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Obama’s Campaign Promises: The Comfort of Fools October 27, 2009

Obama promise

Promises make debt, and debt makes promises. ~Dutch Proverb

Had I known that Barack  Obama would have broken so many promises made to his voters, I would have tried much harder to convince them that there was no logical way that a man who did so little during his previous political career, could do so much as President of the United States of America.

obama_afghanistanThere is not one day that goes by without my thinking of September 11th, 2001.  I lived in New York city at the time. I was directly effected by the tragedy.  I have the panic disorder to prove it.  I watched while my fellow New Yorkers shifted uncomfortably in their subway seats whenever the train would sit on the tracks a little too long. Signs of a collective trauma unknown to most Americans born after the 1960’s until that fateful day when we saw Icarus and his 3,000 brothers and sisters fall from the sky.

Winning in Afghanistan is important to me and Barack Obama said it was important to him.

On Monday, our country suffered the loss of 14 soldiers in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash.

Why is President Obama taking so long to make his decision concerning a troop surge in Afghanistan when he promised that he would be tough on the “real culprits” behind 9/11,  unlike his predecessor George W. Bush who focused his time and energy on the “wrong war”?

From this article in the Wall Street Journal

Obama Promises Troops ‘a Clear Mission’ in Afghanistan

October 26, 2009

By Jonathan Weisman

President Barack Obama placed the mission of preventing Afghanistan from becoming an al Qaeda haven into the center of his war policy, a rhetorical hint that he isn’t siding with those in his administration that see the battleground against terrorism shifting permanently to Pakistan.

In a speech at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, billed as a thanks to U.S. men and women in uniform, the president inserted a salute to the 14 Americans who died today in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.

“They were willing to risk their lives, in this case, to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda and its extremist allies,” he said. “And today, they gave their lives to protect ours. Now it is our duty as a nation to keep their memory alive in our hearts and to carry on their work.”

Some in the White House have suggested that after fleeing to Pakistan, al Qaeda leaders are not likely to return to Afghanistan. Early this month, National Security Adviser James Jones said of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, “the maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.” With the Taliban divided over al Qaeda, some administration officials have argued the U.S. could co-opt Taliban leaders and create a political atmosphere that would keep terrorists out, even if the Taliban increased its role in the leadership of Afghanistan.

Obama also defended the length of time he is taking in deciding whether to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. His extended policy review has drawn criticism from Republicans, including former Vice President Richard Cheney, who last week accused him of “dithering.”

“This is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan: I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way,” Obama said to loud applause. “I won’t risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary. And if it is necessary, we will back you up. Because you deserve the strategy, the clear mission, and the defined goals as well as the equipment and support you need to get the job done.


Cartoon by Walt Handelsman, copyright 2009 Tribune Media Services

We understand that strategy takes time President Obama…but time also takes lives.

Autographed Letter Signed,



13 Responses to “Obama’s Campaign Promises: The Comfort of Fools”

  1. bob Says:

    A campaign strategy–criticise Bush for Iraq, claim Afghanistan is most important–comes back to bite him in the ass. Cause 40,000 more troops isn’t going to do it. He knows its a mire. What to do, what to do? This narcissist in chief couldn’t give a damn about the troops, or Afghanistan either, but he’s caught between his campaign rhetoric and reality. 500,000 troops wouldn’t do it. We blew the chance to get Osama at Tora Bora, where we should have used tactical nukes. The rest has been a waste. Our community organizer president has met his match here. This community can’t be organized. He’s caught between a rock and hard place.

  2. boldandbald Says:

    I am at the point where I just want him to make a decision, one way or the other. This indecision is worse than making the wrong decision. It makes the U.S. look weak and leaves our troops in harms way. Either send enough troops in to completely overwhelm the enemy, or get the hell out. One or the other.

    I personally believe that we need to win this war, which means using overwhelming force. In the long run, I believe that would save lives. The idea of having the Taliban become part of the government there seems to me to be rewarding their past actions, which will lead to more terrorism, not less. It is like when you have a kid that wants something and you keep saying ‘no.’, until finally you give up and say ‘OK, but this is the last time.’. The kid knows now that you will cave if they just keep on pestering you. Giving the terrorist and terror supporters legitimacy only encourages more of the same from other terrorists who want the same thing.

  3. Janis Says:

    All I can think about when I read this sort of stuff is all those foamymouthed hippies going on and on and on and ON AND ON about how Hillary Clinton was a warmongering monster because she voted for the war (let’s conveniently forget that Barky also vited for the war every chance he got) … and yet when Barky doesn’t get the troops home like they all said he would … *crickets*

    Looks like liberals only care about dead and maimed soldiers when it’s a Republican in the WH making the decisions. When a Democrat gets our soldiers killed, they’re less dead, I guess.

  4. yttik Says:

    People are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan but the President needs lots of time to study the problem, to plan a new strategy, to debate the entire war. Health care, however, is so urgent we don’t have time to study the problem, to have debate, or to come up with a strategy. We must respond to the health care crisis immediately even if it means a bad plan that does more harm then good.

    He’s been in office for 9 mos and he doesn’t yet have a strategy for Afghanistan? This is a war that has lated longer then WW1 and WW2 combined. It would have been nice if he had been ready to lead on day one.

  5. bob Says:

    He’s waiting to see the result of the election do over. If Karzai wins he may say “Karzai is not worthy of us” “Karzai is corrupt” “there was cheating in this election too” (o, the irony). He knows it would be dang near interminable, wearing his poll numbers down. Down, down, down. He doesn’t want to go there.

