Support The Prez On This One

Robert Kagan makes a good case that Obama's Afghan surge takes more courage than Bush's Iraq surge.
what explains two presidents who could not be more different making the same lonely decision? I suspect that it is because they, and they alone, have to bear responsibility for losing. Congress is brilliant at never taking responsibility. Its members always voted for the war before they voted against it -- in Vietnam, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The foreign policy establishment and intellectual world are much the same. They fully supported intervention in Vietnam, mostly supported intervention in Iraq and fully supported the war in Afghanistan -- until the wars got hard, or embarrassing and difficult to defend in polite company. Then they bailed, desperately trying to cover their tracks along the way, and offering reassuring images of what losing would look like. Somehow they never mention the helicopters taking off from the roofs of abandoned American embassies; the rout of Afghans, Iraqis or Vietnamese who made the mistake of trusting America’s word; or the collapse of America’s reputation as a serious world power.

Since presidents and military commanders have to take responsibility for losing, they are less inclined than congressmen and pundits to paint losing in rosy hues.

So we can thank goodness that the buck really does stop somewhere, and that the people we elect to the presidency, whatever their failings, do not want to be the ones who presided over American defeat in battle.
Good point about the Congress and military industrial complex, too. If you want to get me going, tell me about "Bush's" war --when Congress could have ended it any time it chose, but backed him with its purse strings over and over again. These are our wars, and a majority of us citizens chose them through our elected officials from the instant the orders were given until this very day.