Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Opinion: Is this a good plan or not? Was this a good speech or not?

Excerpts: Obama would start Afghanistan withdrawals in 2011

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/01/obama.afghanistan/index.html

29 comments:

Mr. Bretzmann said...

A good speech in the beginning, but not his best oratory. I guess it's hard to be inspirational when you're describing troop levels and programmatic changes to a military strategy. The second half of the speech was a bit loftier and it was delivered a lot more effectively. And now for an analyisis of the content...

Famigliettim said...

I believe it is a good plan due to it providing a sense of finality to the Iraq conflict, which he admitted he opposed, and a shift of focus to the Afghan conflict. It was also a very good speech that was well orated and thought out, the decision to end the iraq war by the end of 2011 was probably the highlight. In my opinion the way all of these procedures are handled, this could be remembered as the defining moment for the Obama administration. I also think it was great that he wanted to start pulling out troops this coming summer and it was important that he reminded americans we are not in this conflict alone, and that our allies are helping us fix the middle east situation and the global economic crisis, the big question is, will all of this actually happen.

jmarczewski said...

I think this speech had many separate pros and cons to it. Being a conservative, I think I'll focus on the cons!!! The President's overall structure of his speeches appears to be more compare/contrast, as opposed to a direct problem/solution, which tends to be more interesting to listen to, but less effective when trying to identify specific answers. His tone was much more serious in this speech than previous ones, possibly due to his strictly military audience, which more than likely opposes many of his views. While I don't oppose the concept of troops coming home, I do disagree with the rapidness of which the plan is set to take place in--ironic as it is in comparison to the long, drawn-out war. I found it funny that in back to back sentences, President Obama said (and I paraphrase) 'the security of the world is at stake' and 'we look to resolve these issues in 18 months tops.' All in all, difinitive and assertive, yet sketchy and flaw-ful.

K-Iglinski said...

Yes, this was an Ok speech in the beginning, but trying to pull all of our troops out bu 2011 is not a smart idea. and on a side note President Bush was one who said we needed to send lots of troops in at the same time just like President Obama is saying that we need to do rite now.

aprichard said...

This is a good plan when thought out theoretically, but I believe sending 30,000 more troops into our 8 year war is wiggling a knife in the back of America. We should withdraw all troops instead of sending another wave in to replace the soldiers that have been exploded by civilian bombings, be that suicide or car. I was under the impression that after 9/11 we were entering Afghanistan to destroy Al Queda and apprehend Osama bin Laden. Since we have 'won' that part of our war according to the governmental leaders of the Bush administration, we are no longer there to benifit America. We are playing mother for a broken nation that is fighting itself internally for control of its assets. Now we are just trying to maintain a democratic government or a government America prefers over, say communism or dictatorship or monarchy. This is not what was intended when America entered the war, so prolonging our ignorant endeavor is just adding to the trillions spent by Bush. I have an idea, lets spend more money on a lost cause that has been fighting itself as long or longer than Israel has fought Palestine. Lets poor more of our strong young men to be blown up and watch as their numbers slowly deteriorate. I oppose the war in its current state, but I do not oppose the president. I oppose his decision on failing to withdrawl from the Afghanistan war.
As for quality of the speech, that really should not matter. The information is important, not the way the issue is addressed unless, of course, if we are trying to persuade. Obama does not need to persuade because no civilian can stand up and reject his ruling. It was not as flowery as I expected, but it was full of emotional appeals about young soldiers and patriotic families. Generic. All this was meant to do was reassure America that there was still good reason that there was a good reason for continuing spending resources and lives. However, no short speech will drastically alter views on the war. You are for it or against it or you don't care. We are dead set on our views. All this embodies politics. Take two extremes and argue them. Chances are this won't change much.

Astoiber said...

It does not matter how well a speech is delivered when the final result is the unnecessary death of thousands of people. Obama is prolonging the war when we need to be getting out as fast as we can. He is also betraying the trust of all of the anti-war voters that elected him. But that's his job so i don't blame him. ANYWAY, America is going downhill fast. and we are all going to die blablabla....

Diana said...

I think Obama is a good orator and many of his speeches is very positive. This particular speech hit a rather sore spot in some Americans hearts when he said he wants to send 30,000 more troops to fight. This people who voted for him primarily because he promised a quicker end to war, question Obama's plan. I think the speech was rather contradictory because on one hand he wants to send in thousands more troops, yet wants the war to be completely over and have them out in about 2 years. I do believe that setting this goal of getting the troops out by 2011 is very ambitious and I credit him for this. But, i don't think it is realistic.

Tyler Kehoe said...

War is NEVER a good thing. But leaving something unfinished could be just as bad. I really do disagree with Jesse on this one. You get in there and finish the job. 18 months seems like a blink of an eye compared to the rest of the war. Are we witnessing another Vietnam or could this end this? Ask me in 18 months and we will really see if 30,000 troops really does help end this war and hopefully i will be right and jesse will be wrong.

klatour said...

