Why it’s different when President Obama says it

I’ve heard so many people claiming everything they’re hearing from President Obama about the justifications for his plans in Afghanistan is simply repackaged rhetoric from George W. Bush.

Allow me to say this: bullshit.

During the period of time that Barack Obama was making his decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, he consulted with many people, many experts from across the spectrum.

He also made a couple of visits.

Remember this?


President Obama at Arlington Cemetary on Veterans Day 2009


President Obama at Arlington Cemetary on Veterans Day 2009

Or how about this?


President Obama meets caskets of slain troops at Dover Air Force Base

Was this ever part of the decision-making process for George W. Bush or Dick Cheney? No. It was not.

President Obama summed it up with this part of his speech tonight:

Most of all, I know that this decision asks even more of you – a military that, along with your families, has already borne the heaviest of all burdens. As President, I have signed a letter of condolence to the family of each American who gives their life in these wars. I have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed. I have visited our courageous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. I have travelled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans returning home to their final resting place. I see firsthand the terrible wages of war. If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.

I have been anti-war since I was able to understand the concept. I signed my conscientious objector card when I was 16 and still carry it with me today, tattered and torn. I wear a peace sign on my jacket and one hangs from my rearview mirror.

I have never been so torn about a decision regarding war as I am tonight.

But I also remember when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. They destroyed Buddha statues around the country as part of their effort to eradicate anything that countered their religious mania.


A Buddha statue destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan

I have followed the efforts of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) as they documented the atrocities committed by the Taliban against women who did not submit to their will.


Afghan woman publicly assassinated in soccer stadium

I listened to and read Mavis Leno’s words as she has alerted the world about the inhuman subjection of Afghani women by the Taliban and told about women who were formerly teachers, lawyers, professionals of all types going insane and committing suicide as they were driven to silence beneath their burkhas. Since 1996.

I watched Inside Afghanistan: Behind the Veil, “an undercover documentary film about the Taleban movement in Afghanistan has shown shocking footage of mass executions, and an insight into the oppression suffered by Afghan women.”

What I heard tonight was not the cheerleading and bombast and sloganeering of a winking, grinning warmongering man like George W. Bush. What I heard was a president talking about mopping up a mess created by George W. Bush in such a way that these evil men are never able to, with their Al-Qaeda brethren, return Afghanistan to the state of suppression and terror that existed prior to our involvement. A president talking about ENDING war, not continuing it endlessly.

It’s different when Obama says is it because he doesn’t glory in being a “war president”. Unlike his predecessor, he doesn’t wear that mantle gladly.

I trust him. I trust he’s making the best decision on the path forward through this situation in which there are no “good” choices.

Maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Maybe he will make me as cynical as many other liberals are today. But I don’t think so.

I trust him.

I’m just sayin’…

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