Watch for when he notes with disgust how the accidental burning of a few Korans inspired days of riots but the apparently intentional killing of women and children elicits virtually nothing. I never thought I’d say it, but here we go: Second look at Geraldo?
To answer his question, though, we gain two things by staying put until 2014. One is two more years to turn the Afghan National Army into a force that’s ready and willing to fight to the death for a government that’s best known for profligate graft and vote-rigging. Two is the pride that comes with leaving on our own timetable instead of being chased out by a menagerie of corrupt bureaucrats, ANA saboteurs, and Taliban. Given the apparent hopelessness of the first purpose, I think the second is the prime motive at this point. But the more Karzai pulls inflammatory insanity like this, the more the public’s going to come around to Geraldo’s let-him-hang position:
“Yesterday, I said clearly that the Americans should leave our villages,” Karzai said. “This morning, Obama called regarding this issue. He asked, ‘Did you announce this’? I said, ‘Yes, I announced it.'”
Obama has said it appears that the massacre, in which nine children and three women were among the 16 killed, was the work of “a lone gunman.”
But the AP reported that Karzai, after meeting with relatives of some of the victims, pointed to one of the villagers and said: “In his family, in four rooms people were killed—children and women were killed—and then they were all brought together in one room and then set on fire. That, one man cannot do.”
Not only is he undermining NATO with public pandering about having them pull back, he’s trying to rile up the locals with conspiracy theories about how last weekend’s massacre must have involved more than one shooter. I get that he has to walk a line between the White House and the Afghan population but does he want new riots? Does he want Afghans to despise U.S. troops more than they already do, which will only make it harder to get the ANA in shape over the next two years?
Before you watch, go read this story quoting the lawyer for the suspect in the massacre as saying his client had already deployed abroad three times and thought he was done — before finding out he’d have to do a tour in Afghanistan. I don’t blame O for that (think of how many U.S. soldiers have done multiple tours with exemplary behavior in the field), but rest assured that a Republican president wouldn’t have been given the same leeway here by the media or the left if he had been the one to order a surge of 30,000 troops three years ago. Consider it a grim postscript to Politico’s “what if Bush had done it?” story from the other day.