Okay AStoiber, holy pessimistic view...ouch.
I believe this plan will be effective. As Mike said, hopefully this will provide some sort of closure to the war. It seems great that the intention is to start pulling out troops by 2011, strangely enough, very close to re-election time.
Lastly, I completely agree with Diana here. In theory, Obama's plan is good, but by putting 30,000 more soldiers in now does not make it seem very promising to have the majority of all soldiers home in a mere 18 months.

Tereza said...

The speech obviously wasn't Obama's best but I feel the delivery was effective. Putting a deadline on the conflict in the Middle East seems unrealistic; however, our time there has been expensive and deadly. Sending 30,000 more troops for aid- regardless of whomever is responsible for the idea-is a good idea. Although I am strongly against war I find that this strategy can be effective and idealistically troops will be withdrawn by 2011. Putting a date on it only makes the circumstance more final and gives people hope that the conflict could be ended.

EBilton said...

I personally agree with Mr. Bretzmann that it was a good speech in the beginning but it got choppy at the end. And since i will be going into the Marines i think that we should stay there to help support the Iraqi citizens, even thought they dont want us there in the long run they will hopefully realize that we are there to help out.

K-Laz said...

The plan President Obama is laying out is a plan that is suposed to be a last push to end the war. Either way controversy was coming. Nobody likes being in war, but since we are, complaining about it instead of supporting our troops is wrong. If Presient Obama wanted to prolong the war, he wouldnt be doing this. He would be doing nothing. Also the point Kate made about the time of pulling the troops out and the time of re-election is funny if true but most likely meer coincidence. Overall the speech wasn't ment to get him elected for anything, it was meant to inform the nation on what his plan was. Therefore it wasnt one of his best speeches but it was a good plan.

MKlinka said...

It does not matter what caliber of oratory the speech was. It doesn't matter if it gives you "chills down your spine", and it certainly does not matter if it was Obama's best work. What matters here is the content. Now, I'm no military strategist, but those leading our nation's military are. In fact, none of us are even half as qualified as our leaders, so, I trust 'em. Pulling out wouldn't be helpful, neither would a huge surge, and I do believe that these countries will need American help for years to come to remain stable, but what's my opinion compared to that of the defense department? nothing.

dlang said...

i believe obamas sppech was good. but as many have already said it was his best. the plan i believe is allright but like teresa and others have said putting a deadline on some situation like this is not correct. when the job is done and done right no matter how long it takes but the job has to be done right. overall the plan needs work but obama delivered his idea well.

MKlinka said...

Also, @ AStoiber, if America's really that bad, then why are you still here? if it's so bad that you feel the right to criticize every policy decision, if you feel restricted by laws, if you can't stand the political culture; then why don't you simply leave?

Is it a question of money? If it is, then really, you're putting money over your personal freedoms and ideals; you are no different than the government you abhor.

ayork said...

Somebody mentioned that because the president put a deadline on the withdraw of the troops that it will be finite. But he unfortunately has a habit of breaking those deadlines (cough, cough: health care? cough, cough). I'm sorry that I think this, but America, since 1945ish has been a nation that uses war as a way to create money and jobs. I know that is an incredibly cynical viewpoint, but it has some backing. I am also sounding blatently conservative right now, so I'll change the subject...

The speech was alright, but as we talked about in class, speeches won't really win over anyone anymore. The build-up better work, otherwise Obama and America will look kind of silly in the eyes of the world. I for one am skeptical.

jreichart said...

Alex, I disagree with what you said about people not caring about speeches, seeing as Obamas election was helped by many people who heard simply the word "change" coming out of the mouth of a great speaker. However, I do not think that the level of his speech should be important, especially when he is addressing an issue such as this. The reason why people aren't hyped about this speech is because we have a bunch of democrats disappointed with the president. These democrats who voted for Obama thinking he was in opposition to the war and who would have never thought would send more troops in. Too bad, this is what needs to be done. If he could spare 30,000 troops he would. Obama likes to please as many people as possible so by sending in these troops, he is certainly not doing it lightly. It is a good plan...I feel the time frame is somewhat irrelevant. But this is not a plan to stimulate the economy at all. I like the fact that a Democrat is taking on somewhat of a Republican action, I think this shows versatility and the need to get what needs to be done, done.

PMiner said...

Overall, the speech was pretty good. He started off simple and clear but as it went on you could see his underlying emotions and watching it was not very appealing to me. But maybe that is just me, who knows.
I think its a good plan. Who doesn't want to ensure America's safety. I believe that long term, sending more troops will help. Will it initially change a whole lot and end everything quickly? No, probably not. Just give it time. Everything needs time. Hopefully under the Obama Administration things will go better than the previous administration.

