Ben_Reilly Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  The US  
did not win the Vietnam war. I am amazed people believe otherwise.
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 04:17 PM     
  @ article  
"Keith Olbermann´s left-slanted blah blah blah blah"

Although I would agree, this is a news article and not an opinion piece. My 2 cents. -- MFan
  by: meshuggahfan   06/24/2011 04:36 PM     
I don´t think anything in the story implies that there are folks who believe we won the Vietnam war. The advice given to President Johnson was obviously just a recommendation in order to save face. It goes with being a leader. You know, you´re considered weak to admit defeat. But let´s face it, the elephant in the room? Everyone knows the truth. But how shameful to withdraw and say, "Hey, we lost that one." The military. Go figure. We lost in the same sense that the British lost the revolutionary war: It just wasn´t worth it in the end.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 04:39 PM     
That may be, beaders who don´t admit their mistakes are bound to lead you to failure.
And the "save face" stunt does leave people believing the lie.

Humans, in general, are very stupid.
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 04:48 PM     
  From The Nixon "White House Tapes"  
In a conversation between Kissinger and Nixon discussing the war (Police Action, it was never declared a war by congress) and the effect that a withdrawal of the military before the election would have compared to waiting until after the coming election for his second term.

"If we settle it, say, this October, by January ´74 no-one will give a damn," Mr Kissinger said.
  by: ichi     06/24/2011 05:55 PM     
We need to leave these wars and bring all our troops home. The US is circling the commode drain economically and military spending is the flush handle.
  by: Lurker     06/24/2011 06:11 PM     
No joke. With the economic crisis, the GOP solution is to cut all the little programs that actually help people and keep the wars raging on. Let´s start with our biggest expenditures -- which we still have over the strident objections of Democrats and because the last Republican administration had no plan to get us out of either war.
  by: Ben_Reilly     06/24/2011 06:38 PM     
I have found that 90% of the time "left-slanted" = truth and "right-slanted" = lies. It always seems to work out that way.
  by: Lurker     06/24/2011 06:39 PM     
  When the dust settles...  
Had we NOT gone over there terrorists would be left to refine their tactics, which accommodates more cunning hit-and-run attacks on industrialized countries all over the world.

The war fighting effort has allowed the US and others to refine their skills against guerrilla warfare. That is a big deal when you consider the American Revolution was won using the same principles.

I will agree the cost in money and blood was high. However, the war of the flea is finally coming to an end.
  by: Garbasche   06/24/2011 08:12 PM     
Yeah, probably true. But you´d have to be an idiot, in which case your opinions are probably recognized as idiotic by a large margin. And I say with a fair amount of confidence that anyone who says, "We won in Vietnam" have few people who value their thoughts by and large =P hah!
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 08:33 PM     
Do you consider Garsbache an idiot?

Based on her last post, he/she is basically making my point of people believing it was "worth it" just because the leaders won´t admit their mistake.

How is it acceptable that, out of cowardice, the goverment is allowed to create the unnecesary problem of splitting the population?
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 08:40 PM     
I haven´t been reading Garsbache´s post. But I can´t tell that they´re even referring to Vietnam, really.

We have to also remember the lessons of Vietnam though. It´s basically the war that allowed our nations leaders to realize that you don´t need to overpower a nation militarily to "defeat" it. Containment (Communism in this case) is possible without total military victory. I seem to remember that being the lesson that day anyway.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 08:51 PM     
I think I just envoked the spirit of one of the "believers" in my last post.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 08:56 PM     
My point right now is that, when Vietnam was over and the goverment said "We won", the most of the population did believe they won.
It was unitl years later, when noone really cared about it anymore, that more facts came out and it became too obvious that there was no victory there.

The same thing will happen here, the goverment will say "We won", most will believe it, and years later it´ll become obvious nothing was gained.
This period where people believe "we´ve won" only creates problems.
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 08:57 PM     
Well, back then I don´t believe they had the kind of media we have today. I think a huge chunk of the population right NOW (including the troops, just as they did in ´Nam) are in agreement that we should just come home. I think the bigger problem are that none of those types of thinkers are in the power positions. But, yeah, sure, inevitably there will be a positive point of view. Maybe even a, "We didn´t lose just because we withdrew" kind of attitude. It´s a pride thing. Pity it takes so long to get that far. If Vietnam is any indication of how many we´re willing to lose to hold on to some idea, we´re screwed for a while.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 09:11 PM     
I don´t disagree that there aren´t some positives to be mentioned though. It may not mean total victory, but I don´t think someone who believes in small victories should be chastised for seeing the positives in the bigger picture. At the end of this thing, the war is a loss. Too many died for too little. But there have been improvements to some lives along the way, no matter how small it may be viewed. In terms of Vietnam, I can´t say the same rings true.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 09:16 PM     
The problem with this "victories" is that they are not verifiable.

Saying "things will be better in the future" and "we slowed downed terrorism" is not something that can be confirmed.

