I listened to General Petraeus’s interview this morning on Meet the Press with the realization that he has lost it. Perhaps as the interview was taped last Friday, he had not yet taken in the fact that our essential ally against the Taliban — Pakistan has been totally devastated by the flooding there and is in no position to help us with anti Taliban efforts.

The American public is way ahead of our good general in its awareness that we are needlessly wasting American lives and monies while winning increasing hatred of us by the killing of civilians — more by the Taliban, but more resented with us — drones and all.

There is no way to win this game. It is Vietnam reiterated. We should make all the moves we can to get out with as little loss of lives as possible — ours and Afghans. These people are going to have to settle their own disputes. We cannot do it for them. I cringe at the treatment of women, but this is scarcely unique to the Taliban. Check out some of our other Muslim ‘allies’ on this score. Killing and abusing women is all too widespread and women are going to have to win their own battles — we can perhaps bring some here or send them to our allies to protect those who have been most outspoken. Most of our associates are far more open to refugees than we are at the moment.

Why Petraeus can’t sell it:

“As Gen. David Petraeus kicks off an extended media blitz intended to make Americans feel better about the war in Afghanistan — or at least give him some more time to fight it — he faces a foe more implacable than al Qaeda, or even the Taliban: Reality.

“That reality, increasingly obvious to national security experts and the general public alike, is that no amount of good intentions or firepower is going to advance our fundamental interests in Afghanistan — and that as much as Petraeus might be able to achieve in the next six months, or a year, little to none of it is sustainable and most of it is, even worse, counterproductive.”


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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