Obama’s Moment of Truth-Are We Ready to Support or Oppose Him?

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As the Thanksgiving holiday ends, the nation is perched to hear what is being described as President Obama‘s most important speech to date. He will stand before Army cadets at West Point military academy and lay out his plans for increasing troops to Afghanistan to the tune of 30 thousand. He is likely to note that we must go to Afghanistan to defeat a grouped Taliban. He is likely to say we must go to Afghanistan to ‘finish the job’ of subduing Al Qaeda and capturing Osama Bin Laden. Obama is also likely to note that throughout his campaign he had promised that he would withdraw troops from Iraq and direct all attention to America’s ‘forgotten war’ in Afghanistan.

However 8 years after we first entered Afghanistan in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks, many of the folks who enthusiastically voted for Obama are divided and troubled. Many of the people who came out and voted for Obama were the same people eager for change who had organized or showed up at large anti-war demonstrations when George Bush was in office. They’re looking at a man who was just awarded the Noble Peace Prize and saw this as a symbolic gesture that would give him a good excuse to find a more diplomatic approach to resolving the conflict and abandon the pro-war position they felt he had to take during the 08 campaign.

If folks recall during the 08 campaign Obama was saw his momentum halted when than rival Hillary Clinton sprung the infamous ‘Its 3am Who Do You want answering Phone commercial‘. Inexperience and too weak to stomach the hard decisions around war and conflict is what Obama was slimed with. His response was to come across as more hawkish. After all, it was the ‘weak on terror’ allegations that helped George Bush win his last election and push through all types of legislation and policies that gave him and the military lots of resources, leeway and power. Obama in his response not only promised to bring the war back to Afghanistan, but he even asserted that he would be willing to bomb a country without warning if it meant the US could get the ever so elusive Osama.

While many who voted for Obama understood him taking pro-war stances, what’s troubling is that with a democratic majorities in both the house and Senate and recent polls showing that majority of Americans not wanting us to continue in Afghanistan, why are building up troops? Is the country really in grave danger? Is this about saving face? Is this about political appeasement? According to recent USA Today Gallup Poll numbers 57% of Democrats want Obama to withdraw. Those numbers are being underscored by the recent bill introduced by an early supporter California Congresswoman Barbara Lee who introduced a bill H.R. 3699 that would prohibit funds for any escalation to Afghanistan. Estimates note that it would cost on average 1 million dollars per year per soldier in this new troop surge. Lee thus far has gotten 23 co-sponsors including former Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and Houston congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee who earlier last week bestowed a Purple Heart and Bronze star on a Vietnam Vet who still suffers from Post Traumatic stress.

Standing in stark opposition of this are 72% of republicans want Obama to build up the troops and follow the recommendations of General Stanley McChrystal who actually requested and then ‘campaigned’ to get 40 thousand. That republican support or agitation has been amplified by right-wing pundits and talk show hosts who feel that America should be in Afghanistan kicking ass even though everyone from Genghis Khan to the Soviet Union has failed miserably in their attempts to tame this unconquered region.

Perhaps President Obama should challenge those who are eager for this fight to continue in Afghanistan, to stop eating the drums of war and step it up and volunteer their time. That would include talk show hosts like Sean Hannity who are quick to talk this talk but won’t volunteer his time to serve..even as a radio host ala actor Robin Williams in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. At the same time President Obama should let those opposed to the troop build up to not let up the pressure. They should call their representatives and get them to co-sponsor Barbara Lee’s bill.

Lastly Obama should re-emphasize one of his most important campaign points about this his Presidency being for the people by the people-hence all this crazy talk about Obama being in office for only one year and we should give him some time needs to cease once and for all. In matters of war every citizen should be weighing in. After all, what takes place in Afghanistan is being done in our name and with our tax dollars. People should also be reminded that george Bush was only in office for 9 months before he was faced with the 9-11 tragedy and declared his War on Terror. President Obama has been in office for 11 months. His presidency is in full swing.

It’s sad state of affairs, but the War in Afghanistan appears to be war of political posturing and not about war to end terror. How it all unfolds will have a lot to do with the political pressure applied to the President.

-Davey D-

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Comments

  1. I vote NO TO MORE ESCALATION IN AFGHANISTAN. We got plenty of work to do right here. He should first put the smack down to all these noisemakers (Repugs and the uppity Democrackers) stalling our own Nationbuilding here in the U. S. of A. They are the ones willing to mix shit up elsewhere just to keep shit fucked up here for the rest of us. Git yer eye on the B-Ball that matters Brother Obama.

  2. e-scribblah says:

    this really comes down to economics, not populism. with the US economy in the tank, the reality is, we can’t afford not to be at war with somebody. recalling all the troops and ending the war would destabilize the US economy, causing 70-90% unemployment in states dependent on defense contractors and leading to a domino effect.

    so, anyone expecting foreign policy to change much will be disappointed, and this should come as no surprise to anyone who remembers obama’s statements on Afghanistan before the election. now, we’ve just come to that point.

    my hope at this time last year was that domestic policy would change. i’m still hopeful, but that hasnt been completely borne out so far. resistance to universal health care and cap-and-trade policies needed to enact green jobs has been fiercer than expected, the bailout ensured that the brokers of our recession stayed paid (instead of, say, middle-class homeowners facing foreclosure due to their policies), and the Democrats have shown little backbone when it comes to pushing for meaningful change. it’s not entirely obama’s fault, but we need to blame someone, right?

