View Poll Results: Do you approve of Obama's speech on Afghanistan?

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45. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, and it's about time he stepped up to the plate, dang it!

    12 26.67%
  • No, we must pull out of Afghanistan immediately!

    11 24.44%
  • It was pure politics, sends the wrong message, and we're in big trouble!

    19 42.22%
  • We're fighting in Afghanistan?

    3 6.67%
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  1. Micael's Avatar
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       #1  
    I'm sure that most of you either watched Obama's speech last night, or have caught the essence of it's content through the tidbits/spin in the news.

    Do you feel that his approach and strategy is sound and structured for winning this war on the Al Queda and the Taliban?

    I was pretty underwelmed by it, personally. I felt it was purely calculated as a political speech, not a strategy speech you'd expect from the "Commander in Chief". Why else would he tell the world that we'll be starting to pull out in 18 months?

    I don't think I've heard any talking head, on the left or right, happy or supportive of his speech.

    Sad, but I think that last night was a defining moment of the Obama presidency.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  2. #2  
    I think it's telling that you don't supply a simple "I agree with him" answer...even the "yes" answer is a negative statement towards the president's decision.

    The choices basically come down to:

    • I don't like his decision, or
    • I like his decision, but he dithered in doing it.


    Personally, I'll pass.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

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  3. Micael's Avatar
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       #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I think it's telling that you don't supply a simple "I agree with him" answer...even the "yes" answer is a negative statement towards the president's decision.

    The choices basically come down to:

    • I don't like his decision, or
    • I like his decision, but he dithered in doing it.


    Personally, I'll pass.
    Why do I have the feeling that no matter how I'd written it, you'd complain?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    Why do I have the feeling that no matter how I'd written it, you'd complain?
    If you write it with an obvious bias, then I think it's fair to comment on that. In your mind, which of the above responses indicate an actual positive answer? The "he dithered" one, or the "he's wrong" one?

    I'm sure you'd like to portray it as me complaining, but the fact remains that it's simply written as a "when did you stop beating your wife" question.
    Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

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  5. Micael's Avatar
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    If you write it with an obvious bias, then I think it's fair to comment on that. In your mind, which of the above responses indicate an actual positive answer? The "he dithered" one, or the "he's wrong" one?

    I'm sure you'd like to portray it as me complaining, but the fact remains that it's simply written as a "when did you stop beating your wife" question.
    It was actually meant to be slightly humorous... and I don't know a single person that supports the surge that think's he's not been a bit slow getting to this speech, on both the left, or the right.

    Humor me please, Bujin. I'd love to hear your honest perspective on the topic.... if my options seemed too flippantly biased, I apologize. It wasn't intended.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    It was actually meant to be slightly humorous... and I don't know a single person that supports the surge that think's he's not been a bit slow getting to this speech, on both the left, or the right.

    Humor me please, Bujin. I'd love to hear your honest perspective on the topic.... if my options seemed too flippantly biased, I apologize. It wasn't intended.
    My perspective is that I believe he's dead wrong on this issue, actually. I don't think he made the case that fighting the Taliban is in our national interest, and in fact this decision seems to be an extension of the Bush Doctrine: we are fighting the Taliban because they someday may be a threat to us.

    I didn't like that doctrine under Bush, and I don't like it under Obama - there are any number of other countries that could someday be a threat to us, and it shouldn't be our policy to proactively fight wars.

    I have no issues with fighting wars against genuine threats...having two Army Ranger brothers and an active duty Army sister, I'm certainly no pacifist. But there's a difference between leading the world and ruling it...and it promotes the perception that we're the bullies of the international world.

    All that being said, I have no issue with his taking the time to thoughtfully come to a decision, even if I don't agree with it. I think that's a good quality in a leader.
    Last edited by Bujin; 12/02/2009 at 06:21 PM.
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  7. #7  
    It is one of those things... no matter which way he went, he would have been wrong.

    Had he bailed, everyone would be complaining he is making us unsafe and not keeping his campaign promises.

    Now that he is staying, people complain that he provided a time to start "looking" at withdrawal. IMO, that makes sense from the standpoint that the Afgan gov't been put on notice: Get your crap together, quickly. On the other hand it tells the people we are fighting to do nothing for 18 months. lol...

