Barack Obama: New American “War President”?

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Poor Barack Obama! All eyes and ears will turn to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) where the US president would announce whether he would send more troops to Afghanistan or withdraw them. Once again the world witnesses the tussle between powerful American war machine and “a multitude of young people who were the backbone of Obama’s campaign.”

(Update: Meanwhile President Obama will today announce the deployment of an extra 34,000 American troops to Afghanistan, according to sources briefed since the President issued new orders to his top military commanders, says The Times of London. The precise figure, reported last night by the Washington Post, was close to previous estimates and enough to bring the total US troop strength in Afghanistan to more than 100,000.)

As usual two persons have articulated the aspirations of the “multitude of the young people…” Michael Moore says: “It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. ‘You’re fired!,’ said Truman, and that was that.

“And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

“With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the ‘war president.’ Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

“Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

“I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it…” More here…

And now The Huffington Post: “The sham Afghanistan strategic review is now revealed for the empty exercise it always was. Escalation was inescapable, for Obama’s staunch promotion of a ‘necessary war’ precluded a serious reappraisal of stakes and risks. Reversing himself would have demanded the kind of courage that is wholly foreign to him.

“So we are left with an open-ended commitment to an unwinnable war. That outcome speaks volumes about the failings of Obama as a leader as much as his impaired judgment.” More here…

So who would win?…It is anybody’s guess…At least I am not so pessimistic…

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Author: SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist

Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.) Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department's SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi. In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF's Eco-tourism policy. He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on "Development Journalism" to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years. In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India --- West Bengal and Orissa. Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia. Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there. He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation. And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.

  • Silhouette

    I still think we're being cleverly drawn into engagement after engagement in order to bring us once and for all to our knees. Playing right into that hand is just…well, suicidal. There is no reason to be in Af/Pak other than Obama trying to look tough politically. There will be hell to pay if this is so. Still, his obvious brown-nosing of India recently hasn't escaped attention. He may be cooperating with some agenda that India has in exchange for their aid in a strategic endeavor.

    Oh how I wish all the kids would just play nice in their own backyards for awhile. For us, it may be vital. I feel like America is going to be the one little kid running after a stray ball who gets hit by the speeding bus without knowing what's coming.

  • JSpencer

    I wish I could say I had a good feeling about this. . . but I don't.

  • DLS

    Alec Baldwin apparently wants to stop acting. Oh, the angst.

  • wrinklecream

    Barack Obama is a very nice man and a ideal president of America.i don't think that he do anything wrong,he just want to solve all problems of America.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Best-Anti-Wrinkle-Cre

  • JeffersonDavis

    I pray you're wrong, Sil.

    My butt depends on it.

    As I've said. I think he's done the right thing so far weighing the options. I believe he has more up his sleave than merely throwing more troops at the problem. There's a major strategy change ahead in Afghanistan – I can feel it in my bones. Of course, he can't tip his/our hand to that in his address tonight.

    A BIG part of me wants us out of Afghanistan ASAP. But if there is a way to finalize a different strategy/goal with clear cut objectives – I'm all for it. I think we all need to give President Obama a chance to succeed here.

  • dduck12

    Hello Oslo, are you listening?

  • lhhunt

    Michael Moore is worried that Obama might be a war president? As the kids would say: Well, duh! I considered voting for him until he made it crystal clear he would be precisely that. Where has Moore been fro the last sixteen months? I think no one should ever listen to anything he says, ever again. I sure won't.

  • ProfElwood

    Unless someone is taking bets here, can't we just wait until after he's made his speech before analyzing it?