April 4, 2009
Obama wins Europe
Not since JFK accompanied Jackie to Paris has there been anything like the Obama arrival on the world scene. What an incredible visit. (My favorite moment was when Michelle put her arm around the queen. It was so natural and it looked like the queen liked it. But cluck, cluck, cluck went the queen lovers. Don't touch? Nonsense.)
And Obama's town hall approach was clearly appreciated by the attentive audience, if his message was, not-so-much. Trying to sell the Europeanization of the unfortunate Afghanistan war was not a big seller. Nor should it be.
I have heard from some of you that we should go easy on Afghanistan criticism and, in essence, trust him. My problem is experience. I entered the Army in September, 1963, proud of our president. JFK had a boatload of brilliant people advising him. Robert McNamara, our own Les Aspin, the "whiz kids." All we needed then was a flexible approach; Green Berets, and a training program for the Vietnamese army. We would send "advisors." We would do what the French could not do. We, in our arrogance, would pacify Vietnam.
But terrible things happened and soon we were engaged in non-stop bombing, defoliation, thousands and thousands of soldiers, government telling lie after lie, Westmoreland's body counts, and LBJ's threats. Rember My Lei, Tet.
Years later I would take an early morning cab alone to visit The Wall. Fifty-eight thousand or is it 59,000 names? They died. For what? Henry Kissinger's domino theory?
I am so proud of Obama I could burst, but now is the time to let him know: everyone goes or no one goes. And we dont want Obama's war.
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I voted for him, I campaigned for him, and now I must criticize him. He campaigned to end the war not move it to another location.
Robert Gates is not a change in direction and it appears as though the Europeans are well aware of this as well.
-Richard Kanak | Cherry Valley, Illinois | April 4, 2009