I found President Obama’s address to the nation regarding the future of our effort in Afghanistan to sound very Bush-like.
President Obama evoked the images of 9/11 to point out the need for our continued efforts in Afghanistan, although he tried to criticize the previous administration, he remained true to the withdrawal dates in Iraq that President Bush set, he spoke of the world’s duty to join us in our efforts and he reaffirmed the need to achieve our goals. All were that which were stressed by President George W. Bush.
What I found ironic was President Obama’s call for unity and the need to stand “behind a common purpose” as we pass through what he called a “time of great turbulence”. I also found great enjoyment in his closing statements that declared our being right as being our might and the need for our continued efforts to create “a world that is more secure”. Statements such as these, when made by former President Bush, received ridicule and were consider the excesses of bravado coming from a shoot ‘em first, ask questions later Texan. It will be interesting to see how the left responds to these type of remarks coming from President Obama.
I must admit that I do agree with President Obama’s assessment and his admission that the War in Afghanistan must be won and that we must have a clear mission and clear definition of what victory in Afghanistan is. I also agree with President Obama’s long awaited determination for a troop surge in Afghanistan to help achieve the needed victory that we must achieve. But what I am disturbed by is President Obama’s hypocrisy. Although the main topic of his recent address was regarding Afghanistan, he consistently denounced everything and opposed everything President Bush did in Iraq. He states that he always opposed that war and even called it a dumb one. Yet President Obama now talks about our need to make the world secure and is willing to throw American troops behind that drive for security. But what of that same need when it came to Iraq? In his own book, then Senator Obama made it clear that he believed Saddam Hussein sought nuclear weapons and had biological weapons.
For most people, it was understood that in the hands of Saddam Hussein, such weaponry posed too high a security risk. Many also understood that Saddam Hussein was in defiance of both United Nations resolutions and the longstanding ceasefire agreement between the US and Iraq after the first Gulf War. But Barrack Obama did not. Despite his admitted beliefs regarding Hussein’s intentions and capabilities, he contends that there was no need to insure security in the world in the case of Iraq and what’s more is, Barrack Obama certainly did not ask for the type of unity that he is seeking from all Americans now.
Yet despite the President’s opposition to the Iraq War, as both a Senator and now as President, he repeatedly admitted to a need for us to do all that we could to accomplish the mission in Iraq. What mission? The mission that he said is dumb?
President Obama spoke well in his national address on Afghanistan but he also spoke out of both sides of his mouth. While he opposed a troop surge in Iraq he wants a troop surge in Afghanistan. While he stated that he believed our effort in Iraq distracted from Afghanistan, President Obama remains committed to the timeline that President Bush laid out in Iraq
once we defeated the insurgent element that existed there.
Now in Afghanistan, President Obama is calling for the same things that President Bush often called for. He called for more troops. He called for unity and he called for our need to insure a world that is more secure.
Well, it’s about time.
President Obama made excuses for his taking much longer than necessary to finally approve the increased number of troops that he was asked for months ago. But all they are is excuses. He never should have hesitated. But the bottom line for me is that President Obama stepped up and moved towards achieving victory in Afghanistan. In doing so, he defied his base and it was for that reason that he addressed comparisons which some make between Afghanistan and Viet Nam. The President assured all that we face in Afghanistan is unlike Viet Nam and that our mission there is much more defined than it was in Viet Nam.
For sure, there will be those on the left who will not be happy with President Obama’s decision tonight. Two years ago, Barack Obama was standing in agreement with those people. However, now that he is President Barack Obama, he sees the national security needs and understands the threats that we face and from where they come from. That is why President Obama is calling for more troops in Afghanistan. It is why he admits to our need to provide security in the world. It is why he is calling for “unity” during turbulent times.
I will heed our President‘s call. I will unite behind his effort to provide a “a more secure world” which is something that he refused to do before he was President and bore that burden of.