Fareed Zakaria, news reporter for CNN and editor-at-large of Time magazine, when assessing the Afghanistan situation back in 2009, came very close to forecasting what is now occurring. Just a couple of weeks ago, Obama announced the beginning of a troop draw down from Afghanistan. Was Zakaria advising the president to draw the troops down over a year and a half ago?
In a CNN interview in May 2011 with Eliot Spitzer, Zakaria explained he has been having "face-to-face meetings" with the president. "You know, it's usually organized by Tom Donilon, the national security adviser," he said.
From Washington Post December 2009 Zakaria wrote:
For his policy [committing to a troop surge in Afghanistan, then drawing them down] to succeed, Obama will need to maintain his focus come July 2011. Afghanistan will not be transformed by that date...The situation will still be somewhat unstable. But that should still be the moment to begin the transition to Afghan rule...by the end of 2011, the United States will have spent 10 years, thousands of lives and $2 trillion trying to create stable, democratic governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, two of the most difficult, divided countries in the world. It will be time to move on.
In referring to Obama's Afghanistan speech of June 22, 2011 Zakaria said Obama "made good on those ideas" and he "made the right call" on Afghanistan.
Maybe Zakaria should have also suggested to the president the consequences of announcing a draw down to our enemies. Apprising Iran of our intentions to remove our troops simply emboldened them to supply fresh arms support to insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, thus putting our troops in harm's way. And Iran's teaming up with our so-called allies in the region makes the U.S. goal of creating peace in the Middle East more elusive than ever. From Wall Street Journal:
In recent weeks, Iran's leadership invited the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to Tehran to discuss regional affairs. Senior Iranian officials made it clear during those meetings that they wanted an accelerated exit of American forces from the region.
For an in depth look at the background and philosophy of "one of the most influential commentators in the US today" and adviser to the president read this interview of Fareed Zakaria. Here are some key excerpts illustrating Zakaria's overreaching commentary on executive matters:
...can the president of the United States make the Palestinians agree on one common negotiating position and make Hamas and Fatah agree to come together? I do not think so. He also cannot convince the Israelis that there is a dire security threat to them, when they have concluded that there isn't one.
I do believe that there is another Iran. There is an Iran that wants to have a place as a proud nation in the world and does not want to fund militants all over the region. I think the people who want to create paranoia and tension are precisely those people who would say in such an atmosphere "we must strike." But I say that war is a very complicated business, as I hope Washington has learned from Afghanistan and Iraq.
The administration is quite sensible in terms of understanding the dangers of the US initiating an attack against Iran, which Al-Qaeda would portray as the third war against a Muslim country in one decade.
Obama has managed to stabilise [sic] the banking industry, housing market and auto industry. He also provided a stimulus package for the broader economy in a very quick and responsible way. But in a strange sense he is now being punished for bringing about success. The Republicans say, "what crisis? What are you talking about?" Once you have avoided a disaster, people can easily look back and say, "oh, maybe things weren't so bad."
By the way, all these changes are symbolised [sic] by the guy in the White House who does not look like them [theTeaParty] and who does not act like them. He is an Ivy League-educated African-American who is in a quite literal sense different from them. That explains some of the raw anger behind the partisanship in America right now.
It is interesting to notice that after the world's greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, you still do not have the rise of any kind of powerful socialist or left-wing movements in any part of the world.
Much of what Zakaria says here points to his interpretation of the president's moves, but he sounds like he has an insider's view. On the other hand, he makes nonsensical statements about world affairs, and tells us he thinks the stimulus package was a "success." Is this journalist and revisionist historian advising our president?
Read more Ann Kane at Potter Williams Report