President Obama took the high ground when, in the middle of the night, he threw caution to the wind and landed in Afghanistan. His need was to be with his troops and he “high-fived” his way around for several hours.
Without further fanfare, he addressed the people of America and gave a clear timeline to the end of the war in Afghanistan – a war that cost 1,500 lives; 10,000 wounded physically and mentally; and some $560 billion we can’t afford. He clearly has made the light at the end of a tunnel a reality – a tunnel created by the nonsensical invasion of Iraq by the previous administration and its oil interests.
As president, Obama clearly set out our goal of not trying to build Afghanistan into an American-like country, as the Bush administration tried to do with Iraq, but to finalize the weakening of al-Qaida so that the Middle East is rid of it. Our country is much safer since he ordered the death of Osama bin-Laden and, by drone strikes, two-thirds of the al-Qaida leadership. Al-Qaida financed the deaths of 3,000 Americans; now they are paying with their lives because this president has the guts to face them squarely and defeat them.
Republican Party leaders seemingly have complimented the president for his actions, but in reality are trying to bring him down for his public discussion of his deeds, including the killing of bin-Laden.
The Augusta Chronicle (May 3), called the trip to Afghanistan “political theater.” The Chronicle and its Republican readers should remember “Mission Accomplished,” a banner on an aircraft carrier on which George W. Bush paraded in pilot garb.
The only problem is that the “Mission Accomplished” speech was on May 1, 2003, prematurely nine years to the day when President Obama landed in Afghanistan to announce that he could now satisfactorily end the war.
How soon they wish to forget and make “political theater” of their own.
(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)