Letter: Sorry, Ol’ George looks as inept as ever
In his letter of November 22, Jim Barber states that “Ol’ George isn’t looking quite so inept now.” Really? In what regard? You certainly can’t be referring to the war in Afghanistan.
Let’s review the facts: Bush started the war in 2001 with a vow to capture or kill Bin Laden. He then let the war languish for 5 years after getting our troops mired in an unnecessary war in Iraq. Remember all the Bush administration claims that the Iraq war would be over in “a matter of weeks?” That we would not need the large number of troops the military asked for? And that the war would “pay for itself with Iraqi oil?”
Instead, Bush’s macho, go-it-alone policies allowed Iraq to implode into mass violence and a lengthy occupation. Estimates for the cost of the war range from $2 trillion to as high as $10 trillion once the medical and disability costs for our injured troops are included.
In the meantime, with too few troops and attention, the Taliban was able to regroup in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda leaders were allowed to escape to Pakistan where they now threaten that government. Combined with Afghan election fraud, Bush’s inattention has left President Obama with an enormous mess to clean up – much like the economy he inherited from Bush.
Many of our troops are already on their 4th or 5th deployment. They have been stretched to the breaking point. Increasing troops in Afghanistan will add to their stress. Following many years of mismanagement, the fact that President Obama is weighing all of the options before making a very difficult and informed decision is a breath of fresh air compared to Bush. And most of the world would agree.