Standing with Obama – by Jamie Weinstein

slide_3889_54735_large

One could come up with many criticisms of President Obama’s speech last night at West Point announcing his Afghanistan strategy.

Why, if he was willing to commit 30,000 troops, would he not go all the way and commit the 40,000 troops that General McChrystal was asking for? Why would the president give a deadline to remove the troops in a speech that needed to show resolve about defeating al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan? And, in giving a deadline of 18 months, why would he give one that approaches so quickly? As John McCain said in a press release after Obama’s speech, “Success is the real exit strategy.”

And how to account for the economic part of the speech? How is it that a president who wants to spend a trillion dollars on healthcare and who signed a pork-laden $787 billion stimulus bill is suddenly worried about the cost of a policy that directly relates to the government’s first obligation to protect its citizens?

One might also question the delivery. Whatever the merits of the speech, it certainly wasn’t one of the more rhetorically brilliant pieces of oratory that the president has given.

Yes, there are plenty of criticisms that could be made of President Obama’s speech. And there are some questions that still must be answered by the president. But what matters most is that the president has declared, definitively, that America is shooting for success in Afghanistan and that he will provide the resources that the military needs to achieve that end.

This is tremendously important and heartening, and all Americans should stand behind the president in this important mission. What happens in Afghanistan is directly related to American security. The president apparently recognizes this. And he is now acting to prevent Afghanistan from falling into the hands of the Taliban, which would once again provide al-Qaeda a safe haven to plan and plot against the United States like they did before 9/11. Perhaps even worse, a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan could be used to destabilize a nuclear-armed Pakistan.

The president’s decision will almost certainly alienate a large portion of his base and therefore the decision he made is politically risky for him. It is, however, the right move in defense of the safety and security of the United States. Conservatives in the opposition cannot always act as obstructionists. So far, much of the president’s foreign policy has merited criticism. But when the president is right, conservatives need to stand behind him. In this case, while President Obama is skewered by many on the Left, conservatives should vocally stand with the president in support of one of the most vital missions in the terror war.

In that vein, conservatives must also criticize poor behavior in their ranks. While former Vice President Dick Cheney has made many important and accurate statements since leaving office, his interview in the Politico yesterday, right before the president’s speech, was in poor taste. While he may have been correct on much of the substance, it was wrongheaded to call the president “weak” just as he was preparing to make a major policy declaration on Afghanistan. At the very least, the former vice president could have waited until hearing President Obama’s plan.

It may have taken too long, but in the end the president made the right call, or at least close to the right call. Conservatives must now stand with the president in supporting this important mission, even if they provide constructive criticism from time to time on elements of Obama’s plan with which they have disagreements.

Jamie Weinstein is a columnist for The North Star National. He can be contacted through his blog, JamieWeinstein.com.

  • libral

    your assessment is right the president have made good decisions and realy good speachs and its not fair to only criticise him just because he is not conservative . also the his last statement about taliban and alqaida should isolate them in the islamic world . but we must always be prepared and awake because we never knows their real intentions or plots .

  • Robert Bernier

    Wow! Read this one. It is really good. And this gentleman says it just like it is.

    This venerable and much honored WW II vet is well known in Hawaii
    for his seventy-plus years of service to patriotic organizations and causes all over the country. A humble man without a political bone in his body, he has never spoken out before about a government official, until now. He dictated this letter to a friend, signed it and mailed it to the president. Consult : http://xrl.us/bgeewc

  • http://shaysrebellion2.blogspot.com/ Tatosian

    Simply put; the rules of engagement under which our military labors in Afghanistan are not geared toward victory. (See Diana West's reference to the Nation's “How the US Funds the Taliban” [ http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/… ] for starters.)
    Which is not to say that conservatives won't support obama and the neocon nancy boys in their eagerness to throw more marines and soldiers into the Afghan meat grinder. ( by the way, the Afghan “constitution” precludes any law, program or policy not in keeping with the religion of islam. Which of course, relegates non muslims to second class status and institutionalizes various sharia based inhumanities. That's worth American blood?)
    But then Conservatives, during the bush era, supported some of the most destructive and debilitating programs without a peep didn't they?
    No doubt these same misinformed, lazy conservatives will let themselves be prodded, once again, into doing whatever their spokesman and cheerleaders (like this author) tell them to do.
    Again, without a peep.
    Way to go Conservatives.

