Obamistan, and The War President

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

For anyone who didn’t want to watch it, the full text of Obama’s Tuesday night speech is available here, from AFP via RawStory.

On Monday (Dec 01) Gallup reported that Barack Obama’s approval rating on Afghanistan had dropped dramatically by nearly 20 points since July, and before his speech Tuesday night was sitting at 35%, trailing his already very low approval rating on virtually all other issues:

“Americans are far less approving of President Obama’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan than they have been in recent months, with 35% currently approving, down from 49% in September and 56% in July.”

Gallup’s poll results are rather striking in visual form:

Even when broken down by political party his approval slide has been consistent across the board.

While still too early to tell, it appears that the only group of people so far impressed with Obama’s speech Tuesday night and his announcement to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan are Republicans and Neocons. The RNC, and Karl Rove and Dan Senor of the PNAC ressurection FPI in particular are gleeful about it.

With his raising the specter of 9/11 beginning in his fifth sentence and his ‘the terrists will get us all’ rhetoric, his speech could well have have been ghost written by George W. Bush for all the “change” in Foreign Policy it represents.

If he gets any bump in approval from the speech it will likely come from Republicans and Neocons, and may well be offset by further drops among Democrats and Independents, I would expect.

Which indicates to me that there were probably some rather interesting political calculations made in the lead up to this.


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    • Edger on December 2, 2009 at 14:48

    is what you get, I suppose.

    No surprise – everyone should have expected this a long time ago, as far as I’m concerned.

    July 2007:

    the Democratic front-runners must promise voters that they will end the war — with not too many ideologically laden ifs, ands, or buts — while they assure the foreign-policy establishment that they will never abandon the drive for hegemony in the Middle East (or anywhere else). In other words, the candidates have to be able to talk out of both sides of their mouths at the same time.

    “The single most important job of any president is to protect the American people,” he affirmed in a major foreign-policy statement last April. But “the threats we face…. can no longer be contained by borders and boundaries…. The security of the American people is inextricably linked to the security of all people.” That’s why the U.S. must be the “leader of the free world.” It’s hard to find much difference on foreign policy between Clinton and Obama, except that Barack is more likely to dress up the imperial march of U.S. interests in such old-fashioned Cold War flourishes.

    That delights neoconservative guru Robert Kagan, who summed up Obama’s message succinctly:  “His critique is not that we’ve meddled too much but that we haven’t meddled enough…. To Obama, everything and everyone everywhere is of strategic concern to the United States.”  To control everything and everyone, he wants “the strongest, best-equipped military in the world….

  1. As thrilled as I am about Obama finally showin’ a sliver of patriotism, I can’t bring myself to compare him to our heroic President Bush.  Bush had the foresight to ignore his generals, while Obama lacks the balls to stand up to them.  I’ll choose stubborn ignorance over wimpiness any day of the week.    

  2. See my comment here!

  3. How many can you think of in the last 100 years that that weren’t war presidents?

    Going backwards:

    Bush 2 (Iraq, Afghanistan) , Clinton (Kosova, Cruise Missles all over, Iraq blockade) , Bush 1, or Reagan (Contras, Cruise Missles all over) or Carter (Contras) .

    Ford?  OK, maybe, but a part termer, and not really anyway with all the anti Soviet proxy stuff.  

    Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy: Vietnam.

    Ike: Korea.

    Truman,  Roosevelt: WWII.

    Harding? Coolege? Hoover? Can’t think of any ??  

    So, at best it’s been 80 years since the US has had a non “war president” .

    Nice legacy.

  4. I guess $30 Billion for a year of “surge” sounds like a bargain compared to the Wall St Bailout.

    Here’s one example of what $30,000,000,000 can get you:

    A brand new High School for 1,500 students costs in the vicinity of $30 Million.

    (we’re not talking teachers and all the other stuff etc)

    30 Billion dollars would be enough to build 1,000 brand new High Schools serving 1,500 students each, that’s a decent sized school, not huge.

