Strange moment on today's edition of Morning Joe, when the MJ gang received a delivery of cupcakes from Dick Cheney. Yes, this sounds like the opening scene of some psychosexual thriller movie, but stay with me. The cupcake delivery, facilitated apparently by Start-Up Nation author (for a detailed take on the book, Rachel Sklar has one on offer) and Cheney defender Dan Senor, was made after the Cheneys watched yesterday's show, and determined that Mika Brzezisnski seemed "a little cranky" after she launched into what Senor called "a tirade." All of this raises a question: why wasn't Starbucks smart enough to get a pastry-based non-competition agreement with MSNBC when they agreed to sponsor this show?
The "tirade" in question refers to a moment from yesterday's show, when Brzezinski criticized the former Vice President for his remarks that President Barack Obama was "dithering" on Afghanistan:
BRZEZINSKI: You really think is was a good idea for the former vice-president, who was one of the architects of the war we are still in, because they didn't finish it up correctly...you really think it was good of him to say the President is dithering, and you really think that our White House right now, the administration, shouldn't fire back at the former vice president for these ridiculous low blows?
This whole argument continued over Dan Senor's contention that nothing had "changed in the last two months," and that it was pointless to delay the decision to, as I often put it, "LOLSURGEOMGZ" by sending more troops to Afghanistan, and then sort out the actual strategy later. Mark Halperin got it right yesterday, and deserves credit for understanding that there's nothing to the ongoing strategic decision-making process that suggests the administration is going to "abandon" Afghanistan or "imperils the national security of the United States." Rather, the administration is attempting to decide on the way forward on strategy and tactics before anyone commits to a troop increase.
As I appear to be one of the few people in the media willing to point this out, I'll do so again: General Stanley McChrystal is getting precisely what he asked for from the administration. Allow me to quote from McChrystal's review:
[I]t must be made clear: new resources are not the crux. To succeed, ISAF [the NATO command in Afghanistan] requires a new approach -- with a significant magnitude of change -- in addition to a proper level of resourcing. ISAF must restore confidence in the near-term through renewed commitment, intellectual energy and visible progress.
So, when Dan Senor asks, "What's changed in the past two months?" the answer is: The general "on the ground" in Afghanistan asked for a "new approach -- with a significant magnitude of change."
At any rate, I'd be careful, eating those cupcakes.
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