Obviously, he never read Michael Moore's open letter. He most certainly wasn't listening to his own constituents. I doubt even most of the Dems in his own party agree with this decision. All were probably thinking the same thing: neither Afghanistan nor the Iraq wars were his. He could have ended both of them right now; sign orders to bring the troops home; to cut their losses. All who voted for him and his fellow Democrats (with perhaps the exception of Blue Dogs and members of C street) would not only have let him go for pulling the plug on both wars but it would have been more welcome than this. Obama is now a 'war president', having taken ownership of Afghanistan war.
As with LBJ before him, Obama is already taking hits from both the left and the right. The right, of course, say no deadlines should have been set and even his own friendly democrats are balking at the idea of sending 30 000 troops.
Imperialism is still imperialism, no matter who does it. Funny how Obama called the U.S. relationship with Pakistan a 'partnership'. Perhaps before making such assumptions, he should have checked some polls about the Pakistani people.
A Gallup poll in Pakistan last August showed that only 11% of Pakistanis felt that the Taliban were the biggest threat to their country. 18% felt India was the biggest threat and, you guessed it, the poll indicates that the U.S. is their biggest threat. That same poll also concluded that 67% of Pakistanis were against any Americans conducting operations in that country. That message to me is loud and clear; the Pakistanis never asked for our help and they don't want or need it.
As for the Afghans, they too, no longer welcome us in their country. They never welcomed foreigners. The Soviets learned that the hard way. This is a country where democracy clearly doesn't work. The so-called elected Karzai government is corrupt and that will never ever change.
The Taliban will never disappear completely as no one can really know who they are. The Afghan people seem to believe that Taliban occupation is the lesser of the evils. Yes, even the women believe this. Life hasn't changed that much for them. Karzai is still very much a misogynist, having made into law that husbands were allowed to rape their wives; the term 'rape' doesn't exist in their world. It's how both men and women over there prefer it.
As for Al-Qaeda, most are from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan. There is nothing to indicate that they would even still be in Afghanistan or Pakistan for that matter. After all those years, with all the intelligence the U.S. has to offer, such as the CIA, how come no one caught Al-Qaeda?
What is with Obama anyway? First, it was the waffling on the public option for health care reform; a plan that will significantly be watered down.
Now, he is practically giving a carbon copy speech of Georgie's.
What the hell does he hope to achieve? He obviously hasn't learned that in trying to make all happy, you make everyone unhappy and this is what exactly is happening here.
Obama will never endear himself to Republicans, the ever-growing loud tea-baggers and of course, the Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Fox News machines. I expect it will get worse. Obama may have had a shot at a second term if he pulled the troops out now and just not taken ownership of this war. It will worsen as this time, he will have alienated his supporters and they won't be so quick to defend him.
Below, is Michael Moore's reaction on the Larry King Show last night. His take is that he still believes Obama is a decent man with a good heart, but he is taking very bad advice that will cost him.
Since Obama is sure to be a one term president and his former supporters will either abstain from voting in the next election or vote for a fringe candidate like Ralph Nader, I dare say, Say hello to President Palin. I know, a gloomy outlook, but she will be the GOP candidate as they have no one near the star status of See Sawah run. Intelligence obviously doesn't matter here; like Ronald Reagan being the useful idiot to Don Regan of Merrill Lynch, Sawah will have a corporate puppet master running the country behind the scenes.
No, she won't win because she will end the wars, if anything, she'll probably expand wars all over Middle-East. She will win because the noisy minority of the growing popularity of the Tea-bagger movement will outshine the cynical and silent progressives.
She will also win the same way Georgie did; scaring American voters into believing only she and the GOP and tea-baggers can keep them safe; to keep the Communist Muslim boogie men from hiding under their beds. This escalation has already provoked the Taliban to strengthen their resolve. No doubt Al-Qaeda will be provoked into further attempts at attacks on U.S. soil. Obama will be blamed for that as well.
I wish it were April fool or Halloween, but anything short of Obama changing his mind and withdrawing the troops immediately and cutting their losses, his presidency is over. I really hope he realizes this decision will ruin the U.S. by giving the keys to Sawah.