Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reason #187: Thank You, Please Leave

Just a couple hours ago, President Obama arrived in Afghanistan after leaving the White House in secret last night. He's there to formalize with President Karzai the deal that will extend US aid to the country for a period of ten years beyond the official withdrawal of troops in 2014, and will conclude the trip with a ten-minute address to the nation (ours, I mean) this evening.

What's that? This just happens to be happening on the anniversary of Bin Laden's death? Why, what an interesting coincidence!

Anyway, while the deal is expected to include extensive security investments--estimates are in the area of $2 billion, or two Mars Rovers, per year--as well as funding for social and economic development, there are no actual dollar amounts attached to the plan, leading some critics to decry it as a symbolic gesture.

I, on the other land, want to laud it as a symbolic gesture. Afghanistan, it seems to me, is no more of a governable nation than is the rain forest, and Karzai is less a president than the region's premier bullshit artist. If a few billion dollars a year worth of empty gestures is the going rate for getting us as far the fuck away from there as possible, then hey, let 'er rip.

Also, can I just say that whomever the president is, it's always cool when they go somewhere in complete secrecy? They even had reporters with them, all of whom agreed not to tell anyone until they landed in Kabul, and it stuck. What did their families think?

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