Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Stuff that Actually Exists"

Oliver Willis on last night's speech and the reaction from the Left:

It makes me feel weird, but in this instance I see many on the left absolutely playing to the stereotypes of the right. If we simply withdraw, this does not keep us safer. Just because George W. Bush royally screwed up as commander-in-chief, it doesn’t mean that America never fights again. Afghanistan isn’t Iraq. This isn’t about imaginary weapons of mass destruction, or a terror “connection” that’s the fevered dream of a hack Weekly Standard writer. Suicide bombers hit in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania directly based on the orders and finances of the people we’re after in Afghanistan and the Pakistani border region.

I am not someone who is a kneejerk supporter of war and military action, but I feel that when we or our allies are under threat or have been attacked, we often need to respond militarily with a clear set of stated goals and an exit plan. The whole reason I didn’t support the war in Iraq but support the war in Afghanistan is based on how each conflict meets the test.

Obama made great pains to point out that for the war party on the right that this was not a blank check, this would not be an echo of that ridiculous Iraq plan Bush put out that just said “Victory!” on every page. In order to fight war, Obama has made clear that he seeks to emulate the succesful strategies of Presidents like Lincoln and Roosevelt. We aren’t increasing troop strength in Afghanistan to satisfy John McCain or Charles Krauthammer. We’re doing it in order to finish the crap job of the President they supported for almost a decade.

If you don’t support increasing the amount of troops, that is a fine and patriotic position to have – though I vehemently disagree with it – but folks on the left have got to quit rewriting history by pretending Obama is somehow suddenly a hawk on the Afghanistan situation. Similarly, the connection between 9/11 and Afghanistan isn’t simply the rhetorical flourish of a leader, but stuff that actually exists. Those making honest arguments in opposition to the President’s policy should adhere to the reality-based school of argument.

I think the President spoke to us as adults about the single biggest security threat to the country, an issue on par with the economy in relation to its importance (an economic recovery is no good if we don’t have our way of life). I think he made, finally, a clear case about this threat and our solution to it that he plans to implement. I think at the end of the day this is how to clean up the mess left for us by the previous administration, while also doing what is in our power to defend ourselves and our allies.

After casing the blogs this morning I can see Willis' frustrations. It is quite easy to label someone based off preconceived notions, but Obama is no "hawk." There are arguments to be made against the strategy in Afghanistan, but we do ourselves no favors by name calling, mocking speeches and offering no clear arguments other than WITHDRAW!

I believe Obama is serious about the war in Afghanistan and he made that clear last night. Mainly, because it wasn't full of "war on terror" and "freedom bombs" that promise to save nations all across the globe in democracy's name. Regardless of how I feel, I can respect that.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message

For More read, A. Sewer, the Timeline in Afghanistan might be the most promising aspect of the strategy.

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