Saturday, July 25, 2009

“Teachable Moment,” not Victory, America’s Goal in Afghanistan; Harvard Professor Gates Named Special Envoy to Help

Breaking from the long U.S. tradition of putting American lives in harm’s way during foreign wars in the name of freedom and liberty and security, President Barack Obama said yesterday the goal in Afghanistan is no longer victory:

It’s a teachable moment.

To help with these efforts, the president has named long-time friend Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates as special “politeness” envoy to Afghanistan.

"What I think we know, separate and apart from this war, is that there's a long history in the world of America sending troops to far-reaching places that disproportionately attempts to defend freedom and liberty for everyone else. That's just a fact.

“But I'm always worried about using the word 'victory,' because, you know, it invokes this notion of there being an actual point to us sending Americans to foreign lands to die, since we all know that I think freedom and liberty are a joke. We don’t play it that way anymore, yo," Obama told ABC News.

The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces are the president’s friends, he explained.

"We're not dealing with people I consider the enemy at this point. We're concerned with offending Al Qaeda and the Taliban, Al Qaeda's allies," he said. "So when you have my comrades, a worthy operation like Al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can be friends with the United States. That’s why Professor Gates is just the man to help bring all of my friends together."

Gates, well known in Cambridge as having a kind demeanor, especially when dealing with police, will help U.S. forces teach the Afghan people how to respectfully and politely accept Al Qaeda and the Taliban among them.

“Skip will do a great job, I think, in teaching the Afghan people how to be respectful in situations where remaining calm and showing politeness to armed authority figures and using a reasonable approach to resolving conflict can go a long way towards repairing the damage that has occurred in that country ever since we invaded,” the president said.

The United States and Afghanistan are struggling to shore up security, amid increasing violence. The Obama administration this year stepped up U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, only to realize the continued fighting flies in the face of the Obama Apology Tour core message that America has wronged every other country and race and creed in the world and just needs to lay down like beaten dogs and let everybody walk all over us.

"We are confident that if Skip is over there assisting the Afghan people and improving how they talk to other people, stabilizing their civility, and lending his expertise in negotiations between people of opposite color and belief systems that we will achieve a teachable moment the world can learn from, while also improving the ability of Al Qaeda to operate. And that is absolutely critical," Obama said.

Obama, meanwhile, was considering conscripting all members of the Fraternal Order of Police into the U.S. Army as punishment for their support of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain during last fall’s election.

“We think police officers, particularly those who are great friends with Skip in Cambridge, will be more than happy to protect him on this dangerous mission,” the president said.

A spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department refused to comment. Sources say Gates and the police department had recently become estranged because Gates had become accustomed to shouting “Don’t you know who I am?” at officers.

Gates could not be reached for comment. He was too busy training for the mission, particularly in learning how to jigger open locked doors without attracting attention while also taking a refresher sensitivity course called “No, Officer: I’m Not a Belligerent Ass.”


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