Selling war is no easy task, for any president. And Obama did as good a job selling war as any president could. Still, I’m afraid, for most Americans, it was “NO SALE.”

Yes, it’s good that the president wants to get in quickly and get out quickly — by July 2011. But it’s simply not realistic to believe that we can accomplish in 18 months what American troops have been unable to accomplish in the last eight and a half years.

Nor is it realistic to believe we can help build a strong new government, capable of providing its own security — in a country that has never before in history had a stable central government. Especially when it’s led today by Afghanistan’s leading criminal family, in whom the people of Afghanistan have zero confidence.

At one point, to support his escalation of the war, President Obama quoted President Eisenhower. Too bad he didn’t quote, instead, what Eisenhower said upon leaving the White House: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”

Forget nation-building in Afghanistan. We’ve got more important nation-building to do right here at home.

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