By now, you’ve all seen President Obama’s speech, wherein he agreed to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan (though most definitely not a surge of the kind used in Iraq and suggested by many for quite some time now, we are assured). Now, Rachel Maddow often tries to walk a peculiar line in which she appears anti-war and drifting close to anti-military, yet somehow still pro-defense and pro “a stronger America.” Obama’s latest decision would appear to fall afoul of her anti-war stances. One might think she would take this time to examine her stance, and wonder if it isn’t misguided if even her hero Obama has decided not to end the war in Afghanistan. But no, Tuesday night she just used it as a cheap excuse to blame everything on former president George W. Bush
Really, after the last eight years, one would think that “this is all Bush’s fault” would have run out of any sort of usefulness and been retired as the sad old fallback cliche that it is. But alas, no such luck.
Maddow described Obama’s speech as one he had to give because “[he] is stuck explaining his choice among all the, frankly, pretty bad options available to fix Bush‘s supposedly ‘begun well’ war.”
That last quote was, of course, an attempt to turn a normal phrase into a bush malapropism–an activity which apparently is still great fun at leftist dinner parties even after all these years. Then Maddow had this to say:
“President Bush bragged in a lot of places about how awesome he thought things had gone in Afghanistan, even as both Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, not only survived, but survived unscathed and stayed in business as militant leaders, just now relocated eastward slightly. If Omar went from Kandahar to Quetta in Pakistan, that means he moved slightly less than the distance between Wichita and Topeka.”
Now, Rhodes Scholar that Maddow is, we’re sure she’s aware that, despite the difference, if Omar and Co. moved just that far, the geopolitical realities changed drastically. Instead of being in Afghanistan–a country the US was at war with, and where troops could operate freely–he was in Pakistan, a touchy ally who would not take kindly to US troops operating openly on their soil.
She then went on to rant about the “secret CIA drone war” taking place in Pakistan at the direction of the former president. She asked why we have to use the CIA, which she says,
“effectively functions as a fifth secret branch of the U.S. military now”
(And wow, that must be a big secret, if second-rate political talk show hosts know all about it). She wondered aloud why we couldn’t use the real Army in Pakistan. If she really doesn’t know the answer to that, we’re both shocked and appalled.
We’re left with two alternatives–either Maddow doesn’t understand how her arguments contradict themselves–”Don’t escalate the war! Oh, but send our troops into ‘friendly’ nations without authorization!”–or she really wishes for us to declare war on Pakistan in the name of finding the remnants of Al Qaeda hiding there. Although really, if it’s the latter, she’s only taking her lead from former statements by then-candidate Obama. The only thread of logic we can see running through these actions and statements is simple–if it lets them blame it all on Bush, and cover their actions with the “cleaning up Bush’s mistakes” argument, then it’s a good argument.
After so long, doesn’t that logic ring awfully hollow to the rest of the country?