Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

After hearing Obama's Nobel speech, is there any doubt that he is fully committed to the project of American empire through the use of the "full-spectrum dominance doctrine" of the PNAC report?

Re-election considerations are part and parcel of Obama's full and unfettered adoption of neoliberal policy. The Danish Text is just another proof of Obama's fealty to the Oligarchs of America and Europe. My God, the man that won't even ban land mines says he wants nuclear disarmament!

Obama's "war is peace" speech would make George Orwell blush. His referral to Nazi's crimes in reference to what is happening today is chilling. The fact is the United States is becoming the Fourth Reich. We are marching upon and threatening other nations of the earth in a measure unseen since 1939.

Michael McKinlay

Hercules, CA

Dec 11 2009 - 8:07pm

Web Letter

I don't think this article is cynical at all. In fact, given that chickenhawk Dick Cheney is contemplating a run for the presidency that will be based entirely on labeling the current President and Democrats wimps and weaklings who have undermined our national security, it may not be a bad thing--so long as something tangible actually gets accomplished in Afghanistan--to steal Cheney's thunder and start a "pre-emptive war" against the Republicans. What is cynical is not the analysis of Mr. Obama's decision but that our political system has made it so impossible to avoid such Machiavellian calculations. It is a Hobson's choice, but I personally would not like there to ever be a President Cheney.

Bruce McClelland

Gordonsville, VA

Dec 8 2009 - 9:01am

Web Letter

Oh, come on! Really? I had expected something like this buried in the comments of a Huffington Post article, not The Nation. To suggest that our president can be so thoughtlessly cruel and calculating--without a shred of actual evidence--is demagoguery that makes Sarah Palin seem reasonable and nuanced.

Like it or not, the United States does have a moral obligation to continue the war in Afghanistan. After decades of tearing the country apart, it would be appalling to leave based on an antiwar sentiment of baseless ideology. Whether or not we should continue the war is a question of less sentimental debate. Our military's ability to succeed, the economic cost and, most important, the cost in Afghan and American lives--all these are issues that should be considered. However, the idea that Obama is doing it just for re-election is abhorrent and irresponsible.

Indeed, it seems that Obama realizes that the war may be unwinnable. He rejected all troop options that lacked a timetable, mercilessly grilled everyone involved in the process. He did not do this to be "tough"; he did this because he wanted to be sure he was doing the best possible thing. Besides, as another web letter thoughtfully pointed out, Obama's months of deliberations sure are a strange way to show strength, and seem like an inordinate amount of time to spend doing it.

There are many legitimate reasons to disagree with the war. There are no legitimate reasons for writing an article so disgustingly cynical.

It's telling that you didn't cite a single relevant fact to actually justify your thesis; non sequiturs do not an argument make, though they do make for one hell of a senseless diatribe. You should be ashamed.

Nicholas LeCompte

Oklahoma City, OK

Dec 7 2009 - 4:40pm

Web Letter

Not if the administration sets a withdrawal dateline.

But I hope you are wrong, Mr Parenti. Whatever his failings, I don't perceive Obama as being cynical.

John Molina

Chula Vista, Ca

Dec 7 2009 - 3:26pm

Web Letter

What a grossly cynical article! No, the president is not willing to kill innocent people to get elected. Period. If the president did not think for one moment that US and global security were not enhanced by his new strategy in Afghanistan, he would not do it. Remember, it is he who personally signs the letters to each family of fallen soldiers, and it is he who goes to the tarmac in the middle of the night to solute the coffins of those who lost their lives in these wars. Bush could not compel himself to show this basic respect for those who lost their lives fighting for this country. Is there some political benefit to president’s Afghanistan strategy, yes--but there is also electoral risk in extending a war that is widely unpopular, especially with his base of progressive voters.

It was the neglect of Bush/Cheney for eight years that dictated Obama’s new Afghanistan strategy, not national politics. Bush/Cheney wanted to get Saddam Hussein more than they did Osama bin Laden, and this is why we never developed Afghan army and police capacity to prevent the country from once again becoming a haven for terrorists. Bush/Cheney also lacked the diplomatic skill to get Pakistan to partner with us to eliminate safe havens for terrorists on the Pakistan side of the border, and this diplomatic failure has been overcome with Obama’s new strategy for the region.

Bush/Cheney left Obama a mess with both of these wars, and Obama is simply doing his best to clean this mess up in a responsible way.

Metteyya Brahmana

Santa Cruz, CA

Dec 7 2009 - 2:55pm

Web Letter

The real answer is in the global chess game of nations that comes automatically with sharing the planet.

If Obama had wanted to look strong, the decision would have taken ten minutews. As it was, he looks pitiful.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Dec 7 2009 - 2:40pm