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Liz Cheney must eat thumb tacks for breakfast because this morning she came out with both barrels blazing, as if the president had turned down the request of General McChrystal. She said the president replaced General McKiernan with General McChrstal and now he does not want to give them the additional troops. Joe Scarborough asked Liz Cheney “if your father was the Secretary of Defense and General McChrstal would have made his speech in defiance of the White House, what would he do?” Liz Cheney did not want to answer the hypothetical but she went on to say that George W. Bush always gave the General's what they wanted. She does have a short memory, because The last general who was in a position remotely similar to that of McChrystal was Eric Shinseki, who as the U.S. Army's chief of staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2003 that several hundred thousand troops would be needed for postwar Iraq, a figure at odds with that of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. General Shinseki took an early retirement after that. Then General Casey disapproved of additional troops for the so-call "Surge" was promptly replaced. It seems like anyone that had anything to do with the invasion of Iraq would just go away and hide; instead they are at the forefront criticizing and dispensing advice.

The proponents of an escalation in Afghanistan point to August of this year when the president said: "If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which Al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting this is a fundamental to the defense of our people." The Taliban has about 20,000 fighters in Afghanistan but they could overtake the weak 90,000 man Afghan army, were it not for the international forces. A few days ago General McChrystal sent his 65 page assessment to the Secretary of Defense and the president. At that point he was still within his duties in the chain of command but the general made his plea for more troops on “60 Minutes” and at a press conference in London. National Security Advisor General Jim Jones and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have made it clear that all talks will be done in private from now on.

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham and others on the right; are trying to rush the president to immediately send 40,000 troops to Afghanistan. They know if the president commits 40,000 more troops, we will be in there for at least a decade of nation building. Vietnam and Iraq all over again. There's no middle ground for the proponents of this war. According to many experts, it will take at least 400,000 Afghan army and police force combined, to achieve their goal, of preventing Al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a training ground again. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that we are not that much in a hurry because the earliest we could ever send that many troops would be around January of 2010. I glad the president is taking his time before making this important decision.

I have noticed that the Republicans have not mentioned a dollar figure. They are all in unison for an escalation in Afghanistan, regardless of what it does to the, budget, deficit and debt; not to mention the strain on the military personnel and their families.

* The last general who was in a position remotely similar to that of McChrystal was Eric Shinseki, who as the U.S. Army's chief of staff told the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2003 that several hundred thousand troops would be needed for postwar Iraq, a figure at odds with that of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed7/idUSN06420075

*Generous estimates no more than 20,000 Taliban fighters. October 12, 2009 Time Magazine

Liz Cheney quotes came from today’s “Morning Joe”