The opening statements where he lectures us on 9/11 and who Al Qaeda are make me want to slap him. He gives us this history lesson like we haven’t been living it for more than 10 years? Get real. He also doesn’t really connect the dots in this speech with regards to how all these ‘Kinetic Military Actions’ are related to fighting the war on terror. Perhaps that’s because he has no real strategy. His terminology that he uses is also rather annoying and I am sure no one in his administration will be allowed to say ‘troop withdrawal’ anymore – it will have to be a ‘troop drawdown‘.
This is my favorite ‘I-can’t-believe-he-just-said-that’ line: “America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home,” Obama declared in his prime-time announcement from the White House. Gee, that would be nice seeing as we’re 3/4 of the way into your term, but we aren’t an Islamic country are you sure we’re worth your time?
He campaigned on ‘bringing the troops home’. The Pentagon and the Generals don’t want him to yank people out too fast there and I am sure they have much better information than I do – however, I hate to say it, but Afghanistan is a lost cause and we need to get out now, not by 2014. The way Obama is pulling out reminds me of Johnson and Vietnam. He’s doing what he’s done his whole Presidency: Ignoring the experts. I sincerely hope not, but this ‘exit strategy’ has the potential to become a bloodbath. Personally, I was and am not one to run away from a fight that needs fighting, but I think in Afghanistan he is doing far too little and is way, way past late in doing so.
What is it with this guy and the Dems always wanting to ‘end a war responsibly’? How does one do that exactly? You either go in and win it or you get the Hell out and accept defeat. War is and should kind of like this. Obama and his love of timelines and dates puts our men in harm’s way and has just given the Taliban, Al Qaeda and whomever else (Iran!) a nice guide to go by for raiding, bombing and attacking us during the withdrawal. Pardon my need to inject some humor with some of these links — I just can’t take this guy much longer.
It’s painfully clear from this speech at this point in his presidency that he made promises when he campaigned that he had no concept of what it would take to actually do them. Just look at the lunacy he has us involved in now – Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and Lord knows where else he is sending support at this point. Mr. Vote-Against-the-Surge has created new surges in places we couldn’t have dreamed he’d go — and without our or Congress’s approval.
The latter half had a lot of Rah-Rah, ‘go me’ type stuff in it. Did you expect him not to campaign when he has a captive audience? Legal Insurrection kind of summarized the speech and echoes some of what I was thinking here. I don’t think it is going to escape anybody’s attention that he made Afghanistan his war. He bungled it from the very beginning. Bush’s team gave him the perfect snap and as quarterback he screwed around making decision after decision of what to do with the ball until the entire opponent’s defense has now dog-piled on him…and he’s still muttering about what to do at the bottom of the pile. This paragraph is one that should be referred to whenever anyone questions that he now owns this war:“For this reason, in one of the most difficult decisions that I’ve made as President, I ordered an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan. When I announced this surge at West Point, we set clear objectives: to refocus on al Qaeda; reverse the Taliban’s momentum; and train Afghan Security Forces to defend their own country. I also made it clear that our commitment would not be open-ended, and that we would begin to drawdown our forces this July.”
This piece over at the WaPo, ‘Mission Accomplished, Obama Style‘ by Dana Millbank, is worth a read. About mid-way through, he writes something that is almost plucked right out of my head this: “So if there hasn’t been a terrorist threat coming from Afghanistan for seven or eight years, why did Obama send tens of thousands of additional troops into a conflict that has claimed more than 1,500 American lives? And why is he leaving most of them there?”
Maybe I’m being petty, but it always bugs me how he takes great pains to pronounce the names of those who hate us – ‘The Tollybahn’ and ‘Pohk-ee-stan’ jump to mind. It just smacks to me of pretentiousness and a prime example of his bend-over backwards efforts to try to make muslims love us – or at least love him. Neither of which are ever going to happen.
None of what he said last night is going to help him in 2012 and this is a nice pictorial of why: