Saturday, December 20, 2008

Doubling down

In addition to Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates' suggestion that the president-elect would be fine with maintaining  40,000-plus troops in Iraq "for decades" (to say nothing of the private contractors), military commanders are now declaring that the erstwhile peace candidate will double the U.S. presence in that other quagmire, Afghanistan:
Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. seeks to send an additional 20,000 to 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first half of next year.

“Some 20,000 to 30,000 is the window of overall increase from where we are right now. I don’t have an exact number,” Mullen said at a press conference in Kabul today. “We’re looking to get them here in the spring, but certainly by the beginning of summer at the latest.”
With prominent gay marriage opponent -- and assassination proponent -- Rick Warren conducting the "invocation" at the president-elect's inauguration, one could be forgiven for thinking John McCain won last month's election. 

(The modern practice, beginning with FDR, of having religious leaders conduct an inaugural invocation is disturbing in of itself, at least to those who question the desirability of selling statism -- and the view of head-of-state as quasi-deity -- as the secular religion.)

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