CNN: President Obama to announce plan to pull 30,000 troops out of Afghanistan

If true, that’s a nice number, even if I hoped for a more rapid pace.

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama is expected to announce this week that 30,000 U.S. “surge” forces will be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official has told CNN.
Obama will deliver his highly anticipated speech on the troop drawdown on Wednesday.


The president is expected, in his remarks Wednesday, to stress the importance of preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, the official said.
The drawdown will be accomplished by troops returning home and not being replaced as well as canceling some proposed deployments.

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200 thoughts on “CNN: President Obama to announce plan to pull 30,000 troops out of Afghanistan

  1. In that same article, the president is still deciding on the scope of the withrawal and etc

    Let’s wait and see

    Wall street journal already has an article up saying the withdrawal wont be big and orange gos is starting to turn into. “Obama lied”.

    Obama did say the withdrawal will be significant.

  2. Thanks for the update I’m really happy to see this! I’ve been avoiding all mainstream news over the past week just because I don’t have the energy to deal with any of them. It is nice to have a break! I hope you are getting the time needed too.

  3. That’s a nice number. I can totally live with it. I can live with the freak out from both sides, too, since really no matter what anyone thinks, there isn’t anything anyone can do about it beyond complaining.

  4. I will wait for the actual number. I been hearing different numbers. I also heard the official number have not been determined. I hate when journalist speculate.

  5. I think the article is right. Just my hunch, based on what I learned about PBO over the years. I wish he would go much further, but I sort of knew that this is where he’ll go.

    The big orange would find fault with him even if he were to bring everyone back tomorrow.

  6. He just keeps doing what he said he would but some will never let down from making somefhing out of everything he does. Thanks for the update.

  7. According to Mark Knoller’s Twitter: “DefSec Gates says American people are weary of a decade of war in Afghanistan & Congress has reservations too, and Pres Obama has to take both into consideration in his decision on troop drawdowns in Afghanistan to be annoucned tomorrow”.

    Maybe the number will rise until tomorrow. 🙂

  8. PBO is extremely aware about the politics of everything he does until the next election; he values Gates’s opinion, and VP Biden. 30k would be great. Look for him to remind people Iraq is almost finished.

  9. I’m surprised it’s taking so long. Gaddafi sure is holding on by the skin of his teeth. This needs to before over before the fall.

  10. I’m sure that President Obama will consider public opinion and Congressional reservations in making this decision. I need to remind myself that he’s also got to consider the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan. Pulling out of a country where you’ve spent ten-plus years propping up a government that’s less than strong and less than clean-handed can have some powerful consequences, most of which will be felt by people who have very little power … and besides thinking about us, I’m betting our President will be thinking about them. The “You broke it, you bought it” rule comes into effect here, seems to me. (The US is the “you,” by the way, not PBO specifically.)

  11. I have a cousin and a young man from my church who are deployed in Afghanistan. I’ll be glad when they’re both home and safe.

  12. I will wait until tomorrow. I would really like for a higher number. Something along the lines they were at when he took office.

  13. I wish people wouldn’t get so caught up in the numbers, because honestly do we really know the effectiveness of withdrawing 30 thousand troops versus 20 or 40 thousand without knowing the conditions on the ground? Maybe withdrawing 30 thousand is better than withdrawing 40 thousand, unless you sit in on the meetings with Obama and his staff you have no idea what is going on. Whatever number President Obama decides is good enough for me. A socialist Marxist Kenyan born Muslim usurper elitist doesn’t become the world’s most power man without knowing how to make and achieve a plan of action.

    p.s. those pictures of Michelle and those kids made my eyes water.

  14. What is Huntsman going to announce? That he is a Republican candidate for President in 2012? WOW!! Another challenger. That said he promised troop withdrawals in starting in June or mid 2011. Sounds like PBO is keeping his promise. He never specified the amount. Of course both sides of the extreme will have a field day with this. Obama/Biden 2012!!

