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Friday, December 13, 2013

The forgotten war -- By John Hayward, RedState

On Wednesday, three of what the Wall Street Journal describes as “the Obama Administration’s top Afghanistan specialists” trudged into the House Foreign Affairs Committee chambers, where they were flummoxed by a question from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA).  What super-complicated query from the Congressman stumped these highly trained and knowledgeable representatives of the most wise and wonky Administration in history – better able to run every industry than any private citizen, as anyone who’s had contact with ObamaCare can testify?

Actually, there were two questions they couldn’t answer: how many American troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year, and how much are we spending there.

Bipartisan veins were set to throbbing by this buffoonish performance, as the Journal reports:
“We’re supposed to believe that you fellas have a plan that’s going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan?” Mr. Rohrabacher asked. “Holy cow!”
Mr. Rohrabacher’s incredulous questioning came during a two-hour hearing on U.S. policy in Afghanistan that revealed increasing congressional frustration with U.S. policy as the administration tries to rescue its plan to keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan through the end of this decade, if not beyond.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.) called the witnesses’ inability to rattle off the facts “a stunning development.”
“How can you come to a congressional oversight hearing on this subject and not know” the answers? He asked. “Like that wouldn’t be a question the tip of one’s tongue.”
The correct answers turn out to be 113 Americans killed so far this year, and $6.7 billion a month spent.  But really, why would any of the Obama Administration’s operatives bother to learn those facts, even if they’re supposedly “specialists” on A-stan policy?  The war has “fallen off the radar in Washington,” as the Journal puts it, “where battles over the budget, President Barack Obama’s health care program, and talks with Iran have eclipsed interest in America’s longest war as it winds to a close.”

Actually, I think Afghanistan slid off the radar a long time before those particular current events began cluttering the screen.  It stopped being interesting to the media the moment Barack Obama became responsible for it.  Almost 75 percent of U.S. casualties in that war have occurred on Obama’s watch, but there is absolutely no media effort to associate him with any of them.  There are no casualty counts, no special events in which reporters read off the names of the fallen.

To a large extent, the media simply took Obama’s word for it when he said the war was over.  He gave a speech, and that’s that.  It takes quite a bit to get the media to follow up on the actual aftermath of an Obama speech.

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