Candidate Obama vs President Obama on Afghanistan

Not surprisingly, the statements from then-candidate Obama were very different from President Obama’s actions regarding the war in Afghanistan. At this point, 9 months into his first term, Obama has done nothing resembling his positions and criticism of President Bush and John McCain’s shared views on Afghanistan.

For anyone familiar with Obama’s campaign promises and his complete reversal on many of them after becoming President, this shouldn’t be shocking.

This video here sums it up well:

The UK Times ran a story today about growing discontentment among some soldiers serving in Afghanistan:

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned, according to the chaplains of two US battalions that have spent nine months on the front line in the war against the Taleban.

Many feel that they are risking their lives — and that colleagues have died — for a futile mission and an Afghan population that does nothing to help them, the chaplains told The Times in their makeshift chapel on this fortress-like base in a dusty, brown valley southwest of Kabul.

“The many soldiers who come to see us have a sense of futility and anger about being here. They are really in a state of depression and despair and just want to get back to their families,” said Captain Jeff Masengale, of the 10th Mountain Division’s 2-87 Infantry Battalion.

“They feel they are risking their lives for progress that’s hard to discern,” said Captain Sam Rico, of the Division’s 4-25 Field Artillery Battalion. “They are tired, strained, confused and just want to get through.” The chaplains said that they were speaking out because the men could not.

It saddens me to have a commander-in-chief showing blatant disregard for the lives of those fighting on the ground. He can spend time lobbying for the Olympics in Chicago, holding health-care town halls, beer summits at the White House and spending an anniversary date night with his wife yet he has not formulated a working mission for our soldiers on the ground giving their lives in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Christopher Hughes, 37, from Detroit, has lost six colleagues and survived two roadside bombs. Asked if the mission was worthwhile, he replied: “If I knew exactly what the mission was, probably so, but I don’t.”

The only soldiers who thought it was going well “work in an office, not on the ground”. In his opinion “the whole country is going to s***”.

The battalion’s 1,500 soldiers are nine months in to a year-long deployment that has proved extraordinarily tough. Their goal was to secure the mountainous Wardak province and then to win the people’s allegiance through development and good governance. They have, instead, found themselves locked in an increasingly vicious battle with the Taleban.

President Obama is doing exactly what he criticized President Bush of doing with regard to “taking his eye off the ball in Afghanistan”. After months and months of time, where is the plan, Mr. President? After years of criticizing President Bush for allegedly having no plan in Iraq, where is your plan or action to help our fighting men and women on the ground?

I have largely stayed away from this topic for weeks because I believe it is touchy, however, when I see soldiers in the cross hairs of political rhetoric and trickery, I will remain silent no more.

  • JD

    So you will be happy when Obama announces he is bring home the Afghan troops in the next few weeks?

  • Bill Hedges


    What a jump to conclusions. Is that why you don’t quote Nate, BECAUSE HE DID NOT SAY THAT… Did not imply.

    Nate said obama is doing what obama blamed Bush for…

    “President Obama is doing exactly what he criticized President Bush of doing with regard to “taking his eye off the ball in Afghanistan”

    JD said “So you will be happy when Obama announces he is bring home the Afghan troops in the next few weeks?”

    Would enjoy hearing you thinking on how you jumped the height of New York State Building to make that evaluation of article ? Here is Nate’s reality…

    Nate__ “After months and months of time, where is the plan, Mr. President.”

    I’m just guessing here o.k., but I think Nate wants soldier’s lives not to be wasted. He wants decisions made. Wants the war won.

    Does not want another Viet Nam.

    No where in article did I see Nate would be happy if we pulled our troupes as you so gave him credit for…

    I like to give direct quotes then give my conclusions. That might stop your wrong conclusions. Might led you out of obamaland.

    Misquotes and conclusion jumping appears to be obama’s armor for obama believers. From the onslaught of massive obama’s lies, bad policies, misjudgment, and short comings.

    I believe obama can do more than one thing at the same time. Problem is, one is delay

  • “So you will be happy when Obama announces he is bring home the Afghan troops in the next few weeks?”

    Not even worth responding to a brick wall of ignorant rhetoric which ignores the entire post.

    I am saying that maybe, just this time, the President should act like he cares even a little about sticking to what he said concerning finishing the job in Afghanistan.

  • My guess is Obama had no idea what he was getting into. He thought he could do so many things that likely all presidents do. Then after he got his first briefing, reality set in. People can have all sort of good intentions before that first day on the job when they realize it’s not as easy as they thought it was. I wont pretend to think that I know what is on Obama’s mind because I’m sure what he says is not all of what he is thinking.