It wasn´t too long ago that the US was suppliyng weapons to Afghanistan to defeat the Russians.
At the time, it was considered a victory, today, those same weapons are being used against the US.

Only time will tell.
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 09:24 PM     
Well, that´s true if the claims to victory are those things you´ve said. There are, however, specific claims that can be made. The thing is, you or I may not want to believe it is, in fact, a victory. Or, we just won´t hear about it at all. There are some things you have to "see for yourself" as they say. The media won´t fill you in on every little thing going on in the Middle East. Some things, you have to see. And even then, it may only stick with (or matter) to you and a few other guys with the same experience.
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 09:46 PM     
I should also add that your individual degree of ´nationalism´ weighs in on the ´victory´ definition. For me, personally, the U.S. is going to walk away from this thing with a black-eye. Alexander the Great called it, and it´s remained true. The Middle East, specifically Afghanistan, is an unconquerable land. And at best we´ll leave with nothing but subjective opinions of the good that was done there. However, what do we gain? A weak ally, a bunch of filled caskets, and an ever-growing deficit. The small victories, at that rate, don´t seem enough. And even though I can acknowledge such victories, I can´t exactly agree it´s worth it.

[ edited by Dayron ]
  by: Dayron   06/24/2011 09:59 PM     
I agree, well said.
  by: jhax   06/24/2011 10:06 PM     
Americans consider the ability to take care of your family a privilege. If you are taking good care of your family in the Middle East, you are either very, very lucky or part of a terrorist organization.

It was a very humbling experience to help these men and women obtain jobs and not have to worry about suicide bombings killing them, leaving their children to fend for themselves.

If that isn´t a victory, I don´t know what is. Now kindly stoofoo.
  by: Garbasche   06/24/2011 11:09 PM     
The primary objectives of the vietnam war were met. Just because the vietnamese lost 2-3 million people, it does not mean it is the US that lost. Just because some American people feel bad about the number of civilian casualties, it does not mean the US lost that war.

It still amazes me when some dude blows himself in a market in iraq and kill a bunch of women and children, some people will turn and say the "US is losing the war in iraq". really?
  by: kmazzawi     06/25/2011 01:44 AM     
  Of course  
the real problem is identifying what constitutes a victory and what constitutes a defeat.

In the old days, winning a war meant you owned that country now. Now that territory is returned to the defeated enemy, you have to go with different criteria.

It would be logical to say that whatever your objective was when you invaded another country, if you achieved that, you won. So the United States won in Iraq, because the stated objective was regime change and that was achieved. The reason we stuck around afterward was to achieve another stated goal, to contribute to the stabilization of Iraq, which we´re ostensibly doing now.

The problem with Afghanistan is that the objective was an aspiration rather than something achievable. We can´t end terrorism. We can minimize it, but anybody with any common sense can tell you the best way to do that is not conventional warfare.

I wish we could have adopted the Biden plan for Afghanistan, but that´s not really even talked about any more. People forget that Biden is a foreign policy expert and one of the first people Bush called the morning of the 9/11 attacks.

More on his plan:

"Among the alternatives being presented to Mr. Obama is Mr. Biden’s suggestion to revamp the strategy altogether. Instead of increasing troops, officials said, Mr. Biden proposed scaling back the overall American military presence. Rather than trying to protect the Afghan population from the Taliban, American forces would concentrate on strikes against Qaeda cells, primarily in Pakistan, using special forces, Predator missile attacks and other surgical tactics."
  by: Ben_Reilly     06/25/2011 02:03 AM     
What the hell are you talking about? The primary objective of the Vietnam War was to prevent South Vietnam to be invaded by communist North Vietnam.

The US military was there for more than 13 years and, in the end, North Vietnam still successfully invaded.

What "primary objective" was met there? The killing a thousands of civilians and soldiers and a big waste of money? Mission accomplished.

This is why this "save face bs" by politicians shouldn´t be allowed.
  by: jhax   06/25/2011 03:43 AM     
  The Justification For The Vietnam Police Action  
(Not a declared war) was the Gulf of Tonken Incident.

In 1967 Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had the Department of Defense prepare a study titled "United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967" later to be called the "Pentagon Papers". These enumerated the lies and deceit used to take us into Vietnam.
In essence the justification was blatant lies. The "Gulf of Tonken Incident" itself has been suspected by many to have been a "Black Flag" operation.

[ edited by ichi ]
  by: ichi     06/25/2011 04:34 AM     
"In essence the justification was blatant lies."

Same as the Iraq war.
  by: Lurker     06/25/2011 04:36 AM     
What war is coming to an end? And who are those freaks standing in front of every government building and air port, looking down on people´s shoes and key chains?

You buy into the crap from the people who orchestrated the wars, saying the world is a better place and we are safer - what about our lives and our futures, our wallets? Victory is not so simple.
  by: H. W. Hutchins   06/25/2011 10:44 AM     
  Oh, Keith Olbermann´s back, eh?  
I wonder how his website is doing?
  by: silencedmajority   06/26/2011 05:26 AM     
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