On Keith Olbermann, Howard Fineman called the president’s speech “a minimalist defense of the Afghanistan strategy.” On MSNBC and CNN two communist leaders of the Black Caucus, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee signalled they will oppose the minimalist defense, Senator Russ Feingold carrying on the progressive tradition of sabotaging America’s defense policies has declared he will block funds for the war, and sober supporters of those policies on all cable channels pointed out that if you telegraph your throw in the towel date in advance (as the president did) you only encourage your enemies to wait you out. But the most telling revelation of all came from Fareed Zakaria who had met with the president in the company of a select few journalists earlier in the day. When the journalists queried Obama about the deadline he said that if you don’t set a deadline that’s the same as saying you will stay in Afghanistan forever. But if this is the way you think — the president obviously does — that means that you don’t think you can win. So Barack Obama who called Afghanistan the important war, the war we should be fighting, is already defeated in his own mind. That is a problem for all of us.