by William Pfaff, Truth Dig:
Politics tends to wring all seriousness out of speech. Sometimes this is a demonstration of unforgivable ignorance. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan thinks that “Now is the time to lock in the success that is within reach” in Afghanistan. Ryan’s comment seems like it’s grasping to be completed by a call to get out of Afghanistan now. That would shake up the presidential campaign.
Washington undoubtedly includes thousands or tens of thousands, connected or not with the U.S. government, who believe “success” in Afghanistan is “within reach” because that is what the Obama administration, and before it, the G.W. Bush administration, has consistently told them. But we are now told that NATO instructors assigned to Afghan training units will be given “guardian angels,” their weapons always charged, to protect the teachers from their students. During the first eight months of 2012, more NATO soldiers have been killed by the Afghans they were instructing than during the entire period from 2007 to 2010. That doesn’t sound like success. The Taliban are even shooting up the airplanes at Kabul airport used by commanders from Washington.