  15. L.A. Times has the drawdown at 10,000 troops for this year — which is still more than Gen. Petraeus wanted.

  16. That’s why Gates really kicked NATO’s butt a couple of weeks back. Looks like the French and the British are not very good at this…:)

  17. BTW it is shocking that everyday citizens like ourselves are making request with the withdrawal numbers not knowing anything about what is going on in Afghanistan. How arrogant and obnoxious we are to say it should be 40k instead of 30k or we should bring all of them home. I guess offing Bin Ladin has still not given the President the benefit of the doubt I see. hmmm……………..

  18. Thanks Chips. I still can’t see my type but atleast you supplied my log in info…I think…was that you?

  19. Many thousands in February in Illinois – ie friggin cold. Huntsman announces in middle June on the first day of summer and gets a couple hundred.

  20. Thank you Don, for your reasoning. None of us know what’s what, and no matter how noble wishes are, it’s war, with delicate underpinnings.

  21. Oops, my bad. That should be thanks BWD. Was having trouble earlier. I’m back and forth between you and Chipsticks. You are both so damn good 😀

  22. You tell em Keith. In total agreement. Sometimes even his loyalists can sound like the so-called frustrati.

  23. Carney’s tweet: “The President will speak to the nation from the White House, 8 pm tomorrow, re his plan for drawing down US forces from Afghanistan”.

  24. I know right. Why the hell is France headlining anything?!?! They can’t fight for shit and that clearly hasn’t changed.

  25. The L.A. Times says it’s 10k by the end of this year. CNN’s figures run through the end of 2012.

  26. Since you ask BWD, I’ll break it down for you

    family- 7 kids and wife=8
    campaign staff@10
    friends=10 t0 15
    actual people there to see him announce=30
    tourist that happened to be there=30 to 40
    park employess=5to10
    people out taking their morning walk=20 to 30
    Kids skipping school=5

    To be conservative I’ll use the higher number in each category.

    So at best Huntsman had 138 people to show up for his Presidential campaign announcement

  27. Osama Bin Laden may be dead, but that region is still volatile. I will wait to hear from PBO tomorrow. I trust that the president is well aware of all the thugs and has to make a decision that he feels and thinks is bet for the American people, win or lose.

    And one can almost bet that if he thought it was OK to bring home every man and woman serving in that war, he’d sign those papers today.

    For to be sure, whatever he does — pull 10,000, 30,000 or 50,000, if a terrorist attack — God forbid happens in this country today, those same people — the PLs or the McCains or Grahams will turn on him in a nanosecond. President Obama does not make these decisions lightly. I wait to hear from him tomorrow.

  28. Exactly. This man has been nothing but consistent, and will adjust as he says, when the circumstance deems it. Remember Libya, the yellers said he needed to take action, yada, yada, yada. After his deliberatons, the minute he made a decision, the flood gates opened.

    If President Obama was to willy nilly listen to those armchair quarterbacks, we would be in a heap of mess. How many times have we seen egg on their faces?

    Go figure.

  29. Per MSNBC, with their Breaking News insignia, pres Obama will be withdrawing 10K troops by the end of this year.

    I hope so.

    This Afghan war will soon be 10yrs old. A decade and many deaths and treasure are more than enough.

  30. Not a presser for this, but I’d love a prime time presser for the debt ceiling negotiations and general state of the union stuff. However I think President Obama is much better with an audience, but even outside of that – just give the address standing where he made the Bin Laden announcement.

  31. I am disappointed that Obama is going to take until the end of 2012 to withdraw the 30,000 troops he sent into Afghanistan in 2009. So, by the beginning of 2013, we’ll be at 70,000 troops which is where we were in 2008.

    I have to say that Afghanistan and Obama’s refusal to publicly call out the Senate on the confirmation process are my two biggest disappointments with Obama. Hopefully, his Afghan strategy will change once Clinton leaves state, since she is such a hawk.

  32. You make good points, but it doesn’t change that I hope the number is higher. A higher number would suggest to me that we are comfortable with living the region in the hands of the people of that country.

    It’s not just about POTUS keeping a promise, but a sincere wish that things were better there so our young men and women didn’t have to be there anymore. That’s all.

