December 01, 2009

This I gotta see

(A little while before viewing my President's speech on Afghanistan.)

(Cue music from "Rocky.")
Rahm Emanuel Productions Presents: Surge II: Afghanistan - This Time It's Focused!

This had better be good, after all the promo and build-up. Barack has been pretty dull over the last few months, but then how fascinating can you be when you're talking about health care reform and budget deficits? B-o-o-o-ring. So finally the early winter blockbuster (beating the other studios to the punch during the holiday season) we've all been waiting for to break the monotony of endlessly mind-numbing reports on the GDP, and jobless rates and whether or not we'll have another stimulus, fercryinoutloud.

This is all the stimulus the American people need. War! (what is it good for - dadunhdaDUNH!)

Since the O-Man's capitulation to the guys wearing scrambled eggs on their shoulder boards was always a foregone conclusion - (I mean, c'mon: what was he gonna do? Make someone unhappy?) I only hope he doesn't spend too much time apologizing for agreeing to do what everyone told him to do during those "tense," "grueling," "exhaustive" meetings he's been holding with Biden, Gates, Hillary, Petraeus, McChrystal and even, during the last meeting, the budget director Orszag (always a bad sign when one of the suits from the studio shows up to tell you you're running over budget). Knowing the President as I don't, however, I know he's going to hem and haw a lot as he explains all the codicils and conditions attaching to this escalation.

To wit, it's not "open-ended." It's not a "blank check." There will be "benchmarks" to gauge our progress and the progress of the Afghan government in meeting our benchmarks. Also (and this is the bathetic rationale for choosing West Point for the speech, aside from the zero percent chance of hearing anyone yell out "You lie!" from the audience), he will tell us that the hardest thing a President can do is to order men into harm's way, especially when he has to do it in order to placate Right Wing critics who will otherwise criticize him for being too "soft." (Thus forcing his Right Wing critics to criticize him on one of the 732 other bases they use.) Actually, I think there could be a couple of things harder, such as emulating George Washington and actually putting yourself in harm's way, but that's another matter.

Maybe he'll actually use the phrase "off ramps." (What kind? Cloverleaf? Runaway truck?) I sure hope so, but maybe it's too colloquial. Mostly, "mission," "cost" (especially the lives of our brave young men and women) and some stuff about terrorist bases and the like. We can't allow Afghanistan ever again to be the place chosen by those who would do America harm to "plot and scheme" to attack us. Instead, we've forced Bin Laden and Co. to travel 50 yards east into Pakistan.

I'm starting to see the problem with the Sequel as mass entertainment to get our minds off the fact the country is swirling down the toilet bowl economically. Rahm, I'm sure (since he knows the Biz) also is aware of the problem with this "vehicle." The war's over eight years old, you know? It's like "Seinfeld" got in the last season or so: repetitive, contrived, kind of forced. The magic is gone. The cool part was late fall of 2001, when the Marines were overrunning Kandahar and vindicating the American people. Now it's the last month of 2009 and...the Marines are trying to overrun Kandahar and vindicate the American people.

How much boffo box office does this franchise still have? Does it got legs left at all? Oh well. If any front man can sell it, it's our Prez. Hey look - didn't we buy into him?

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