    Considering the situation, I think it was the best option available. I'd like to see a major withdrawal, but if 18 months will allow those people to build a gov't, so be it...
    01000010 01100001 01101110 00100000 01010100 01101000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01000011 01110010 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01110010 01110011 00100001
  8. #8  
    It is a no win situation that Obama inherited. Does anyone really believe the Afghan governing body will be able to get its "crap" together any more so than the Iraqis?
  9. #9  
    Firstly, I supported going into Afghanistan in 2001 wholeheartedly. It was a direct response to the geographical location of those behind 9-11 and those that sheltered them. We know how the rest of that effort went and as President Obama said last night, no reason to beat on that any more.

    He ran on ending the war in Iraq and refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan/Taliban/Al Queda/Bin Laden. It was a MAJOR part of that campaign. So I'm a bit confused by those that express surprise at him doing exactly that.

    One thing that has not been pointed out enough is the fact that this new effort will sidestep the corrupt central gov't and focus on tribal leaders. Probably because it's too nuanced an approach. Also by defining a "we're outta here date" tells those in charge to get serious cause the best soldier on the planet will not be there to protect their corrupt ***** soon.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    He ran on ending the war in Iraq and refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan/Taliban/Al Queda/Bin Laden. It was a MAJOR part of that campaign. So I'm a bit confused by those that express surprise at him doing exactly that.
    I agree - I'm not surprised by it, as he's been very consistent. He may even be right, and I'm much less concerned about his decision based upon the fact that he clearly does have a plan to get out in a reasonable time.

    It bothers me, though, when I hear about less than 100 Al Queda in Afghanistan, no bases or ability to launch offensive action against us, but still we're there on a proactive basis.

    So I guess I'm not surprised, but I'd have rather heard him say that the situation is very different than when he was campaigning & so he's changed his position...and I don't like the idea that he may be doing it because he's painted into a political corner. That being said, I'm willing to give him time, precisely because he made the decision so methodically.
  11. dogface's Avatar
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    #11  
    Obama has cashed in his chips and if ever does another term as pres. I'd be surprised....again
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    It bothers me, though, when I hear about less than 100 Al Queda in Afghanistan, no bases or ability to launch offensive action against us, but still we're there on a proactive basis.
    I'm not sure there were more than a couple of hundred Al Queda members in 2001 in Afghanistan. Al Queda members (Bin Laden?) are straddling that rough mountainous area between Pakistan & Afghanistan. The Taliban(they help Al Queda), regrouped and came back from the initial 2001 US a** kicking when some dummies focused on Iraq. We are going to re-minimize them now.

    Query? What if in the next year we capture Bin Laden?
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by dogface View Post
    Obama has cashed in his chips...
    Not sure what that means?
  14. groovy's Avatar
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    #14  
    In my opinion, his strategy has some good and a lot of bad elements. First, he is rightly putting pressure on Pakistan to help out the situation. Since much of the support for the Taliban flows from the east, Pakistan has a lot to answer for but they aren't in the situation to be called on the carpet directly. So I think he did a fair job maneuvering that one. Having said that, any plan that puts in a definite withdrawal date is a bad plan. The Taliban have been there for a long time and a few more months of hold out is a cake walk. All they need to do is stay quiet and blend in for a bit longer.

    He cut the troops to 30,000 which is 25% reduced from McChrystal's 40,000 which was a 50% reduction from what his men requested from him. Here, I don't think BO showed courage to take the heat and do a real surge. Instead, he'll take the easy road. And since he already put it out there when our withdrawal will be, I predict one of two things will happen: we won't pull out on time but, rather, engage in another protracted conflict in which his weak-hearted commitment will probably put more troops in harms way over the long run. Or, we will put out on time and Afghanistan will drop promptly in Taliban hands.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Query? What if in the next year we capture Bin Laden?
    He would be practically guaranteed a second term.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  16. Micael's Avatar
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       #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Firstly, I supported going into Afghanistan in 2001 wholeheartedly. It was a direct response to the geographical location of those behind 9-11 and those that sheltered them. We know how the rest of that effort went and as President Obama said last night, no reason to beat on that any more.

    He ran on ending the war in Iraq and refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan/Taliban/Al Queda/Bin Laden. It was a MAJOR part of that campaign. So I'm a bit confused by those that express surprise at him doing exactly that.

