The stunning rejection of Barack Obama's play for the Chicago Olympics had better teach him a good lesson about escalating in Afghanistan.
Ignoring fierce grassroots resistance in Chicago itself, the Obamas flew to Copenhagen with Mayor Richard Daley to "persuade" the International Olympic Committee to give the games to the Windy City.
Imagine yourself a member of the Olympic Committee as the almighty President of the United States and his entourage, with the world media in tow, swoops down from Olympus to tell you how to make your decision.
Are we surprised Chicago was summarily bounced?
Imagine yourself an Afghani villager as the almighty President of the United States shoots down from Olympus those murderous drones that kill your family and your neighbors, to be followed by heavily armed troops who---after eight years of brutal slaughter---now want to "help."
Obama's decision on Afghanistan will define the rest of his presidency---and the fate of our nation.
He can mimic Lyndon Johnson and senselessly squander American lives and treasure. He will then finish as a slumped, tragic failure (along with the rest of us).
Or he can stop, as few fallen empires have done, and seek a sane, sustainable path away from the madness that is conquest.
Congress is now turning health care reform into a shambles. It is preparing to use climate chaos as an excuse to fund nuclear power plants whose abject failure is epic.
On issue after issue, from the Cuban embargo to gay marriage to civil liberties and so much more, the Administration has caved to the right, as if the people who put them in office no longer exist.
But for the moment, all pales before Afghanistan. If Obama chooses to escalate, he will plunge us into an abyss from which there is no recovery or escape.
There are no excuses. Rarely in our history has there been a more transparent decision.
No matter what our critical issue, we are now compelled to throw all we have into preventing the national suicide that would be escalation in Afghanistan.
Team Obama needs---as the International Olympics Committee has just done---to be continually reminded that the rest of the world is not an American kick ball.
See you on the goal line.
HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES is at www.harveywasserman.com, as is SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH. This article was originally published at www.freepress.org.