  33. Shouldn’t the Senate Dems (like HARRY FREAKIN’ REID) be calling out the Congress votes on noms. Whatever. I’m sick of everybody wanting Obama to do everyone else’s job when he has his own.

  34. Gotcha. I think he does only the weekly addresses sitting down. Since this is an important optics moment., i think he will go with the obl-is-dead way.

  35. Afghanistan was mucked up so royally by the previous Administration that there aren’t *good* solutions, just less bad ones. The fact that Karzai isn’t pushing for a quicker withdrawal indicates that his govt still doesn’t believe itself strong enough to stand on its own. My hope is that negotiations with the more sane rebels proceed to a place where there’s momentum for national reconciliation, and then the US and NATO *can* draw down more quickly.

  36. I’m not disappointed. I think this is in keeping with his ‘no sudden moves’ strategy. He said he was going to finish the job in Afghanistan, so I’m ready for him to do exactly that. Cleaning up after Bush is a huge task and can’t be done time tables based on our personal comfort levels.
    For anyone not happy with the way the confirmations are going, get on the horn and call the Senate, and Harry Reid. Get out there and help us get back the House and a larger, safer majority in the Senate.

  37. They’ve publicly admitted that they are in talks with Taliban. And aq is running scared. So those are the fundamental differences between what the neocons did and what this admin is doing. The neocons f..ed up everything they started and he is trying to undo them.

  38. For to be sure, whatever he does — pull 10,000, 30,000 or 50,000, if a terrorist attack — God forbid happens in this country today, those same people — the PLs or the McCains or Grahams will turn on him in a nanosecond. Africa you are so totally corect. Sometimmes I think they are setting him up and then when he does it they beat up on him. PL, etc make me sick.

  39. Awesome, though I will wait for my president to make his announcement. I don’t trust anything msm says, it might be more, it might be less. No matter what I trust my president’s decisions 100%. In other news,,GO FLOTUS and Fam. 😀 they are beautiful.

  40. If anyone they are capable of ‘setting up’ Obama for a falll guy, they’re idjits. Do you really think that he cares about what these nutters think ?

  41. Same here bwd. I am not too keen on the fact that the 30,000 will not be home by the end of 2012. Not too happy on my end. It appears that they have not made enough advances in the past year to get the withdrawal moving. It also appears that this may not start for sometime. boohoo.

    I just worry about this country, and how much we continue to spend in terms of lives and treasure on WARS.

  42. I agree. Pull out some troops. Reassess. Pull out some more. Reassess. I think this is appropriate, sensible action.

    There may be far more to be gain by keeping a presence for a little while while sensitive negotiations are happening.

  43. I agree Anita. If the story is true I will be disappointed, but what can I do. This is the one area in which I disagree with PBO.

  44. I hope it is 30,000. I cannot help but feel this war is not winnable–whatever that means.

  45. ‘An administration official’. Although I do remember watching a show just last month where some counterterrorism expert put the figure at 5000 so this is better than I expected.

  46. Smiling, the beauty of it all is that he is so on to them. He knows the score. Remember this is a President who, according to his wife, reads every single word of a memo or whatever that comes before his eyes.

    Besides the fact that I just respect this man as a humane human being, I think he is just simply brilliant and a man light years ahead of the people he enounters regularly.

    He continues to inspire me.

  47. Keith, I guess I am one of the frustrati in terms of how you define it. We will have to agree to disagree. No one is a bigger supporter of Obama, but I am totally against this war.

  48. Harry Reid has been calling them out for two years. It sure as hell hasn’t helped any. This is one case where the President could make enough of a stink publicly to get his nominations moving. I am not one to scream bully pulpit at the President, but this is an obscure issue that the press doesn’t cover and the public doesn’t understand. However, the judiciary really can’t function without these nominations getting confirmed at this point.

