President Barack Obama has just signaled that he intends to "finish the job" in Afghanistan by adding more troops. If he follows through on this decision he will severely wound his presidency. His decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, directly in opposition to the majority of Americans, will see him follow President Lyndon Johnson into history.
In an ironic twist to this scenario, Mr. Obama will announce the increase in troops on December 1st and, then two weeks later, he will fly to Oslo, Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. That will be an event unprecedented in history. By his expansion of war, he has chosen not to follow in the footsteps of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and other promoters of peace but, rather, those of President Johnson.
Here is a man who had the opportunity of a lifetime to make a place in history as one of the greatest American presidents; an opportunity to begin a transformation of this nation by showing moral courage and conviction in leading our country in a new direction, forsaking the doctrine of wars with no end.
In his message, November 24, 2009, he stated, "I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we're doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive." If that is what he truly thinks, that Americans will once again let themselves be duped into supporting another misguided, disastrous war, then he needs to think more deeply.
Does he not understand that Americans are now completely worn out by the never-ending war mentality that has led us into the wars and occupations in both Afghanistan and Iraq? Is he not the least bit aware that the astronomical costs of these two wars are bringing America ever closer to economic collapse?
America has now endured eight years of war in a largely barren, mountainous country; a country that has been invaded by major world powers over centuries and has defeated and expelled every one of them, including Russia in 1989. What is it about that "graveyard of empires" that he still doesn't understand?