Tuesday, December 1, 2009

He can’t please anybody

President Barack Obama is expected Tuesday to inform the world that the United States is sending another 30,000 troops (that figure comes from the Associated Press) to Afghanistan in an attempt to bolster the military forces already there in the war against extremist elements of Islam.

Which means shortly thereafter, we’re going to hear all the pundits from all the different factions lambasting Obama for his foolish/halfhearted/immoral act. Take your pick which term you want to use.

THEY’RE ALL GOING to be spewed out at various times.

In theory, Obama is giving the military what it wants in terms of trying to put together an effort that could “win” the war that has been taking place there for some nine years now. This conflict has easily become the longest war the U.S. military has ever been involved with.

Yet Obama was the man who was chosen as president in part because of a significant faction of voters who believed that he would do everything possible to get U.S. forces out of the Middle East (as in Afghanistan and Iraq).

There will be people who say that if we wanted an increased effort, we might as well have put Sarah Palin in the role of being the woman who took John McCain’s pulse every morning.

NOW I VOTED for Obama in the ’08 elections and by and large, I don’t regret it. I also am one of those people who thought it admirable that Obama could claim during the presidential campaign season that he had always been opposed to the United States getting involved in full-scale war when it comes to the Middle East.

Yet all I can say is that if there really are people who are disillusioned with Obama now because of his actions that will become official Tuesday night, I’d have to say they are incredibly naïve.

I never operated under the thought that a vote for Obama was a vote for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. military forces.

Personally, I believe that even if Obama takes every possible chance to get troops out bit by bit, there still will be a military presence in the area come January 2013 – the scheduled end of his first term.

MAYBE IF HE gets two full terms, he can say troops will be out by the end of his presidency. Then again, considering the ongoing tensions of the Middle East with conflicts whose underlying reasons go back thousands of years, maybe he can’t.

I don’t know how this situation will turn out, other than to say there is so much potential for things to go wrong no matter what actions are taken by U.S. officials.

So when I sit back and listen to the various commentators spew their rhetoric (be honest, the conservatives aren’t going to support this added military effort because they don’t want history to record that Obama settled the war that was started by George W. Bush), I’m going to have to try hard to restrain myself from chuckling.

So much of the trash talk from all sides will be pure nonsense.

IT WILL BE pure partisan politics, which is the element that I always have thought gets in the way of the ability of government officials to accomplish much of anything for the public good.

The truth is that this is an inherited mess, and there’s a good chance the Obama administration will not be capable of coming to a swift resolution. If they could, then perhaps Obama would be worthy of that Nobel Prize he received earlier this year.

Wait and see is all we can do.


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