For the past year, I've defended President Obama's decisions and lack of initiative on various issues. Whether from the decision to bailout Wall Street bankers, his lack of support on LGBT rights, and his compromise to remove the "public option" on health care reform - President Obama continues to disappoint. I realize the job of the President is tough, but I voted for Obama with the hope that he would be a game changer; instead, he only continues to follow the same misguided policies of former Presidents. Of course, I firmly believe that despite the bad decisions he has made, our country is in a better place than it would have been had Senator McCain been elected. But how better? ...Not much. Thus, I'm more than disappointed by President Obama's decision to send an additional 30,000 American troops into Afghanistan.
There are far greater problems to confront than those based on the fear of terrorists. Agreed, Al-Qaeda -like all extremists- are a threat to peace, rationality, and understanding. I wish we could be done with all this ignorant backwards and mystical thinking that continues to foolishly define our human existence. God does not exist. Those who waste their short lives fighting, worshiping, or even thinking about "god" only continue to prevent humanity from honestly confronting the realistic problems and issues that remain detrimental to our collective survival. Unfortunately, Obama's plan will likely embolden the extremists (on all sides of the debate). Islamic extremists will have fresh fodder for more recruitment to Al-Qaeda and their Christian, Catholic, Jewish, and "new Atheist" counterparts will only further believe they’re killing of others is somehow justified.
If Obama really wants to change Afghanistan, he should focus specifically on building new infrastructure: education, schools, food, technology, etc. Give the people what they need, which is not more of the same bloodshed. For all the money wasted on militarism, why not invest in the country?
Obama is only sending in more destruction that will further our slide into oblivion. I am also personally surprised and frustrated that Obama did not listen to Vice President Joe Biden who argued for sending small groups of special operations forces, that would focus on the Al-Qaeda fighters instead of the 30,000 additional ground troops. Unfortunately change is nothing more than a cliche. Sure, the personality has changed, but the machinations of militarism, religion, and empire remain the same.
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One week later, I read George Packer's column in The New Yorker. Packer writes,
"No Obama doctrine yet exists. What the President has is a sophisticated theology, an anti-utopian belief that human imperfection is inevitable but progress is possible if human beings remain self critical about what they can achieve. This is the philosophy of Reinhold Niebuhr, whom Obama has called 'one of my favorite philosophers."