As a longtime radio announcer on a former classical music station here used to say on a cloudy, dreary day as we have this morning, it’s an “introspective day.”
My introspection today tells me that President Obama would show real courage by getting our troops OUT of both Afghanistan and Iraq soon, rather than later. Sadly, however, I think Obama and many Democrats are governed by the “wimp factor;” that is, the fear of being viewed as “wimps” for not aggressively supporting large commitments of troops into war zones. Thus, when a military commander calls for 40,000 more troops, President Obama, fearing the “wimp factor,” apparently feels obligated to agreeing to such a troop increase, or something close to it. Otherwise, he will be called a “wimp,” which in U.S. macho politics is tantamount to treason. In the past, during the Cold War years, the fear was being termed as “soft on communism.”
In my view, President Obama (and also Democrats and some thinking Republicans) would show more courage by looking at our fortunes in Afghanistan and Iraq in a rational way and take the necessary decision to remove our troops as soon as is practicable. To be sure, should President Obama provide such courageous leadership, he will be called a “wimp” or some equally nasty equivalent by some.
Sometimes it takes more courage to withhold troops from a war zone than it does to commit them.