I am with Obama on this…

What do you ask? Well, he is about to disregard his generals advice and pull troops out of Afghanistan so he can say he did so before the next election regardless of the consequences.

Barack Obama is set to reject the ad vice of the Pentagon by announcing on Wednesday night the withdrawal of up to 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by November next year, in time for the US presidential election. The move comes despite warnings from his military commanders that recent security gains are fragile. They have been urging him to keep troop numbers high until 2013.

The accelerated drawdown will dismay American and British commanders in Kabul, who have privately expressed concern that the White House is now being driven by political rather than military imperatives. “This is not something we feel entirely comfortable with,” a Whitehall official told the Guardian.

Obama’s nationally televised address, the sixth he has given since becoming president, is intended to mark the beginning of the end of American military deployment in Afghanistan, from a present high of almost 100,000 troops.

And that’s because the man is desperate and his concern that he has to overcome stuff like this so he is not doomed in 2012, is now his most paramount and only concern.

Americans are growing more dissatisfied with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and say it will be hard to vote to re-elect him without seeing significant progress over the next year and a half.

By a margin of 61 percent to 37 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted June 17-20 shows Americans say they believe that Obama will have had his chance to make the economy “substantially better” by the end of 2012.

Only 30 percent of respondents said they are certain to vote for the president and 36 percent said they definitely won’t. Among likely independent voters, only 23 percent said they will back his re-election, while 36 percent said they definitely will look for another candidate.

Anyway, I am with the generals that this is a disastrous decision that will only guarantee us more pain in the future, but I now am convinced that these democrats do not give a rats ass about the sacrifices made by the troops, unless they can claim the victories made possible by their betters or score political points, and if their concern is always their own political viability over our security, at least I would then prefer they pull our troops out of harms way. I also doubt this move will help him that much with anyone, because they will see it for what it is: political maneuvering. The insane base will still hate the fact that he hasn’t just pulled everyone out, disbanded the military, begged the UN for forgiveness, and disbanded evil America. Most of the rest of us will know that he just did that to bolster his reelection campaign chances because while he did escalate the fighting originally, his heart has never been in it. And then there will be the few that might fall for this, but they are going to be of no consequence.

If we are not going to fight to win against an enemy that has declared war on us, at least pull the troops out so they don’t have to die in vain. Hopefully someone that understands the consequences of not fighting to win will come along in time to save us from the impending disaster those that think running away is an option. I leave you with a couple of quotes by Mr. Churchill that pretty much sum up the problem we face.

“England has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame and will get war.” –Winston Churchill

“Nothing is more dangerous in wartime than to live in the temperamental atmosphere of a Gallup Poll, always feeling one’s pulse and taking one’s temperature.” –Winston Churchill

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000

    Wow. That is probably the most round-about way of supporting an end to this thing I’ve ever seen. You just can’t agree with Obama ever. Even now it has to be “I only agree with him because he’s such a scumbag.”

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  2. richtaylor365

    Maybe because it’s early and I haven’t had my second cup of coffee (still waking up) but here I go quibbling about titles again:

    I am with Obama on this…

    I am with the generals that this is a disastrous decision that will only guarantee us more pain in the future

    Who are you with again?

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  3. Dave D

    I think Alex meant that he is with Obama on this BAD DECISION because it will hasten his retirement from public life?

    It is against Alex’s genetic makeup to be enabled to agree with bHo on anything.

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  4. AlexInCT *

    Actually I agreed with Obama when he surged. I agreed with Obama when he ordered the drone strikes, even into Pakistan & Yemen. I agreed with Obama when he escalated the fight to win. Now I find myself agreeing with him because it has become obvious that getting reelected is more important to him than winning, something that again puts him in stark contrast with Bush.

    If we are not in it to fight to win, bring the troops home. It’s one thing to die fighting the good cause. Its another to die because the politicians are idiots.

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  5. AlexInCT *

    I am with the generals that this is an idiotic and disastrous decision. So now I am with Obama on just leaving. If we are not fighting to win, and the whole thing is about political kabuki to shore up his poll numbers, then call it quits. I hate nothing more than a politician that preaches about how something was the only good war, then when he is in charge decides that good war on the basis of his poll numbers. Say what you want about Bush, but at least he didn’t piss on the troops like this.

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  6. AlexInCT *

    Actually Dave D, my genetic makeup makes me unable to accept stupid. Thats’ why I am neither a liberal nor a fan of Obama.

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  7. Rann

    In this case it’s a rather backhanded agreement, which I think is the stumbling block. I think what you had to say in this article was valid, and the “I agree with Obama about bringing them home… just not for the same reasons” angle was worthwhile, I think you just shot yourself in the foot on delivery. Shouldn’t have used it as the subject line, and when leading into it maybe used “In a way, I agree with Obama about this.”

