Sunday, December 6, 2009

Joe Biden may be on to something

What is happening to Joe Biden's skepticism? From the Sunday NY Times

"The deep skepticism he expressed at that opening session was reinforced by Mr. Biden, who rushed back overnight from a California trip to participate. Just as he had done in the spring, Mr. Biden expressed opposition to an expansive strategy requiring a big troop influx. Instead, he put an alternative on the table — rather than focus on nation building and population protection, do more to disrupt the Taliban, improve the quality of the training of Afghan forces and expand reconciliation efforts to peel off some Taliban fighters.

Mr. Biden quickly became the most outspoken critic of the expected McChrystal troop request, arguing that Pakistan was the bigger priority, since that is where Al Qaeda is mainly based. “He was the bull in the china shop,” said one admiring administration official."

Will we look back at Biden's caution and be remorseful? I watched Nightline the other night and saw young American soldiers sit in tanks, a few explosions, and a profile on the medic. In Vietnam, the media was used for the first time to show the horrors of war. Viewers at the time saw limbs torn off, and the awful cruelty of war. What I saw the other night was mild, eery, and tragically dull. I understood there was a war going on, but it was not happening on screen. Why aren't the images that leave soldiers with severe PTSD being shown to the American viewer?

Again, why are we there? Frank Rich and Thomas Friedman don't know either. Do you?

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