Godspeed, Mr. President

  • Follow Editorials

American presidents have done it for years, but it seems awfully silly to hold wartime press conferences to let the enemy know when you're coming.

But President Obama has taken it a step further by pretty much announcing when we'll be leaving, too.

How can you set a deadline on a war?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., supported the Iraq surge and supports this one. But he expressed "grave doubts" about Obama's decision to announce a July 2011 date to begin a U.S. withdrawal.

Others agree with McCain that that can only embolden the enemy and send a chill throughout our Afghan allies -- who now know we aren't committed to a long-term effort.

We support the president and applaud him for doing what's necessary to win in Afghanistan. He's absolutely right when he says, "I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al-Qaida.

"It is from (there) that we were attacked on 9-11, and it is from (there) that new attacks are being plotted as I speak."

It must have been a difficult conclusion to draw, for a man who recently was named a Nobel Peace Prize laureate -- especially when his liberal Democratic base shortsightedly wants to cut and run, interestingly after years of complaining to the Bush administration that the real war on terror is in Afghanistan.

(It's also interesting to note that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is gung-ho about the surge, after having prematurely declared the Iraq War "lost.")

Vice President Joe Biden argues that a withdrawal date is necessary to prod the Afghan government toward reform and stability. Perhaps he's right -- but you don't need to hold a prime-time speech to communicate such a thing to Kabul. That should be done in private, so as not to telegraph your strategy to the enemy.

With those reservations, however -- along with the lament of how long this inescapable decision was dragged out -- we support President Obama's choice to finish the job in Afghanistan.

We also see hopeful signs that other nations will help out. They certainly should. But much more than they are. Radical Islam is a global cancer caused not by any policy or actions of the West, but by the insane hatred for infidels and the utter disdain for God-given life that makes radical Muslims one of history's most insidious maladies.

Godspeed, Mr. President.

Comments (97) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
wizzardx1
0
Points
wizzardx1 12/03/09 - 06:05 am
0
0
What part of "hussein is

What part of "hussein is muslim" do you not understand?Not too bright hiring(the president works for you)a muslim to fight muslims.But I am sure he will turn away from his god to be a good American.

Riverman1
84130
Points
Riverman1 12/03/09 - 06:21 am
0
0
The speech was the day that

The speech was the day that seemed to have many of us saying..."Aha, he does get it finally." For all his campaign talk of pulling out the troops in 16 months, etc. we knew when he was given the information he would change his tune on Iraq and Afghanistan. Interesting he talked of the terrorists recently caught in the U.S. that were from the Afghan-Pakistan region. Now he sees what Bush understood.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 06:25 am
0
0
Augusta Chronicle editorial

Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES): I know God. God is a friend of mine. God does not grant His "speed" or His blessings to United States in waging its war in Afghanistan. And tell the truth, ACES. You do not not truly wish President Obama "Godspeed". You do wish for United States military to kill & kill & kill some more in Afghanistan. I removed the Obama sticker from my vehicle yesterday. President Obama is not doing God's work or furthering the legitimate national security interests of our country by escalating the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Jim Hightower writes "Obama has been taken over by the military industrial hawks & national security theorists who play war games with other people's lives & money." Cornel West says President Obama has been "mesmerized" by the "brilliant" influential advisers surrounding him. Ted Koppel says the real elephant in the room is Pakistan & its nuclear arms. Koppel says the bottom line is that United States military will remain in Iraq far beyond 2011 or 2012 as stipulated in the Status of Forces Agreement, and United States military occupation forces will be in Afghanistan 20 or 30 more years! Forget about Obama's assurances to the contrary.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 12/03/09 - 06:51 am
0
0
Our Fence Straddler in Chief

Our Fence Straddler in Chief remains firmly on both side of the decision making fence. He knows that running away from the Afghan phase of the war will do serious damage to all foreign policy for decades and he's seen the damage of no action to our troops over there. His decision to send the additional 30k troops was the least he could do and his announcing of a withdrawal date was meant to counter any good his actions may have taken. While trying to please all parties, he's half-stepped toward any apparent goal. Cain is partially right, America can't possibly pull troops out in 18 months. And while our presence in Afghanistan may well extend to 20 or 30 years, it certainly doesn't have to be an occupation, and won't be. That's not what America does. Example, look at our presence in South Korea. Not an occupation, but look at the difference between North Korean way of life and that of South Korea. This type of improvement of way of life can happen in Afghanistan. It won't be an over night experience, though, and it won't be an occupation.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 06:56 am
0
0
Already (ACES) The Augusta

