To my fellows on the Left:
Yes, Obama is announcing today that he’ll be increasing troop levels in Afghanistan. No, this does not make him “just like Bush”, nor is it a “betrayal” of those of us who put him in the White House.
Because some of us actually were paying attention when he outlined his positions. Some of us actually supported him for what he said from the very beginning, rather than jumping on the “HopeNChange” bandwagon. Some of us supported him for *his* positions, rather than pouring our beliefs into the vessel he represented.
For my fellow progressives, liberals, etc.: I direct your attention to the Op-Ed that Obama wrote in the New York Times on July 14th of 2008, almost a year and a half ago:
Ending the [Iraq] war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven. Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been. As Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently pointed out, we won’t have sufficient resources to finish the job in Afghanistan until we reduce our commitment to Iraq.
As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.
There it is, in black and white, back in 2008, at the height of the campaign.
And now that he’s doing exactly what he said he’d do? The Left is bitching.
He said it, clearly and unambiguously, on the record, in July of 2008. What, exactly, is the “betrayal” here?
Bitch about the things that he hasn’t done, sure. Bitch about the things where he has been too accommodating to the Right, watering down real progress in favor of “bipartisanship.” OK. I’m with you there.
But don’t bitch when he does what he said all along that he’d do. Makes you look stupid, and only emboldens the other critics, the fringe Right, who smell blood in the water of a President “losing his base.”
Politics — it’s worth paying attention to, ya know?