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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is "Finish the Job" the New "Peace With Honor"?

Obama's new Afghanistan strategy, to be announced formally next week, centers around the phrase "finish the job."

That is an interesting concept. Seems simlar to "peace with honor," a very Nixonian phrase signaling that we will claim one thing (the dreaded "V" word) while accepting something else (the dreaded "D" word).

Even the NY Times twists itself into knots figuring out how to signal to friend and foe that we are in it to win it, while simultaneously signaling that we are preparing a way to get out:
Over the next week, [Obama] will deliver multiple messages to multiple audiences: voters at home, allies, the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the extremists who are the enemy. And as Mr. Obama’s own aides concede, the messages directed at some may undercut the messages sent to others....

So it is no surprise that one of Mr. Obama’s senior aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, acknowledged Tuesday that the forthcoming speech was a “potential minefield.” One of his national security strategists put Mr. Obama’s challenge this way: The trick, he said, will be “signaling resolve to the allies while not signaling open-ended commitment to the American people.”
We'll see what Obama says and does, and it would be unfair to judge him based on leaks, even if it is clear that the leaks are authorized and part of the White House communications strategy.

One word I'll be waiting to hear is "Victory." I have a feeling I'll be disappointed.

Related Posts:
Why Isn't The Troops' Urgency Fierce Now?
Someone Tell The Dawdler-in-Chief This Is Not A Term Paper
A Clintonian Defense of Our Nixonian President

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  1. Just to set the record straight, the US did not lose the Vietnam War.

    In fact, by about 1971-2, after the replacement of Westmoreland by Abrams and Abrams' plans had taken root, it was all but won. When Congress voted to cut off funding support for South Vietnam, that's when the war was lost.

  2. Doesn't that statement inspire confidence??
    Saying one thing to the allies and saying another to the folks at home! Wow! Bring back GWB

  3. You remember that! My lottery number in the last one was 343.
    Nessus, the Armed Forces of The United States did not loose the war in Vietnam. I place the blame directly on that fat drunken, woman killer, ted kennedy.