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Split message yields split verdict

By Ben Pershing
Back in October, Eugene Robinson wrote that "the decisions on Afghanistan truly are either-or," so President Obama could not -- as is his habit -- decide to split the difference on the war. But to friends and foes alike, Obama's speech Tuesday night demonstrated that splitting the difference is exactly what he's trying to do.

Dan Balz writes that "Obama assumed full ownership of the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday night with a speech arguing that the fastest way out of the conflict is a rapid and significant escalation of it." Doyle McManus observes that "Obama turned at least one piece of conventional military thinking on its head: The belief that announcing a timetable for withdrawing from a war simply emboldens the enemy to wait things out." And Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney saw, according to their headline, "Two Messages for Two Sides," one on his plan to escalate the war and the other on his plan to end it.

Reaction on Capitol Hill Tuesday made clear why the speech seemed bipolar: Democrats don't want to stay in Afghanistan, and Republicans don't want to leave. So does the fact that neither side is completely pleased with Obama's decision mean that he struck just the right balance? Or does it mean that he is now on a political island, with no one to back him up if the situation in Afghanistan gets worse?

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  December 2, 2009; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama's Afghan policy speech at West Point
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Gallup is even WORSE for Obama (ONLY 35% agree with him on Afghanistan):

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse Quick vote

Do you think that Obama's Afghanistan plan will succeed?

No 58% (90,152 votes)

Yes 42% (65,436 votes)

Total votes: 155,588

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

At least we agree that Obama was wrong at West Point (even if we don't agree what he was wrong about). Keep in mind, also, that I don't get to decide which military orders are legal or illegal. That is up to each individual serviceman and woman. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders -- if the order was illegal -- luckily, the Roberts Court will be the ultimate legal arbitor in such a case. If you are seriously interested in how to determine whether a military order is "illegal" or not, start here:'l+L.+389

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse


• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system to silently torture, impair unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.

For the rest of the story: OR (if link is corrupted): re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 2, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

For any serviceman or woman (friends and family) who want to prevent their deployment under an illegal order, the time to challenge is NOW. Don't wait until you get the actual deployment order, or it will be argued by Obama's DOJ that you accepted other "illegal" orders and simply don't want to fight.

Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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