Norman Solomon: After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize King’s grim warning in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”
Jon Rainwater: The next few years offer the potential to transform American foreign policy — if a war weary and economically hurting American public gets active
Gareth Porter: Obama’s speech announcing that the 33,000 “surge” troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by “summer” 2012 indicates that he has given priority to the interests of the military and the Pentagon over concerns by key officials in his administration over the impact of the war’s costs on domestic socioeconomic needs.
Tom Hayden: The peace bloc – activist groups, anti-war Congress members, writers and artists, here and across the NATO – can exercise a massive drag against the war-making machine through 2012 as long as the wars remain deeply unpopular.
Norman Solomon: It’s already history. In mid-August 2010, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan launched a huge media campaign to prevent any substantial withdrawal of military forces the next summer.
Ivan Eland: Just as he must have been pleased with Bush’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq generating more Islamist radicalism, bin Laden would like to bait the United States into attacking its affiliate local groups around the world for the same reason. Foolishly, Obama is obliging him.
We will not hear much dissent among the political elite from McChrystal’s recommendations, aside from the usual array of war critics. But what is at work here is that vague, almost incalculable force: public opinion.
Some say we cannot afford to leave Afghanistan. In fact, my opponent argues we must eradicate corruption there because – ‘… the United States has invested too many troops and too much treasure to fail.’ I say – We cannot afford to stay in Afghanistan because we will bankrupt our country.”
Trying to recreate Iraq’s multicultural ethno-sectarian mosaic after intense civil strife is an appealing idea, but the history of ethno-sectarian conflict shows it to be dangerous.