War and Peace in a Complicated World

obama child statue copyA child shall lead them

After President Obama made his ill-advised announcement that he will begin reversing the coming surge in Afghanistan just 18 months from now, I wrote that “he’ll have plenty of time between now and July 2011 to figure out how to explain, if necessary, that the withdrawal must be delayed.”

In Kabul today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates got an early start on walking back that commitment:

“While we hope to transfer power in July 2011, we will have a large number of forces here for some time beyond that,” Gates told the group at Kabul International Airport. “This is the first time in Afghan history when foreign forces are here to help, and we intend to be your partner for a long time.”

Meanwhile, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize nine days after announcing an escalation of what is now Mr. Obama’s War, the president made the best of a bizarre situation by acknowledging the obvious:

Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize — Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight.

And in Jakarta, Indonesians marked the occasion by unveiling a statue of the Obama Child, swaddled in T-shirt and shorts, embarking on his earthly ministry with the predestined Nobel medallion draped around his neck.

Photo: AFP/Getty