Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

AGHANISTAN GOING BADLY

Four months ago, on December 1, 2009, I wrote a blog post titled "Obama's War," in which I explained why I thought the Afghanistan policy he had announced at West Point was fatally flawed and doomed to failure. There was nothing remotely original in my remarks. Countless people, vastly more knowledgeable than I about that part of the world, had been saying the same thing for years.

Well, now we are beginning to see the truth of the criticisms. Kharzai is a disaster. He is turning into Obama's Nguyen Cao Ky. [Viet Nam War -- see Wikipedia if you are too young to remember]. The Taliban are regaining control of the territories our forces seized from them at such cost of American and Afghan life. We have almost completed the first Friedman Unit, and before too long, a second and a third will have gone by. That will bring us to the eighteen months that Obama claimed was the limit of his commitment. [For the uninitiate, a Friedman Unit is six months, so called because during the heyday of the Iraq War, which he supported, Thomas Friedman kept stating in his NY TIMES column that 'the next six months will tell whether we have been successful.']

Obama's recent trip to the area, complete with a rousing speech to the troops, has, I am afraid, set in concrete America's permanent commitment to an unsustainable and feckless enterprise. Does no one ever learn from experience?

4 comments:

NotHobbes said...

You once spoke of "boys chatting in corners, conspiring" or words to that effect.
I wonder who the boys deciding the fate of Afghanistan are and exactly what hold they have on the President

Robert Paul Wolff said...

The quote comes from Plato's GORGIAS, and is Callicles' scathing description of the life Socrates has chosen for himself. I very much fear that no one has any hold on Obama. This is what he said he would do, when he was campaigning. It is, I think, his deepest flaw.

NotHobbes said...

A millstone around his neck, and one which will increase in size as the years pass by

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