In regard to President Obama’s speech on Afghanistan this week, I thought he made the cardinal error of basically telling the Taliban that if they keep their heads down for the next year and a half they can pretty well count on us being out of Afghanistan before he is up for re-election in 2012. It is immoral to tell troops to die in a struggle that the Commander-in-Chief has clearly written off, and I think that is the reality behind Obama’s speech. Rule one of fighting a war is to win it, but I suspect that is not Obama’s intent. But for the political consequences of Afghanistan quickly becoming terrorist haven number one, I doubt if Obama would do anything other than withdraw all American troops as quickly as possible.
At any rate, as a war speech by a President I would rate this a solid D. If he wants examples of better speeches, he might try something like this minus the cussing.
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal has Lincoln adopting a similar policy to Obama’s during the Civil War:
After months of what his opponents called weakness and indecision, President Abraham Lincoln announced a new strategy for ending the war with the rebellious Southern states to a group of reporters today.
The Army of the Potomac, now under the command of Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, will be granted an additional 35,000 troops, well short of the 200,000 requested by Grant several months ago, for the invasion of the South which will begin next spring.
Declaring that, “Unions and freeing slaves and such are one thing, the lives of brave young Americans quite another,” the President also indicated that the United States committment would have a definite time limit.
If the seceding states cannot be persuaded to return to the Union by August of next year, Washington would begin to withdraw US forces. Asked if this implied eventual recognition of the Richmond government by Washington, the President declined to comment.
The indispensable Iowahawk gives his interpretation of Obama as war President here.
Our enemies are not idiots. Based on the evidence I think they have reached the obvious conclusion that Obama is weak and vacillating. They will now act accordingly. We are in for interesting times.