Go read the whole thing.
One of my oldest and, deservedly ten times over, most respected friends, a combat veteran, a journalist, a frontline refugee aid worker, a man of the cloth, a professor, major scholar, a mentor and example to generations, wrote me this email below. He offers insights based on real experience that is lacking in mere scribblers in media and blogs who haven't ever been on the front-lines of life, death, and hope and effort despite odds due to undefeatable faith.
My friends email, to all of you:
From a column by David Ignatius:
"When I asked Obama if the Taliban wouldn't simply wait us out, he
was dismissive: "This is an argument that I don't give a lot of
credence to, because if you follow the logic of this argument, then
you would never leave. Right? Essentially you'd be signing on to
have Afghanistan as a protectorate of the United States indefinitely."
Are Germany, Italy, South Korea, Philippines, and the horn of Africa protectorates of the United States? Maybe he thinks so. Maybe this explains his treatment of the Poles and the Czechs on missile defense.
As for never leaving: Well, we would "never leave" if (a) it is impossible to defeat the Taliban, or (b) we shouldn't even try to defeat them because we never should have been there in the first place, the Taliban will eventually be the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan, and this is just a face-saving way for us to leave.
I think Obama believes in and has opted for (b). It's David Ignatius, not Obama, who refers to the Taliban. Obama in his speech never mentioned the Taliban as the enemy we were fighting. Only Al Qaeda. In fact, he spoke of certain Taliban participating in the government. Remember a few months ago when the White House was leaking hints that we could live with the Taliban back in power? They have convinced themselves that there is a significant difference between the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and this whole strategy is designed not to turn it around, as the surge did in Iraq, but simply to get us out and shift the blame. And if the Taliban return? Who cares? Their problem. We can live with what the Iranian government does to its people, why not the Taliban?
The coup de grace:
Obama doesn't believe that any war can ever be legitimate. Read his speeches from Cairo, Normandy, or Berlin. He has talked about the progress of American blacks from slavery to his presidency, without ever mentioning the civil war. It just didn't happen. It was like the fall of the Berlin Wall. There was no military involved, no "cold war," people just "came together" and the wall fell.