Overcoming the ‘wimp’ factor

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.

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3 thoughts on “Overcoming the ‘wimp’ factor

  1. You hit the nail on the head, Ken. There’s so much nastiness in our country that all decisions are governed by the calculation of political consequences. I guess it’s always been such but today the best choice is the one you’ll be most crucified for. Hopefully, he’ll get us out of this military mess but it’s a lot to ask.

  2. Hi Ken,

    How are you? I think of you often. Iknow that I turned 60 this year and you turned 80! Congratulations. i talked with Tracy about going out to lunch to celebrate. Would love to see you and catch up. Love your web site.

    I am leaving for Sri Lanka on Dec. 16th for a month. I’ll get in touch once I get back.

    love and peace

    Shirin

  3. It would, IMHO Ken, cost him a second term. And give him a place of honor in the history books. The news I’ve watched this morning is about a proposed “share the burden” war tax. A far fairer way to share the burden would be a universal draft which, had it remained in place, would have made our wars far shorter.

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