Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frations And Percentages

It took ten years for us to get here, but it took only twelve minutes for our president to announce that we were in the process of turning this big boat of ours around. "We are a nation whose strength abroad has been anchored in opportunity for our citizens at home. Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America's greatest resource — our people. America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home," he said.
He said he wants to bring thirty-three thousand soldiers home by summertime next year. That leaves sixty-eight thousand more to find their way back to our shores by 2014. It's a proportion thing, I suppose, but the idea that one third of the troops in Afghanistan coming home should be a victory, but leaving the majority of them for another two years doesn't exactly fill my heart with glee. It is definitely a sharp contrast from troop surges and getting our noses into everybody else's business over there. The seeds of democracy have been sown, fertilized and started to put down roots. Or at least that's what we hope.
In the meantime, our debt has swelled up and the economy has slowed to a crawl. By contrast, it took only four years to get things settled between the North and South in our Great Civil War. Likewise it took the same amount of time to fight the War To End All Wars. Its sequel ran a couple years longer, it got over in less than ten years. We stuck around Vietnam longer than that, until we were asked to leave. By an overwhelming majority of the American people.
Fifty-six percent of the American people would like our troops out of Afghanistan as soon as possible. More than half of us want that. We're going to get one third of what we want. I suppose in the big book of political math, I guess that will have to do. For now.

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