  • MaryAnn

    I'm glad he's sending more troops. He's not sending enough. The violence will increase and more of our soldiers will be killed and there won't be enough to stop the increased violence. Some people are calling his decision courageous, politically, because he is bucking what his leftist supporters want, and indeed some of them are calling him out because of it. They would have done that had he decided to give McChrystal all the troops he asked for, so why not support his General's request? He is a coward. His speech was supposed to rally the country behind his noble effort? He said not one word about why we are fighting al Queda and the Taliban; their subjugation and violence against women, their denial of religiuos freedom and human rights and Sharia Law, and their intent to take over the entire globe with their backward ideology. Even he does not believe in what he said. So he decided to send some more troops while at the same time announcing to our enemies our date of surrender. I expect the Taliban are debating when to commence their own surge.

  • hoolad

    Islam is pure evil to the core. islam is not a religion but a political movement to achieve global dominance. Show me a churhc or a hindu temple or a jewish temple in saudia arabia. Go to Egypt and see how they deal with the Coptic Christains, the egyptians treat them like animals, burn down their chruches at every riot and they dont allow new chruches to be build, infact you have to ask permission from the president of egypt to build a church. Remind you, Egypt was a Coptic Christain Country before Islam took over with the sword and now coptic christains are a minority in their own country. I Guess the Swiss have realized the danger soon…..

    In Turkey, they have taken Hagia Sofia Church and turned it to a Mosque, then into a museum. Still they will not give back Hagia Sofia to be a church again. Muslims are hypocrates. Turkey has a mission to wipe off all churches and convert them into secular museums and thus will elimanate the christains populations.

    Christains are not allowed to be christains in middle-east, period. Now muslims shout. Give me a church, hindu temple, jewish temple, buddist temple or any other temple in the heart of Mecca or Medina and then I will voice my dis-taste for the swiss vote.

    http://www.faithfreedom.org
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    http://www.thethirdjihad.com

  • conservativebabyboomer

    Cheney calls it as most of us see it….hope we are doing the same. I'm not sure it was the right call…….I just don't trust the man. There must be some hidden agenda, that and…he can't be depended on.

  • carneryork

    How about standing behind our troops and removing the absurd, self defeating, politically correct rules of engagement that tie their hands in fighting the Taliban? How about taking politics out of the equation and not mentioning a date for withdrawal? I don't support our President one bit because in doing so, I would be supporting a weakened USA. I support our troops enough to want them the hell out of Afghanistan because to our President, they are merely props.

  • Nick_in_Virginia

    Don't worry, we conservatives will be standing behind the troops, no matter who the President is (more than can be said for you liberals). We may not stand behind the President, however, because (1) he shortchanged McChrystal on the number of troops and (2) he idiotically announced the potential withdrawal date (true, he used the phrase depending on “conditions on the ground”, but that logic can be used to accelerate the withdrawal as well as to delay it).

    The fact is 0bama doesn't have a clue about military affairs (just as he doesn't have a clue about the economy, or about how to act as a President instead of a community organizer). And don't say “well, he has professional military people as advisors”, because his military advisors were the people saying the surge in Iraq would be a failure, so their past performance shouldn't leave anyone feeling comfortable.

    We'll stand behind the troops, and when 0bama tries to pull them out too soon, we will turn against him as we should.

  • LindaRivera

    Please stand with the American people. Why should the evil 9/11 terrorist murderer, infidel hater be provided with a worldwide propaganda platform? Why should America be significantly weakened by revealing secrets to the enemy in fighting the war? Daily, hourly, the enemy seeks our total destruction.

    worldnetdaily.com
    PETITION to CONGRESS to STOP
    the 9/11 TERRORIST RETRIAL in NEW YORK
    ….Whereas, Mohammed and his fellow terrorist defendants have made it clear they will attempt to use this highly publicized civilian trial in the U.S. to their own political advantage, to aggrandize themselves as martyrs and spread their jihadist ideology both internationally and domestically;

    Whereas, the president risks humiliation for America if this “show trial” results in acquittal, or even in endless defense motions and appeals that drag out for years;

    Whereas, veteran federal prosecutors claim the terrorists' defense attorneys will use this trial to discover and make public methods and practices of the CIA and the U.S. military that would severely compromise national security by revealing to America's enemies all of our secrets in fighting this war….

