I thought President Obama gave a strong punch right at the beginning of his speech to the crazy wingnuts and yup, yup that certainly includes you Dickies and the ‘twitta-quitta’ who courageously cowardly hid behind a ninety year old woman.
….There has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war.
so, ‘shut up, you idiotic, couch-commanders-in-chiefs and Dr.McCdreamy who keeps mumbling that ‘we should not withdraw, because success never withdraws’ or whatever…, for pity’s sake send the man home already, it is past 8pm and he needs his beauty sleep.
So, what did I learn today from President:
– All troops leaving Iraq by end of 2011
– Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan begining July 2011
– America prohibits torture (still)
– Guantanamo bay will be closed (date not yet set)
– He is most interested in building America
– He ‘refuses to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, our or interests’
– I still get emotional when I hear,”papara papara pam, papara papara pam” of ‘Hail To The Chief!
oh yes, you can certainly call me Romantic.
What a blessing it is to have this reasonable, sound and sane person at the helm. Suck on this, Presidents Dr. McCdreamy and ‘WhyMeNotPrez’.
I for one will be glad to start a countdown to bringing our troops home and I include the Canadian troops as well.
pic: President Obama reading his notes on Marine One on his way to West Point this evening.
Update: Micheal Crowley from TNR starts off like this…:
If these points sounded familiar, it’s because Obama has made them all before. Go back and read the president’s March 27 speech explaining his first troop increase for Afghanistan; tonight’s speech often reads like a lightly rewritten version of that one, this time with 30,000 new troops substituted for 17,000, and new specifics about a date for beginning a U.S. withdrawal (namely, June of 2011).
This is not a complaint about self-plagiarism. It’s a compliment for Obama’s consistency and intellectual honesty. (emphasis mine) Back in March, Obama described his vision as “a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” That vision implied a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan—one which the Pentagon properly understood to require tens of thousands of more troops to implement. For a time this fall, White House officials fretted that General Stanley McChrystal’s troop request had given them a “sticker shock” which required a re-review of their strategy. But no one who understood the war, no one as smart as Obama, should have been surprised by McChrystal’s troop request.
Which is why it made sense for Obama’s speech tonight to reiterate his March vision. Sure, he could have cited declining political support for the war, and the fraud-tainted election of Hamid Karzai, and the still-precarious U.S. economy as reasons for changing his mind. It would have been hard to blame him. But Obama’s reiteration of his main talking points from March indicates that he believed what he was saying at the time and simply hasn’t seen anything dramatic enough in the past six months to change his mind.
And ends like this…..
What matters most, though, is that Obama has advanced a clear and consistent view of the war of which he now takes full ownership. Behind his premature and gimmicky talk of withdrawal, there’s something comforting about the notion that Obama is sticking to his guns, so to speak. In that sense, he is echoing the signature style of the man from whom he inherited this war: George W. Bush. Who would have guessed?
Steve Benen at Political Animal (Washington Monthly):
I don’t know what the 30,000 additional troops are going to do when they get to Afghanistan. I don’t know what our new objectives are. I don’t know how U.S. troops will begin withdrawing in July 2011 — just a year after additional troops arrive — or what can reasonably be accomplished over the preceding 12 months. I don’t know how we’ll pay for the escalation. I don’t know if we’ll meet benchmarks, or if the benchmarks actually exist. I don’t know how the administration can pressure the Afghan government, or how it will respond. I don’t know if the Karzai government can be trusted, or whether it will ever have the confidence of the Afghan people.
Other than that, the whole situation is as clear as day.
I should note that this is meant more as concern than condemnation. After hearing the speech, there’s ample room for skepticism, but there are several elements I feel fairly confident about. When President Obama said (twice) that he doesn’t take his decision “lightly,” I believe him — the policy isn’t shaped by some neocon fantasy; it’s clearly the result of a deliberate, contemplative analysis. With so much on the line, we have a White House that relies on more than “gut” instincts and Weekly Standard editorials.
I also know that the president’s foreign policy and national security decisions have consistently been sound and based on prudent judgment. The U.S. policy in Afghanistan has been adrift for … what is it now … seven years? The president is working to bring the future into focus, even if the image remains blurry. If his track record is any indication, he’s earned at least a little benefit of the doubt.
Obama, presented with an unsolvable and deadly puzzle has been left with options ranging from discouraging to disastrous. For all of our sakes, here’s hoping he chose wisely.