  3. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Will read this, but Tiger Woods is just positioning himself as the next O.J. Simpson for Amercica. Have not reasd this piece – support troops and the low oil prices, but what are they doing with all that opium? Have to read…

  4. Obama must be opposed in all his insane assinine policies. I tried to warn ahead of time, but this nation fell for his campaign.

    It only took him 3 months to decide to send not enough troops to a war the US will never win. I thought change is what the people voted for. Looks like they got more foolish incompetence.

    The Obama administration is amatuer night at the apollo. He cant even run a state dinner presidentially. Obama is a clown, and i dont even feel sorry for all the people dumb enough to join the US military..

  5. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Still have not read this piece yet, but I want to touch on what Maranatha said – “i don’t even feel sorry for all the people dumb enough to join the US military”. I just want to touch on that, regardless about all the Obama amatuerism – I was speaking to an older white guy on my job and he stated that all of our children should be required to do atleast two years of military service,”It would do them good”, he said. Me once serving myself had to concur.

    Now may not be ther best time to join the military as far as the “oath” you take is concerned, but after conversating with the gentleman about rasing our kids. I saw his point. The military raises plenty of “failure parents” kids and instill respect and discipline in them. The U.S. Government does a fine job of “raising” our teenage sons and daughters to become fine men and women citzens in the military. I served in the military. It taught me all of the responsiblities (and opportunities) of being a man. I do not feel sorry for all the people joining the military, atleast they now have a plan, or goal, and pride and discipline and will get to see more than that small town or hood they were from. “College is the ticket”, but adults perhaps see more respect and discipline from military kids than they do the college and hip-hoppers at home, often. Parents these days are almost as proud and even more patriotic when their kids are in the military than when they graduate from college, these past ten years. College is the panecea to more money, but the “military” will do what your “parents” obviously aren’t (failed) and didn’t do. Ain’t nothing wrong with signing up to die for your country, atleast for once in your life you will be willing to die for what you believe in. Even if you are indoctrinated to believe in it, just like many of you are ready to fight for the “Hip-hop” you’ve been inundated with all these years. The white gentleman is sixty and we were talking about his son, grand kids, and respect, and he brought up how he was in the military and takes it as a complement how everyone still thinks that his son’s were in the military (Yes, Sir, No Maam, their military bearings). Obama appears to be that “politician’, but i still haven’t had time to read the above peace. MY KIDS WILL NOT GO IN THE MILITARY. I AM PATRIOTIC, I’M PROUD OF MY COUNTRY AND THE U.S. MILITARY, BUT I DO NO’T CONSDER MYSELF A “FAILURE PARENT’. Marantha’s comment just sparked my thoughts. Two years of required military service would mature a lot of “HIp-hop’ folks just out of high school, trust me.

  6. RobThomas says:

    Next O.J. Simpson? Tiger got wrapped with one of his own golf clubs, then tried to run for it and crashed his car. More like his wife is the next Lorenna Bobbit.

  7. RobThomas says:

    Just so everyone knows, Maranatha is against Obama on every single issue, social and economic. She invokes Obama on threads that aren’t even about him or politics in general, parroting many of the insane things you hear at the birther and tea party rallies. Take her comments with a grain of salt.

  8. Points in the previous posts I’ll co-sign:

    “Nationbuilding here in the U. S. of A”-Misha-mish

    Yeah, it’s obvious there are too many folks standing in the way of progress for their own little agendas. There’s plenty of work to do here, including a need for that “shock & awe” in selected areas. These folks are just balking like a pitcher in a game 7 WS.

    “…all of our children should be required to do at least two years of military service…”-Robert Jr. James McClendon

    Makes sense. I’d go as far as simply restructuring the K-12 system to be several steps from actual military service. I’m not saying strap up some 4th graders for combat, but return discipline to the curriculum. When many of these young kids are not even fit for service, something’s wrong…

    “so, anyone expecting foreign policy to change much will be disappointed…”-e-scribblah

    Some folks just got their hopes up way too high following the ’08 election. The Afghan War didn’t just up and declare cease-fire. The so-called world economic crisis and any other problem didn’t just resolve themselves, either. This sort of mirrors Misha-mish’s comments in how you still have fools standing in the way like a deer caught up in headlights. I’m just hoping we’re driving a Humvee instead of a mini cooper…

  9. e-scribblah says:

    if anyone was paying attention, Obama said he would increase the # of troops in Afghanistan (while decreasing the # in Iraq) BEFORE the election. so this latest move shouldn’t really shock anyone. where Obama can really make a difference is in domestic policy. the changes in foreign policy will probably be limited to opening up dialogue with folks like Chavez, closing Gitmo and easing up restrictions on immigration enacted under Bush.

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