02 December 2009

I support President Obama on Afghanistan.

I know this isn't a particularly popular stance to take, especially in liberal circles. But I have always thought that Afghanistan is where we should be fighting, since it is the front line in the war against Islamic extremists, not to mention it is ground zero for the systematic oppression of women, who would still be barred from schools and treated worse than dogs had we not chased off the Taliban. I think the President knows this and instead of cut and run, as many in his own party wish him to, he is going to give it a real try, and devote the resources necessary to trying to win the hearts and minds of those most vulnerable to Al Qaeda.

Yes, I'm sure the President knows how much it's going to cost, and how much of that money could be spent on domestic programs. Yes, I'm sure he knows that many think it's a lost cause, and that Afghanistan can never be "conquered". And I am certain that Obama has considered the toll that it will take on our already-stretched troops. But that's why we elected him - because we trusted him to make the best decision with the information that he has available to him. Sometimes the best decision is a really hard one, and it's not pretty.

People that worked hard to get Obama elected should remember why they did so when, just 10 months into his young Presidency, he has to make a big decision they don't like. I learned yesterday that MoveOn.org spoke out against the surge in Afghanistan in an email they sent out - an email that I didn't get, and a position they didn't solicit my opinion on. I found this interesting since they spent so much time and effort asking for my money to support the health care fight only a week ago. I do agree with them on that, but I find their stance on the Afghan war to be self-serving and short-sighted. I will have to remember this when they ask for my money the next time.

Perhaps this surge won't work. Perhaps, in two years, when troops begin to come home, we won't have a clear idea of whether the war-torn country is going to make it on its own. But these are the moves that we should have been making 8 years ago, and I commend the President for having the guts to follow through and give it a try... even if it ends up being too little, too late.

4 comments:

Faith said...

Not me. Daily Show just did a 1:1 comparison of what BO said in his speech vs. what GWB said in his....used exact words. We can't smack W down and applaud BO for the same behavior. But that's my opinion.

emKem said...

Actually no they didn't. Jon Stewart paraphrased and didn't show a single clip of one of Bush's speeches. Me thinks that while the gist of their speeches may have been similar, Obama actually spoke like a head of state... Bush didn't use big words, remember? Oh how soon we forget!

Faith said...

we must not have watched the same Daily Show then, and true, while W didn't know how to talk, same words were used.

namhenderson said...

Em,
I actually feel the same way. Prior to the recent announcement of more troops I had some of my more progressive friends telling me I hope he announces that he is removing all troops. A la Moore

To which i would answer what world do you live in. That is obviously not one of the options under consideration.

While i commend those who take a wide ranging pacifist stance i do think we were there for a reason that i support, unline Iraq.
Plus, i sort of think this is a way of him giving the COIN people a chance to put up or shut up. You want troops here you go. Let's see what you can do. I am giving you a time limit. See what you can do. afterwards I am going to (at least start) ending this thing...

I just hope it works. It seems like all options were risky..