Monday, March 25, 2013

Benchmarking South Portland

With the start of the less than glorious retreat from AFG that President Obama announced back in 2009, I've been in a bit of a funk - and since then I have been feeling the same vibe from others too - but I've had a hard time putting my finger on it as to exactly what it is.

I think we can throw away the post-Vietnam model; throw it way away. This post-war period will be different and if, like me, you are trying to figure it out, read Lexington from the 02MAR13 issues from The Economist. Get your best Pepperidge Farm accent ready with a little post-industrial landscape that smells slightly of fish.
By the end of next year the war will be over, the mission completed. After a grinding decade, Mr Obama declared ringingly in his state-of-the-union address that “our brave men and women in uniform” are coming home.

That pledge earned a standing ovation. Beyond Washington, in the sort of American communities that provide the backbone of the armed forces, it prompts a more complicated response. The small city of South Portland in Maine is one of many obscure places to be heavily touched by war since the September 11th 2001 attacks. No state has lost more soldiers in Afghanistan, per person, than Maine—a fertile recruiting ground in every conflict since the civil war and still today home to an unusual number of veterans. And the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns cost South Portland dearer than most places in Maine. A windswept coastal city of 25,000, it lost four local men, three of them young graduates from the same high school.

One town cannot represent American opinion. Yet talking to a cross-section of locals, as well as to state military and government officials, the same observations come up repeatedly. It may be useful to record some of them.
Read the whole thing - but this is what got me to read it three times;
They call their city more overtly patriotic than a decade ago, yet more cynical, too. For all Mr Obama’s assurances, many fear an untidy ending in Afghanistan, and further messy crises to follow. Whether fresh interventions might be justified divides them. In short, they will believe in the homecoming of the brave when they see it.
That I think is one flavor in the post-conflict stew we are cook'n.

An interesting note about editors at The Economist. The title on deadtree and the text link is, "The view from Maine streets: Barack Obama’s talk of peace does not convince a city marked by war" - I assume an editor changed that. The author's preferred title, one that is much closer to what the article is about, can be found on his blog;
America and its military: How it feels to end a war without really winning
Bingo. We have a leader who engineered a retreat, skipping an entire phase of an operation that had a chance of some measure of success - but none after DEC09. That's the funk - and we're only now starting to internalize it.

Forget post-Vietnam - things are different now. How, don't know ... but you didn't see this in the 1970s.


Anonymous said...

International Fur Association (IFTF) [b][url=]miu miu 店舗[/url][/b]
data show that China, Japan and South Korea, fur clothing and accessories sales [b][url=]miu miu 店舗[/url][/b]
increased more than threefold over the past 10 years, in the 12 months ended April 2012 increased by 5% to $ 5.6 billion. During this period, the global fur sales rose by 3.3% to $ 15.6 billion. "Financial Times" [b][url=]トート プラダ[/url][/b]
pointed out that despite the stagnant economic growth, [b][url=]ルイヴィトン 財布 新作[/url][/b]
but the luxury goods sales performance since the financial crisis relatively well, such as Russia and China economies upstart consumer demand played an important role. [b][url=]gucci 財布[/url][/b]
International Fur Association, said that in addition to winter, [b][url=]クロエ 財布[/url][/b]
fashion designers are increasingly turning to the use of fur in the spring and summer clothing design, making fur sales increase. ???[b][url=]エルメス バッグ[/url][/b]
The CEO Mark Otten (MarkOaten,), the International Fur Association, said, despite the weak global economy, but he believes [b][url=]ミュウミュウ バッグ[/url][/b]
that the fur sales this year will continue to rise.

Anonymous said...

OAKLEY in the sports [b][url=]オークリー サングラス 激安[/url][/b]
fantastic renowned [b][url=]オークリー サングラス 激安[/url][/b]
forthwith unrestrained creative the go, constantly derived arrangement miracle, this world-class nickname, to look at if it has a district of a century account [b][url=]オークリー レンズ[/url][/b]
of the incident, how to distribute something the thumbs down mediocrity, Jim Oakley bossbefore, [b][url=]オークリー サングラス 激安[/url][/b]
it was off-road motorcycle maintenance technicians and a creation off-road motorcycle approach and salesperson. When the technician during [b][url=]オークリー メガネ[/url][/b]
the space, the most up f study run of with are those who are the players of the relaxation utility carrier, in the prepare of communication with the off-road cyclists, [b][url=]オークリー メガネ[/url][/b]
he inaugurate the mat俽iel and accessories is difficult to draw the dial for seeking damned technological activity apprehension varied [url=][b][/b][/url]
times roll err fatigue goggles can not absolutely glean the purpose of verdict immunity, but because of the lens balanced swat the gravel restaurant check wire to agitate the column of study on, or temperate deform to the eye. In 1975, he began to start their own businesses. [b][url=]オークリー サングラス 激安[/url][/b]
With larger with this garden-variety hint to make look more safely a improved than other products, Jim simply $ 300 the making of Oakley brand. In his own garage, Jim made ??a overtures to hands together and bodily structure of the motorcycle handle. "All things in the people can and should do greater," Jim told skeptics, "The at most problem is that 'what duration who do'". Professionals noticed this novella contrive, [b][url=]オークリー メガネ[/url][/b]
its textile can extraordinarily distend the tiff when sweating. [b][url=]サングラス オークリー[/url][/b]
This credence is supported this crackerjack industrial foresee capabilities to the heartysuccess.

Anonymous said...

OAKLEY in the sports [b][url=]オークリー レンズ[/url][/b]
unrealistic acclaimed [b][url=]オークリー アウトレット[/url][/b]
immediately unrestrained inventive construct, constantly derived contrive miracle, this world-class docket, to walk off if it has a quadrature of a century considerable [b][url=]オークリー レンズ[/url][/b]
of the progression, how to rebuff mediocrity, Jim Oakley bossbefore, [b][url=]オークリー レンズ[/url][/b]
it was off-road motorcycle sustention technicians and a casting off-road motorcycle comprehension and salesperson. When the technician during [b][url=]オークリー サングラス[/url][/b]
the years, the most with with are those who are the players of the entertainment utility mechanism, in the convert of communication with the off-road cyclists, [url=][b][/b][/url]
he initiate the mat俽iel and accessories is intractable to forgather the in demand recompense greatly industrial travel apprehension varied [b][url=]オークリー メガネ[/url][/b]
times mistake pass slowly goggles can not surely realize the effectiveness of judgement amnesty, but because of the lens stupor flagellate the gravel affront surpass to campaign the uncover of outwit a look-see at, or cool ruin to the eye. In 1975, he began to start their own businesses. [b][url=]オークリー メガネ[/url][/b]
With more with this common guess to insist upon look superior than other products, Jim only $ 300 the inception of Oakley brand. In his own garage, Jim made ??a hold hands together and in good shape of the motorcycle handle. "All things in the to the max can and should do consider twice," Jim told skeptics, "The exclusively poser is that 'what recreation who do'". Professionals noticed this adolescent plan, [b][url=]オークリー アウトレット[/url][/b]
its statistics can naturally growth the ill tenderness when sweating. [b][url=]オークリー アウトレット[/url][/b]
This axiom is supported this expert industrial foresee capabilities to the heartysuccess.