WASHINGTON – A deeply skeptical Congress on Wednesday resigned itself to's escalation of the Afghanistan war, even as the president's chief military and diplomatic advisers sought to cool any expectations that the war would end in two years.
Leading Democrats said they had serious misgivings about the deployment of 30,000 more troops but would not try to block it — or the $30 billion it will cost. Republicans said they support the force increase even as they doubted Obama's July 2011 deadline to start bringing troops home.
The response was the best Obama could have hoped for from a Congress sharply divided on the war.
"It's not likely that there would be any circumstances where the president would lose this battle this year" with lawmakers, said Rep. John Murtha, a vocal war critic who oversees military spending.
I guess all those youthful Obama voters who believed that his speech in 2004 against the Iraq war meant that he wouldn't behave like all the other old Democratic hacks have just ben schooled. No biggie. They'll be too busy trying to scrape up the 35% tuition hikes to vote anyway.
As for the rest of us who heard all the talk (from all the serious candidates) about fighting The Good War and were just sort of hoping he'd think again once in office and recall the political fates of those who make the error of escalating a futile war to keep the military from rebelling or to head off their right flank, well here we are.
I am honestly not sure whether the Democrats can actually keep the congress at this point. And then the games will really begin.
Meanwhile, Gordon over at C&L reminds us of an anniversary:
Thirty years ago this December, the Soviet Union decided it was a good idea to take advantage of an unstable region by launching an invasion of Afghanistan. Convinced this would be easy and "what the Afghan people wanted", Moscow quickly moved to set up a Soviet backed regime and to fold Afghanistan into the Communist bloc. Or tried to anyway.
Dallas Townsend (CBS News): In recent days U.S. Intelligence has detected the influx of a battalion of Soviet troops, about five hundred men, into Afghanistan.”
We are, of course, exceptional and will succeed where every other empire has failed, so it's nothing to worry about. Carry on. Just thought it was an interesting little tid-bit.