    Click on link to sign petiition!

    http://www.wnd.com/terror_trial

    SUPPORT THE 911 FAMILIES AT A RALLY IN LOWER MANHATTAN

    SATURDAY DECEMBER 5 – NOON

    RALLY IN FOLEY SQUARE: STOP THE TERROR TRIAL IN NYC!

  • LindaRivera

    U.S. EMPOWERS Global JIHAD. TERRORIST Camps in America

    Terrorist Camps in America
    By Jamie Glazov
    FrontPageMagazine.com | February 03, 2009

    Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Ryan Mauro, the founder of WorldThreats.com.

    FP: We’re here today to discuss “Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Camps Around U.S.,” the new documentary being released by the Christian Action Network.

    “Muslims of America” is a group set up by Gilani to act as a thinly-veiled front for Jamaat ul-Fuqra. There are at least 35 “Muslims of America” compounds in the U.S. alone, along with at least 3,000 members, many of which have criminal backgrounds.

    Gilani: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are in America”, “Jews are an example of human Satans,” and “Act like you are a friend, then kill him”

    FP: What sort of terrorism has Jamaat ul-Fuqra been involved in?

    Mauro: Members of the group have carried out at least 17 firebombings and 10 assassinations, including stabbing a moderate Muslim cleric to death, bombing a power station, killing police officers, and attacks on Hindus. In 1991, five members were involved in a plot to bomb a Hindu temple and an Indian-owned cinema near Toronto; in 1993, one member was involved in the World Trade Center bombing; and five were involved in the massive “Day of Terror” plot aimed at bombing various buildings in New York in 1993.

    Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped on the way to meeting with Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan.

    A September 2004 report by the National White Collar Crime Center said that “Members of the Fuqra group have raised money by taking advantage of a variey of social services programs, including worker’s compensation, public health care, welfare, and food stamps programs. Other crimes committed by Fuqra members include the creation and use of false identification cards, birth certificates, and other forged documents…” The report also confirms that Fuqra is recruiting criminals and describes them as “one of the most elusive terrorist groups resident in the U.S.”

    FP: Why doesn’t the government shut down these compounds?

    Mauro: There are a few reasons. The first is that Jamaat ul-Fuqra is not designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the State Department.
    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?…

    G-D help Israel, America and the Free World! THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A WAR ON TERROR!

    The Free World has no defender.

    Council on American-Islamic Relations: “Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.” – Omar Ahmad (CAIR co-founder).

    Addressing a youth session at the 1999 Islamic Association for Palestine's annual convention in Chicago, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) founder Omar Ahmad praised suicide bombers who “kill themselves for Islam,”
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?A

  • LindaRivera

    Jihadists are winning because of pro-Islam Western leaders. U.S. Airport Security Deliberately and Shockingly Destroyed for Islam:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com
    Controversial Muslim group
    gets VIP airport security tour
    Feds show CAIR latest screening steps,
    sensitive counterterrorism procedures
    August 18, 2006

    The Department of Homeland Security
    took a Muslim group with known past ties to terror organizations on a VIP tour of security operations at the nation's busiest airport at the same time British authorities were working to break up a plot to blow up U.S. airlines.

    On June 21, a senior DHS official from Washington personally guided Muslim officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations on a behind-the-scenes tour of Customs screening operations at O'Hare International Airport in response to CAIR complaints that Muslim travelers were being unfairly delayed as they entered the U.S. from abroad.

    CAIR is a spin-off of the Islamic Association for Palestine, identified by two former FBI counterterrorism chiefs as a “front group” for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

    Several CAIR leaders have been convicted on terror-related charges.

    During the airport tour, CAIR was taken on a walk through the point-of-entry, Customs stations, secondary screening and interview rooms. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents were asked to describe for CAIR representatives various features of the high-risk passenger lookout system.
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?A

    ’“One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.”
    —Former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne’s prophetic warning to Europe in a speech at the U.N. In 1974.

    In Sweden, many Muslim youth wear a t-shirt proclaiming: “2030-then we take over”

    Flash Video- Islamic Mein Kampf http://www.terrorismawareness.org/islamic-mein-