    That’s 1.5 miilion students with a brand new facility.

    The 1,000 new High schools is just an example of what we are squandering in resources simply on the monetary side.

  5. Im trying to catch up now… theres a few interesting reads at the orange and eveerywhere of course. One that linked over to this which turned out to be michael moores site.

    Obama: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan

    Obama: “We Did Not Ask for This Fight”

    Bush: “We Did Not Seek This Conflict”

    Obama: “New Attacks are Being Plotted as I Speak”

    Bush: “At This Moment … Terrorists are Planning New Attacks”

    Obama: “Our Cause is Just, Our Resolve Unwavering”

    Bush: “Our Cause is Just, Our Coalition [is] Determined”

    Obama: “This Is No Idle Danger, No Hypothetical Threat”

    Bush: “The Enemies of Freedom Are Not Idle”

    Obama: “We Have No Interest in Occupying Your Country”

    Bush: “I Wouldn’t Be Happy if I Were Occupied Either”

  6. If he gets any bump in approval from the speech it will likely come from Republicans and Neocons, and may well be offset by further drops among Democrats and Independents, I would expect.

    that most of his Congressional support for the escalation will have to come from the Gooper side of the aisle as well. Heck even his Senate patron Dick Durbin was hemming and hawing last night about Obama getting his full neo-con on.  

    If Obama wants to continue this war, he’s going to have to do it with a base of Republicans and Conservadems.

    Let the Stupaking commence!

    • allenjo on December 2, 2009 at 17:30


    By Glenn Greenwald

    In order to prepare Americans for Obama’s Afghanistan escalation speech tonight at West Point (at least he’s not wearing a fighter pilot costume), White House officials have been dispatched to speak to the media (anonymously, of course) to preview all of the new and exciting aspects of the President’s plan.  As a result, media accounts are filled with claims that there are major changes ordered by Obama that will transform our approach there.

    But to anyone with a memory that extends back for more than a few weeks, all of this seems anything but new…

  7. Heard the poppy crop was back online but how is that pipeline coming along.  The other two mindwipe media stories of the day are of course Tiger Woods and those party crashers.  So much for the post 911 world huh.

    AlQaeda hates us for our freedoms?  And guess what is back, up online again.


    Just look at our “enemies” list.  Iran, N Korea or rather any part of the dwindling world NOT into western globalization.  We also avoid even talking about Cuba.

    Oh well it’s not so much what is in the commercial social engineering delivery system but what is absenct from it.

    projectcensored.org starts you down that path.  The other two biggies now are



    Melts your lung disease, WHO silent about it

    Copenhagen is days away so selling the house and escaping to Costa Rica is definitely out.

    • Wom Bat on December 2, 2009 at 19:39

    …re-election? I got it: Change You Can Believe In … but this time I really mean it. Honest!


  8. We’ll reduce by increasing, leave by coming, and achieve peace by fighting smarter. And we’ll do this all in a huge, land locked, high desert country 12,000 miles away that has been the graveyard for invaders forever.

    And of course we’ll make sure that no one will ever be able to plan an attack against us in the future in this huge, land locked, high desert country called Afghanistan OR anywhere else.

    Just how dumb are we?

  9. …and barely out of swaddling cloths when this phase was happening in the Nam.  And he doesn’t seem to be any more aware of what it means now than he was then.

    Happily burping and gurgling through history!

    • dkmich on December 3, 2009 at 12:37

    While still too early to tell, it appears that the only group of people so far impressed with Obama’s speech Tuesday night and his announcement to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan are Republicans and Neocons.

    • robodd on December 3, 2009 at 19:19

    that he sees no bump up from republicans.  In fact, I’ll bet you money his ratings will continue to go down with them.

    If Obama hasn’t learned this lesson yet, he truly is a fool.

    The Af decision was political suicide for O.  I suggest we start looking for alternative dem candidates for 2012 starting right now.

    • Miep on December 4, 2009 at 07:48

    if I just hiss?

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