Afghanistan: Obama said this war would be his


Remember this debate? Then Sen. Hillary Clinton was all: Meet me in Ohio! and then Sen. Barack Obama was all: fine then.

Monday November 23, 2009 Dave Winer.
I assumed that because we elected Obama to end the war in Iraq that it went without saying that the war in Afghanistan would be ended as well.

Apparently not so.

via No escalation in Afghanistan. (Scripting News).

This is a rather odd assumption considering Obama’s own pro Afghanistan escalation rhetoric throughout his campaign and Presidency. Obama even said it was his job to scale down the “uneccessary” war in Iraq to have the proper resources to devote to the “necessary” fights in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan.

I have been very clear in talking to the American people about what I would do with respect to Afghanistan.

I think we have to have more troops there to bolster the NATO effort. I think we have to show that we are not maintaining permanent bases in Iraq because Secretary Gates, our current Defense secretary, indicated that we are getting resistance from our allies to put more troops into Afghanistan because they continue to believe that we made a blunder in Iraq and I think even this administration acknowledges now that they are hampered now in doing what we need to do in Afghanistan in part because of what’s happened in Iraq.

Now, I always reserve the right for the president — as commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad. So that is true, I think, not just in Iraq, but that&’s true in other places. That’s part of my argument with respect to Pakistan.

via The Democratic Debate in Cleveland – New York Times.

Can you oppose Obama for escalating the war in Afghanistan and not pulling out of Iraq fast enough? Of course. Can you say you didn’t think an escalation was coming? No. President Obama as a candidate made clear he wasn’t a peacenik. Even in his anti-Iraq war speech as a senator, he distinguished between his idea of a worthwhile war and a mistake.

Good afternoon. Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances.

The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union, and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil. I don’t oppose all wars.

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain.

I don’t oppose all wars.

After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income?—?to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

via Barack Obama’s Iraq Speech – Wikisource.

At an anti-war rally and made it explicitly clear he was anti-Iraq war, not anti-war. That was the famous speech in 2002 that endeared him to war skeptics across the nation and was derided as Obama’s only qualification by then candidate Clinton. If one thing Winer can take comfort in, his opposition to ever getting involved in Iraq has been as consistent as his support for Afghanistan.