Barack Obama, War President

Change you can wait to believe in

Last time we checked, President Obama hadn't begun the withdrawing any troops from Iraq. Nearly 150,000 US troops are still deployed there.

Now the new commander-in-chief has ordered 17,000 more troops into Afghanistan, which will make it 55,000 total troops to deal with the expanding insurgency in that country. And, Obama approved his, ahem, "surge," on the same day he signed the $787 billion stimulus bill into law.

So today he signed off on expanding a war, sending more troops being sent into harm's way and the approval of spending billions of dollars. I swear we've seen this movie before.

How is this a change from the Bush administration, you ask?

Well it is, sort of. By sending additional troops to Afghanistan, Obama signals that the "central front in the war on terror" has changed. It's no longer Iraq. That war can actually be called a "victory" now; if nothing else, the Super Bowl weekend elections showed how far the nation has come. So, now, it's back to where it all began following 9/11.

It's actually been interesting to see Obama speak about Afghanistan. He raises the specter of 9/11 almost as much as Bush did in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Yes, it's deja vu all over again. Far more troubling is the fact that the Taliban has cut a deal with Islamabad to allow Sharia Law in the West Frontier Province (UK Telegraph reports that the US throws Pakistani women in the region under the Islama-bus).

So, there are more US troops in Afghanistan than ever before. They are tasked with the mission of quelling the Taliban-led insurgency -- just in time for that same Taliban on the other side of the Pakistan border to gain de facto control of a Pakistani region. Obama the candidate suggested that he would have no problem pursuing insurgents well into Pakistan. Now, his words will meet up with reality -- which always holds nasty surprises.

President Obama officially became a war president with his commitment to Afghanistan. Let's hope that he doesn't learn that "quagmire" isn't  just the last name of Family Guy's resident Lothario.

Robert A. George is a New York writer and stand-up comic. He blogs at Ragged Thots

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