President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan was hyped to be one of the most important speeches he will make during his presidency. Did his performance rise to the occasion? It did not. At a time when he needed to rally the United States to get the people behind him to support for escalation of this war, if that's what he wanted to do, he came up short. Whenever Obama needs to do something that is in the interest of the United States of America, he looks to appease his political base.
There is an old saying that if you try to please everyone you will end up pleasing no one. This is what Obama tries to do. In all of his legislation that he has either shoved through the Congress i.e. stimulus bill, or anything else that he is trying to shove through Congress such as the health care bill, Cap and Trade bill, he starts out to persuade the American people that his reforms are needed for the betterment of the country. He is the chosen one doing the Lord's work. Then at the end, he tries to mollify his political base. He also did this in his speech.
Using the same rhetoric he is used since taking office in January, the same phrases are being worn out when explaining his military plans to an anxious population as they are when we are being duped over health-care reform. It's getting old and the American people are tired of it. Perhaps this is part of his diminishing popularity. People are finding out they elected an empty suit. The presidency requires much more effort and much more character than Obama has proved to have.
A shock to other pundits, is that Obama has committed 30,000 troops to the Afghan area and then plans to withdraw in 18 months. This will give the Taliban a team wants to regroup. Starting in January, the telegram can reduce their combat action and work to train new soldiers. In July 2011, after the Obama administration declares victory, they can come out in full force with their troops also retrained.
There are several things that I found particularly peculiar in the speech. The economic content. At a time when the spirit of Americanism and victory should be emphasized, Obama decided to bring in the economic factor. Wars are costly. Although this is true, when trying to arouse the troops for an unconditional victory, Obama decided to pacify the Liberal Democrats in Congress such as David Obey, and suggest that a war surtax is coming down the pike. This should not be a surprise, the Democrats seem to be doing everything they can to raise taxes during a recession and blamed George Bush for the economic woes of the country. It's been almost a year, is Obama ever going to take ownership of the economy?
The cadets at West Point did not seem too enthused either by the speech or to have the President of the United States in their presence. He likes to use soldiers for props. He gets in front of an audience of soldiers, this might get them motivated for the task ahead, and practically tells them that some of them will not come back. And some of you will come back sans a few limbs. Far from a catalyst of gaiety.
What will success look like in Afghanistan? What is the mission? If that is not clear, it's time to bring everyone home and proclaim a loss. This should satisfy the Liberals because it will mean less spending for American defense. The antiwar liberals will be happy, the Taliban and will be happy, and Obama will be happy because the Moslems will be happy. Doesn't that make you happy too?