For detailed analyses on how limited the scope of the debate is surrounding troop increases/reductions, see Glenn Greenwald and Allison Kilkenny. And for a deconstruction of the "reasons" we are in Afghanistan now, and how we can change the dialogue surrounding the occupation, I recommend rethink Afghanistan, by Robert Greenwald (no relation to Glenn). That documentary can be viewed in full here, and for anybody interested, here is Jeremy Scahill's analysis of the film, as well as the thorough ass-handing he gives to the New York Times' film critic who claimed the movie didn't "have sympathy for the other side."
Glenn Greenwald notes that Harry Reid said congress will basically go along with whatever King Obama (Reid's words, basically) wants, as long as Congress gets to learn some sweet-ass super-secret information along the way, or afterwards, or if they get to dress up like generals. This remarkable admission prompted the ever-sarcastic Wonkette to be sincere for a moment:
"On another note — and one that actually attempts to be a political point (BOOOO) — can you believe that Harry Reid just said, in public, without any shame or whatever, that the Congressional leaders of both parties agreed to fully support whatever decision Obama makes about Afghanistan, whenever he makes it? Why do we even use taxpayer funds to support a legislative branch of the federal government, especially with foreign/military policy? Eh, doubling troops numbers and committing to a 30-year fully-resourced nation-building strategy vs. withdrawing most ground troops but retaining for a small force to kill Al Qaeda people when they find them — six in one, half a dozen in the other."
Though Obama never promised he would draw down the occupational forces in Afghanistan, news that he isn't even seriously considering that as an option--and Congress will just go along with whatever he says because what difference does it make--will likely further demoralize the Left, such as it is in this country (David Sirota doesn't think it exists).
Eight years of Afghanistan, and who knows how many more. A health care bill that the insurance companies will love. No substantial financial reforms. Continued indefinite detention at the president's will. Ugh. You can almost feel the progressive change in the air, can't you?