Praise, derision for Afghan plan
Our Readers Who Comment either attack or defend President Obama's plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, but even some of his defenders have questions.
Readers have filed more than 1,600 comments on the seven articles and an editorial in the Post this morning. There is the usual Obama bashing from the right and the usual "he's not Bush and Cheney" from the left. But the central question many have raised -- whether it's wise to promise both a significant troop influx and a get-out-of-town date -- permeates the comment stream on Scott Wilson's main story.
TV Critic Tom Shales, who has reviewed the television performance of presidents for many years, may have provided the most succinct summary in the last paragraph of his column in writing, "Perhaps Dec. 1, 2009, will become known as the night the Obama honeymoon ended decisively -- largely because a great communicator placed too much faith in his own powers of persuasion and his celebrated mastery of a medium."
We'll start with two comments that pretty much define the reader debate:
paulnolan97 wrote, "This war is as morally bankrupt as Vietnam or slavery in 1860. The war is built on wealth that does not exist and a fear that is draining the country of what is left of its savings base."
But Maddogg said, "At last adults and competency have returned to the White House. Big change from the playpen days of the last eight Bush years."
Washington13 wrote, "More troops have been killed in Afghanistan in 2009 than in any other year of the 8 year war. On Obama's Watch. 61% from IEDS. Mindless children blame Bush. The Ditherer in Chief Obama is Jimmy Carter 2.0."
douglaslbarber said, "...I agree with the policy he's [Obama] setting forth here and prefer him to any Republican on earth, but I am singularly uninspired by a man whose core committment seems to be belief in his own omnicompetence rather than to some deeper shared public value."
jas7751 wrote, "Barry lays a big fat rotten egg full of his typical empty lofty boring blather. He is detached from his responsibility of a Commander in Chief, is not committed and would much rather prefer to continue his Socializing of America. He is in way over his head. What a schmuck."
kubrickstan said, "I bet if we win in Afghanistan, destroy the terrorist network, KILL Bin Ladden and get our troops out of this in two years, Fox news, Limbaugh and the double speak republicans will whine and moan that it cost to much money and took to long to defeat terrorism. No doubt in my mind."
j9zig1 wrote, "I bet those cadets were really inspired by his "I'll send 30,000 more troops but for only 18 months since it costs too much" pronouncement. Dems like JFK are long gone... "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Not in Obamaland."
orange3 said, "Well at least President Obama has not gone on a wild goose chase in the wrong country. Bush couldn't even figure out that the enemies who attacked the United States came out of Taliban controlled Afghanistan."
lip111 wrote, "Obama in this speech wanted to satisfy everyone, yet the result is that everyone is dissatisfied. A leader makes a solid choice that is right for the american people, not one that attempts to thread a political needle. The right choice... is to get the hell out of the afghan wasteland, but no - he's capitulated to the military and the ignorant republicans."
segeny said, "Swell. The Afghanis know that the US is withdrawing in 18 months and will now just hunker down and prepare for the return of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, their new masters. Any cooperation with our troops is kaput - - after all, their heads will roll, literally, when the Taliban returns. The buffoon in the White House has ensured more deaths, more violence, and more attacks on US soil..."
Mindboggle wrote, "It certainly does not seem that it should have taken this long to develop this "strategy." This is not a strategy. Could you see FDR saying that we will begin withdrawing our forces from somewhere in WWII with a date certain. NATO will not help at all because they would rather have US soldiers and marines die than see their own citizens die."
kathy26 wrote said, "Wow, troop withdrawal will begin in mid 2011, just when Obama begins his re-election bid. Surprise? Nope, because that's the Washington way. He's full of hopelessness and non-change."
Georgetowner1 wrote, "I still think Senator McCain would have a better handle on how to be a wartime President. Having said that, we have US troops in and going to Afganistan and its time to do everything we can to support them instead of sitting in your lazyboys typing out criticism of the Commander in Chief..."
BruceMcDougall said, "President Obama addressing the US Military Academy:
"U.S. security is still at stake"-but only for eighteen months. This is naive and illogical policy."
tjp427 said, "I have great empathy for the President. Let's face it for the far-right, nothing this President does will be good eneough. For the far-left they oppose anything that interferes with their social agenda. Real success here will depend on how stuck on stupid the American people are. For I can assure you al Qaeda will not go away on its own. Real liberty is costly. It is time to pony up and do the right thing."
All comments on this article are here.
December 2, 2009; 6:54 AM ET
Categories: Afghanistan , Obama | Tags: Afghanistan, Obama
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