The Audacity of Hope: I do not know as of 6:00 p.m. December 1, 2009 what Barack Obama is planning for Afghanistan. All signs point to a 35,000 or so troop escalation supposedly with caveats and boundaries for exit. I am worried. The President courts disaster and he courts a schism within his own party. Is he strong and right enough to hold us together? I do not know. Many Americans stand to die and many Afghans among the innocent will die as well. That is a given. In war many things can go wrong and often do. It is delusional to think otherwise.
There have been some decisions the President has made I clearly do not understand. This is one of them as it seems to go against what he stood for in the Senate. I am hoping he knows what he is doing and trusting he does. This one may be the most important decision of his presidency and, in fact, a second term could rise or fall on the success of it.
If one uses the yardstick of history in this particular country, Afghanistan, is probably the worst place besides Mt. Everest or Russia in winter to wage war. The conditions are brutal and our forces are stretched thin. Afghanistan has been the graveyard of other powers at other times. The stakes are high; as high as they have ever been. The die is cast. Our way of life, our economic life, and even our physical security depend on the success of this very risky venture. Quagmire is not an option.
Beyond knowing that there is not much I can do except harbor the audacity to hope that in the end it will have been worth it and those who live now, if they die, will not have died in vain.