Skip to comments.Helen Thomas: "Obama Is Now Called A 'War President'"-Escalates War in Afghanistan [GRAPHIC IMAGES]
Posted on 12/10/2009 7:16:07 AM PST by seanmerc
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama had a golden opportunity to become a peacemaker compared to his hawkish predecessor. But he has let that opening evaporate by escalating the war in Afghanistan.
Now he is called a "war president" -- a dubious title that former President George W. Bush personally embraced after starting two devastating wars, one in Afghanistan, the other in Iraq.
In both cases, the U.S. is touting its exit plans. In Iraq, Obama has declared a victory and plans to pull out many troops next year, though leaving thousands behind to secure the Baghdad government. In Afghanistan, Obama has spoken vaguely about a troop drawdown starting in July 2011.
The problem in Iraq is that the sectarian war we nurtured in that oil-rich country -- and invaded on the basis of false intelligence -- is far from over, as evidenced by the suicide bombings in Baghdad this week that took 127 lives and wounded hundreds of Iraqis.
Obama went into Hamlet mode in his prolonged deliberation about Afghanistan before deciding to send 30,000 more troops there in pursuit of Taliban forces and the al Qaida network.
The president was accused of "dithering" by militant Republican lawmakers, most of whom have never known war. Later, he was pilloried for announcing a July 2011 date to begin an Afghanistan exodus.
It must have been tough for the president to prepare a persuasive speech in accepting the Nobel peace prize on Thursday while escalating a war in Central Asia.
Obamas troop buildup is in line with his campaign promise that Afghanistan was a war of necessity -- as opposed to Iraq -- and that he would target Afghanistan if he became president.
Still, he had a chance to reconsider and begin a withdrawal to save lives.
Considering the domestic problems on his plate, he should have followed the footprints of the Russians, who gave up after some 10 years of warfare in that rugged terrain. In earlier times, both the British and Alexander the Great finally left Afghanistan to the warlike Afghans.
There is a precedent for strategic withdrawal. President Dwight D. Eisenhower --a top commander in World War II ----withdrew most U.S. troops from Korea and settled for an armistice with Pyongyang.
As for interventions in civil wars, a Bill Mauldin cartoon said it all. He showed two muddied GIs lifting their heads out of a trench and one asks the other: "How can you tell a North Korean from a South Korean?"
No one called Ike a coward when he compromised. Likewise, Americans heaved a sigh of relief when President Ronald Reagan "redeployed" U.S. Marines out of Lebanon in 1983.
Obama should remember his own battle cry and tell the hawks: "Yes, we can."
The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry -- formerly the top military commander in that tribal country -- had warned against a troop escalation in secret cables he sent to the State Department.
But in testimony this week on Capitol Hill, Eikenberry -- like a good soldier -- came on board with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who had requested 40,000 more American troops. NATO allies have promised to dispatch several thousands more troops, bringing the total number to 100,000 under U.S. command.
Eikenberry said the goal is to stabilize Afghanistan and ensure that al Qaida and other terrorist groups cannot regain a foothold there to plan new attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gen. David Petraeus -- who heads U.S. Central Command -- insisted that parallels between Iraq and Afghanistan or Vietnam are "highly misleading."
"Afghanistan is not Iraq," or other countries, he said. "It is Afghanistan with its own list of challenges and difficulties."
The difference, he explained, is the low literacy rate in Afghanistan and its shaky central government.
Sorry, general. To me it looks like the same old Vietnam quagmire.
In the vernacular, Obama should know the often repeated phrase: "The way forward" means "out."
owwww-—too many pixels of rotting flesh
SO much for “brinign the troops home immediately”. Obama is a liar.
Okay, where do I send you the bill for my keyboard that just got sprayed with coffee shooting from my nose?
That’s way beyond “GRAPHIC”.
I tried to start a keyboard replacement fund on FR but nobody wanted to play. Poster of this article would be required to pony up a dollar to help offset keyboard destruction. Don’t they know, its for the CHILDREN!!!!
Obama a war president? Like Kerry a war hero!
I know libs like to say we started the war with Afghanistan...but they started it by allowing that country to be the base of operations that resulted in 3,000 Americans being killed. We didn’t start ANYTHING in Afghanistan...and if we don’t pull our heads out of our collective hind-ends...we won’t finish anything either.
You mean Kerry the Purple Heart-decorated wounded Vietnam war hero?
No wonder the Norwegians weren't applauding during his speech.
Helen Thomas is an ugly left wing/liberal B$tch, but she has been against any war, regardless of who is president.
She roasted LBJ on a regular basis.
Hopefully, she will continue to baste and roast 0b0z0 on this issue on a regular basis.
Emergency antidote website
OH YOU MEANIE!!!!! When you said graphic I thought you meant war related!!!!
Oh, my eyes!!! I think I need a corneal transplant now...OUCH.
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