Obama orders escalation, and then withdrawal

Full story: Long Beach Press-Telegram

Declaring "our security is at stake," President Barack Obama ordered an additional 30,000 U.S. troops into the long war in Afghanistan Tuesday night.
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1 - 20 of 24 Comments Last updated Dec 8, 2009
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LBres

Long Beach, CA

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#1
Dec 2, 2009
 

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Straight talk.
The mission is not to bring "Jeffersonian style democracy" to Afghanistan nor is it to get the 100 remaining members of Al Qaeda. They will merely flee across the border into Pakistan. The Taliban can be bought off (with taxpayer dollars) just like has been done in Pakistan and the Sunnis in Iraq. "Our security is at stake" is code for "to ensure the continued flow of oil and gas to the Western world."
Plain and simple. Ya folla?
Lynn Jackson

Long Beach, CA

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#2
Dec 2, 2009
 

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Let's give each Tribal War Lord a bag of cash every month that they maintain order and keep Al Quida at bay. Then bring all of our kids home from that God Awful hole.

We could put them on our own Southern Border to stop the invasion.

Every one knows that the invasion and subsequent infestation is the REAL threat to America.
joecairo

Irvine, CA

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#3
Dec 2, 2009
 

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yeah, y'all are missing the bigger picture.

Whoever controls the opium, controls the future of Afghanistan. If, after 8 years and nearly 100,000 troops later, if we don't but some effort into dealing with the worlds' opium supply, we forfeit any right to be drug intolerant as a nation.

The military principle is the Hammer and Anvil, whereby we are the Anvil that takes one side of the Pakistani border while the Pakistani's Hammer the Taliban from their side.(Fill the skies with drones in the mountains between the two armies and we're outta there in short order).

Remember, Hitler lost World War II when he chose to fight on two fronts.

Lastly, it's still about Bin Laden and Zawahiri. Anything short of thier heads on sticks is unacceptable.

How can Americans regain their swagger in the world if we can't mete out some justice to these two villans?
joecairo

Irvine, CA

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Dec 2, 2009
 

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Let me expand on something just a tad: The Taliban are now in an area somewhat between two armies...ours and the Pakistani's. They're in a kind of "Pincer", which is a position that all generals hope to get their enemies in.

The Pakistani's are finally getting some motivation in dealing with their Taliban. Some of the motivation is politcal and strategic, some is financial and tactical.

We are pouring money into Pakistan, as will be many other countries IF they can show some stabilization. At the same time, the Pakistani Taliban are getting pretty agressive and the secular leadership is definetly in the cross-hairs.

Any notion of a "surge" mentality, like in Iraq, misses the point that so-called "surges" are merely deployments that seek to make up for what should have been implemented in the first place.

General Shinseki's advice on troop strength in Iraq, totally discredited at the time, prompted the "surge" which only brought the levels up to what he had predicted would be adequate in the first place.

Make no mistake, our inattention in Afghanistan, while be bled ourselves dry in Iraq, is the legacy we are dealing with now. Tough situation calls for Tough Choices.

I applaud President Obama for his thoughtful deliberation and his committment to our fighting forces.
LB Local

United States

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#5
Dec 2, 2009
 

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"Obama orders escalation, and then withdrawal"
It sounds like a form of birth control.
Concerned American

Bakersfield, CA

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Dec 2, 2009
 

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If our military was allowed to fight this war without political correctness being the guiding factor, we would be out in not much time at all. Our politicians have become more concerned with offending the enemy than with allowing our troops to get the job done. Had we fought WWII like we have fought these two wars, we would be speaking either German or Japanese today instead of English. If the enemy is hiding itself and its weapons in a mosque, blow it up. If they are captured on the battlefield, it would be best to just shoot them, otherwise they might end up in front of a jury in NYC. Our miltary leaders and the so-called Commander-in-Chief have allowed our enemy to dictate the terms of engagement. We are fighting the war the way they want it fought. Give our troops a chance to be victorious, a term unheard of in the Obama Administration. I am now wondering when all of the media will start publicizing a daily death count like they did while Bush was president. I guess there will be no need to, being as Obama has announced that we are going to be retreating in 18 months. Haven't you heard, America is weak, we have been a horrible super-power, and we just want to be like every other socialist country in the world. Just ask Obama, or listen to most any of his international speeches.
Concerned American

