The Achilles Heel That Could Engulf Obama
Wednesday morning brought a flurry of discussion about Tuesday elections along with this statement from a newly re-elected politician. “Those who want to work with me are most welcome, regardless of whether they opposed me in the election or whether they supported me in the election.” And with those words, Hamid Karzai began his new term as Afghanistan’s corrupt president.
Politicians and pundits are fairly consumed this week about whether Tuesday election results in New Jersey and Virginia constitute a rebuttal of the Barack Obama administration or some other cosmic signal that predicts the November 2010 future for Democrats and Republicans.
My gut says Tuesday will not mean much to November 2010 elections. Republicans need real direction and impressive candidates. Democrats have their own family hassles to referee. The whole bunch acts like angry snakes. The election that matters most was thousands of miles away.
Karzai’s fraudulent re-election in Afghanistan is the Achilles Heel that could engulf Obama. There is nothing worse in governance than something that cannot be controlled. Afghanistan presents the White House with something it cannot control.
Nobody, not even the overpowering former Soviet military, has managed to conquer and hold Afghanistan which presents the administration with the prospect of its most feared image.
That would be body bags carrying home American men and women.
Americans will tolerate political policy noise – health care and climate change come to mind – but the nation is not anxious to tolerate endless body bags arriving from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq even as the White House appears reluctant or unable to make wartime decisions.
Last week the President flew to Dover, Delaware to show respect for 18 Americans whose remains were flown home. President Obama was seen silhouetted against the night time background. His salute honored Dale R. Griffin, an Army sergeant from Indiana, whose family permitted media coverage of the President standing on the tarmac for their son.
That painful moment suggests Obama and his White House managers might understand this single issue has the potential to unravel the presidency. The image required no words but said much.
This week’s newest official Department of Defense report states 5,266 Americans have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday.
More Americans have died this year than in the previous two years combined. There is a link to the Defense Department report at the bottom of this article. Sadly, the report updates often.
To get a real feel for the number 5,266, visit websites where you can read about Americans who died and look at their pictures. The Washington Post website “Faces of the Fallen” is particularly complete with name, age, hometown, military branch, where and how killed. See the link below.
Someone else will soon join Sergeant Dale R. Griffin on that list. And, how many more after that?
American families of those who have given their lives and those who still serve have every right to expect the President should stop analyzing and make his decision about sending more troops to the region. This issue has been on the Oval Office desk in various forms since the start of the Obama presidency.
That brings us back to Hamid Karzai. Obama is stuck with him. The White House preferred an honest election in Afghanistan but instead it got fraud. It took another stick in the eye when the runner-up bailed out of the run-off because he thinks Karzai would have stolen the run-off, too. The aborted run-off would have been the last chance to legitimize the Afghan leader’s regime.
Afghanistan could poison everything Obama is trying to accomplish.
He has to know that, right?
Defense Department Web Sites: www.defense.gov/RegisteredSites/RegisteredSites.aspx
Defense Department Official Casualties Site: www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf
The Washington Post: www.projects.washingtonpost.com/fallen/
Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Casualties: www.icasualties.org
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