Wednesday, December 02, 2009

President Obama's policy speech on Afghanistan - What to make of it?

Text of President Obama's speech on Afghanistan
By The Associated Press (AP) – December 1, 2009

Text of President Barack Obama's speech Tuesday about his plans for the Afghanistan war, as provided by the White House:
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Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan — the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here — at West Point — where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al-Qaida — a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world's great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al-Qaida's base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban — a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

For complete text, click here

Related:
Obama's Afghanistan speech and strategy - Washington Post
Q+A-What does Obama Afghan strategy mean for Pakistan? - Reuters
Obama's Afghanistan speech: five key points - Christian Science Monitor
Obama's Afghanistan speech - Atlantic Monthly
A Technocratic Speech - Mother Jones
Pakistan's Failing War on Terror - Foreign Policy
Our concern is about area of deployment: Pakistan - Dawn
The Afghan-Pakistan Solution By Pervez Musharraf - Wall Street Journal

1 comment:

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

What we have here is a classic case of American ethno-centricism. Afghanistan is not a nation that is likely to embrace an idea as historically foreign to them as democracy any time soon (And when I say "any time soon" I am speaking in terms of the next one-thousand years - give or take a few centuries). How can a country be expected to enter the twenty-first century when that same country has yet to experience all of the modern wonders of the nineteenth? This is a really bad idea.

"And it's - ONE! TWO! THREE! - What are we fighting for?"

Country Joe and the Fish

Well, hey there! Come to think of it, that's a damned good question when you get right down to it: Just what the heck are we fighting for? Let us examine the possibilities, shall we?

American interests? It can't be that! Given the fact that Afghanistan's only export seems to be opium, and taking into consideration our fabulously successful war on drugs....Nah! It couldn't be that!

Freedom and democracy? Tee! Hee! Hee! I'm sorry, I was just kidding! The Afghan people are now living under the rule of a "leader" who is now in power because he stole the recent election. Hamid Karzai is many things - you'll get no argument from me there! - Thomas Jefferson he ain't. Trust me on that. Let this be etched in stone: Any country that views its women as inferior beings not worthy of basic human rights is a country not worth one drop of anyone's blood. NEXT....

Aiding a developing nation? In order for a country to be classified "developing", a bit of "development" should at least be moderately apparent. Afghanistan is stuck in the fifth century and seems intent on remaining there.

What are we fighting for?

Let me rephrase that: What are the children of the poor and working classes fighting for? Between you and me, I've only known one person in combat in the last seven years. I don't know him anymore. He was killed when a roadside bomb was detonated in front of the vehicle in which he was a passenger. His name was Irving Medina. He was twenty-two.

What was Irving Medina fighting for?

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY