He means American buddies.
"I will not keep Americans in harm's way a single day longer than is absolutely required for our national security."
Once again, he portrays Americans as the victims in our war of choice.
"Today we recall the fallen, and those who suffer wounds seen and unseen."
"Fallen Americans, with American wounds
This war has killed tens of thousands of Afghans -- the vast majority of whom were not fighting back -- were not "insurgents." Countless children, women, and the elderly have been killed, but President Obama does not even acknowledge their deaths. He should try looking into the eyes of an Afghan mother whose child was shot while collecting firewood, or perhaps try writing a letter to a child whose home was bombed and parents killed.
If this war has been for the benefit of the Afghans, why would such a letter be inappropriate? Obama's silence on the deaths of the enemy reveals the falseness behind all claims for humanitarian war. War is anti-humanitarian.
The hypocrisy in President Obama's words is stunning. He says that the U.S. will work with Afghanistan to build "democratic institutions," yet he ignores the voices of the Afghan people as well as the American people who want us out. He says that his new plan will involve direct discussions with the Taliban, but that they must renounce violence. "A path to peace is now set before them (Taliban). Those who refuse to walk it will face strong Afghan Security Forces, backed by the U.S. with our allies." In other words, if you don't renounce violence, we will kill you.
The Strategic Partnership Agreement lays out the plans for turning over Afghan security to the Afghans. By the end of 2014 the Afghans will be "fully responsible" for the security of their country -- except for whatever function is served by an open-ended U.S. military presence in their county. Is our nation really so arrogant as to think that by going to war with Afghanistan we have made them more secure? And now the U.S. and NATO are going to decide at the Chicago summit the details for how Afghanistan will provide for its own security?
The whole world will be watching what happens in Chicago at the NATO Summit. Let us be the voice of the Afghan people--let us be the masses that speak out against war and militarism--let us come together in Chicago to represent humanity.
Leah Bolger spent 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander. She is currently a full-time peace activist and serves as the National President of Veterans For Peace.
David Swanson books include "War Is A Lie." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio