Katrina vanden Heuvel, publicatrix of the Donk, uh, organ, The Nation, one of the sheepdog organizations that herds the rump of the party back toward the fold whenever those flanks start to look a bit . . . gibbous, well, here she is in the WaPo, speaking for herself:
I hope the ensuing discussion will lead President Obama to understand that the human and financial costs of continuing on this path far outstrip any conceivable security benefits. In fact, it is clear from the granular details in the war logs, and especially in the sections about collusion between Pakistan intelligence services and the Taliban, that any homeland security provided by the war is significantly undermined by the anger and resentment -- and armed resistance -- of our Central and South Asian hosts. And the evidence that U.S. troops have sanitized accounts of bloody scenes they've left in their wake underscores that our presence in Afghanistan is counterproductive.Go tell it on the mountain! This is a curious conceit, isn't it? The public revelation of information to which the administration has always been privy will spark a "discussion [that] will lead President Obama to understand . . ." Does it even make sense? I suppose it is, at least, a testament to the overinflated self-regard of the vanden Heuvels of the world, to suppose that if they jabber persistently enough, the emperor will come to know what he's always known. There actually seems to be broad confusion among the President's supporters on this fact--so resolutely have they self-identified with the man that they have half-accepted the crazy notion that the military and "intelligence community" kept this information classified . . . from him. The lesson; no, the message; no, um, the takeaway of the leaked documents is not: if only they knew how badly it's going, how hard it's going to be, then the administration would bring an end to the conflict. Rather, the takeaway; no, the message is that even knowing how badly the war goes, they persist. The lesson is not the Administration's blindness, but its dogged intransigence, its total commitment to the endeavor, regardless of the means or outcome, regardless of the possibility of reward, regardless of the cost, regardless of suffering, regardless of sense and duration. The United States has an institutional commitment to the occupation of Afghanistan. It can't be argued out of it.
When, by the way, was the last time your hosts engaged in armed resistance? I know that I make it a general rule not to break out the Stinger missiles at a dinner party nor to strap dynamite to my boyfriend and send him into the dining room when the guests have stayed past their espresso. Such would be . . . counterproductive!