Look for "A Counter-insurgency War?"
This Week: Special Preview of 'Obama's War'
I'm writing to let you know about the film that FRONTLINE is
our season premiere. It's called "Obama's War" and will air October
But because of its extraordinary power and timeliness, we have decided
pre-release the first 24 minutes of it today on our web site.
The film is the latest from veteran producers Martin Smith and Marcela
Gaviria (Return of the Taliban, The War Briefing)--an intense, on-the-
view of the U.S. counter-insurgency struggle in Afghanistan, the
which is the subject of increasingly heated debate among the
"war council" this week.
The film begins with the harrowing account of a company of Marines
fire for several days this summer in Helmand province--a sequence that
with the wounding of a young Marine who dies as the members of his
rally around to save his life. It is extremely sensitive material,
critical to grounding the complicated policy debate in the tough
of a fight that's puzzling the most senior members of the military and
This may be one of the strongest pieces of war reportage FRONTLINE has
produced in more than twenty-five years on the air. It's equally
analysis of the administration's evolving counterinsurgency strategy,
Smith interviews many senior members of the Obama team, including
Stanley McChrystal, whose leaked request for more troops in
at the center of the current questions in Washington.
We hope you'll watch these first 24 minutes of "Obama's War" online
us know what you think.
We've had Obama's Stimulus Plan, Obama's Health Care Plan, Obama's Energy
Plan, Obama's group of community organizers, Obama's first picks for
Secretary of HHS and Treasury, Obama's Clunkers, and Obama's push for the
As long as it was Bush's war, success still was possible.
>> As long as it was Bush's war, success still was possible.
Seccess is when you have your aircraft carrier get as close to American as
it safely can; them have it wait while somebody dress you up in a piolet's
uniform and flies you to it. You strut around like a fat duck and have a big
sign say, "Mission Accoplished." Then go back to the safety of your office
and send the carrier off and start another war you can't finish.
Jerry 'n Vegas
- Don't hit me, Mr. Moderator... I'll go back on topic... I swear!
Really? How many more years do you figure it would have taken him to get
Bin Laden if not for the Presidential term limit? That was the reason for
going into Afghanistan, wasn't it, to get Bin Laden and Al Qaeda? Pity they
let him escape from Tora Bora like that, oh well. Or maybe that was all
part of the plan, or something.
Nope. From October 1, 2001 onward, capturing or killing OBL was never the
policy of the United States. The avowed policy of the U.S. was to prevent
another attack on the U.S. or U.S. interests abroad. To achieve this goal,
several strategies were employed to disrupt the terrorist training,
communication, financing, weapons acquisition, recruitment, and movement.
And kill as many as possible in the effort.
Invading Afghanistan was part of the plan to remove training grounds and
state-sponsorship. Capturing or killing OBL was NEVER given as a reason for
In the decade before 9-11, there was, on average, one or more attacks on
U.S. interests: The first WTC bombing, the USS Cole, bombs at U.S.
embassies, kidnapping of U.S. diplomats, and so on. In the eight years since
9-11 - and the implementation of the aforementioned strategies - not a
single civilian target of the U.S. has been messed with.
Don't get me wrong, if during the tactics to achieve these strategies, OBL
had been killed or captured, that would have been a plus, but it was never a
The Democrats have, since day one, have complained that the administration
never killed or captured OBL. I think many liberals are forever trapped in a
"law enforcement" mindset: take the perp into custody, have a trial, exhaust
the appeals, and commute the death sentence. Then, for the next thirty
years, until OBL dies of (presumably) old age, anguish over repeated demands
that he be released or the current crop of hostages will be killed.
Liberals are good at anguishing.
And just yesterday in Denmark, we got, "No We Can't!"
I'm not sure I know what "success" means any more. I used to think
it meant neutering AQ - which has happened to a significant degree.
That mission WAS largely accomplished but needs to be renewed
Then some State Department wonk convinced W that it also entailed
nation building - hard to do in a place that's essentially not had
any rule of law except at the point of a gun.
Now Dear Leader seems to be leaning toward a definition of "success"
that translates to mostly walking away (shocking, I know), or at the
very least, simply maintaining the status quo. Those of us who witnessed
the LBJ insanity during Vietnam can attest that such a policy does not
end well. Half a fight is worse than a real fight.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
and which "Bush's war" that you meant in your statement
"As long as it was Bush's war, success still was possible."
And please quantify what would be required to make it
"possible" - especially given the current economic conditions
and the international relationships that need some mending
as a result of the previous administrations policies during
their 8 years in power.
"Possible" is a wide open term. Theoretically, ANYTHING is
POSSIBLE. Perhaps providing some quantitative, objective
probabilities for what I believe is the method of achieving
the success you believe was possible. Please be as
specific as possible and include time lines, cost in dollars
and in lives - ours and "theirs" - and troop levels and
deployment. Might want to start with a clear statement
of the objectives and then perhaps the strategies for
attaining them. Oh - and if you have any historical examples
of the successful use of these strategies that would
be nice to include.
We live in a world more like chess than checkers. Most
of the rest of the world understands that, but some of
us are certain that all we need is a checkers master
as president - despite the fact that we just tried that
- and we've already lost two rooks and a bishop, along
with most of our pawns. There ain't no King ME! in the
game in which we are involved - heavily involved.
Think four or five steps ahead and remember - the
goal is to win - in the long run. And winning doesn't
mean I WON - and - YOU LOST! - the keystone of thinking
in terms of a Zero Sum Game.
The other thing is to remember that revenge can
take a while to attain. It took Mossad a LONG time
to find and kill the 1972 Munich Olympics Terrorists.
Didn't stop terrorism - but they did kill them all
- that were still alive to kill.
Wonder where we'd be today if Reagan hadn't Cut
and Run in Beirut after the bombing of the marine
barracks back in 1983
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