Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The President's War Speech

I'm not really liveblogging the president's speech. Instead, I will post some thoughts now and some thoughts afterward. I want to give the speech my full attention. Plus in my new apartment, the computer is not in the same room as the tv.

So I'm worried because I have started to feel like we should just get out of Afghanistan now and cut our losses. I'm also worried that the political backlash will be severe.

But I am hoping he can convince me tonight. I do honestly believe that Obama is a supremely intelligent man, and what Dick Cheney calls "dithering" on Afghanistan we all realize is thoughtful deliberation. After all, we saw what the lack of "dithering" did in Iraq.

So I am hopeful that Obama knows what he is doing. He knows more about the situation in Afghanistan than any of us, so he can make the intelligent and correct call. This is what I'm hoping.

I'll be back.

I'm back.

Well, I think that Obama made a very good speech, and he makes a pretty strong case for his strategy. I still do not like the idea of sending 30,000 more troops off to such a dangerous place, but here are some points from his speech that I liked the most:
  • He addressed the very important role of forming a partnership with Pakistan, the real hotspot of terrorism.
  • He did a nice job of subtly reminding us that the Iraq war took the focus off of Afghanistan.
  • He addressed the importance of deliberation and thoughtfulness. When he ays that he does not take this duty lightly, I fully believe him.
But I do think he should have been maybe a little harsher about Karzai's corruption.

So I do not know what to think, except that I certainly have more confidence in his decision-making abilities than I did in the last administration's. I want this war (well, both wars) to be over, but I also know the end needs to be done responsibly. I'm leaning toward giving him the benefit of the doubt here. Facts on the ground in 18 months will decide the wisdom of the decision.


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At 10:26 PM, Blogger PBear posited...

"And until we acknowledge that reality, we can send 15,000 more troops; 20,000 more troops; 30,000 more troops. I don't know any, expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to, privately that believes that that is gonna make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground."

"The 30,000 additional troops that I am announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 -- the fastest pace possible -- so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers... they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans."

hmmmm... I realize that these are different wars, but I have a hard time understanding how our President could so adamantly oppose one surge and fully support another.

I fear that we have replaced one "spend and fight wars" neocon with a "spend even more and fight wars" neocon.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger CoachDub posited...

I see your point, and that worries me too, but like you said, these are very different wars.


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