Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The New Decider

The cover of Time magazine shared my sentiments about President Obama's foriegn policy: it's his war now. After weeks of internal debate, our Commander in Chief ordered 30,000 troops to be deployed to Afghanistan by the end of the month. The surge has been approached with mild criticism from both parties, the primary complaint being the cost of sending so many arms overseas. Perhaps the most devisive aspect as Obama's announcement of the surge, a pragmatic and business-like speech held at West Point last Tuesday. The reviews ranged from "overlong" to "not embarassing," and indeed it was a blunt statement of facts, a far cry from the motivational and vaguely patriotic monologues that we're used to hearing from our 44th president. The respect for reality was apparent, though for many it was a bitter pill to swallow.

Regardless, the war in Afghanistan has been a systematic botch job, but we can't quite pull out or sweep it under the rug until we regain the momentum that we had when the United States first invaded in 2001. President Obama inherited this war and whether we like it or not, he can do whatever he damn well pleases. If the Bush-Gates surge of 2007 could save face in Iraq, could the Obama-Gates surge of 2009 have a similar effect on Afghanistan? Better yet, can we get the job done in 19 months, or is there some element of flexibility? Is Al Qaida really down for the count, as some intelligence reports claim? Those are all excellent questions, but for now the country that will feel the impact most is Afghanistan, not the U.S. This is a crucial message to our enemies that we're not casting a blind eye on their antics, and to the Afghan government to shape up and learn how to defend themselves.

Other notes:

+ Two weeks ago, some rich guy and his trophy wife crashed a state dinner. See? There is a way to explain that news story in one sentence. ;)

+ Tiger Woods had a fender bender. See? I just did the same thing twice. ;)

+ What a difference a month makes. After lamenting the state of my fantasy football team in WU #228, I'm now riding a five-game winning streak. As I write this, I'm in third place out of six, though I'm still next-to-last in total points. I guess my small-ball approach is working.

+ To anyone that might be in the Chicago area later this month, my Improv Level C class at Second City will be doing a half-hour show at the SC Mainstage, 1616 N. Wells on December 20th. We'll be performing from 12:30 to 1p; admission is two dollars. For those who can't make it, wish me luck!

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