The death toll in Afghanistan has reached 2,000. What used to be a grim milestone under Bush is now just something that no one talks about because it would embarrass the man responsible for many of those deaths.
It was once President Barack Obama’s “war of necessity.” Now, it’s America’s forgotten war. The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. It’s not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress — even though more than 80,000 American troops are still fighting here and dying at a rate of one a day.
Who’s really ignoring the war? The media. And there’s a reason that the media is ignoring it. Obama has no further plan for Afghanistan beyond keeping American advisers there for another two years. His Afghanistan surge has failed and Afghan forces are openly murdering Americans.
Attacks by Afghan soldiers or police — or insurgents disguised in their uniforms — have killed 52 American and other NATO troops so far this year.
It was one of those insider attacks that raised the death toll to 2,000 dead. Bush would have been asked about that. Obama won’t be. Every death was a news story under Bush, under Obama it’s only a statistic.
Obama is untouchable and any of his policies are accordingly also beyond criticism. Whether it’s Egypt, Libya or Afghanistan, we have gone to a Soviet foreign policy model where everything our leaders do is right and the wrongs cannot be discussed at all.
The inability to criticize Obama extends to every area under his purview. Any criticism that does occur has to be couched in blaming Bush. And what happens if Obama gets a second term? Will his disasters eight years later still be blamed on Bush? And how many of those disasters will take place because the media refuses to do its job.
Reports on the failure of Obama’s surge are also few and far between… but still quite damning.
According to reports, various Taliban and related attacks against NATO powers were approximately 2,700 in August of 2009 when Obama made his contrary-to-campaign promised-move to step up the nation’s military assistance in Afghanistan. Three years later, in August of 2012, there were more attacks – nearly 3,000.
The Taliban have not been beaten, the transition is not working and Afghanistan has been lost. Meanwhile Obama is bringing in yet a fourth commander, but what would have been considered a sign of indecisiveness and chaos under Bush is mentioned without comment.
Although Allen is not being forced out, “the president wants somebody who can take a fresh look at the effort in Afghanistan and isn’t an architect of the current strategy,” said David Barno, a retired Army general who headed the war in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 and now is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.
How many more “fresh looks” are we going to get?