Posted by: sweeneyblog | December 1, 2009

Yes, Pres. Obama is escalating the Aghanistan War, and No, you should not be surprised

For those of you who haven’t heard, President Obama is planning to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next six months. I’m sure you will hear lots of people use words like “surge”, but I think “escalation” is more appropriate. He is increasing our commitment, and this is a war is now longer than Vietnam, WWII or the Revolutionary War. We have been there for a while, and I think that it is time that we bring our men and women home.

The main difficulty with leaving is there is no one to take over. We had hoped the latest round of Afghani elections would provide a clear, legitimate and non-corrupt government. They failed on all three accounts. A fraud-choked election produced a very close result that re-elected the corrupt Afghan President Kharzai who no one trusts. Well crap. So part of this escalation is that we can hold onto things a little longer, rebuild infrastructure and whatnot so that the whole place doesn’t collapse when we leave. Okay, I disagree that’s what we should be doing but I’m clearly not a military professional so I’ll leave that to the generals.

Here’s my main problem, is all the outrage by liberal groups over Obama. The phrasing is “he betrayed us”. Uh actually no, and I’ll tell you why. President Obama was always a hawk (aka pro-war) on Afghanistan. As a member of the foreign relations committee, he pushed quite hard to refocus from the war in Iraq to the War in Afghanistan. He has consistently said during the campaign and during his presidency that we need to “finish the job” and “make the commitments necessary”. This is not a betrayal, this is just a matter of the real guy doing what he said he would do, not what you told yourself when you voted for him.

Now there are some issues where Pres. Obama has betrayed his campaign promises. Gay Rights and Civil Liberties spring to mind, but I barely hear any outrage about them. So please, don’t start shouting about “Betrayal” over Afghanistan. He has been nothing but consistent about this.


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