posted by KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL on 08/31/2009 @ 4:35pm
Senator Russ Feingold was way ahead of the Senate curve in insisting on a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and last week he got it right again in calling for a flexible timetable to bring US troops out of Afghanistan.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Feingold writes that "we must recognize that our troop presence contributes to resentment in some quarters and hinders our ability to achieve our broader national security goals." He voices particular concern about the war destabilizing Pakistan--"a witch's brew of threats to our national security that we cannot afford to further destabilize." He also points out that this "nation-building experiment...may distract us from combating al Qaeda and its affiliates, not just in Pakistan, but in Yemen, the Horn of Africa and other terrorist sanctuaries."
Feingold lays out a compelling case for an alternative course--"a civilian-led strategy discouraging any support for the Taliban by Pakistani security forces, and offer[ing] assistance to improve Afghanistan's economy while fighting corruption in its government. This should be coupled with targeted military operations and a diplomatic strategy that incorporates all the countries in the region."
Senator Feingold is expressing what many progressives now believe. Overall, 51 percent of Americans say the war is not worth fighting, including 7 in 10 Democrats. Yet too many top Democrats have become part of a poorly reasoned bipartisan consensus that threatens to entrap the US in another costly occupation. In contrast, progressives who want to see President Obama succeed see Afghanistan as a threat to his presidency-- especially to his domestic agenda, as resources, lives and political capital are lost in the "graveyard of Empires". (Much like LBJ's presidency was tarnished and defined by the Vietnam War.)
This is perhaps a watershed moment for progressives. Nearly 100 Representatives in the House are calling for an exit strategy, and now we have an ally in the Senate to rally around in demanding a sane timetable--one that is a much needed contrast to Af-Pak Special Representative Richard Holbrooke's inane description of success in Afghanistan as, "We'll know it when we see it."
Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
H. L. Mencken
"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
George Bernard Shaw
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
BEER: HELPING UGLY PEOPLE HAVE SEX SINCE 3000 B.C.!
W. C. Fields
Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser.
Professor Irwin Corey
To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group Salvation in a can!
One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:
"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members! In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine! That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers.