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Reactions To Obama’s Afghanistan Speech

06-23-2011 by Linda S. Carbonell

If you want to find the most extreme responses to President Obama on any subject, look no further than the comments on Yahoo News. The extreme rightwingnuts have flooded Yahoo News comment streams to the point where they actually think they outnumber everyone else in the country. Naw, the rest of us just got tired of being “hidden” or not being able to post because there were so many of them. They have even managed to take Yahoo off-line when their numbers are too great.

So, what were the brilliant, incisive responses this morning to the President’s speech about troop withdrawals from Afghanistan? Here’s a short selection [spelling and grammar presented as posted]:

“Keep sinking us obammy….I’ve never seen a president run on his own country as much as obammy, if this is even his country of origin.”

“We can only be as strong as our weekest link, punk obammie!”

“Obama saw ‘a waning threat, a rising debt, a restless public, and a mounting death toll.’ But most importantly, you forgot to add, his need to try to salvage any chance he has at re-election. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. You don’t play political games with our soldiers’ lives.”

“Obama is an idiot.”

“Great campaign speech….now get back to what it is that you do best….FORE!”

“What should anyone expect from a clown who flim-flammed his way to the presidency. This guy is always the least qualified in any room he walks into. Read his resume, if you can find it, and you will find that he hasn’t even been in the Boy Scouts…it, after all, is just too American and patriotic for him.”

“Ohh-Bum-Bhoo not good for US of a!”

“Well, let’s see he is pulling out troops out for a political reasons today, and he is meeting with the homosexuals tonite for dinner to get their vote by backing the marriage or union of homosexuals. This guy needs to go in 2012. He is killing the country daily.”

It doesn’t matter what the issue is, some of these people just have to bring gays into the diatribe. At least these weren’t as obscene as usual. They are, however, only slightly less rational than the professional and political criticism the President is getting. Several leading Democrats have condemned the draw down as too slow, while leading Republicans say it is too fast, and the talking news heads say he didn’t say enough, while the talking military “advisors” on the news say it won’t happen, can’t happen.

The “too slow/too fast” criticisms are just political noise and don’t deserve comment. The “too vague” criticism does, however. The President has taken a position on withdrawal from Afghanistan that is in opposition to the generals on the ground, but not as radical as many in this country want. The Pentagon is getting a new Secretary of Defense this week. The leadership in Afghanistan is about to be changed, as General Petreaus moves to the CIA. It is not feasible for the President to lay out a hard timeline until the transition is completed, and even then, it will not necessarily be made public until Richard Engel is loaded into the back of the last vehicle in the convoy leaving the country.

The idea was also put forward, in the posts and in the news commentary, that this decision was a purely political one, a shameless exploitation of the issue for votes. In the days after the death of Osama bin Laden, it became quickly apparent that the majority of Americans were sure that we could leave Afghanistan. We had been sold the war on the premise that it was to catch bin Laden and bring him to justice, “dead or alive.” If that were in fact our reason for being there, then his death fulfilled that reason. To remain for any other reason, especially when our own intelligence services are telling us that al Qaida has moved on to other, more furtile ground in Yemen, would be to say that (Gasp!) Bush lied to us and the world. It was only those who found and read the manifesto of the Project For The New American Century in 2001 who knew that the real reason was the establishment of the Pax Americana – like the Pax Brittania and the Pax Romana before us – both empires that died because of unwinnable wars.

The United States spends almost half the money spent in the world on defense. Then we top it off by giving aid to other countries for their defense, $3 billion a year to Israel alone, in spite of the strength of its economy. The Taliban came into existence because of the Soviet occupation. When there are no foreign soldiers on Afghan soil, they will probably lose their appeal. Just ask any of the experts that Bush fired for saying that. Other countries need to take responsibility for their own security and stop counting on us to maintain military facilities in 73 countries. The age of military empires is over and if we want to prevent the emergence of the Chinese economic empire, we need to invest in our own country. The Chinese spend 13% of what we do on their military. Figure it out. Obama isn’t a wuzz – he’s the first president we’ve ever had who understood the realities of the world and refused to give in to the myths of what makes us strong. In the 21st century, it’s not guns, it’s economics.

Here, there, everywhere in the world, “it’s the economy, stupid” again.



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