Once he assumed the Presidency, Barack Obama emphasized that his election affirms that America has embraced “hope over fear.” This appeared to be one last shot at the Bush administration which Obama routinely criticized for using the “politics of fear.” Ah, but when Obama wants his disaster of a stimulus package approved post haste, he has no problem issuing stern warnings of an irreversible catastrophe for the US economy if such legislation is not passed.
But I digress.
In fact, a recurring theme of the Obama candidacy was “Let the healing begin.” Translation: “We’ve endured eight years of damage to our country and it’s time to make American great again.” In a sense, it was their own version of “move on.” Well I would suggest that part of moving on is to cease the obsession with the supposed mistakes of the past and focus on the “change” that has been pledged.
Unfortunately, the President hasn’t grasped the concept of “moving on”. In a simple prepared statement yesterday regarding the war on terror, President Obama still couldn’t resist a couple more swipes at the Bush administration (emphasis mine).
There is no more solemn duty as President than the decision to deploy our armed forces into harm’s way. I do it today mindful that the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan demands urgent attention and swift action. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al Qaeda supports the insurgency and threatens America from its safe-haven along the Pakistani border.
To meet urgent security needs, I approved a request from Secretary Gates to deploy a Marine Expeditionary Brigade later this spring and an Army Stryker Brigade and the enabling forces necessary to support them later this summer. This increase has been requested by General McKiernan and supported by Secretary Gates, the Joint Chiefs and the Commander of Central Command. General McKiernan’s request for these troops is months old, and the fact that we are going to responsibly drawdown our forces in Iraq allows us the flexibility to increase our presence in Afghanistan.
This reinforcement will contribute to the security of the Afghan people and to stability in Afghanistan. I recognize the extraordinary strain that this deployment places on our troops and military families. I honor their service, and will give them the support they need.
This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires. That is why I ordered a review of our policy upon taking office, so we have a comprehensive strategy and the necessary resources to meet clear and achievable objectives in Afghanistan and the region. This troop increase does not pre-determine the outcome of that strategic review. Instead, it will further enable our team to put together a comprehensive strategy that will employ all elements of our national power to fulfill achievable goals in Afghanistan. As we develop our new strategic goals, we will do so in concert with our friends and allies as together we seek the resources necessary to succeed.
Now, I’m not denying that the Afghan war has had its challenges over the past year. That itself can be legitimately debated. But I ask again, weren’t we told that the old days would be left behind and the Obama administration would immediately implement their own policies? So if that’s the case then why the continual references to the supposed failures of the previous administration? And you can’t have it both ways. If one is going to acknowledge the failures of George W. Bush, then the successes should also be duly noted. The reason that a responsible drawdown of our forces in Iraq can occur is due to the success of the surge implemented before Obama was President.
Yes, the eloquent campaigner that we saw for almost two years is looking more like a finger-pointing whiner these days.