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December 13, 2009

Home Field Advantage

Gates Army Navy.jpg

“I think it’s a mistake to look at Afghanistan as sort of one eight-year war,” Mr. Gates responded in the same even tone he had used all week. “We had a war in 2001, 2002, which we essentially won. And the Taliban was kicked out of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda was kicked out of Afghanistan, many of them killed. And then things were very quiet in Afghanistan.

Without blaming President George W. Bush’s administration, which he once served, for sidelining the conflict in favor of Iraq, Mr. Gates said the second war in Afghanistan started in late 2005 and early 2006. “But the United States really has gotten its head into this conflict in Afghanistan, as far as I’m concerned, really only in the last year,” he said.

from: Defense Secretary’s Trip Encounters Snags in Two Theaters (NYT)

…God forbid I read this, and my son or daughter died in Afghanistan in one of those “off years.”

But then, Gates — finally home from a dismal “surge kick-off trip” to Afghanistan and Iraq — made up for it yesterday with a huge testosterone blast, conducting the coin toss before a crowd of 69,541 at, yep, Lincoln Financial Field in Philly at the annual Army-Navy game. Between the surge and the 110th annual pigskin rite — this adulatory orgy of battlefield and gridiron gladiators; this harmonic convergence of America’s two favorite past times, war and football — the Defense Secretary, feeding off the same good old adrenaline that fuels every warrior, looked drunk off the rush.

(photo: Tim Shaffer/Reuters)

  • thirdeye pushpin

    The high ceremony of the father death warrior culture and Gates looks like his jewels got polished…a stroke up on teabaggers!
    make love not war…get laid don’t sublimate into passive aggressive homoerotic weaponry and war games. He is a poster boy for Reich

  • pragmatic realist

    And the Iraq war was over as far as the plans went at “Mission Accomplished” in May 2003. They “won” their wars, defeated their enemies as promised. There was a plan for war, BUT NO PLAN FOR PEACE.
    Our leaders tell us that sometimes it is necessary that we finally, reluctantly, carefully must make war, but that is as far as they think.
    The truth is that in the end we must finally, carefully, and against the insistence of the generals, MAKE PEACE. But there is no provision for this necessity in their thinking.
    If we ask them about it they stand looking back at us like grinning idiots.

  • LEO A BOYLE III

    To me, Gates sure looks like the Pope.

  • jtfromBC

    As the Chief Executive Officer of The United States Department of War, Robert appears to be enjoying his work.

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