  • Bill Hedges

    Obama promised the Moon, Sun, Jupiter, Milky Way and all the stars in the sky to become president. Able to in mid-sentence, reverse his position.

    For a president who by far leads in major speeches in 8 years, let alone 9 months, choices to make this announced by senior administration official. Is this not a major shift in policy, and should he not have made the announcement ???

    “Obama focusing on al-Qaida, not Taliban”

    By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – 28 mins ago

    WASHINGTON –” President Barack Obama is prepared to accept some Taliban involvement in Afghanistan’s political future and appears inclined to send only as many more U.S. troops as needed to keep al-Qaida at bay, a senior administration official said Thursday.”

    “Republicans, meanwhile, are urging Obama to heed the military commanders’ calls soon or risk failure. “Unnecessary delay could undermine our opportunity for success,” House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said Thursday.”

    Being a mind reader I would say obama wants to see the reaction. Especially from Fox news. Before he opens his mouth.

    He will clarify, change, whatever; to lessen his loses. Of course…Bush.

    When obama is 106 years old, with his last breathe, he will blame…Bush

  • Bill Hedges


    Spin the generality jargon to defend obama. Suppose better than specifics where a magnifying glass puts words written under scrutiny.

    But let me dissect generalities.

    1. “My guess is Obama had no idea what he was getting into. He thought he could do so many things that likely all presidents do.”

    ‘No idea’. No, not really. He had wrong ideas. Proven fact Brush method in Iraq worked and increased troupes lead to success and a more staple government in Iraq. Obama was against that increase. He had access to information as Senator.

    I believe Candidates received briefings, and I know is fully briefed long before his Day One as prez.

    The rest is immaterial and/or irrelevant.

    I can safety say obama deceived the people while running. True words were spoken to Joe the Plumber…

  • Bill Hedges

    “Code Pink now suddenly pro-occupation in Afghanistan”

    posted at 7:06 pm on October 7, 2009 by Allahpundit

    “While the group hasn’t dropped its call for a pullout, the visit convinced them that setting a deadline isn’t in Afghanistan’s interests, say Ms. Benjamin and fellow cofounder Jodie Evans.”

    “We would leave with the same parameters of an exit strategy but we might perhaps be more flexible about a timeline,” says Benjamin. “That’s where we have opened ourselves, being here, to some other possibilities. We have been feeling a sense of fear of the people of the return of the Taliban. So many people are saying that, ‘If the US troops left the country, would collapse. We’d go into civil war.’ A palpable sense of fear that is making us start to reconsider that.”

    This group Code Pink gave Bush hard time. As I like to say weirdoes change their views on a dime. Just like some politicians. Had they did their home work first, then made their conclusion, thay might not have to change their stance 180 degrees.

    Obama might consider thinking first.

    Like obama, Code Pink hedges it bet with “hasn’t dropped its call for a pullout”. obama spokes man hedge was “appears inclined to send only as many more U.S. troops as needed to keep al-Qaida at bay”

    All so quietly today Democrats are accepting Bush bad privacy terrorist notions.

    As here, admitting nothing, Bush policy continues and was Democrat idea…

  • Bill Hedges

    “In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize”

    By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writers Karl Ritter And Matt Moore, Associated Press Writers – 54 mins ago

    “Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change”

    Hummm… I would have given to czar for children. Who when told by 15-16 year old boy having sex with old man. Was old man wearing a condom ???

    Yes, obama is future ???? Hannity says more coming on czar.

  • President Obama being awarded the nobel prize! 🙂

    Kendale —

    This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

    To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

    But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

    That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

    This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

    So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

    Thank you,

    President Barack Obama

  • Bill Hedges

    Voting ‘present’ get obama peace prize

    “Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize for accomplishing nothing”

    October 9, 2:57

    Conservative Examiner Todd Keister

    “His Holiness, Barack Hussein, The Dalai Obama, has done it once again. Having been elected to the Illinois State Senate after accomplishing nothing but bankrupting the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, then voting “present” while occupying that seat, he was then elected to the United States Senate. There he continued to achieve absolutely nothing and spent nearly the entirety of his brief tenure running for the presidency. Now, after being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize eleven days into his reign, he has won the formerly prestigious award after accomplishing exactly nothing in the realm of world peace.”

    “Now, after being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize eleven days into his reign, he has won the formerly prestigious award after accomplishing exactly nothing in the realm of world peace.”

    Other presidents have won the award, such as

    1. Theodore Roosevelt for brokering the Portsmouth Treaty that ended the bloody Russo-Japanese War in 1905.

    2. President Woodrow Wilson won the honor in 1919 for creating the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations. While the league was an even bigger failure than the UN, at least President Wilson succeeded in his goal of creating the league to promote world peace.

