Opinion

Afghanistan could be Obama’s Vietnam

“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war,” proclaimed a freshman Senator Barack Obama shortly after the deeply unpopular U.S. led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Six and a half years later standing as Commander-in-Chief before the cadets at West Point, Obama announced a troop increase of 30,000 to be deployed to Afghanistan to stifle advances made by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda; even as the American public grows wearily impatient of the military’s nearly decade-long presence in that country.

Although decidedly less candid and more eloquent than his predecessor, the clock may well have been turned back eight years to when Bush addressed the West Point graduates where he defiantly praised American superiority and the necessity for total American involvement in the “war on terror.”

In his speech, Obama appeared confused by his own plea to the American people. Essentially, he proposed to increase our presence in Afghanistan so Pakistan will take notice of how serious we are about fighting the Taliban. However, since most Al-Qaeda operatives reside in Pakistan along the mountainous border, the Pakistanis will need to work with us to prevent terrorists from ever obtaining nuclear weaponry – but without allied forces ever entering Pakistan to stop such efforts. If you too are confused, then don’t worry, so is your president.

Translation: Our troop increase will serve no true purpose given Pakistan will not allow forces to enter the country. Thus, they will serve as a “lynchpin” for further Al-Qaeda recruitment as Afghans unite against their foreign occupiers.

The result: A failed “surge” strategy that never appeared realistic and billions more spent in the face of a historic recession. Most tragically though, thousands more allied and Afghani men, women and children will inevitably die further paralyzing the region’s path to peace.

Though I don’t always agree with him, filmmaker Michael Moore could not have been more accurate when he wrote to Obama shortly before the speech:

“With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true- that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.”

If  this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen this movie before, it was called Vietnam and there is no surprise ending.

Daniel Medina is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and political science. He  may be contacted at dmedina@themiamihurricane.com.

January 20, 2010

Reporters

Daniel Medina

Contributing Columnist


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.