Extricate yourself from ‘the military Chinese finger puzzle left for you by Bush, Cheney,’ Olbermann urges president
With President Barack Obama’s announcement of a troop surge for Afghanistan imminent, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann issued a plea to the commander-in-chief: Make the change you promised during your campaign and pull US troops out of Afghanistan.
“Mr. President … you must declare victory, and get out,” Olbermann declared in a special comment on Countdown Monday night.
President Barack Obama is expected to announce a surge of 30,000 to 35,000 troops for the central Asian country during an address at West Point Military Academy on Tuesday. The move comes after Obama initially rejected the options for Afghanistan handed to him by his generals — something for which Olbermann lauded the president on Monday night.
“You were right, Mr. President, to slow the process down, once a series of ‘exit strategies’ were offered to you by men whose power and in some case livelihoods are predicated on making sure that all exit strategies everywhere, forever, don’t really result in any serviceman or woman actually exiting. These men are still in the belly of what President Eisenhower rightly christened the military industrial complex,” Olbermann said.
The host of MSNBC’s Countdown drew parallels between both the US’s military quagmire in Vietnam and the Soviet Union’s military failure in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Supporters of the troop surge, Olbermann said, “are suddenly sounding frighteningly similar to what the Soviet generals were telling the Soviet politicos in the 1980s about Afghanistan. ‘Sure, it’s not going well, sure, we need to get out, we all see that, but first let’s make sure its stabilized and then get out. The Afghans will be impressed by our commitment.'”
But the Afghans themselves see us as an occupying force, Olbermann noted. “Poll after poll, anecdote after anecdote of the reality of public opinion inside Afghanistan is that its residents believe we are fighting Afghanistan — that we, sir, have become an occupying force.”
Olbermann concluded: “We cannot afford this war. Nothing makes less sense to our economy than the extra cost of supply for 35,000 more troops. Nothing will do more to slow economic recovery … Nothing makes less sense for our status in the world than for us to re-up as occupiers of Afghanistan and for you to look like you were unable to extricate yourself from the military Chinese finger puzzle left for you by Bush and Cheney and the rest of Halliburton’s henchmen.”
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Nov. 30, 2009.