President Obama made his case to the nation Tuesday night on why he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, a decision that gives him full responsibility for an unpopular war that sunders his party.
"I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow," Obama said. "So no, I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak."
His prime-time address from West Point, a locale more reminiscent of his predecessor's war speeches than his own anti-war campaign, may prove a pivotal moment of his presidency.
Handed a conflict eight years in drift that the United States is losing, Obama promised Americans that he will start bringing troops home by July 2011, having built a reliable Afghan army while reassuring allies in Pakistan and elsewhere that the United States will not abandon Afghanistan to the Taliban.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
At long last, we have an official, comprehensive, no turning back, damn you bet Afghanistan strategy from our peace prize winning commander in chief: Obama Troop Build-Up Tears at democrats
For all of the talk of the "GOP civil war," you have to marvel at how open the more left-wing elements of the Democratic Party are dissenting - still the highest form of patriotism! - from Obama's position here. Obama's clearly holding his nose with this, but he has at least recognized that the "necessary" Afghan War that he campaigned on was probably the one thing he couldn't afford to throw under the bus. We've heard a lot of commentary about how "war ruins progressive presidents," as if the Great Society would have been even Greater but for Viet Nam. Actually, the ruin comes from progressives themselves who hate war, feel uncomfortable waging war, and frankly don't like the United States enough to support its military adventures. The same crowd that will vote for $787 billion stimulus bills, without reading the damn bill, loves to launch into its green eyeshade routine when presented with an annual bill for $30 billion to fight a war in the same territory where the 9/11 attacks were planned. It's an odd moment where the callow community organizer is looking to the war-mongering GOP for help, but that's the world we live in.
Obama may yet lose this thing. It's distressing to think our troops are going into a war zone when their commander in chief refuses to even use the word "victory" in his one major address on the subject. But, right now he's not fulfilling the Left's wish of a wholesale retreat from Afghanistan, which is a good thing. We have good commanders on the ground, and General Petraus in the theater. This can work. We should give the president the support he needs. Goodness knows his ideological allies will be of no help