Sunday, August 30, 2009

The NYT May Be Turning Against the President on Afghanistan

Sometimes small changes herald big ones. The New York Times politely but clearly is exploring a stand of skepticism about the President's policies on Afghanistan. In Seven Days That Shook Afghanistan found in the widely-read News of the Week in Review section of the Sunday edition, the heavyweight journalist Dexter Filkins reports on military problems but especially highlights the apparently widespread voting fraud in the recent first round of the election for President. The article concludes by quoting the leading contender to President Karzai, former Foreign Minister (and ophthalmologist) Abdullah Abdullah:

“If people decide that we could not give them anything through the democratic process, then the insurgency will be strengthened,” Mr. Abdullah said. “And then the United States will need to bring more troops and more resources here — and for what?”

That’s a question that President Obama, General McChrystal and, ultimately, the American people, will have to decide.

There is daylight between the Times and Barack Obama on Afghanistan.

The Times appears to have carefully begun to favor the Viet Nam analogy. The operative terminology is the Times' choice to highlight Abdullah's question: "And for what?"

There is no rush to change asset allocations, but investing in a guns and butter economy is very different from investing in a butter-only one.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

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