Obama clinches Armando on Afghanistan

Armando “believes:”

This is the highlight of the speech. And it clinches my support for the President’s policy. Some believe that an effective strategy can be carried out without the military commitment. I do not share that view. Like the President, I belive the military component is critical. But it is important that the Obama Administration understand that it is not enough. And it is imperative that the PAKISTAN situation be addressed adequately. Indeed, the Afghanistan situation can never be successfully addressed without the adequate implementation of a Pakistan strategy that can work.

Nowhere does he address the basis for his beliefs about Pakistan.  Loose nukes?  One might guess, based on Armando’s innuendoes about the border region.  seriously, second-hand innuendoes are worse than first-hand innuendoes.

Your arguments pro-Obama-re-Afghanistan are so sloppy as to not elicit serious refutation.  Let me send your portrait to sadlyno.com, and maybe they could photoshop you into some appropriate period costume.

Your current argument is quite beneath you, I hope you realize.  Go Gators!

Oh, here’s his argument, such as it is:



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  1. Anyone else see it?

    Of course, Armando’s arguments about India, non-Pushtans, etc, were quite convincing, if elliptical in extremis, eh, wot?

    Don’t ferget: noun, verb, 9/11.  I hope no one disagrees on that!  Such an argument I would attribute to…

    Kaptain Kangeroo & Mr. Green Jeans?

    I remember a formidable Armando.

    • Edger on December 8, 2009 at 14:52

    his argument seems to basically boil down to “we have to be in Afghanistan or the terrists will get us” – iow, George Bush’s and Barack Obama’s argument.

    He also says:

    …so many have chosen to couch the Afghanistan question as one of American imperialism and overreach. Whatever happens going forward, I think it is irresponsible and wrong to argue the United States is there because it has imperial designs on Afghanistan.

    Conveniently (or purposely) forgetting the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, Which I find quite astounding coming from a student of International Relations, especially considering that there are only about 100 (if that) al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and that they are a stateless entity that can operate from any country.

    He continues with “The Taliban housed and aided Al Qaida. That is why the US went there.“, and conveniently (or purposely) forgetting that the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden and Bush rejected their offer in favor of continued bombing and an invasion.

  2. I have to say that talkleft piece was truly weak.

    I don’t really remember Armando much, but his essay is intellectually on par with something David Gregory might say, not exactly a bright light on anything.

    He mentions nothing, absolutely nothing about, the lives of  people who live in Afghanistan, what they want, what they want for their families and villages.

    Armando displays an imperialistic, “white man’s burden” attitude towards the humans who live in the country of Afghanistan, no different in any degree to Tom Friedman’s view of Afghanistan as being like a “special needs child”.

    • TMC on December 8, 2009 at 16:18

    Sending 30,000 more troops to “solve” the Afghanistan “problem” that even the generals have said it will take 500,000 or more to just stabilize the region, is a pathetic attempt of placating the war hawk neo-cons. Armando is an Obama supporter and has been since it came down to Obama and Hillary. Granted he has been critical of many of Obama’s policy and has acknowledged that the guy has short comings but he support of this troop increase has no basis in logic and doesn’t address the downside consequences.  

    • pfiore8 on December 8, 2009 at 17:56

    (death + destruction) seem to = lots and lots of money

    wanna solve terrorism? stop stealing the resources of others. or bombing the shit out of their countries yadda yadda yadda . . . something to consider at the very least.

    oh. and maybe stop this shit: 1 out of every 4 of us is (oh noes!) a muslim. now just what does that mean?


    always good to see you CF . . .

    • Xanthe on December 8, 2009 at 20:38

    on TL.  He has answered such diaries in the past.  He is a smart, saavy guy but I don’t consider him one of the hard progressive bloggers out there, smart though he is.  He is what he is.  Probably heard from others in his own community as well.  Let’s see if he amplifies —  

  3. Why dance around the word PAKISTAN? Indeed there is an abrupt transition in the speech at this time – a switch to — The TACTICS (NOT the STRATEGY)The Obama Administration Will Pursue.

    This is not strategy. This is tactics. Moreover, the President NEVER explains the “scope of our interests.” This is a rhetorical failure imo.

    He criticizes the President for a “rhetorical failure” of failing to adequately address the scope of the strategic plan for Pakistan, and then turns right around and endorses the plan anyway – all the while admitting he has absolutely no idea what it is.

    And it is imperative that the PAKISTAN situation be addressed adequately. Indeed, the Afghanistan situation can never be successfully addressed without the adequate implementation of a Pakistan strategy that can work.

    Armando blissfully ignores the obvious point that Obama’s failure to talk about a Pakistan strategy “that can work” may not simply be because he has poor speech writers, but because Obama has no workable Pakistan strategy for the speech writers to write about in the first place.

    But hey Armando, if you want to take Obama completely on faith and go around endorsing imaginary pony strategies that you can only hope exist, I guess that’s your rhetorical prerogative.

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