    3. Failed president Jimmy Carter was awarded the prize in 2002, but he had at least accomplished brokering peace between Israel and Egypt with the Camp David Accords in 1978, and worked to promote peace and human rights for two decades after leaving office.

    4. The great World War II General George C. Marshall was awarded the prize for his Marshall Plan, in which the United States single-handedly rebuilt the economies and infrastructure of European nations devastated by the war – former allies and enemies alike.

    5. The Dalai Lama of Tibet was awarded the prize in 1989 after decades of endeavoring to liberate his country from Chinese occupation, and for actively promoting non-violence and peace around the world.

    6.Mother Theresa of Calcutta claimed the prize in 1979 for a lifetime of work running missions for the poor and homeless.

    7. US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger won the prize in 1973 for his work in creating the Paris Agreement to end the Vietnam War.

    “One thing all these Nobel Laureates have in common is that they all achieved something; some may have ultimately failed, but they all spent years making significant efforts and personal sacrifices in the promotion of world peace.”

    “The stunning announcement of Obama’s award came this morning, and while the Peace Prize was once a prestigious award, it means very little these days after it was awarded to terrorist Yassir Arafat in 1994, and to Global Warming charlatan Al Gore in 2007.”

    “Still the granting of an international award to a man who never achieved a single thing in his lifetime is incredible. The chairman of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, claimed that Obama was deserving of the prize for what he had already achieved as president, including promoting nuclear disarmament and creating “a new climate in international politics.”

    “President Obama has done nothing to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world. In fact, his pathetic weakness in the face of North Korea and Iran’s efforts to acquire and deliver nukes has made nuclear proliferation more likely. He has not proposed, nor held talks with the Russians regarding arms reduction, let alone concluded any concrete agreements. As for the “new climate in international politics,” it is no doubt an endorsement of Obama’s spring world apology tour, in which the president toured the globe, hat in hand, and apologized to Europeans, Muslims, Africans, Arabs, and anybody who would listen for the how arrogant and despicable America is – or rather was before his coronation.”

    “Well, the political climate has not changed one bit; the Europeans are still disdainful of America. They are poltroons who are unable and unwilling to confront the threats from Iran and Muslim terrorists- leaving it to America as they have done for more than half a century. Despite Obama’s groveling and self-promotion, they still are providing no serious assistance to US efforts against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the International Olympic Committee delivered a public slap in the face to the Pope of Hope; when they voted Chicago out of consideration for the 2016 Summer Games after he personally appeared to plead for the event.”

    “It is clear that the Nobel Committee has a starkly left-leaning political agenda and is more interested in promoting causes like global warming and the crowning of the American messiah than they are about promoting genuine peace. So the community organizer whose community remains a run-down ghetto – who wrote his autobiography at the age of thirty-four – who sat in the Illinois legislature and voted “present” – who never crafted any significant legislation or completed a full term as a US senator – who was then plucked from obscurity and elected President of the United States, today has one more undeserved and hollow “achievement” to add to his resume.”

    I don’t agree with Al Gore getting this award, but at least can accept it even though his cause if false.

    Bush got another award for saving lives in Africa. He also got more freedom for females in Iraq and schooling for girls.

    By far, Bush did more than obama.

    Ronald Reagan by far deserved it more.

    When Nancy gets ‘Value Added Tax’ passed in America, radical Nobel people will give her the award.

    Sarah Palin deserves literary Nobel prize more. At least she was involved in writing a book…


    By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann

    “Whether it was rewarding Jimmy Carter for criticizing the Iraq War or supporting Al Gore in his crusade against global warming, the Norwegian Parliament – which chooses the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize – has sought to use the award as a political tool to influence American politic s. Its prestige and moral power make the prize a potent weapon with which to help steer the direction of the colossus beyond the seas that controls a quarter of the world’s economy and most of its military power.”

    “Now, the Norwegians have weighed in to support Barack Obama in his bid to reshape America so it looks more like, well, Norway, or at least like Europe.”

    “European socialism cannot succeed without conquering the United States. If the European Union has high taxes and the US keeps its levies low, business and brains will flow to America. If the EU’s labor standards require long vacations, high benefits, and proscribe layoffs and ours’ do not, employers will migrate across the ocean to do their business in the States. If the Old World curbs ambition by taxation, regulation, and social opprobrium, the ambitious will flock to the New World as they have done for four hundred years.”

    “All this heavy lifting, this conversion of America into a European state, deserves a reward. And what is a more fitting one than to give Obama than the Nobel Peace Prize? He obviously doesn’t deserve the award for economics or, given his health care ideas, for medicine. But the Peace Prize expresses Europe’s longing: to take back the nation its overly ambitious and uppity children founded.”