    The phrase “In a way” helps you brace for the incoming cynicism. (Which I share on the subject.)

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  8. Kimpost

    I see. All we needed to do to make this understandable, was to add a few missing components. :)

    Here they are:

    1. Obama wants out of Afghanistan all together.
    2. Obama never wanted to be there in the first place.
    3. Obama was against the surge.

    After that it’s easy to understand how Alex agrees with Obama on his pending troop redrawal. Since Obama doesn’t want to be there* (cough), it’s better to just leave.

    *) Which apparently was crystal clear to Alex, even though Obama actually ordered the surge, and even though Obama made Afghanistan one of his top counter terrorism priorities, going as far back as to his presidential campaign in 07-08.

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  9. Hal_10000

    Now I find myself agreeing with him because it has become obvious that getting reelected is more important to him than winning, something that again puts him in stark contrast with Bush.

    This is one of the most hilarious things you’ve written. Throughout 2005 and 2006, Bush spent all his time telling us that everything was fine in Iraq, that we did’t need more troops, that the mounting bloodshed and destruction were just a creation of the liberal “lamestream” media. And then — once he lost the midterm election — he suddenly decided he needed a surge.

    And then there was the rebuilding of Iraq, which he put entirely in the hands of political supporters, even if they had zero reconstruction experience, resulting in an utter catastrofuck.

    There have been few President who placed politics more before national security than Bush.

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  10. Hal_10000

    This whole Obama vs. the Generals meme is driving me nuts. It’s as though Obama does not have hundreds of people providing critical info on the political situation among the Afghanis, the likelihood that a longer duration will fix things and whether what the military wants to do is at all feasible. The generals are not gods, which is why our military is controlled by civilian leadership. Even a brilliant general can be flat the fuck out wrong (see MacArthur, Douglas). Any President who automatically defers to their opinion — even assuming that they have a monolithic opinion, which they usually don’t — is not doing his job.

    I’m willing to debate pulling out of Afghanistan. But rather that sputter and spew, I’d prefer the critics answer two questions:

    1) Define winning in Afghanistan.
    2) Do you really think there is a way to achieve this victory?

    The only answers I’ve heard for (1) are vague and ill-defined. I find it difficult to believe that anyone really thinks we’re going to pacify a barbaric country with that kind of terrain. And the answers to (2) remind of the way liberals talk about the welfare state — let’s just keep trying and hope it magically works out. So much easier to just hide behind the “Obama is an evil community organizer who hates the troops” trope.

    OBL is dead. AQ in Afghanistan is down to about a hundred guys. The fight has moved on to Yemen and Pakistan. So are we on board with the idea of nation building?

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  11. AlexInCT *

    This is one of the most hilarious things you’ve written. Throughout 2005 and 2006, Bush spent all his time telling us that everything was fine in Iraq,

    Please tell me Hal, what election was Bush running for in 2005-2006? Maybe I missed that one.

    that we did’t need more troops, that the mounting bloodshed and destruction were just a creation of the liberal “lamestream” media. And then — once he lost the midterm election — he suddenly decided he needed a surge.

    I never recall the LSM calling for more troops anywhere other than in the “War on Poverty” or against republicans, Hal. The LSM wanted an immediate pull out from Iraq, because many people, like Harry Reid or Pelosi, had told them we had failed in Iraq. Something Harry Reid & the media kept telling us was fact even as Bush took direction from his new Sec Def and approved the surge.

    Yet you can keep pretending there was some kind of parallel between Obama covering his ass and Bush not doing that, because you have some kind of issue with anyone pointing out Bush was correct on the war.

    There have been few President who placed politics more before national security than Bush.

    Just because you didn’t like the decision to go into Iraq doesn’t make it so. And if you are one of the believers that fighting terrorists makes more of them, well, then that’s your problem too. Oh wait! I get it. You think Bush compromised secrity because of evil Gitmo and all that faux torture! yeah, sure.

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  12. AlexInCT *

    This whole Obama vs. the Generals meme is driving me nuts. It’s as though Obama does not have hundreds of people providing critical info on the political situation among the Afghanis, the likelihood that a longer duration will fix things and whether what the military wants to do is at all feasible.

    He could have thousands telling him all the pertinent facts Hal, but all it takes is one guy that tells him his polls are down and he is going to lose reelection, and he ignores it all. That’s what you are trying so hard to avoid understanding.

    1) Define winning in Afghanistan.

    That was done long ago. Do you mean “re-define” winning so we can pretend we have and just leave?

    2) Do you really think there is a way to achieve this victory?

