"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, October 30, 2009

Shorter David Brooks
Posted by Jill | 5:07 AM
The military brass are worried that Barack Obama may not throw American kids into a meatgrinder indefinitely, the way that codpiece guy who made a thrill go up their leg did.

Can Barack Obama stick to a failed policy come hell or high water? That's what they want to know:
They are not worried about his policy choices. Their concerns are more fundamental. They are worried about his determination.

These people, who follow the war for a living, who spend their days in military circles both here and in Afghanistan, have no idea if President Obama is committed to this effort. They have no idea if he is willing to stick by his decisions, explain the war to the American people and persevere through good times and bad.

Their first concerns are about Obama the man. They know he is intellectually sophisticated. They know he is capable of processing complicated arguments and weighing nuanced evidence.

But they do not know if he possesses the trait that is more important than intellectual sophistication and, in fact, stands in tension with it. They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexity and confusion. They do not know if he possesses the obstinacy that guided Lincoln and Churchill, and which must guide all war presidents to some degree.

There's tenacity, and then there's "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." Clearly the military thinks that you should just keep digging indefinitely, until you hit a gas line and it blows you up.

We've been in Afghanistan eight years. Yes, a good chunk of that was a skeleton crew while George W. Bush was busy trying to resolve his daddy issues in Iraq. But Iraq is in no better shape:
Baghdad's top government security official has announced the arrest of close to a dozen officers and around 50 members of Iraq's security forces for alleged involvement or negligence in Sunday's suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital.

Iraqi TV reported that Major General Qasim Atta, acting as a military spokesman for the Iraqi capital, announced the arrests of 11 officers and 50 members of the military and police for alleged responsibility or negligence in Sunday's attacks in Baghdad.

About 155 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in the massive explosions that rocked the Iraqi capital, gutting two government ministries and blowing out windows across the entire center of the city.

The explosions, which killed dozens of children near the government-controlled Green Zone, provoked widespread outrage. Several opposition members of parliament called on top ministers to resign and called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to testify to parliament about security lapses.

General Atta, who had spoken only recently of the improving security situation in Iraq, announced the crackdown to journalists. He said that both the military commander and the police chief of Baghdad's Salhiya district, site of Sunday's explosions, were under arrest, pending investigation.

How much "tenacity" is required? How long should this country, and its president, cling to a failed policy, feeding more of an entire generation into a meatgrinder because even decades after Vietnam, even with "birthers" and gun nuts and teabaggers and others calling themselves patriots while talking about overthrowing the government by force, we have still learned nothing?

David Brooks may have that peculiar homoerotic fascination with a man in a uniform with a bunch of medals that most pundits seem to have, but that's no reason to regard a foolish consistency as some kind of virtue.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Brooks can have perpetual war when the cost of it goes on HIS PERSONAL CREDIT CARD.


Blogger D. said...
PurpleGirl: And, for those playing at home, that includes HIS PERSONAL BODY.

Thank you.