  49. Askew, you express my feelings perfectly. 2.5 years fighting since the election and we will still have as many troops on the ground as when PBO was elected

  50. They needn’t have bothered. Apparently, it was incredibly boring and starting a campaign by spelling your own candidate’s name wrong. Seriously

  51. BWD It’s a good news slowly but surerly, many might not be vary happy, but this a very delicate operation
    there are many Nations helping there. So as far as Iam concern FUCK the Orange site they will complain no matter what Obama does. I do trust Obama, I sure he is consulting with everybody including NATO>

  52. I do hope it’s a higher number. On top of everything else, the press would be so annoyed! Seriously, though, I’m glad for all the families of those coming home, however many that may be.

  53. Unname sources means NOT believebable. So let’s wait for OBAMA to tell us I do not trust Specially CNN.

  54. The President got more people than that just having lunch in a small town. How many showed up to Romney’s announcement? 200?

  55. Lize PBO has nothing to do with this mess it was created by a republican President with the help of a Republican majority Lize you are so right about the “you” rule.

  56. Regarding confirmations, I think part of the problem may be that the President, when he was in the Senate, used the same delaying tactics with some of Bush’s nominees. It’s very difficult to call out other people for doing something you did yourself when the situations were reversed (if you value your integrity, anyway, and I think PBO does). At best, it really dilutes the effectiveness of a righteous rant, bully pulpit notwithstanding. At worst, it opens you up to charges of hypocrisy. It’s one of the drawbacks of having Senators become Presidents.

  57. That’s a good point. But, at some point the crisis outweighs the worry of hypocrisy right?

  58. ‘TGuess he’s also trying to fundraise off of his stance on civil unions…..the law that DIDN’T PASS when he was running Utah….don’t let that little fact get in the way there, Huntsman!

  59. 🙂 As long as they are COMING HOME, and not LEAVING HOME, I’m good. This man has done so much in such a short time. Tried to work on so much to get OUR country on the right track again, AND clean up a couple wars that were left to deal with…and ALL the logistics that doing that entails. MASSIVE< MASSIVE work. I will not fault this man, nor critize his figures on this pullout.We can't be armchair quarterbacks on this….way above MY paygrade, that's for sure.

  60. You are so spot on, BWD. The EU gets to be our allies while their general population is as sick of war as are we. Still, what chaps my hide, is they get to tout their stronger safety nets (and the PL amplifies it) when we’re friggin’ paying for their a disproportionate amount for their national security.

  61. Hypocrisy? These guys WROTE THE BOOK ON THAT SUBJECT. Not one of them should be throwing any stones in THAT glass house!

  62. The fact that we greatly subsidize European security was a strategic decision made because of the Soviet threat. Western Europe needed something to give its people so that they wouldn’t be tempted by voting Communist parties into power; thus the European welfare state was born. But, as LBJ learned, you can’t have both guns and butter, so Europe provided butter while we provided the guns.

    Geopolitically, it’s still important for the US to be vigorously engaged in Europe. But, no, we shouldn’t be bearing as much of a burden as we are.

  63. The President has so many crises to deal with: Afghanistan, Libya, the debt ceiling, the unemployment rate… It just goes on and on and they are all interrelated as well. Where does Senate confirmations rank on this list? For me personally, not high enough to justify a “die on this hill” kind of PR offensive where PBO doesn’t absolutely hold the moral high ground.

    Besides, I’m not sure that’s the only solution to this problem. Having seen what “true progressives” and “teabaggers” are like up close and personal for the past 2.5 years, I have no problem with both sides nominating only “confirmable,” competent, moderate/centrist technocrats now and into the foreseeable future.

  64. Very true. But it’s not the judgment of hypocrites that matters. It’s the judgment of the vast swath of voters who have no deep investment in left-right or Dem/Rep battles and who generally see President Obama as a fair dealer. Not to mention PBO’s own sense of fairness.

  65. I doubt he would give such an important momentous announcement from the oval office. Oval office is for more informal things.

  66. I agree, Tien Le, because no one outside of Gen. Petraeus, PBO, or members of his security team have access to the classified information that will influence the president’s decision. Personally, I’m happy with any number of troops coming home at this time because 2 years ago troop withdrawal wasn’t even a topic that could be discussed without republicans and many democrats in Congress going nuts. It seems that, at least now, even some republicans are willing to consider the idea. I’m not willing to second guess the president’s decision on this because I have NO access to the vital information I’d need to make a really informed, rational, accurate comment on the subject, and I’m not willing to allow my emotions to outweigh these. reality-based factors.

