The hope that Obama's election would drastically change U.S. foreign policy has been destroyed. The effects of his troop surge will change the minds of millions of Americans, who, until this point, were giving Obama the benefit of the doubt.
Such moments in history are capable of instantly removing piles of dust from the collective eyeball -- just as the bank bailouts did.
The announcement will also send tremors throughout the military: many soldiers and their families remained silent about fighting with hopes that Obama would bring them home. They see little point in dying in a pointless war. Thus, morale is likely to continue deteriorating, while more brazen acts of defiance will surely increase.
The reasons behind the surge -- Al Qaeda, "rooting out terrorism," etc. -- are unlikely to fool many people, with the exception of the media. This "war on terror" propaganda is based on the same illogical catch-phrases that Bush's limited intelligence tripped over. Coming from Obama, such stupid reasoning sounds especially bizarre, akin to an evolutionary biologist forced to argue in favor of creationism.
Obama is compelled to tell the really big lie because the truth is too damning. If he remotely approached the real motives behind the war, the public would be pushed into total defiance -- Obama's new $660-billion military budget for 2010 would have caused mass demonstrations.
In reality, the war in Afghanistan was a convenient way for U.S. corporations -- who dominate U.S. politics -- to get a firmer hold in the resource-rich Middle East. For example, soon after Afghanistan was invaded, we were told that Iraq was a "ticking time bomb," while now Obama assures us that Pakistan is the real threat -- and don't forget Iran! When considering the above military budget, these countries are threats to the U.S in the same way that a flea is a threat to an elephant.
Who really benefits from war in the Middle East? So far, it is U.S. weapons manufacturers (Boeing, etc.), U.S. oil companies (Exxon, etc.), and the big banks that help move the spoils around (Citigroup, etc.) who also dominate the finances of the conquered country. Corporations that deal with "reconstruction" contracts love war (Halliburton, etc.), while also the multitude of "private contractors" that specialize in everything from cooking (Halliburton again) to mercenary fighting (Blackwater, etc.).
The many U.S. corporations that export abroad also benefit from the war, since a dominated country offers them a monopoly market to sell their goods in, or the ability to set up shop where none existed before. It is these collective interests that are driving Obama's foreign policy; they would rather see the U.S. and Afghani people bled dry than allow a foreign competitor -- China, Russia, etc. -- to dominate Afghanistan's resources and markets.