Friday, July 16, 2010

Top Obama Adviser Admits to the French that the July 2011 Withdrawal Date From Afghanistan Is Not to Be Taken Seriously, Being Purely Symbolic

In an interview with Le Monde's Sylvie Kauffmann and Gilles Paris during the National Security Advisor's brief stay in Paris, James Jones stated, rather unequivocally, that "the month of July 2011 will not signal the big departure of our forces" from Afghanistan (emphasis mine), adding, again rather unequivocally, that it is only a symbolic date (symbolic à la "positiveness", à la "new direction", à la "hope 'n' change", etc): "July 2011, that is a date to give us hope, that of being able to pull back some troops — the exact number is not predetermined — to show the Afghans as well as our own citizens, a new direction, a positive one, so that one day the responsibility for Afghanistan will revert to Afghan citizens."
Peut-on dire à la fois "nous allons gagner en Afghanistan" et "nous allons partir" ?

Vous avez oublié un mot : nous allons partir éventuellement. Ce qu'il faut bien comprendre, c'est que le mois de juillet 2011 ne marquera pas le grand départ de nos forces. C'est la période où nous pensons que nous pourrons transférer plus de responsabilités aux autorités afghanes. Il est raisonnable d'espérer qu'après dix ans de présence les Afghans puissent prendre en main leur destin. Il est impossible de se résigner à rester en Afghanistan une vingtaine d'années. Juillet 2011, ça nous donne un espoir, celui de pouvoir retirer quelques forces — le chiffre n'est pas prédéterminé —, pour montrer aux Afghans et à nos propres citoyens une nouvelle direction, positive, pour qu'un jour la responsabilité de l'Afghanistan revienne aux citoyens afghans.

Sylvie Kauffmann and Gilles Paris: Can one say both "We will win in Afghanistan" and "we will leave" at the same time?

James Jones: You forgot one word: we will leave eventually. What you need to understand is the month of July 2011 will not mark the great departure of our forces. This is the period when we believe we will be able to transfer more responsibility to Afghan authorities. It is reasonable to expect, after ten years of presence in the country, that Afghans can take control of their destiny. It is inconceivable to resign yourself to stay in Afghanistan for twenty years or so. July 2011, that is a date that gives us hope, that of withdrawing some forces — the exact figure is not predetermined — to show the Afghans and our own citizens a new direction, one of a positive kind, that one day the responsibility for Afghanistan will revert to Afghan citizens.

See also an interview with a French general: McChrystal Ripple: French General Also Is Summoned by Authorities to Cease Criticism of Obama's Strategy and of the "American" War

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