Friday, November 13, 2009

Sound of Silence

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After delaying a decision on sending additional troops to Afghanistan for 3 months, Barack Obama has finally reviewed all of the options presented to him and declared that he doesn't like any of them, and that he might...or might not...make an actual decision in "a few MORE weeks." Meanwhile, our troops are dying, our national resolve is in serious question among our remaining allies, and the people of Afghanistan are now renewing friendly ties with the taliban so they won't be left hanging in case the president's eventual decision is to run like a scalded dog.

On Veteran's Day, the president clenched his jaw photogenically and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Hope n' Change thinks a similar wreath should be placed in front of the White House; the "Tomb of the Unknown Decision."


Anonymous said...

Stilton, I agree that Obama has taken too long to make a decision, but how long should we support a government that is essentially just a bunch of heroin warlords? How many US soldiers need to die to support the fraudulent government?

The right answer is to pull back our troops out of Afghanistan NOW! There is no honor or victory to be found in sacrificing more troops and money unnecessarily just to prove that we don't quit?? There isn't anything for the US to gain. This kind of logic would have kept the Vietnam war going well into the 80s.

However I doubt Obama has the stones to pull out the troops. He will be too worried that the conservative attack dogs would say he is too weak when it comes to war. It would be sad that he sacrifices these soldiers lives to prove a political point, when everyone would be better served by bringing them all home.

Suzy said...

Might be a good idea to just pull them out...but then if anyone tries ramming planes into buildings again, we should just blow up the entire middle east (except Israel) and be done with it.

I honestly do not know how Bush could have better handled 9/11....however its time our new President actually does the leader thing and makes a REAL decision for once.... whether pulling out, or sending enough troops to finish the war quickly.

I know, Mr. President, how hard it is to make a decision that has nothing to do with lining your own pockets or increasing your personal we tell our kids...sometimes we just have to do things we don't like to do! Its called "character".

Red said...

Can someone say,"quagmire"?

Gabriel said...

I sense that the follow up here will be "The Surprise Symphony."

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous- the president called Afghanistan "the war of necessity" and said winning it was essential to our own nation's security. Whether that assessment is accurate or not, he painted himself into a corner: he now either needs to commit to the war in a way that is clearly sincere (which, due to his dithering, is now an impossibility even if he sends more troops) or admit that he was lying previously (which, due to his self-obsession, is also impossible).

In any event, the president needs to realize that this is about more than politics, and that no more soldiers should die for his personal political ambitions.

Suzy- One of the arguments for having troops on the ground is that it allows a more "surgical" approach to getting the bad guys. Pulling out, then bombing the daylights out of troubled regions, might be satisfying...but also would cause so much collateral destruction that it would sharpen anti-US hostility.

But you absolutely put your finger on it when you say it's time for Obama to "do the leader thing and make a real decision." Obama is clearly waiting for events to take the burden of decision off his shoulders...and every day of waiting makes America that much weaker.

Philip said...

Well, Bob Hope gave us the definition of this undecided president:

Philip said...

Stilt, you'll probably like this :

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Philip- GREAT links. The first makes the argument that Obama's popularity and power have already peaked. The second makes the point that Obama actually despises America. Both seem pretty accurate to Hope n' Change.

Anonymous said...


I think we agree that Obama saying that Afghanistan is "The war of necessity..." was just a necessity to for him to get elected.

There are a lot of natural gas interests to be served in Afghanistan, and Obama knew that if he sold out early on in his campaign acting like he was going to change but knowing that he wasn't those corporate interests would make sure the election numbers turned in his favor.

Regardless of your ideology, when has it ever made sense for American soldiers to die and tax payers to front the mortgage for a senseless war that cannot be won?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Anonymous- You raise good points, and there is a very real question of how the Afghanistan war can be "won." After all, how can you restore a nation to stability when there was never any stability to begin with? How, other than keeping a permanent presence, can we guarantee any longterm result which is favorable for our purposes and policies?

I don't have the answer - but then, I didn't run for president (or any elected office).

Soldiers should not be dying on behalf of corporate interests (although sometimes the lines between corporate interest and national security can be gray...especially when people are deliberately obscuring those lines).

But if the president believes these things, then he should say so - come hell, high water, or criticism from the Right or Left. It's called "leadership."