Already (ACES) The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff's thesis of a U.S. military pullout from Afghanistan in July 2011 has been shredded. Yesterday (Wed 02 Dec 2009) the day after President Obama's speech, Anne Gearan, National Security Writer for the Associated Press wrote "Obama's three chief war managers promptly put the countdown on hold. The exit strategy isn't absolute, they said, disappointing Democrats for whom the July 2011 date was meant as an olive branch from a Democratic president bearing bad news." Sec of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, and Sec of State Hillary Clinton all nixed the fixed withdrawal date. Sec of Defense Gates went on to state that United States military would not leave Iraq until Afghan security forces are ready to pick up the job (which will be NEVER). That is another reason why United States military occupation of Afghanistan will last DECADES not 18 months or 3 - 5 more years. ACES is about their usual business of raising false alarms. American should be alarmed that we are headed into a decades long war we cannot win & cannot afford. It is easier of ACES to trash Obama than to criticize Robt Gates.

wizzardx1
0
Points
wizzardx1 12/03/09 - 06:57 am
0
0
Does anyone think D-Day would

Does anyone think D-Day would have turned out different if our generals had told hitler when, where,and how many troops would land?

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 07:12 am
0
0
The beaches of Normandy were

The beaches of Normandy were fortified with German installations. There are no such Taliban installations in Afghanistan. U.S. troops will be airlifted into Kabul (Bagram Air Base). The Taliban does not have an Air Forces. The Germans had the Luftwaffe. It is true that supply routes into Afghanistan from Pakistan are often attacked by Taliban insurgents, but no U.S. troops will be entering Afghanistan over land routes AFAIK. wizzardxi's analogy to WWII does not hold water.

bigbluefanV
0
Points
bigbluefanV 12/03/09 - 07:42 am
0
0
You are quick to crucify and

You are quick to crucify and I believe you probably would have acted the same way with J.C.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 07:43 am
0
0
AC Ed, I have to wonder what

AC Ed, I have to wonder what the President would have to do to get positive coverage from you. I honestly believe if he announced that he was switching parties, you'd find fault. Cain... You didn't think the surge would work in Iraq. Let me give a listen It appears you are incorrect. I think I'll take the word from the guy on the ground over your self proclaimed expertise. Thanks for your consistant support.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 07:54 am
0
0
WWII was a declared war. The

WWII was a declared war. The U.S. war in Afghanistan, despite claims it is an existential war, is in fact a neocolonial political war. What is "victory"? How do we know we have "won"? For how many more years can United States afford to spend upwards of $75 billion each year in upfront costs (all of it borrowed from foreign sources like China)? When long term costs are considered, including the price of providing care for wounded soldiers including the tens of thousands who suffer for PTSD, the costs rapidly escalate into trillions of dollars. Meanwhile the U.S. currency is losing value & economic hardships endure here at home. I have written before that United States' war in Afghanistan is doomed because of geography, demography, resources & because of historical imperatives. This war will bankrupt United States & it won't defeat Al Qaeda. They already have a much better safe havens in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia & the Maghreb in North Africa. The U.S. war in Iraq was counterproductive because it was Al Qaeda's biggest recruiting tool. The same with Afghanistan. Central Asia as well as Pakistan is being destabilized. Russian railroads are being bombed by resurgent Islamic militants.

wizzardx1
0
Points
wizzardx1 12/03/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
cain;Why do you hate the

cain;Why do you hate the United States?

draksig
167
Points
draksig 12/03/09 - 08:09 am
0
0
I believe that we should

I believe that we should bring back the troops after a war is concluded. From Germany, Japan, Europe, etc... WWII ended a LONG time ago but our troops are still there. The problem with Afganistan and Iraq is, the war has been won, (the Iraqi and Afganistan government have fallen and have been replaced) however, you have nasty insurgencies in both and the insurgents will never give up. Now they know all they have to do is wait until July 2011, just as Obama has to start running for re-election, then they will be default. This is a war of attritian, the first to quit, looses.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 12/03/09 - 08:12 am
0
0
Cain, you're ranting and

