Regardless of where you stand on the Afghanistan conflict, Barack Obama is on your side, at least, I think he is.
In his speech last night, Obama didn't deviate from the vapid speculation about what he was actually going to say or do in Afghanistan.
Indeed, 10,000 of the "surge" troops will be coming home this year (2011) and just over 20,000 combat troops will come home by October 1, 2012.
Thus, the entire "surge" force will be coming home, much to the happiness of many and to the bewilderment of others, such as Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
Obama's speech and his plan for action is typical of his presidency. He literally tries to sit directly on the fence of just about every issue, never wanting to piss off his base so much that they actually consider not showing up on re-election day, while at the same time, hoping to win praise from the valuable 'independent' voters.
He did so again with the speech last night.
It has been reported that several Generals suggested that now is not the time for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan, as the military might of the United States has done so well there as a result of Obama's good move (yes, I said it) to put more troops in to the Afghan theater.
While the Generals were suggesting that it was OK to let some return home, reports indicate that they weren't keen on having the entire population of the surge leave their command.
Without a doubt, Obama went slightly against the wishes of his commanding Generals, but the specific troop withdrawal was a party favor to the growing contingent of the war-weary in the public these days.
With several GOP front runners calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan, along with several prominent Republicans on Capitol Hill, its not as though the President's decision is going to be hugely unpopular with anybody.
I mean, the Left wants the entire force to be out of Afghanistan, yesterday, but none of them have ever read an intelligence report.
Because the speech didn't exactly thrill them either, the Left wasn't shy about its opinions of the speech. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) expressed some disappointment that it was only 30,000 troops being sent home.
At times, I honestly feel sorry for this President (yes, I said it), and it's for the same reason I feel sorry for most Presidents.
No single decision a President makes is ever going to please everyone, but typically, the decision falls to one side or the other, more heavily.
Not with this President, however. If there is every an opportunity to play decisions right down the middle, he's going to go that route every time.
Sure his decision to withdraw is calculated-hoping to get some of those vital 'independent' votes back, but in the speech and the decision itself, President Obama, once again seemed to lack any sort of conviction.
Until the man figures out that most Americans respect conviction in any and all decisions, despite it going their way or not, the opportunity to make huge decisions like troop withdrawal in Afghanistan and his time at the White House, could be nearing an end.