Friday, October 16, 2015


From Michiko Kakutani's (10/16/15) NY Times review of Bob Woodward's "The Last of the President’s Men":

Mr. Woodward writes that on a secret document dated Jan. 3, 1972 (the day after Nixon gave an interview to Dan Rather, declaring that the bombing of North Vietnam had been “very, very effective”), the president scrawled a note to Mr. Kissinger: “K. We have had 10 years of total control of the air in Laos and V.Nam. The result=Zilch. There is something wrong with the strategy or the Air Force.”

Obama is no Nixon, mostly, yet he plays golf with GW Bush, who played golf with Dick Cheney, who played golf with Kissinger (assuming "K." played) who played golf with Nixon, so how many partners, strokes, links is Obama away from Nixon?

I ask because Obama's newly announced policy re Afghanistan strikes me as positively Nixonian. Why keep troops there? Horrible as the Taliban is, Obama knows 5,500 boots on the ground can't matter, can't change things, not after over a decade and up to 100,000 America troops didn't.

So Obama says to Joe Biden, or Michelle, or somebody: Nothing we can do about the Taliban that we shouldn't have done already instead of invading Iraq. Truth is, I just don't want to be known as the president who lost Afghanistan.

Nixon would surely understand.

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