David Brooks' column in Friday's NY Times is almost laughable. But actually it is sad. It is entitled "The Tenacity Question" and in it Brooks argues that the question about Obama is whether he has the "tenacity" to stick it out in Afghanistan. He has consulted "military experts," unnamed but certainly not including an expert like Andrew Bacevich, and they have wondered "if [Obama] is willing to stick by his decisions, explain the war to the American people, and persevere through good times and bad." He continues: "They do not know if he possesses tenacity, the ability to fixate on a simple conviction and grip it, viscerally and unflinchingly, through complexion and confusion." He writes that there is "a determination vacuum," and because of this Afghan villagers are "hedging their bets" and not informing on the Taliban.
Wow, what tripe! And this stuff gets published in the NY Times? I guess it does. Afghan villagers are taking their bearings from Obama and his determination? The president of the United States is so powerful in this view of things that he can determine how Afghan villagers will deal with the Taliban, and just by showing determination! It is hard to know how to respond to such an asinine argument or whether one should even respond at all. Why give credence to foolishness? I guess by the same logic if American presidents had shown more determination in Viet Nam, we would have won that war! Forget the history of the Vietnamese people, a history replete with examples of them resisting the behemoth to their north, the Chinese, forget that they had been fighting the French for decades. Hey, just show some determination and we will win!!
Tripe like this is almost embarrassing. Brooks usually does better.