Daily Archives: July 28, 2010

WikiLeaks and the Times give us real story on Afghanistan. And some parting New York thoughts

I finally had the time Tuesday to read the New York Times’ huge, and hugely important, series of stories about the thousands of leaked Afghanistan war documents that WikiLeaks discovered several weeks ago, and gave to several media outlets.

There was some pretty horrific stuff in there, about members of the Pakistan intelligence agencies supporting and encouraging the Taliban, all the while pretending to help the U.S., and about the Taliban possessing heat-seeking missiles and other high-tech weapons we weren’t aware they had.

But I was left with one overriding feeling after reading the series: Despair. Nine years in to this war, and I don’t really think we’re any closer to finishing the job, and ridding the area of terrorists, than we were on Sept. 12, 2001.

I’m sorry, I just don’t see a successful way out for America here. I have faith in President Obama, and General Petreus, to do as good a job as possible in turning around the country.

But it’s such a massive job, with so many competing elements that want us to fail, that I just don’t see it happening, ever.

And I wonder how many more American soldiers have to die before Obama and Co. realize that too.

Read those stories. Hear the voices of the soldiers and commanders in them. And then tell me how you can possibly feel optimistic.

**So unfortunately my vacation is over; had to head back to Florida Tuesday night, back to real life, high humidity, and what I’m sure is a stack of work emails you could choke a horse with.

But I had a wonderful two weeks in New York; a few parting thoughts that I wanted to share:

**I’ve never seen this in any other city: Monday afternoon, about 12:30 p.m., my wife, father-in law and I were walking in Manhattan. And there was a line at least 30 people deep, waiting to get into a restaurant that apparently had “great salad.”
There were 17 other eating options on that block alone. Yet these people stood in the 90-degree heat at lunchtime just to get in to this one restaurant. Nuts.

**Went to Bethesda Fountain (above) in Central Park Monday for the first time. About a million movies have been filmed there, if it looks familiar to you. Very cool place.

**I wish I saw the name of the business the following slogan was advertised, but we drove by it too fast. On the side of the truck it said “Trust God first. Then trust us for good service.” I love it.

**Always love listening to the hilarious and delusional hosts and callers on New York sports talk radio station WFAN. Spent a huge chunk of my childhood listening to the FAN; now I only hear it when I come home.

What kills me more than anything is that when they talk about baseball players and the trade deadline, which they did all this week, it’s just a given that other teams’ best players will or should eventually become Yankees or Mets stars. Joakim Soria, the Royals’ ace closer? He’s coming here. Dan Haren of the Diamondbacks? He’s here. And Roy Oswalt? Of course the Yanks will get him.

It’s kind of sickening how fans and the hosts think the rest of the league exists just to stock the Mets and Yankees.