Bakersfield, CA

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Dec 2, 2009
 

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LB Local wrote:
"Obama orders escalation, and then withdrawal"
It sounds like a form of birth control.
Very good. Unfortunately, what is being aborted is called VICTORY. Oh, that's right, Obama never said anything about victory. He has stated in the past that he has a problem with that word.
LB Local

United States

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#8
Dec 2, 2009
 

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Why am I not surprised you live in Bakersfield. You don't know the difference between birth control and abortion? The arguments you use are not applicable to asymmetric warfare, and we hung people who did as you suggest in WWII. Listen to Joecairo. I don't always agree with him but strategically and tactically he is right on.
Concerned American

Bakersfield, CA

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#9
Dec 2, 2009
 

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LB Local wrote:
Why am I not surprised you live in Bakersfield. You don't know the difference between birth control and abortion? The arguments you use are not applicable to asymmetric warfare, and we hung people who did as you suggest in WWII. Listen to Joecairo. I don't always agree with him but strategically and tactically he is right on.
Birth control aborts the possibility of a pregnancy. It's just semantics. I happen to be working in Bakersfield at the moment. I unfortunately live in Long Beach amongst bigoted, elitist type people such as yourself. Most of the people in Bakersfield are very good people. The only thing wrong with this area is the trash that has moved here from Los Angeles and Long Beach. So much for getting off the topic. I still say that the politically correct rules of engagement that our troops must follow are keeping us from achieving a swift, outright victory.
Get a Grip

Long Beach, CA

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#10
Dec 3, 2009
 

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Concerned American wrote:
<quoted text>
Birth control aborts the possibility of a pregnancy. It's just semantics. I happen to be working in Bakersfield at the moment. I unfortunately live in Long Beach amongst bigoted, elitist type people such as yourself. Most of the people in Bakersfield are very good people. The only thing wrong with this area is the trash that has moved here from Los Angeles and Long Beach. So much for getting off the topic. I still say that the politically correct rules of engagement that our troops must follow are keeping us from achieving a swift, outright victory.
Long Beach "elitiest"???? Unless voting to destroy any hope of a decent prosperous future for your family is "elitiest" I don't see your logic.

We search out Third Rate talent who do a Third Rate job at running our City. What's "elite" about that lunacy?
icblackness

Fountain Valley, CA

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#11
Dec 3, 2009
 

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Oba Mao has just guarantied our loss in Afghanistan. The best we can do in and for Afghanistan is legalize Marijuana. Keep a large military presence and reward Afghans for being in the Marijuana trade and kill Afghans involved in the Opium/Poppy trade. Allow the regular citizens in Afghanistan to prosper through their own hard work. Then we can bring our troops home. As it stands Obama is guilty of giving comfort to our enemies by stupidly announcing a withdrawal date.
hmm

Fullerton, CA

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#12
Dec 3, 2009
 

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LB Local wrote:
"Obama orders escalation, and then withdrawal"
It sounds like a form of birth control.
It's the classic Tiger Woods strategy.
imagine

Fullerton, CA

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#13
Dec 3, 2009
 
Concerned American wrote:
If our military was allowed to fight this war without political correctness being the guiding factor, we would be out in not much time at all. Our politicians have become more concerned with offending the enemy than with allowing our troops to get the job done. Had we fought WWII like we have fought these two wars, we would be speaking either German or Japanese today instead of English.
Can you imagine D Day being initiated today? Anderson Cooper would be live on CNN heralding it as a bloody defeat by the middle of the day, Hitler would be reorganizing as he watches Wolf Blitzer interviewing scattered paratroopers telling him they can't find their battalions, and Geraldo Rivera hanging dead in a tree by his parachute. Because we find concentration camps abhorrent, the Navel Yard would start exploding like like a pan of Jiffy Pop, with Japanese running into guard houses strapped with suicide bombs, and Japanese families being dragged out of their houses and lynched by angry crowds by the fall of night. Since we wouldn't put devoted Germans in concentration camps either, our phone lines would be dropping out, and the internet would freeze.
As Lincoln warned, the defeat of this nation can only come politically, and from within, <cough obama cough cough ACORN cough HUD cough cough>.
Scuze me. I gotta cough.

