Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Are American liberals deaf?
Many liberals in the United States are disappointed that President Obama has chosen to send more troops to Afghanistan. They view it as a betrayal of what he stood for during his campaign. A typical complaint reads like this one from Michael Moore:
"Dear President Obama,
Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so."
I listened to Obama's stump speeches carefully during the long drawn out election campaign and each time he spoke he said clearly that he wanted to withdraw from Iraq and send more troops to Afghanistan. As this article from the Boston Globe put it after the first McCain - Obama debate: "If elected, Obama says, he would immediately withdraw thousands of ground troops from Iraq and send them to Afghanistan to help undermanned US forces defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda."
In other words, Barack Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do. His vaunted eloquence must be grossly over-rated since his most ardent admirers appear to have spent eighteen months hanging on to his every word, but failed to register what he was saying.