Home » Obama's trip to and speech from Afghanistan had way more to do with politics than any real substance. » Obama's Afghan trip: 14,000 miles for brief remarks lacking one crucial word
As usual with this president, Obama's trip to and speech from Afghanistan had way more to do with politics than any real substance. Seven thousand miles, one way, is a long journey to share war remarks with countrymen that he should have and could have shared back home many months ago. Despite the administration's best backgrounding sales efforts, the document he signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a meaningless basic agreement to talk later about forging a real agreement. Nothing was essentially changed by what the media lovingly called his "secret trip" to the war zone, which was simply unannounced for security reasons. The remarks (Scroll down for the full text, as usual) were well-written, even with literary flourishes about a new dawn coming as the president spoke at 4 a.m. Afghan time. He wanted to avoid any sense of "Mission Accomplished." And at 11 minutes, blessedly brief for the Real Good Talker. Here's what Obama got politically from this stagecraft: Bonus public attention focused on the Osama bin Laden assassination anniversary. Photos of troops clamoring for his fist bumps. An entire day focused on him, his words and non-stop talk of the 10-year war winding down. An entire news day, one of only 189 precious ones left before Nov. 6, not focused on Solyndras, prostitution scandals, GSA parties, $5 trillion in new national debt, no federal budget for three years running, high unemployment, sluggish growth, legal crucifixions nor Mitt Romney. Nevermind the Kabul explosions, killing at least six, a couple of hours after his brief visit. While Obama earned attention for a 2002 anti-Iraq war speech, the Afghan conflict has always been the "good war" in his eyes. Obama denounced President Bush's Iraq troop surge that ultimately enabled Obama to claim he ended that war, But Obama ordered two of his own, larger troop surges into Afghanistan. Back in the hand-to-hand primary combat with Hillary Clinton in 2007-08, Obama controversially said he would bomb Pakistan if necessary to rout al Qaeda leaders. He did and they were. Just last week Obama loosened the reins on human targets the CIA could vaporize with its drones in Yemen, now emerging as terrorists' favored haunting grounds.