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About AJ DiCintio
A.J. DiCintio is a Featured Writer for The New Media Journal. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.
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AJ DiCintio

Obama’s Narrative & Afghanistan
December 4, 2009

Thomas Friedman (NY Times) recently concluded the following about the substance and irony of the "narrative” that motivated the act of terror committed by Nidal Malik Hasan:


Propagated by jihadist Web sites, mosque preachers, Arab intellectuals, satellite news stations and books — and tacitly endorsed by some Arab regimes — this narrative posits that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand "American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy” to keep Muslims down.


Yes, after two decades in which U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny — in Bosnia, Darfur, Kuwait, Somalia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, post-earthquake Pakistan, post-tsunami Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan — a narrative that says America is dedicated to keeping Muslims down is thriving.


"Kudos to Mr. Friedman for his honesty” you say. But you ask, "What do his observations have to do with Barack Obama and his Afghanistan policy?


Well, this:


Friedman prompts all of us to think that in a democracy each person is free to accept or reject a number of "narratives,” some sublime, some silly, some dangerous, and some downright evil.


And with that thought in mind, we can begin thinking about the narrative Obama has chosen to believe and how it has influenced his Afghanistan policy.


Of course, we will find it is the Liberal Narrative that gives rise to Obama’s national defense and foreign policy, the relevant portion of which we can explain Friedman style:


Propagated by liberal intellectuals; politicians; activist judges; university preachers; priests of the media, celebrity culture, entertainment, social service groups, and clergy; Web sites; and textbooks, the Liberal Narrative, which Obama long ago chose to accept, posits that the nation’s foreign policy and military engagements have served exclusively to enrich Ugly America by keeping the rest of the world down.


Continuing a la Friedman, we can say this about its stunning irony:


Yes, after a century in which the U.S. has made astonishing sacrifices in life, limb, suffering, and wealth to rescue or free from tyranny literally hundreds of millions of human beings across the planet, a narrative that depicts our country as a life, wealth, resource sucking, pollution belching sow thrives in liberal America.


Now, we may go on to explain how this narrative has affected Obama’s behavior with respect to foreign policy and the war in Afghanistan.


In general, we can say it has impelled a dangerously naïve, obsequiously bowing president to traipse about the world begging nations that wouldn’t part with a penny, much less suffer a scratch, to fight genocide and institutionalized rape in their own backyards to forgive an America that pre "I, Obama” had been horribly disfigured by boils that were inflamed by "arrogance” and which oozed a pus that reeked of being "dismissive,” even "derisive.”


With respect to the war in Afghanistan, we are able to conclude it caused Obama to deliver a policy speech rife with weakness and teeming with insulting contradictions.


Yes, we now see clearly that the Liberal Narrative won the day when Barack Obama rejected both the McChrystal/Petraeus plan and the strategy that calls for keeping a small force in Afghanistan, operating under the reality that "war is hell” and with a mandate to "kill the bad guys,” in favor of a hope-filled fantasy that tidily puts troops in and just as tidily pulls them out according to a pre-announced, perversely expedient, cruelly insulting timetable that conveniently "ends” the war before the Election of 2012.


And with the same clarity, we perceive that the Liberal Narrative won the day when a left-flank protecting Politician-in-Chief spoke of a war he calls "fundamental to the defense of our people” with a cowardly, uninspired speech that motivated Gabor Steingart (SPIEGEL ONLINE) to make this excellent observation:


One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea...He [Obama] spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics.


Mr. Steingart, Washington correspondent for Der Spiegel, was also admirably perceptive when he captured what many Americans have long understood and millions more are coming to understand about Obama — that he is a "political charmer” who, having nothing to say about "real life,” sets up shop in the place beloved by all political frauds, "an enormous tent called ‘Hope.’”


With that said, we feel justified in concluding our commentary about how Friedman’s notion about narratives helps every American keep a hard eye on the source of the president’s Afghanistan policy as well as everything else Barack Obama believes and does.


But not before we pause to pray that America, especially her brave soldiers, will avoid a loss in Afghanistan that is astoundingly tragic — because of policies ordered by a consummate con artist/charmer who is completely and devoutly devoted to the dangerous, discredited, decrepit nonsense that constitutes the Liberal Narrative.

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