Barack Obama’s War In Afghanistan

President Obama gave a passionate, well crafted speech tonight, announcing 30,000 more troops going to Afghanistan in the next six months, with the beginning of withdrawal in 18 months, and the expectation that we would leave Afghanistan by 2012. He told us that the war was essential to overcome the threat of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and that the NATO partners would provide extra troops to supplement the American war effort. He also told the nation that we had to work on domestic problems at the same time as prosecuting the war, and that we had to manage the war expenses in a way that would avoid a negative effect on our government spending and deficit.

While Obama seemed committed to what he was saying, I came away with the feeling that what he wanted to accomplish was delusional. How can we know that the war will begin to end in 18 months; that we can control the war spending caused by this escalation; that we can pursue domestic reform AND the war in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression; that we can rely on NATO nations to give major support to the war effort; and that we can expect Afghanistan, with no history of democracy or stability, to be safe and secure enough that it can manage its own internal affairs without a long range commitment of men and treasure by the United States?

Obama means to do well, but he will find that his own party and progressives and liberals around the country will turn against him, and will likely make it impossible for him to accomplish the great goals he campaigned on. Meanwhile, the opposition will, on the surface, support his war measures, but continue to boycott and blockade any effort at making changes domestically.

Unfortunately, Barack Obama has made a pact with the Republican critics and the defense establishment and the corporations and has disappointed his loyal supporters, who had they known what would now happen, would not have come out in droves to support his candidacy. Some would say the President has made a pact with the “devil”, and that he will not reap any benefit, but only heartache by his decision to escalate in Afghanistan.

Just wait to the likely failure of his Afghanistan plans, and the possibility that sometime down the road he will realize the errors of his ways, and then the so called “supporters” will unleash their full fury at him, and he will no longer have his true supporters there to cover his back.

President Obama has made a grevious error, and we can only hope that somehow, in the long run, we who oppose what he is doing, will either see him accept responsibility and change policy, or that we will admit we were wrong, and that, miraculously, he was proven right!

2 comments on “Barack Obama’s War In Afghanistan

  1. CutnPaste December 2, 2009 7:50 am

    It is disappointing that Barack Obama missed this opportunity to lead this country in another direction. But progressivism moves on — with or without him. I am consoled by the words of my favorite historian:

    “History is full of instances where people, against enormous odds, have come together to struggle for liberty and justice, and have won — not often enough, of course, but enough to suggest how much more is possible. The essential ingredients of these struggles for justice are human beings who, if only for a moment, if only while beset with fears, step out of line and do something, however small. And even the smallest, most unheroic of acts adds to the store of kindling that may be ignited by some surprising circumstance into tumultuous change.”

    – Howard Zinn, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train

  2. CutnPaste December 3, 2009 6:38 pm

    After much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, I think I’ve finally come to terms with Barack Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. I still think he’s wrong, but prefer not to demonize him. I describe how I got there in this blog entry: “Don’t Demonize the Individual, Demand Systemic Change”: I haven’t created an entry in more than a year. I just use it when there is something I feel very strongly about and this was one of those occasions.

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