Since: Nov 08

Cologne- Germany

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#14
Dec 3, 2009
 

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Which is the greater folly: To fancy that war offers an easy solution to vexing problems, or, knowing otherwise, to opt for war anyway?

In the wake of 9/11, American statecraft emphasized the first approach: President George W. Bush embarked on a "global war" to eliminate violent jihadism. President Obama now seems intent on pursuing the second approach: Through military escalation in Afghanistan, he seeks to "finish the job" that Bush began there, then all but abandoned.

So if the most powerful man in the world wants out, why doesn't he simply get out? For someone who vows to change the way Washington works, Afghanistan seemingly offers a made-to-order opportunity to make good on that promise. Why is Obama muffing the chance?

What Afghanistan tells us is that rather than changing Washington, Obama has become its captive. The president has succumbed to the twin illusions that have taken the political class by storm in recent months. The first illusion, reflecting a self-serving interpretation of the origins of 9/11, is that events in Afghanistan are crucial to the safety and well-being of the American people. The second illusion, the product of a self-serving interpretation of the Iraq War, is that the U.S. possesses the wisdom and wherewithal to guide Afghanistan out of darkness and into the light.

Under the guise of cleaning up Bush's mess, Obama has chosen to continue Bush's policies. No doubt pulling the plug on an ill-advised enterprise involves risk and uncertainty. It also entails acknowledging mistakes. It requires courage. Yet without these things, talk of change will remain so much hot air.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentar...
exmilitary

Garden Grove, CA

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#15
Dec 3, 2009
 

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imagine wrote:
<quoted text>
As Lincoln warned, the defeat of this nation can only come politically, and from within, <cough obama cough cough ACORN cough HUD cough cough>.
Scuze me. I gotta cough.
Actually,
As Lincoln warned, the defeat of this nation can only come politically, and from within, <cough LIMBAUGH cough cough BECK cough FOX cough cough>.

Scuze me. I gotta cough too.
time to cut the crap

Fullerton, CA

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#16
Dec 3, 2009
 
Ramafuchs wrote:
Which is the greater folly: To fancy that war offers an easy solution to vexing problems, or, knowing otherwise, to opt for war anyway?
In the wake of 9/11, American statecraft emphasized the first approach: President George W. Bush embarked on a "global war" to eliminate violent jihadism. President Obama now seems intent on pursuing the second approach: Through military escalation in Afghanistan, he seeks to "finish the job" that Bush began there, then all but abandoned.
So if the most powerful man in the world wants out, why doesn't he simply get out? For someone who vows to change the way Washington works, Afghanistan seemingly offers a made-to-order opportunity to make good on that promise. Why is Obama muffing the chance?
What Afghanistan tells us is that rather than changing Washington, Obama has become its captive. The president has succumbed to the twin illusions that have taken the political class by storm in recent months. The first illusion, reflecting a self-serving interpretation of the origins of 9/11, is that events in Afghanistan are crucial to the safety and well-being of the American people. The second illusion, the product of a self-serving interpretation of the Iraq War, is that the U.S. possesses the wisdom and wherewithal to guide Afghanistan out of darkness and into the light.
Under the guise of cleaning up Bush's mess, Obama has chosen to continue Bush's policies. No doubt pulling the plug on an ill-advised enterprise involves risk and uncertainty. It also entails acknowledging mistakes. It requires courage. Yet without these things, talk of change will remain so much hot air.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentar...
The press really needs to get together in some kind of summit, and agree to not devalue particular words and their meanings. This isn't a war. It's administration of traffic. It's the difference between tenting an infested house, and using a hundred roach motels.

A real war in Afghanistan would take about 3 years to begin and conclude, assuming we had the money to finance it. The traffic administration advocated by Obama will never end. This is a tribal nation, more than 80% of Afghans marry their first cousins. The average IQ of an Afghan is around 85.
Not the stuff nations are built on.
Building a nation in Afghanistan requires, by definition, killing a hell of a lot of Afghans, and imprisoning scores more, and establishing a dictatorship with western sensibilities. That's the only way it would work.

