Today: Rachel analyzes the new strategy in Afghanistan and your favorite Senators are still scaring old people.
Yes We Kandahar
Rachel led off with President Obama’s talk at West Point and his plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, which is somehow still not macho enough for stud horse Republicans like Dick Cheney. Cheney would fly over there and take out the Taliban and bin Laden all by himself if it weren’t for his darn trick knee and that speaking engagement he has later.
Richard Engel of NBC News watched Obama’s speech from Camp Eggers in Afghanistan and stayed up godawful late to talk to Rachel about the reaction of the troops and the locals.
Rachel also got a visit from journalist and author Ron Suskind, who chatted about how in addition to feeling incredibly anxious about Afghanistan, you should not forget to lose some sleep over Pakistan. And by mid-2010, you should escalate that to an occasional lunch-tossing.
Trouble Finding the Escalators
Obama would like some of our allies to send some troops to Afghanistan to help out with our demoralizing military situation played out on incredibly difficult terrain.
While there were a few takers along modest or “trainers but no combat troops” lines, other countries said What? They couldn’t hear and oh, dear they were just about to walk into that area where their phones always cut out, but Obama should maybe call later and just leave a message if they don’t pick up.
In his address, Obama said the escalation was of “vital national Interest” and, wow, can he sound hawky when he wants to.
I don’t like it when he switches over to being one of the jocks.
Rachel pointed out that Obama is essentially continuing the Bush Doctrine and P.S. do you really think we’re not secretly fighting a war in Pakistan and then reminded us that the CIA has turned into a renegade militaristic force and they’re so completely unsupervised that they’ve probably already got Manchurian Candidate triggers hidden in your dental fillings and good LORD, aren’t you sorry you even got out of bed this morning?
The TRMS Interview
Rachel welcomed John Nagl, the president of the Center for a New American Security. The two chatted about strategy and the likely course of events in Afghanistan, and if you think this segment is going to brighten your mood you really have not been paying attention.
Rachel started off with a look at the “interview” Dick Cheney did with Politico, during which he made broad, occasionally opaque, often laughably untrue statements, and the reporters would giggle and squeal and copy it down and occasionally nudge each other when Cheney said something particularly wise or dreamy.
Rachel had a suggestion or two for improving their journalistic skills. Like getting some.
Anyway, Cheney — in what I’m sure is a complete coincidence — gave his Obama-bashing interview immediately after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report that the Bush administration would have needed blindfolds and big floppy clown shoes to screw up Afghanistan any worse than they did.
Cheney is still muttering in his Scary Campfire Stories voice that Obama looks weak, this time for actually thinking about it before sending thousands of people off to face definite hardship and possible death, and, oh, yes, Cheney is still staying up long into the night worriedly stroking his white Persian cat over the fact that Obama bowed as a sign of respect to another world leader.
Cheney doesn’t like showing anything that could even remotely be construed as weakness or general not-being-a-complete-prickness, because like all bullies he is a coward who thinks that if he swaggers and shouts enough nobody will risk taking a swing at him.
But Cheney is, for all his hissing, a terrified, quivering jelly. This is the man who so thoroughly lost his mind and principles to fear that he blurred his house on Google Earth and supported warrantless wiretapping of American citizens who were not necessarily suspected of any wrongdoing.
(Personal to Mr. Cheney: I hope you enjoyed the extended e-mail volley my improv troupe had regarding festive holiday vomiting, you old rat.)
So as irritating as all the Dick-swinging is, I find it helps to remember that anyone’s five-year-old niece can send him skittering away to hide under the covers just by saying “boo” in the right tone of voice.
In more uplifting news, the Obama administration has dropped the HIV travel ban and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned that the world might be a little nicer to live in if people weren’t homophobic jerkballs.
Clinton said that the U.S. must stand against regressive legislation against and treatment of the LGBT community around the world.
Uganda and “Reverend” Rick Warren, she is looking at you.
Rachel, however, is looking at three members of the American “ex-gay” movement. You know, that totally unbiased group that has no prejudices whatsoever against the LGBT community?
The three went to Uganda to stir up some of that good old-fashioned homophobia and had success beyond their wildest, carefully suppressed dreams.
Rachel promised the full story tonight, so set your recording devices and make sure your rage valves are properly maintained.
“You’re going to die soon.” That’s the charming, totally rational argument Senator Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma) had for seniors during the health care reform debate.
Rachel noted that terrified senior Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) still had enough pep in him to do some vigorous lying and flip-flopping on the Senate floor.
For crying out loud, guys, if you’re going to resort to lying and histrionics, at least make them entertaining.
I will pledge a $25 campaign contribution to any Senator who puts ‘em to the wall and says real health care reform will cause bat attacks.