Benny's World

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Senator Jeff Merkley Understands Concerns about the Surge

I got this e-mail from Senator Merkley's office this evening about Obama's plan for the surge of American troops in Afghanistan. Jeff Merkley gets it. Read on:

“I appreciate that President Obama has taken the time to fully examine this issue and consider the available options. However, I’m not convinced the case has been made to add more than 30,000 new troops. Significant questions remain about our strategic goals in Afghanistan and the human and financial costs involved in achieving them.

He continues:

“I have a number of questions about whether the Administration’s goal in Afghanistan is realistic, and how that goal advances our national security. How will our strategy overcome Afghanistan’s history of decentralized power exercised by regional warlords, its systemic corruption, the insurgents’ ability to use the presence of a foreign force as a rallying point, the geography and topography of the country, and the Taliban’s easy access to explosives and funding? Does this strategy reduce or increase the number of extremists motivated to strike at our nation? What will prevent al Qaeda from finding other safe havens in other places from which to plot attacks against the U.S.? Are there other approaches that can meet our national security objectives?

And to ensure he will be asking for accountability:

“I look forward to discussing these questions with the Administration and learning not only the full details of their plan, but also reviewing how the sacrifice in lives and resources serves our national interest.”

Senate Merkley rocks. To repeat: he gets it.

All of the JRE supporters are likely to agree with Senator Merkley on this issue. I can't find one e-mail in which a JRE supporter can be supportive of the President unless he addresses the issues Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders raise in the Senate, or Dennis Kuchnich raises in the House.

Diversions from a public option for health care and the insipidness of insurance,

I don't like it. I bet those progressives don't either. And I think Obama is unwise to think to get Rethugs on this issue will buy him votes (or delays from fillibustering) on health care. I hope I am wrong, but so far, I've not been. Obama's inexperience in the Senate makes him appear naive.

And the Rethugs count on it.

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