Stephen L. Carter has a piece over atNewsweek that points out that Barack Obama hardly differs from George W. Bush when it comes to war; as the subhead explains: “How does Barack Obama differ as a commander in chief from his swaggering predecessor? A lot less than you might think.”
Now that’ssomethingyou don’t hearvery often in the corporate media. But Carter meansthis more as a compliment than a criticism, explaining that
there were people on the left and right alike who thought that America had elected an antiwar president, but that simply turned out not to be true. Rather, the nation elected a president in the tradition of American wartime leaders: a man ultimately willing, whether or not it was his original intention, to sacrifice idealism for pragmatism in pursuit of his primary duty of keeping the nation safe.
So a massive troop surge in Afghanistan equals pragmatism and keeping the country safe.
He also writes:
We have all seen the passion with which he battles for his vision of what the nation’s health-care system should look like, or how the financial sector should be regulated. If he would bring the same determination to rallying the public in support of his warsÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”Âyes, his wars now, nobody elseÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬ÃƒÂ¢”Å¾Â¢sÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬”Âhe would do more than anyone else can to truly support the troops.
I’m not sure I saw Obama passionately explain his ideas about Wall Street reform or healthcare. But apparently convincing people to support the Afghan War by keepingU.S. forcesthere for an indeterminate period of timeis how you”truly support the troops.”