The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Supporting the Pres re Afghanistan

Here's proof that I'm not in lock-step with the left wing of the Democrats. Of course, those who claim I blindly follow president Obama will use this as evidence. But that notion has been disproved on numerous occasions, they just aren't paying attention.

The picture above is of Marine One leaving the south lawn of the White House carrying the president to Andrews Air Force Base for the trip to West Point yesterday (official White House photo). The president can be seen reading in the 'copter.
I listened carefully to the President's speech last night. I was more attentive than many of the cadets in the audience, or maybe they just do their best listening with their eyes closed, I don't know. I missed an event that I really, really wanted to go to (World AIDS Day at WorkPlay) so I could hear the president.
Just in case you were in a cave, or at WorkPlay, the president announced he will send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Quickly. They will do their job and leave, beginning deployment in July 2011.
Obama, purposely or not, is following Powell Doctrine, named after Colin Powell. The Powell Doctrine includes having a plausible exit strategy, something the Bush Doctrine and the person it was named after never thought of.

If you have followed me from before the time I started this blog you would have read letters in the Western Star and elsewhere and know that I supported the invasion of Afghanistan soon after 9-11 to rid that country of its Taliban leaders.

You would know that I was 100% opposed to the invasion of Iraq as that was an unjust war of choice.

It was a huge mistake to reduce our presence in Afghanistan and refocus on Iraq. President Bush did not finish the job he set out to do, that the American public supported him in, and that would have saved gobs of money and countless American and allied lives.

President Obama was handed a hornet's nest (one of many) when he took office.What would have been a relatively easy completion of the task in Afghanistan now is a much more complicated situation. But that does not mean we should just throw up our hands and leave to them to deal with.

There is still the problem of Al-Qaida, and the resurgent Taliban, and Pakistan, and India.

India? Yes, they will play a role and must be considered in the solution. What do you think the president was talking about with their leader while he was in Washington? Party crashers?

We cannot rid the world of Al-Qaida. But we can take away their ability to function effectively where they are (now). They will try to regroup somewhere, no doubt, but I believe that in many countries (including Afghanistan) that the people are beginning to realize that terrorist violence does not make their lives any better, and they will pressure their governments to resist the terrorists and that gradually Al-Qaida and their like will have a difficult time getting funding and finding places to hide.

That may sound simplistic, but I am an optimist (sometimes).

Now, about this "arbitrary deadline" that Richard Shelby and others have decried. The date set is not "arbitrary." It was chosen with careful consideration, not by throwing a dart at a calendar. Any task, from planting a rose garden to restoring a kitchen or building a highway to Memphis to fighting a war should have a timetable including an estimated time of completion. The timetable can be modified as conditions change (highway to Memphis).

"Oh, but now the Taliban knows our plans and they will see us focusing on one city and respond to that by going to another, and..." Like they wouldn't be doing that anyway?

"The Taliban will just wait until we leave and then resurge." Not if they are dead!

The president said last night that we were united in 2001 behind the decision to go into Afghanistan.

"It's easy to forget that when this war began, we were united -- bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again."

The hall erupted in applause after this line. I agree. We should unite behind this president and his decision. (Photo - Reuters)


Richard said...

Without much enthusiasm I nevertheless agree with the President's decision - and your commentary. You articulated well the issues, Joe. It's interesting how silent the conservatives are generally being on this because to speak in support of this decision would appear to be speaking in support of the President - something that many are loath to do. And the game playing goes on.


Joe said...

Thanks Richard. It was not an easy decision for me...or the president.

Big 'un said...

As one who considers himself a bit right of center, I support the presidents plan. I do however think that more troops will be needed before the end of next year (30,000 is really not a whole lot given the scope of work). And while I believe that an exit strategy is needed, I don think it best to spell it out on national TV.

Randy said...

How about the fact that this president lied during his election campaign. He promised to bring the troops home. Now he is sending more out.
NOTHING has Changed. NOTHING. Oh, wait, yes it has. The economy is worse, the jobless rate is higher, morale amongst the citizens is at an all time low, and now more troops are leaving to fight.

Obama did not take on any worse of a situation than Bush did, yet he has done NOTHING to make things better.

We need an exit strategy for the President.

Joe said...

That's a laugh Randy. he said he would bring the troops home fro Iraq and focus on Afghanistan. The economy is better than when bush left office. The DJ is higher, home sales are up. This Christmas looks like retail will be better than last.

"Obama did not take on any worse of a situation than Bush did"

When Bush took office things were great. Good economy, US running a surplus. At peace. What world do you live on?

lipscomb bohemian said...

i stand by my comments feom yesterday....that doesnt mean i dont support the president....just that i disagree with him...there is a difference