    I do. I doubt the West has the fortitude to do it however. That is why it will eventually lead to us finally with our backs against the wall nuking them, or god forbid, all of us worshipping Allah. There is no middle ground or peaceful solution. It’s the same reason there has not been, and will not be, a peaceful solution between Israel and the squatters next to it that love death more than we love life.

    OBL is dead. AQ in Afghanistan is down to about a hundred guys. The fight has moved on to Yemen and Pakistan. So are we on board with the idea of nation building?

    How did we get OBL again? Heh, never mind. But let me ask: is your point is that we should leave Afghanistan and put troops into Yemen and Pakistan? Think Obama is seeing it the same way? Or is he thinking he can do a Clinton, lob some missiles, talk though, and treat the whole thing like a nuisance yet again, like they did for a decade or two before 9-11, so he can focus on destroying our economy with his “spread the wealth” fantasies?

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  13. richtaylor365

    This is the way I am parsing the situation. The Generals look at the military situation, what it takes to “win”, they look at the number of troops we have against what the enemy has, they look at our fighting capabilities (are our troops trained properly, do we have the right equipment and material) what are the military objectives and what is the proper strategy for achieving those objectives. There vision is narrowly focused.

    The president’s vision is much broader, he looks not only at the military mission, but the politics and economics involved. His policy has to reflect certain realities, like the fact that the Afghan government is corrupt and can”t be trusted, ditto with the Afghan military whose allegiance is suspect and who can’t be trusted with a weapon because they will just as likely turn it on an American as the will the Taliban. He has to look at benchmarks outside of the military, like providing the infra structure and resources to allow your typical Afghan some security so he won’t turn so easily to the Taliban for protection. He has to look at the motivations of the police and the military, why they are so reluctant to adopt any nationalistic pride. He also has to factor in Pakistan since any discussion on Afghanistan has to include the country by which that war is supplied. How many headaches has Pakistan given us? That country’s political leaders not only can’t be trusted, but they(and the ISI) play both sides, they house and supply intel to terrorists, and are reluctant to root out any and all AQ members using their country for sanctuary. Then , he (the president) must way the economics of it all, the billions we pay to Pakistan to use their country to ferry supplies, the billions spent rebuilding Afghanistan and the military costs off deploying such a large army there.

    I am a huge admirer of Gen. Petreaus and believe that he is the best man for the job (although he is now leaving for the CIA) but what the military is saying now, they have said every year for the last 9 years, that the situation is tenuous and the gains gotten are still fragile, and no doubt they will be saying the same thing next year. If the mission was to remove the Taliban stranglehold, hasn’t that already been accomplished? Do we need to rebuild that whole nation from the ground up at a cost of trillions?

    We have been ragging on Obama for leading from the rear, always requiring a consensus before even a bowel movement, and being way late to the Libyan party, if this is the right move, that the heavy lifting is already been done and any further gains would be miniscule compared to the trade off of blood and treasure, then maybe he finally is growing a pair, being the first to say when.

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  14. Hal_10000

    2006 mid-terms Alex. You may remember them. GOP got shellacked. And then Bush suddenly decided that maybe the situation in Iraq wasn’t so good. My point about the MSM was that they were *reporting* the terrible situation in Iraq and Bush and his chronies were refusing to admit this was happening for purely political reasons.

    Just because you didn’t like the decision to go into Iraq doesn’t make it so. And if you are one of the believers that fighting terrorists makes more of them, well, then that’s your problem too. Oh wait! I get it. You think Bush compromised secrity because of evil Gitmo and all that faux torture! yeah, sure.

    Don’t put words into my mouth. I supported going into iraq. I just didn’t know how incompetent the execution would be.

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  15. AlexInCT *

    2006 mid-terms Alex. You may remember them. GOP got shellacked.

    Erm, Bush didn’t run for that election, and they got shallacked because he refused to do what they wanted and stood on principles , Hal. If anything, it proves my point yet again.

    And then Bush suddenly decided that maybe the situation in Iraq wasn’t so good.

    That happened long before then, but he couldn’t get rid of Rumsfeld because it’s not in his nature to throw people under the bus, and the surge could not achieve what it did early on, because we didn’t have the intel yet to go after the people we needed. But then again, some people believe, or at least they want us to believe so, that the surge didn’t work until Obama took over too, so there, ya go.

    My point about the MSM was that they were *reporting* the terrible situation in Iraq and Bush and his chronies were refusing to admit this was happening for purely political reasons.

