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?
Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: scrivener50 | December 2, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: JakeD | December 2, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.