Cain, you're ranting and raving as though you've missed (or double dosed) your meds. The assumptions you base your deductions on are just too convoluted to come together in anything but some crazy guy's fantasy. Your "reasoning" ignores history and twists facts like a CNN "news" report.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 08:14 am
0
0
Hmm... Counterproductive in

Hmm... Counterproductive in Iraq... Let me see... Any AQ running amok here like a couple of years ago? Nope... That looks pretty productive to me... So you'll know, Iraq isn't a real good AQ recruiting tool anymore. The bad guys had to start using mentally challanged for suicide bombers. That went over real well with the locals too. Kinda like a ham sandwich. If that's their strategy, I think we're doing pretty well in Iraq. We may find ourselves added to the list of others, like Nepoleon and the Soviets, but I don't think I'd give up on us yet, especially with the same arguments you had about the Iraq surge.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 08:32 am
0
0
robbie, When the U.S. surged

robbie, When the U.S. surged troops into Iraq, Islamic militants who had received training the Iraq under U.S. occupation (a bigger training ground and proving ground for weapons than Afghanistan was under Al Qaeda) many moved to Afghanistan and took their expertise (esp IEDs) to Afghanistan. What makes you think that as United States surges into Afghanistan the militants will not return to Iraq? United States still has 115,000 occupation troops in Iraq. When we draw down what happens? The Iraqis cannot reconcile among themselves. The January elections may or may not happen in late February 2010 a month after the constitutional deadline and it is by no mean certain to happen then. Iraq can still slide into civil war. Today a bomb killed 1 and injured 6 in northern Baghdad. The mole always win an a game of what a mole. United States does not have enough troops to fight counterinsurgency wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, North Africa, and elsewhere. We will exhaust ourselves which is bin Laden's game plan.

jack234
726
Points
jack234 12/03/09 - 08:38 am
0
0
Now you know, people had to

Now you know, people had to find something to gripe about. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 08:40 am
0
0
Cain, the difference is, AQ

Cain, the difference is, AQ is practically impotent here right now. The Iraqis are building their own security forces. Yes they are screwing around with THEIR elections. What THEY do with THEIR country when we are gone is THEIR decision. Not AQ's who did hold quite a bit of power here until we surged. So, let me see... Today, a bomb killed one in Baghdad. Last couple of days I've seen several deaths in Augusta... Hmmm... To follow your logic... US TROOPS OUT OF AUGUSTA NOW!

justthefacts
21982
Points
justthefacts 12/03/09 - 08:41 am
0
0
"Obama said out plan was for

"Obama said out plan was for 18 months. Yesterday, the Taliban announced a 19 month plan." Jay Leno.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 08:44 am
0
0
Darn those Taliban... One

Darn those Taliban... One step ahead... Shh... Don't tell anyone, but we're gonna surprize them with our 20 month plan...

ggaston743
0
Points
ggaston743 12/03/09 - 08:47 am
0
0
The Augusta Chronicle

The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) once again shows their bias. No matter what President Obama does, with the ACES he will be 'damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Where were you (ACES) when the past president was declaring victory and letting Iraq crumble into chaios? Or when the past Administration and Sec. of Defense not follow through with sending the necessary troops into Bora Bora, and capture Bin Laden... who planned the 9/11 attacks. It is easy to sit back ACES and criticize, but only when it benefits your bias means. NO WONDER AUGUSTA IS A DIVIDED CITY! Your saying Godspeed to President Obama is as false as your support for Augusta becoming a city for ALL citizens.

justthefacts
21982
Points
justthefacts 12/03/09 - 08:57 am
0
0
Moveon.org wants their money

Moveon.org wants their money back.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 09:06 am
0
0
Well said, Gas. Facts...

Well said, Gas. Facts... You crack me up.

skidrowjoe
0
Points
skidrowjoe 12/03/09 - 09:29 am
0
0
A day lat and a dollar short.

A day lat and a dollar short.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 09:31 am
0
0
robbie wrote at 7:40 am:

robbie wrote at 7:40 am: "What THEY do with THEIR country when we are gone is THEIR decision. Not AQ's who did hold quite a bit of power here until we surged." robbie admits that Al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq until United States invaded that country in an unnecessary war of choice in 2003. I recall Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri saying the Iraqi resistance will attack at the time and place of their choosing. Why wouldn't Iraq's Sunni resistance wait until the majority of U.S. troops leave Iraq for Afghanistan? Enjoy your ersatz "victory" in Iraq, robbie. It ain't over yet, brother. Remember Sec of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declaring Afghanistan "an amazing success" in 2002?