Basically they need the Afghan version of Turkey's Ataturk, who changed the course of Turkey forever, and for the better. It's the only relatively civilized muslim country in the world now, thanks directly to him. The man is worshipped in Turkey, and for good reason. He took no crap, and didn't waste time. He walked an amazing tightrope of acknowledging western values as the future of civilization, while keeping the best of his own countries basic values intact. Compared to what it was, Turkey is now a great country.

Reader's who are unfamiliar should google up Ataturk, one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, if not THE greatest. He's a prototype for a muslim state leader. I doubt Obama will be able to find someone like him, but that should be his goal. If he can't find one in Afghanistan, a Turkish import would suffice, since they've seen up close how nation building with few resources is done.
oh really

Long Beach, CA

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#17
Dec 4, 2009
 
I think it makes more sense to heed the president than the words of a professor of history and international relations. The president has just spent months studying the situation. He has access to the best intelligence and military experts. The professor is, well, a professor. This president -- arguably the most liberal ever -- states "it is in our vital national interests" to continue military action. His speech clearly stated his reasons. The professor's column failed to refute any of those reasons.

A few of my issues with the professor's opinion piece:

The professor brought up Viet Nam and Nixon not knowing when to cut his losses. The professor omitted that after the U.S. left Viet Nam, the country eventually fell to the NVA. Subsequently, millions of innocents were slaughtered. That may or may not have been in our national interests, but it surely was not good. And it was the direct consequence of our departure.

Similarly, the professor did not analyze the probable outcome of an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Taliban would retake the country. They would murder any who collaborated with the U.S. They would reimpose, by force, the strictest, most barbaric sharia laws. They will continue to prepare and commit, unhindered, terrorist strikes against us.



The professor does not address that, really, Afghanistan is of moderate importance. Pakistan is of the highest importance to us. The Taliban will continue its attacks in Pakistan. Pakistan has nukes. NUKES! Pakistan is an Islamic state. Its government is unstable. It commitment to the U.S. is shaky. If we withdraw from Afghanistan now, the Pakistani government will see that we have abandoned our pledge to its immediate neighbor. Further, it will view Obama's sell-out of Poland and other allies to Russia. Pakistan will doubt our commitment to itself.

Pakistan is already under pressure from many Islamic countries, Muslims and its own citizens for allying itself with the Great Satin. The Taliban has previously taken at least one provence within Pakistan. If the U.S. were to withdraw now from Afghanistan, it will be pragmatic for Islamic Pakistan to reconsider what is in its national interests -- and it probably won't be as an ally of the U.S.

I suspect the president, knowing what he now knows, would have prefered to send more troops than 30,000. I suspect his speech was carefully worded. After 18 months they will begin to come home. He did not say they would all come home. I suspect he had to appease the left wing of his party or risk losing their support. Their support is critical to his agenda. So, from his point of view, I suspect the president had little choice with this speech.

I am disappointed that more of his supporters are not giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Ramafuchs wrote:
Which is the greater folly: To fancy that war offers an easy solution to vexing problems, or, knowing otherwise, to opt for war anyway?
The first illusion, reflecting a self-serving interpretation of the origins of 9/11, is that events in Afghanistan are crucial to the safety and well-being of the American people.
No doubt pulling the plug on an ill-advised enterprise involves risk and uncertainty. It also entails acknowledging mistakes. It requires courage. Yet without these things, talk of change will remain so much hot air.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentar...
Hugh Jass

Phoenix, AZ

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#18
Dec 4, 2009
 
How long before Obama "bows" to the Taliban? To Al Qaeda? To Fox News?
Hugh Jass

Phoenix, AZ

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#19
Dec 4, 2009
 

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Is Obama for the war before he was against it? Or is he against it before he was for it? I'm confused.

Since: Nov 08

Cologne- Germany

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#20
Dec 4, 2009
 
Oh Really
Obama is a qualified law professor.

I respect OBAMA but not his carnival soup sipping voters who are not there to defend his word CHANGE:
The system in USA needs a radical change before the climate change or financial waterloo

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