Obama's "blame it on Bush" Afghanistan Speech:
Full transcript here
Obama did not miss the opportunity to blame Bush for the problems in Afghanistan: "Throughout [the duration of the Iraq war], our troop levels in Afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. When I took office, we had just over 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in Iraq at the peak of the war. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive."
Speaking defensively in reference to his dithering, Obama stated that "...there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war."
Apparently, Obama doesn't understand the impact of a delay in decisiveness.
Obama also set a timetable for withdrawal, letting the enemy know exactly how long to hold out: "After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."
Obama then threw a bone to the pacifist left and obliquely defended his dithering a bit more: "If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow. So no - I do not make this decision lightly."
After assuring us he can begin to pull out of Afghanistan in a mere 18 months, he painted a grim picture of the task ahead: "Since 9/11, al Qaeda's safe-havens [including Afghanistan] have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali. The people and governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are endangered. And the stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that al Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them."
Then Obama stated his intention to partner with the Taliban: "We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens."
Surprisingly, Obama made mention of America's positive contribution to the world over the past several decades: "But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades - a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, markets open, billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress, and advancing frontiers of human liberty."
Who would equate an audience of West Point cadets with an "enemy camp"?
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