Lobosolo
5
Points
Lobosolo 12/03/09 - 09:33 am
0
0
STOOPID people, do something

STOOPID people, do something different today. If you have all the answers, position yourself to do something. I can't imagine what tasting bile ALL DAY, EVERYDAY, EVERY WEEK, of EVERY YEAR must be like. I do know its not very productive, though.

robbie1
0
Points
robbie1 12/03/09 - 09:40 am
0
0
Cain, where did I write that

Cain, where did I write that AQ did not exist? The fact is AQ did make Iraq their battleground and lost. Maybe you forget the reason AQ is doing so poorly is that the Sunnis got tired of their sharia law in the places they DID control until we surged. I don't think you'll find me defending anything Rummy had to say. I wasn't happy with the way he handled either part of the war. You're too right on "It aint over yet." Once we're gone, the Iraqis will do what they want, but its their country and they are the ones pulling in the bad guys now. Something they couldn't handle before the surge gave them the breathing room to train and man their own security forcces.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 12/03/09 - 09:40 am
0
0
It's not the fault of the

It's not the fault of the Chronicle that Obama keeps himself in the damned status because he pushes his own agenda, totally ignoring what is best for our country, mainly because he doesn't KNOW what is best for this country. He's never had to make a decision on any important matter -when he should have been doing that in congress he was campaigning for the presidency and enough people believed that we should hire a rookie that he got elected. That rookie status shows up every day as he continues to campaign rather than settle into the oval office and really take time to listen and know what's going on around him and what needs to be done. I'll bet dust covers his desk in the oval office and his bed is hardly slept in because he's out and about spending untold billions in jet fuel and personnel to take his message to the world where our standing is sinking on a daily basis. Reading nicely from teleprompters and being a nice speaker does not a president make. Coercing congress and buying off large chunks of the medical industry do not a president make. In fact it's difficult to find even ONE thing that he's done that makes for a good American president.

skidrowjoe
0
Points
skidrowjoe 12/03/09 - 09:45 am
0
0
Solo, i bet you do!

Solo, i bet you do!

Lobosolo
5
Points
Lobosolo 12/03/09 - 09:50 am
0
0
So, PettyThomasJohnsonCliff,

So, PettyThomasJohnsonCliff, what's your brilliant idea? Come on, all of you armchair presidents... give us your manifesto!!! We all are hanging on your intelligence!!! CoastalDawg, pull your head out of your rear and READ SOMETHING!!!! THE AC AND FOX AREN'T THE BASTIONS OF JOURNALISM YOU THINK THEY ARE!!! RUSH IN REALITY IS JUST A PILL-POPPING DOUGH BOY!!!! USE YER HEAD!!!! Dadgum, Augusta is FULL of idiots! I guess keeping y'all wrapped up on this pitiful thread keeps you off the streets, though. It must be hell to wake up so freaking stupid everyday!!!!

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 12/03/09 - 09:52 am
0
0
I would not be surprised if

I would not be surprised if Al Qaeda played a role in helping Chechen militants plant bombs in Russia. United States cannot militarily occupy every enclave that harbors Al Qaeda's leaders or to which Al Qaeda sends its emissaries. Using the U.S. military to fight the war on terror is like using a shotgun to kill a fly. Is the U.S. able to keep drones over Pakistan, over Somalia, over the Indian Ocean, and elsewhere indefinitely? The Sudan can harbor Al Qaeda. Or Malaysia. Or Indonesia. Or The Philippines. United States' occupation of Afghanistan because that is where the 9/11 attacks are said to have originated is ridiculous. KSL planned airline hijackings while he was in The Philippines, Al Qaeda cells planned 9/11 in Hamburg, Germany & terrorists received flying lessons in United States. Occupying countries is counterproductive because it creates more enemies for the United States. That is what Al Qaeda wants. The only effective way to fight terrorism is thorough international cooperation & targeted police actions. Destroying Chechnya did not solve Russia's problems with its Muslim dominated republics. United States cannot fight its way to victory Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs