why did it take [Obama] almost 11 months for him to make such a public commitment to sending more troops?
He made a public commitment to it since January of 2007.
The fact that President Obama took 80 days to finally follow the orders of his Generals is pathetic. President Bush took just 50 days to remove the Taliban from power permanently!
But this time, he needed West Point as a backdrop to give him apparent credibility to try to mask his indecisiveness.
Considering there was no indecisiveness, there was no need to "get credibility."
It was only a few days ago that Obama referred to the military as "a pretty good photo-op." It came off to me as a backhanded compliment, a way to seemingly praise the military while relegating them to mere window dressing.
Oh, please. He was making a light-hearted joke at an airbase stop.
Not surprisingly, after the president noted he was increasing military pay he received a big cheer. "That's what you call an applause line in the business," the president joked.
If he played everything as totally serious, the Right would be bitching about that, too.
When you consider Obama gave his big announcement from a military proving ground like West Point, it's clear that he doesn't seem to respect our military, in spite of being its commander.
Yes, god forbid he talk about military action... to the military.
You guys didn't say a goddamn thing when Bush used this as a photo op:
Or THIS as a photo op:
And remember, Bush never saw a day of combat in his life. He was too busy defending Alabama (well, part of the time). And Bush played it 100% straight with no joking whatsoever. You kept your mouths shut when that was going on. But you bitched about John Kerry windsurfing, and now this. Partisan douches.
Then, there's the 18 month timetable. If the troop surge was a means to appease the Right in this country, the timetable was a means to appease the Left, who has been demanding a definite exit date for Afghanistan and Iraq. To me, that's one of the worst things you can do in war. If you set a definitive date when you're going to scale back, you give the enemy a date through which they can dig in and win. And with the absurd rules of engagement in place right now where our troops have to practically jump through hoops before they're allowed to fire back in self-defense, I fear we have a CIC without much concern for the well-being of our troops.
18 months they'll begin removing forces from the area. How long and slow that process will be we don't know, but it does free them from concrete dates. Obama said: "Taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground."
When you're faced with partners like Afghanistan and Pakistan, are you going to pony up for more than 18 months? The US is, and should be, tired of propping up these crippled states with weak, corrupt and ineffective leaders. The speech basically said, if Afghanistan hasn't cleaned up it's house within 18 months, governmentally, they don't represent the best interests of the Afghani people and we're not going to continue to dump money down this bung hole. The threat here doesn't appear to be Al Queda but the Taliban creating an Al Queda safe environment for the future - and the population turns to the Taliban in the absence of Government services. So, clean up Government, train the soldiers, and reclaim the trust of the people? It also said that Pakistan ought to be out to take care of the problem they've got (with Al Queda) than the one they want to have (with India).
If Pakistan wanted to, they could take care of Al Queda in a fairly short time - they use the threat for their own purposes. This increase looks like the predecessor to a controlled withdrawal. I have no idea why Republicans would want to stay there longer. I have not heard one cogent argument that would support that - if Pakistan didn't have the bomb, I doubt that we'd be increasing. Both countries are sucking us dry while not doing anything worthwhile. I agree it's important but not important enough to break the bank on - let the region get more involved with these idiots. Of course, the Right will give the distinct presumption that Obama started both wars himself, had no plan to fight either of them, and is determined to fight them to the bitter end as he constantly sends barrage after barrage of innocent soldiers to die. Yet they'd scream just as loudly if Obama told every soldier on the ground to pack it up, be home by the end of the week, and don't forget to turn the light out when they left.
I pray I'm wrong about this. I really do. But from the way it looks, our military doesn't just have to worry about being shot in the front by our enemies abroad; they have to worry about being stabbed in the back by the politicians at home.
Looks like someone went to the Karl Rove center of spin.
What's funniest is that these right-wingers were grinning ear-to-ear every time a soldier died in Iraq (on either side). You know, that pointless war that had our soldiers dying for no reason? Or are you still insisting we found Saddam's WMD's, just like you were proclaiming after Bush admitted there were none found?
There is no winning with these two-faced, hypocritcal, opportunistic, butthurt losers, and somehow they think a Cheney/Palin 2012 ticket will be the perfect crowning glory to the Republican super-majority they'll get in 2010.