Friday, October 23, 2009

Backoff Obama on Afghanistan

A lot of criticism has been leveled against President Obama for not acting fast enough on Gen. McChrystal's recommendation to send 40,ooo more troops into Afghanistan.

Yesterday former veep Dick Cheney called it "dithering."

These are unfair and unwarranted attacks on President Obama. The attacks are also two-faced and hypocritical and willfully ignorant of recent history on the part of Obama's critics.

The Bush Administration 'dithered' on Iraq strategy while that country spiraled toward a religious and civil war for nearly 2 years. It wasn't until mounting US casualties, domestic pressure, the GOP's defeat at the polls in Nov. '06 and the (mostly worthless) Iraq Study Group Report* forced Bush to get off his ass and find a new strategy. The "surge" strategy wasn't announced to the public until Jan. 10, 2007—more than 2 months after strategy talks began. From start to full deployment, "the surge" took almost 10 months. (The first buildup phases of "the surge" began in Jan./Feb. 2007 , and it wasn't until Jun/July '07 that was fully operational and all boots requested were on the ground.)

Do Obama's critics not realize how foolish they look given these undenible facts?

I understand the need for urgency on Obama's decision. Losing our brave men and women while the Taliban and al Qaeda grow stronger is certainly not what any reasonable and compassionate person wants. However, it has been a little more than 2 months since McChrystal submitted his 66-page report to Sec't of Defense Robert Gates on Sept. 20, 2009, and I sincerely believe that Obama is doing the right thing in taking the time to implement a responsible and hopefully successful and winning decision on strategy. It's his duty as Commander in Chief.

Fortunately, there are a few wise Republicans out there who see the same thing I do, like Sen. Chuck Lamar who said, "President Obama is entitled to take sufficient time to decide what our long-term role ought to be in Afghanistan. I want him to take the time to get it right."

Obama's critics should follow our lead–especially you, Mr. Cheney.

*Not to be confused with the Iraq Survey Group, which was charged with finding WMD after the liberation** of Iraq.
**Not occupation, dicks.

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