I may be wrong, but IMO the WikiLeaks constitute an attempt by administration-friendly insiders to make it easier for the president to break his campaign promises while blaming his predecessors for it. The idea is to lift a page from history -- The Pentagon Papers -- and lay the blame for Afghanistan at Bush. (And, of course, on an inherently evil militaristic America.) And as president, he's now looking at a war he says he wanted to finish, but no longer does.
But there's a new twist in the historical blame game. Obama does not want to be Nixon. After all, Nixon did everything he could to fight the release of the Pentagon Papers, because even though they largely implicated LBJ, Nixon did not seek a dishonorable exit from Vietnam. He genuinely wanted to prevent a Communist victory in South Vietnam, and had he remained in office, it is very doubtful that the North Vietnamese (who had been basically bombed into submission and knew Nixon would be right back with the B52s) would have crossed him. Obama not only cannot strike such a deal, he couldn't care less about the Afghan people. I suspect he just wants to pull out and blame Bush.
And a very direct view of the consequences of letting the Taliban take over again.
By RICHARD STENGEL, MANAGING EDITOR — Our cover image this week is powerful, shocking and disturbing. It is a portrait of Aisha, a shy 18-year-old Afghan woman who was sentenced by a Taliban commander to have her nose and ears cut off for fleeing her abusive in-laws. Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years. Her picture is accompanied by a powerful story by our own Aryn Baker on how Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban — and how they fear a Taliban revival.