Monday, May 30, 2011
It’s become a type of ritualistic behavior for some on the left to give President Obama a ‘Hail Mary Pass’ when the discussion turns to the number of combat soldiers who have died since he received a Nobel Peace Prize after serving just twelve days in office.
The president’s apologists forget that then-candidate Obama capitalized on the highly publicized military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to capture the Democratic nomination and ultimately, the presidency. They blame former President George W. Bush for starting these wars and forget to mention Mr. Obama promised to end them.
On this Memorial Day 2011, you may be surprised to learn more than 1,690 American combat soldiers have died on President Obama’s watch which began on January 20, 2009. In fact, Mr. Obama is on pace to surpass the number of war dead (4,200) under President Bush.
On December 1, 2009, President Obama told the American people:
“After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. Our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended because the nation that I’m most interested in building is our own.”
But something happened between December 1, 2009 and the end of 2010. President Obama doubled the number of US combat troops in Afghanistan to 96,900 along with 87,483 supporting contractors — nearly 200,000 Americans are now in Afghanistan.
Obama’s Afghanistan troop “surge” appeared to coincide with the announcement by the Pentagon of vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium discovered under the sands of Afghanistan. In typical northeast, media elite style, the New York Times breathlessly wrote that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.”
And in the blink of an eye, President Obama’s December 1, 2009 promise of US combat troops coming home in 18 months was all but forgotten. In fact, the newly revised date for US combat troops to begin coming home from Afghanistan is now 2014 — if then.
On this Memorial Day 2011, it’s time for the president’s apologists to admit: Obama lied, our troops died.