Famigliettim said...

i believe that the 8 year war should be over soon but as to why he is shifting the focus back to Afghanistan i don't know if that is necessarily the right thing to do because our nation is currently in debt and i believe wasting more of our money overseas doesn't help our situation at home too much. as the left opinion i don't really agree with war too much, honestly if the draft comes im fleeing to Portugal ("free" health care and no war), and i would also think that there has to be a more efficient solution to war, cant we just have covert ops teams? it seems to work in metal gear solid and other video games of that ilk.

aprichard said...

I don't normally come back to read others opinions, but I feel that this needs to be addressed in said situation. Kehoe said that 18 months seems like the blink of an eye compared to the rest of the war. Yet, take a look at http://costofwar.com/. Almost passing the trillions of dollars spent marking. This appears to be credible seeing it is from the national priorities project. Then753,399 people have been killed total in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thats 94,175 people a year on average. So 18 months. Another 141,262 more young men and women in the blink of an eye. Statistics don't lie. Averages do not deviate to far from the truth. Im going to have to take a Stoiber view on this one and say, "unnecessary death of thousands of people"..."America is going downhill fast". Since when is this ok? And there will only be 30,000 sent in. Thats a lie if I saw one. How do you cover a 1.4 hundred thousand with 30,000? There will be more. Previous actions seem to prevail. Why don't we all just draw straws for the 141,262 positions and walk into firing squads and gallows and gasing chambers and spare our selves the expenses. It'll probably be cheaper in the long run. Then the true question: what if we stay and your wrong? Was it worth trying to counteract a never-ending feud? Will democracy win after all? Are we international protectors or international oppressors? Lets just flip a coin, it doesn't make a difference.

rlepak said...

Yes, Obama is a good orator, and this was a good speech. But, then again, every president is a good orator...its how they get elected. And as far as the plan goes, I think we do need to finish what we started in Afghanistan, however I don't think it is what the American people thought he was going to do when they elected him. He stood very strongly against the Iraqi war, however not mentioning favoritism of the Afghanistan war. In January this is not what most people expected him to do.

Tyler Kehoe said...

First, APrichard thats exactly my point. I am trying to say, Why didnt we send more troops in the first place? To tell you the truth, I do not know why people debate whether to put more troops in Afghanistan. Are we going to pull out, lose all the respect we have left in the world and let the taliban rise over our forces? NO, we are the United States of America.
Alex, you talk about the how the United States always needs a "jump" of the economy through war. How is are economy now? This war has killed us as a country. Back in 2002 I agreed along with 99% of America saying we should go and defeat them. I never believed in going to Iraq, (or known now to be Vietnam II) Only did WWII boost our economy, in this time period of the War, America has lost jobs.

Brandon D said...

I would have to say that I am in complete agreement with Diana. Most people will criticize the fact that Obama is planning to send thousands more troops after he was voted into office by supporting an end to the war. Overall i feel his speech was very well delivered. This is going to be very interesting to keep an eye on the progression of his plan.

Diana said...

I wanted to add more about President Obama's speech. I believe that in order to end this war, he needs to send alot more than 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. I personally am against him sending any troops to wAr at this point, but if he wants to finish it he should do it as quickly and powerfully as possible.

nsomers said...

I thought it was a good speech overall. I liked when he made it personal and shared his experiences of visiting some of the injured soldiers and attending others' funerals. I think it was good that he made it very clear that he was against the war but this was the best plan to help the country. Yes I think it is a good plan. I think it is the only plan that makes sense right now. To pull out all the troops right now would make the last 8 years a waste of time.

ayork said...

Kehoe, what I was referring to during class on Friday was the military-industrial complex. It is something that eisenhower warned against. The point here is that America is a country that thrives on the production of weapons and weapon systems. However, these weapons don't exactly sell as well during times of peace. Big companies such as boeing and halliburton have an interest in keeping their defence contracts coming year by year. It sounds almost un-american to suggest this, but these companies would prefer to see our country at war than at peace. These companies have a relatively large lobby in congress. Large enough to start a war...

morgank said...

I understand Obamas want and need for sending more troops overseas, though as several others have said, I dont believe he should be putting a deadline on getting them out. The job over there needs to be done right and not just left because of his "plan" calls for removal of troops.

Brandon D said...

Morgank brings up an interesting point. Putting a deadline on things may not be the answer to the problem. I think it is just a way to gain approval from the general public.

j.polinski said...

I am not a big fan of Obama, but i completely support the plan he has initiated. At least he has the common sense to realize that if we don't shove these troops over there and keep the ground war overseas, that eventually the war will be over here and we will be fighting on our own soil which would risk the lives of the U.S. citizens. Back to his plan, i think the only flaw in it is his timeline, which i agree with Brandon here, that it is just a way to gain approval of the public so people won't question him more than they already are.