When Will Today's Political Class Admit the U.S. Lost the Two Major Land Wars in Asia They Got Us Into?
On the 1st of Never. Here's the closest we're going to come to a victory parade. WaPo's Dana Milbank writes:
Gen. Harold Greene’s funeral is a fitting coda to a dozen years of war
Oh. A "fitting coda." Oddly, or not, although Cilizza mentions the 33-car press motorcade, he doesn't name any of the dignitaries who were in attendance; Greene was, like defeat is, an orphan.
Because of his high rank, there was great pageantry: the riderless horse with boots backward in the stirrups; the Army chief-of-staff presenting the flags; the pounding, 13-cannon salute.
The fanfare was a fitting coda to a dozen years of war. President George W. Bush often said there would be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. Now the wars are over, for better or worse – and the general’s burial was about as much ceremony as we’re going to get.
Indeed. And if we had won, there would be statesman rushing to claim credit. At the head of the victory parade. Seen any?
The Iraq war is history, at least for U.S. ground troops, and soon Afghanistan will be, too. Greene’s death captures well the ambiguous end:
What's "ambiguous" about it?
He was the No. 2 general in charge of training Afghan forces to take over after the Americans’ imminent departure, and he was killed — randomly, it seems — by one of the Afghans who was supposed to be on our side.
What's "random" about it?
It was a senseless closing act of an American pullout ordered somewhere between victory and defeat.
"Senseless" to whom? Not the
crazy brown person Afghani who gave his life in the assault, presumably.
We have the most ignorant political class in the history of the world.
NOTE And this:
... ordered somewhere between victory and defeat...
1. Note lack of agency. Who did the ordering? Obama, presumably, as Commander-in-Chief.
2. Note vague context. Is it time? Does "somewhere between victory and defeat" mean that had we stayed in, victory was achievable? (In other words, Obama jumped off the timeline that leads to inevitable American victory.) Is it outcome? Does "somewhere between victory and defeat" mean an outcome that isn't victory or defeat? (In other words, this was the best Obama's "surge" could do, even for a "smart war.")
Clue stick, Dana: It's defeat, and the political class knows it. Ground war, no victory parade, no politician claiming credit: That's defeat.