Sunday, December 6, 2009

Of DINOs and WINOs

For the sake of the seven or eight people who were hoodwinked into taking President Obama's July 2011 withdrawal-from-Afghanistan date seriously, Think Progress has helpfully rounded up some of the subsequent confirmation that this will be a withdrawal in name only:

Gen. David Petraeus: “There’s no timeline, no ramp, nothing like that.” [Fox News Sunday]

National Security Adviser James Jones: “It is not a cliff. It is a glide slope. And so certainly, the President has also said we are not leaving Afghanistan.” [CNN State of the Union]

Defense Secretary Robert Gates: “Well, first of all, I don’t consider this an exit strategy. And I try to avoid using that term. I think this is a transition.” [ABC This Week]

... On Meet the Press, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “We’re not talking about an exit strategy or a drop dead deadline.” Gates added, “We will have a significant — we will have 100,000 forces — troops there. And they are not leaving — in July of 2011.”
The symmetries of DINOs (Democrats in name only) announcing WINOs (withdrawals in name only) are more than merely verbal: the latter is a perfect illustration of the former.

To those of us who still retain a sense of identity with the Democratic party -- we the current center-stage suckers of American politics -- Obama's announcement of a withdrawal timeline was one of a few tangibles by which we could favorably distinguish last week's speech from any Bush-era speech on Afghanistan or Iraq. The current administration of DINOs couldn't even be bothered to foster this delusion, small and qualified as it was, for a full week.


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