The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

Dither On, Obama

Posted by The Futility Monster on November 13, 2009 @ 10:46


Wouldn't you be scratching your head too?

After calling a few weeks ago for Obama to grow some balls over US healthcare, I’m now going to spectacularly reverse my position.

However, I feel such breathtaking double standards is justified because of the extraordinary circumstances of the decision I’m going to discuss.

I’m talking – what else – about Afghanistan.

There’s a growing level of concern amongst the talking heads about the fact that Obama is taking so long to decide whether or not he wants to raise the level of the war by sending in more troops.

It has always been assumed that that is exactly what Obama would do. Indeed, he made it a part of his election campaign… though I was always hoping that was just to ensure John McCain couldn’t try to use it to bash him over the head.

But no, it seems Obama is planning to escalate the disaster that is Afghanistan.

And yet. And yet…

There is something slightly reassuring about the fact that he appears to be taking so long about what to do. Some people, even amongst the left, are getting a bit restless about the situation. But I assure you, there is no need to worry.

Why? Because it appears the Americans have finally elected someone who’s interested in what is, perhaps, the most important thing in the world.

Facts. Evidence.

We have become so used to the American president blindly going ahead with what he believes to be the right course of action because of some misguided faith in what is good versus the evils of this world, and to hell with the consequences.

If George Bush had been a fan of the facts, he might have realised that Iraq was folly of the first order. If George Bush had been a fan of the facts, he may not have supported Israel’s extreme reaction to the Hezbollah troop kidnapping.

If George Bush had been a fan of the facts, he might have paid more attention to the sheer hypocrisy of exporting so-called Western values around the globe while working to subvert them at home and abroad with scandals such as warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition and the torture of inmates in Guantanamo.

Meanwhile, there are some complaining that taking such a long time over a decision like this really doesn’t bode well for any other difficult decisions in future. Or, worse, is going to damage his reputation.

I couldn’t disagree more. For what harder decision can there be than one that will inevitably result in the deaths of thousands, if not more? With the amount of evidence and points of view to be absorbed, and many factors to consider, I imagine most of us would find such a judgement to be extremely difficult too. To me, his reputation is enhanced for such a start and sober assessment of the reality in the ground.

Let’s face it, it’s better than the alternatives.

So, dither on, Obama. It might, at least, change the news focus onto outcomes (how the war ends) than process (number of helicopters…)


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