We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Here was the paradox: he knew from Vietnam that what the United States was doing in Afghanistan wouldn’t work—but he thought he could do it anyway. And there was something else. If he applied the real lesson of Vietnam—don’t—he would be out of a job. And then who would he be?
Over time, he learned to save Vietnam for his staff. One day, as he sat through another White House meeting on Afghanistan, listening to another optimistic military briefing, a quote surfaced from the deep past, and he scribbled it down on a scrap of paper and took it back to the office to show his young aides, who of course had no idea where it came from: “How can we lose when we’re so sincere?”