  6. bob Says:

    Over at a blog I’m with, that has lots of military (I’m not) the opinions are much like BoldandBald above. Either in or out. About equally divided. One guy says 40k wouldn’t do it anyway, would have to be much more. Another dispute is over what is winning. Everybody agrees winning is at least not allowing the place to become a launching pad for further terrorism against us. I honestly think Obama doesn’t care about it one way or the other except as to how it affects his own fortunes.

    A middle way of withdrawing to the cities, which is what the Russians finally did, is a sure loser, over time. Which is what I bet he does, but only temporarily, cause I think he’s on the way out. By the next election cycle. Because to really change the place, like we changed Japan, or Germany, would take more time than to the next election cycle, in a place like that. Afghanistan is maybe the worst place on earth. Most of the people are illiterate, then they’ve got islam on top of that. We’re outta there, campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, is my bet.

    • Janis Says:

      Bob, nobody had an idea of what the exit strategy was for this war or even what winning would mean. They had no idea how they would define success. That’s the first thing you’re taught in the corporate world, and we don’t even have anyone shooting at us. “What do we need to see to know that this project was successful?” That’s what you ask immediately, before you go into anything.

      So now, we have this mess where people’s lives were demolished by a bunch of amateurs, and we’ve gto another amateur in charge who seems to think of it as an interesting intellectual bagatelle to bat around.

      NO ONE seems to realize that, if you’re a commander in chief, you have the power to end the lives of THOUSANDS OF YOUR COMPATRIOTS, DAMN IT. That is not something to just toss off or debate about. That is a SACRED level of trust, and you do not screw with it. You fight a war knowing what it will mean to win, and you fight it as hard and fast as possible, with as little damage to both sides as you can manage.

      And somehow we went from one mouthy amateur to Mr. Cool — and we keep treating the lives of these people who have pledged themselves to defend us like disposable paper cups. They pledged to die if need be to defend us, and THIS is the sort of casual treatment their promise gets?! It’s disgusting.

  7. bob Says:

    After 9/11 we didn’t have much choice but to go in. Kindly give us Osama, we asked Omar, nope, I will not, he said. We couldn’t just sit there and say, well, ok then.

    Bigger than Texas, mountainous, primitive, rural, insane. After the first shock they’re regrouped. Bringing liberty to these people, with islam in the way, a long term proposition.

    Someone posted about a Canadian general who was the head of NATO forces over there, he thinks the situation is not so bad, just bad in the south, thinks it’s doable. I don’t have the experience to even offer much of an opinion.

    The surge worked in Iraq. The people in Afghan seems to mostly hate the Taliban, just scared of them. Maybe a surge would work there too.

    The photo op of Obama at Dover honoring the dead arriving back in the states is disgusting. There had been a long term policy, from far before Bush, of not taking pictures, out of respect to the dead. Bush was accused of trying to sanitized the war by not allowing photos, but the policy pre-dated him. It’s Obama that has broken with the past, for some publicity.

  8. mainenowandthen Says:

    Why should anyone be surprised that Obama delays on making any decisions about Afghanistan?

    This is a neophyte politician whose education and training have done nothing to prepare him for making decisions based on real-world issues, rather than political and sociological theory. He is aware of his own insecurity, as his arrogance and rigidity so clearly indicate, and his willingness to consider any opposition as being formulated by “enemies” displays.

    To further complicate matters, Obama has been saddled with advisers conforming to the political ideology of his major financial backers from the radical far Left, whose major ambition is the demise of American hegemony on the world scene.

    As a 20-year Army veteran of Vietnam, I am excruciatingly aware of the impact that inadequate, hesitant, ignorant civilian leadership can have on the conduct of war and the prospects of winning or losing. The war in Afghanistan can result in victory and more security in the world, but only through support and patience on the part of the public, effective and timely leadership from both civilian and military components and a realistic evaluation of our goals to be achieved.

  9. phoenixgirl Says:

    bold…he’s really close to a decision! he’s almost ready to make one! /////

  10. I thought Obama already made an Afghanistan policy back in March and April. Swooped into office, talked to his generals, announced a policy. Done.

    Same with Gitmo. Stimulus. General Motors, etc. etc.

    It was so simple. Bush was a dingbat and caused all the world’s problems.

    I’m Barack Obama- I’ve got solutions, I know I’m right. Give me a bill, a policy announcement, an executive order which says what I want it to say. I’ll write it, sign it, make a speech about it and the problem is solved. I’m not Bush, thus my policies will solve the world’s problems.

    Whoops! Now people are resisting cap-and-trade, resisting healthcare, resisting his plans to tax off-shore corporate taxes, etc. etc. Being anti-Bush is not proving to be enough.

    And now his previous quick solutions on Afghanistan and stimulus are proving ineffectual. New problems are arising and they are starting to be of his own making.

    How can that be?

    After all, he is Barack Obama and he floated in on a cloud.

    Can he not turn water into wine?


    We can win in Afghanistan- with commitment. But Obama is not a man who has commitment when it comes to such matters. He has no backbone. He is weak. That’s why he’s failed on so many of his campaign promises. He knows how to sound and look good. He just doesn’t know how to govern.

    Why are we surprised? He remains one of the least experienced presidents we have ever had.

  11. One of the things they taught us in officer school was that any decision is better than indecision.

    They also taught us that the odds of seeing Barack Obama in a uniform are slightly higher than my chances of dancing in the Michael Jacksonmania Broadway company.

    I’m a bit uncomfortable with even the vaguest suggestion that Obama is sharing the risks of the troops he’s hanging out to dry.

    BTW, Cynthia over at “A Newly Conservative Lesbian” recommends your site highy; Looks interesting. I’ll link it if you don’t mind.

  12. body armor Says:

    I really hope that President Obama devotes more energy to lobbying Congress to provide necessary funding to buy the bullet proof vests our boys fighting overseas must have to come home safely

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