    Shit the MSM was reporting the “terrible situation in Iraq” long before the invasion finally happened. They where not only flabbergasted when the Iraqi military collapsed in a matter of weeks, without the hundreds of thousands of casualties they had predicted – and I am still thinking that while many see this as a brilliant move by our forces, we would have had a lot less trouble if we had killed as many of the Saddam loyalists in the military as possible right from the start – they where pissed. So freaking pissed that they started a fake “we care’ campaign where they tallied the dead every night on the news, pretending to “feel the troops pain” but really just hoping to sour people off like they did back in the Vietnam days. That campaign of worrying about the troops stopped on January 20th, 2009. What do you think was behind that?

    Don’t put words into my mouth. I supported going into iraq. I just didn’t know how incompetent the execution would be.

    I have often asked people that expected war to go perfectly and as planned to point me to one instance in history where it actually did. The execution was not as good as it could have been, but then again, Bush was fighting both the enemy in Iraq and the ones at home. That kind of made the war a lot harder to do, but at least he had the smarts to listen to his military brass and let them do the fighting. He also never took claim for their hard work either, if you know wat I mean…

    The question however begs to be asked Hal: what did you mean when you said:

    There have been few President who placed politics more before national security than Bush.

    I am dying to hear that explained.

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  16. HARLEY

    ugh, ill wade in on this/\.
    back when this adventure bacan, I stated that if we really wanted a “win” in AFG, we would have to commit ourselves to a multi decade occupation and conduct warfare on a level that would destroy the current culture and replace it with one that we saw fit.
    We as a nation do not have that level of commitment or patience.
    so lets go home slowly, draw down enough so local forces can take over the duties of a nations security forces should have, without allowing AQ or the Taliban to easily retake what we have established, so far.

    once again, the mountains of Afghanistan, have eaten another empire.

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  17. West Virginia Rebel

    I have to say I’m more with HAL and Harley on this. After spending ten years there, I think we’ve reached the point where we tell Karzi it’s put up or shut up time on his part, we deal more firmly with Pakistan (if possible) and we get out as gracefully as possible.

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  18. mikedomi39

    I agreed with Obama when he ordered the drone strikes, even into Pakistan & Yemen.

    I remember a post you made where you actually complained about Obama’s drone strikes because you thought killing targets was bad becuase we could not interrogate them, and that Obama was killing instead of capturing becuase then he didnt have to put them in GITMO. and because it meant obama was being a hypocrite. Since he was ramping up the war effort. IIRC, your final lien was “And they called Bush a cowboy”.

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  19. Hal_10000

    It looks like this “withdrawal” isn’t that big. We had 30k troops when Obama was elected. We have 100k now. We’ll sitll have 60-70k in December 2012.

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  20. AlexInCT *

    I remember a post you made where you actually complained about Obama’s drone strikes because you thought killing targets was bad becuase we could not interrogate them,

    When you kill someone you are going to lose the ability to get intel from them Mike. You do understand that, right?, So I was right in pointing that out. But me pointing out that dead men tell no tails didn’t mean I felt Obama didn’t have the authority to kill the terrorists or worse, was totally wrong in doing so. In fact, I remember arguing that point distinctively, and actually saying that I was glad Obama was ignoring the people that felt he was doing wrong, because this was a lot better than the alternative of trying to bring these retards that are waging war on us to justice in a criminal court.

    and that Obama was killing instead of capturing becuase then he didnt have to put them in GITMO. and because it meant obama was being a hypocrite.

    Yeah, he had the strikes killing them because he knew how difficult it would be to deal with their capture – in fact he did it to Osama too – and that was primarily because if they had been captured they would have ended up in GITMO, which if you recall, he told us he would close the day after he was the president. And this, like me pointing out that dead men couldn’t be interrogated, doesn’t invalidate the fact that I like the that Obama has at least ordered the troops to kill these assholes. He could have stopped the killings, and that would really have been wrong.

    Since he was ramping up the war effort. IIRC, your final lien was “And they called Bush a cowboy”.

    I am having a difficult time following this Mike. Obama was far more aggressive in the use of drones than Bush could ever have dreamed to get away with. In fact, I wish Bush had done some of the same.

    But what is your point? I am not sure I get it. Are you trying to say that I was not honest when I gave Obama his props for ordering the drone strikes, and then because I also pointed out he wasn’t doing it because he was a bad ass – he did it to avoid the shitstorm that putting captured people in GITMO would have cause – or because these dead people could no longer be milked for intel? Cause if that’s your point, you got it wrong. You do understand that given the other options, I like this one, despite the reasons for why Obama is doing it.

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  21. AlexInCT *

    It looks like this “withdrawal” isn’t that big. We had 30k troops when Obama was elected. We have 100k now. We’ll sitll have 60-70k in December 2012.

    So you agree that it is then just political grandstanding? I can not think of another reason. Maybe Obama will order the nuking of Pakistan as he said he would when he was campaigning, and then we can bring everyone in Afghanistan home.

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