    One thing that has not been pointed out enough is the fact that this new effort will sidestep the corrupt central gov't and focus on tribal leaders. Probably because it's too nuanced an approach. Also by defining a "we're outta here date" tells those in charge to get serious cause the best soldier on the planet will not be there to protect their corrupt ***** soon.
    I agree. Except I'd like to point out that defining a "we're outta here date" is a double edged sword. Yes, it sends the message you indicate, but it also sends a message to the enemy. It's my belief that a better way to say it would have been to define the conditions required in order to withdraw, e.g., when the taliban is destroyed and can't reconstitute... or when the Afghanistan government can successfully defend itself against the Taliban. Defining goals and objectives are a good things. Bob Shaffer got it right. This isn't a football game. If we're going to fight, lets fight to win with clearly defined goals and objectives. Otherwise, let's get out now and call it quits. I know that won't happen though, because of the political expense.

    It's true that Obama is in a tough spot politically here.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  17. Micael's Avatar
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       #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Query? What if in the next year we capture Bin Laden?
    It would be a political coux de gras, but possibly a propaganda nightmare. Bin Laden would be tried in our court system and martyred. Better he be squashed like the bug that he is.

    I think we'll be finding out in the next year that he's not in Pakistan, personally.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I agree. Except I'd like to point out that defining a "we're outta here date" is a double edged sword. Yes, it sends the message you indicate, but it also sends a message to the enemy. It's my belief that a better way to say it would have been to define the conditions required in order to withdraw, e.g., when the taliban is destroyed and can't reconstitute... or when the Afghanistan government can successfully defend itself against the Taliban. Defining goals and objectives are a good things. Bob Shaffer got it right. This isn't a football game. If we're going to fight, lets fight to win with clearly defined goals and objectives. Otherwise, let's get out now and call it quits. I know that won't happen though, because of the political expense.

    It's true that Obama is in a tough spot politically here.
    Defined goals however can't be dependent on uncontrollable factors (the Central Afghan gov't). That's why a time limit. Basically they're going to hunt the Taliban/Al Queda down to Pakistan. Pakistan has to step up here too. The situation is dependent on a lot of other players, so it's important for us to keep lots of public pressure on them.
  19. Micael's Avatar
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       #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Defined goals however can't be dependent on uncontrollable factors (the Central Afghan gov't). That's why a time limit. Basically they're going to hunt the Taliban/Al Queda down to Pakistan. Pakistan has to step up here too. The situation is dependent on a lot of other players, so it's important for us to keep lots of public pressure on them.
    Private channels could have been used to communicate these deadlines, and numerous ways to apply pressure without publicly broadcasting war plans. I think you may be over-estimating the level at which John Q. Public's opinion could influence or drive Afghanistan's or Pakistan's policy.

    I have no issue with the 18 month goal, if it's an achieveable goal that is. I just think that broadcasting to the enemy our exit date is a huge tactical error. It may prove to be a very very costly mistake.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  20. #20  
    It would be a waste of time to debate those that are asleep. You are shown what you want to see and believe it. At the risk of getting "flamed", I will stay out of this one. But I will leave you with a couple of little tidbits. Do any of you remember the media describing the "elaborate" tunnels and bases in the Mountains of Afganistan? Have you seen 1 picture of an elaborate base?

    Oh I'm a democrat, oh I'm a Republican, Oh "Universal Healthcare" "Carbon Tax", "War in Iraq". Do you really believe there is a difference?

    Someone mentioned strategy?

    How about this one? Create someone so evil, corrupt and hated. Make him look stupid, give him a fake Texas accent despite living in Washington DC and Maine his entire life (with hundreds of witnesses in college that said he had no accent), brothers and sister, Aunts Uncles no accents. Have him implement policies that no US citizen wanted, create a massive debt, have the private Federal Reserve print money out of thin air all while taking interest charges on the money created, and bring the US population to near revolution!!! Then you bring in another person to save the day. Make him appear intelligent, make him appear that he cares about all cultures/races etc...Then campaign him to give the American people belief that we will have "change" although the status quo will remain the same?? You know, like the bailouts that nobody wanted AIG, Auto Industry, Real Estate? The fake Carbon tax? Oil prices? An Iraq exit? The list of the status quo goes on..

    Strategy... you ask about strategy?? It's already Checkmate! You were asleep as everything was happening in front of you... Research, study history and remember that the winners write it.

    The end.
    By the way, my commentary has everything to do with Afganistan, and if you study history, it also applies to Kosovo, Iraq and N Korea.
    Last edited by notaphonegeek; 12/03/2009 at 05:27 PM. Reason: little more info and edits
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