Live Whiskey-Blogging the President's Latest Most Importantest Speech of the Millennium:
If it's time for another special primetime appearance by a Commander-in-Chief, it's time to break out the sippin' whiskey (the shots are for press conferences). The Rude Pundit was given a bottle of Tom Handy rye, and, sweet belchin' Jesus, he can tell already that this is gonna kick his ass like a 'roid-rager at the gym arguing over who's next on the lat machine.
But we're not here to just talk rye. Oh, no, we're awaitin' the confirmation word at bad-ass West Point from the man hisself that, for the next two years, we're upping the ante on Afghanistan. Yeah, yeah, he's doin' what he said he'd do during the campaign, but just because we told him he could have anal on his birthday doesn't mean we'll like it. (All quotes pretty much guaranteed to be right in spirit and wrong in wording.)
8:00: Was C-SPAN3 playing Stevie Wonder music as we wait?
8:01: Oh, the Rude Pundit can't wait until the cadets detain Obama...whoa, are they applauding? Is that how a military coup is supposed to start?
8:03: Fuck, he's really gonna bring out the 9/11. The Rude Pundit's heart just broke a little more. And Tom Handy burns so sweetly when you take a gulp.
8:05: Will he actually say that Bush and Cheney fucked it up?
8:06: Nope. "Decisions were made" that led to war in Iraq. He shall still not be named. But, apparently, in 2011, there better be a few hundred thousand more jobs available in the United States for the returning troops and laid-off Blackwater employees.
8:07: Wait, wait, Iraq is a success?
8:08: So, yeah, he increased troops, just like he fucking said he would.
8:09: "Disrupting, dismantling, and defeating" al-Qaeda and Taliban are the goals. How soon before right-wingers note that Obama pronounces "Taliban" like he's Harry Belafonte?
8:10: Next mention of 9/11. Addresses the cadets directly. Cadets look like they wish they could watch Charlie Brown Christmas before they get deployed.
8:11: "There has never been an option before me that called for" troop increase before 2010, he says, which seems like real inside baseball. He explains the long "review" he undertook, pretty much saying that sometimes grown-ups actually have to think about decisions rather than impulsively make them like monkeys wondering which gawking zoogoer deserves shit thrown at them.
8:12: There you go: 30,000 more troops for 18 months. But, finally, he says that the war in Iraq has made people angry about the Afghanistan war and that anger now has transferred over to Afghanistan because they have nothing to distract them.
8:13: "I see first hand the terrible wages of war." No, you see the vig on the loan we're making.
8:14: Clearly states that it is about Pakistan as much or more than Afghanistan. Which ought to make us wonder: why the fuck aren't we invading Pakistan? (No, we shouldn't invade Pakistan.)
8:15: "This is not just America's war." But it sure as fuck seems that way.
8:16: Fuck him for making this sound reasonable. Fuck him for making it seem like it'll work. Fuck him for making this whiskey be sucked down faster than it ought to be.
8:17: "We must come together to end this war," he says. But, of course, "taking into account conditions on the ground" - there's the out that we've heard before. Afghans will "ultimately be responsible for their own country." But when is "ultimately"? And if "conditions on the ground" suck balls, are we gonna stay there to suck 'em?
8:18: He actually thinks that we can end corruption in the Karzai government and poppy-farming in the countryside.
8:19: Speaks to Afghan people. Pashtun goat herders in their thatch lean-to's feel their ears burning.
8:20: "We're in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from spreading." We've heard this, we've heard this, we've heard this before; it's just that he can pronounce all the words correctly. And even if it's true, the fact that we have not held the Bush administration accountable for the Iraq war means that American believe there's no consequences for lying or incompetency. It basically comes down to "trust me." And, sorry, unless someone has to pay for breaking that trust, it's been used up.
8:22: Addresses Afghanistan as another Vietnam. More or less , his answer is "Don't fuck with me on history."
8:23: Says some say we should "go forward with troops we already have." Who is suggesting that? And, since he's being attacked on the left and right, Afghanistan may actually be an issue that unifies the country.
8:25: Agh, C-SPAN freezes. Chance for refill. Tom Handy has become a good friend in a short period of time.
8:26: Says he will address costs "openly and honestly." Says flat out that it will cost $30 billion this year.
8:27: "The nation that I'm most interested in building is our own." The lack of smirks and tics makes it easy to take him seriously.
8:28: "We can't capture or kill every violent extremist abroad." Now broadens the meaning of security to include nukes.
8:29: "We'll have to use diplomacy." And then talks about how much he's tried to reconnect - sorry, "surrender" - to the rest of the world.
8:30: Reiterates that he has banned torture and really, really wants to close Gitmo. Makes it about American moral authority.
8:31: "We have not always been thanked for these efforts..." in building global security and economy. "We have not sought world domination" although Goldman-Sachs has.
8:33: Okay, okay, we're all really fucking great, thanks. Bring it on home. (Oh, look, black cadets with glasses like Obama.)
8:34: Oh, shit, he's actually talking about how we were allegedly so unified just post-9/11. Look for Glenn Beck to sue right after eating his own face on the air.
8:35: That's good: "Right makes might."
And we're done.
Bottom line: he wants one last shot to make right what Bush fucked up. But that doesn't take into account that maybe it was never possible in the first place to get it right.