  67. I have to rant here about this idiot rep Garamendi making threats that if PBO doesn’t decrease the troop numbers by what he and other dems in congress want, they will not support the President. How disgusting! All of these fools know that as long as Obama is on the ballot, that they have nothing to worry about to get reelected, so they feel free to attack the President constantly, yet, I’m sure they are more than happy to take whatever money the Prez gets for the Party. I am so sick of democrats!

  68. I read on Think Progress yesterday that there will be a vote in Congress this year on extending troop withdrawal from Iraq beyond December 31. I hope we’ll be sticking to the schedule, but with this Congress, it’s hard to “predict” anything.

  69. He has to consider Pakistan too: with the backlash after the raid on Bin Laden the Islamists, pro-Taliban, generals are in ascendance. Pakistan has been supporting the Taliban and blocking peace; apparently the Afghan army is mostly non-Pashtun former Northern Alliance. There’s a good analysis on the Pakistan factor in Time today

  70. If we do so unilaterally, we would be violating the agreement we signed with Iraq.

  71. Charlie Rose interviewed Donald Rumsfeld today because Rummy has a book out extolling all the virtues of… Rumsfeld. I think Rose really regretted doing this interview and I regretted watching even 10 minutes of Rummy arguing how wonderful he was. If you have extremely low blood pressure and want to bring it up fast, then do watch a few minutes. If you have forgotten why we elected PBO, watch a few more. I loved the end where Charlie asked Rummy his opinion of Gates, saying Gates will be considered the best SofD ever, and Rummy avoiding answering that he thinks he himself was the best Sof D ever while also avoiding saying what he thinks about Gates. I know that sounds complicated, but you have to watch the slimy, nasty pri*k in action once again to understand. Gitmo, by the way, according to the pri*k, was a tropical paradise and no one was EVER waterboarded there. Where did I put the Brain & Eye bleach? I need to barf. Normally when I miss part of an interview Charlie is doing, I will catch it on the re-run. NOT. THIS. TIME!

  72. Thank you for watching so we don’t have to. It must have been funny to hear Rose tell Rummy that Gates would be the best SofD ever. LOL

  73. Whatever the number is, the Republicans will hammer him for it. The good news is that the public seems to be tiring of the hostilities and , if polling is correct, will support President Obama’s decision (of course, polling doesn’t always equal votes does it?). He will also take a hit from his Left as well. I don’t think we’ll be completely out of there until Pakistan begins to stabilize. If I was Obama, I’d have some level of troops there until 2016. Because if another attack on the U.S. is launched from there after we leave, then we’ll hear about for generations to come. I know that is cold political calculation, but it is also geo-political given the traditional hostilities in that area.

  74. The locals in Afghanistan were as much victims of Cheney’s secret no-bid, no oversight private contractor corruption as our own “real” military for all of those years. My Guard son ran an ANA Depot near Kabul ’05-06 and it’s good to hear that the Afghan Army is actually being built and be paid reasonably now…I am very concerned with the Karzai rigged election and ongoing corruption though for things to move beyond SNAFU.

  75. He needs to double that number. I’m sorry I love President Obama but he needs to get completely out of

  76. The afghanistan news reports have sent shockwaves to the democrats in congress.

    Some are outright threatening the president that they will not vote for him or speak out positively at all if he does not withraw according to the american people’s demands (public supports big withdrawal)

    Our money needs to stop going to war. I agree the majority of democrats and people on this one.

  77. So you agree that we shouldn’t support the President if he doesn’t withdraw the number of troops that congress demands? Seriously!

  78. I would rather comment on how wonderful our First Lady is! Look at how tall her daughter has grown – that girl is going to break hearts – she’s stunning!

    Shows the love and respect Michelle gets around the world – even though Mandela is supposed to be in poor health he saw her today- wonder how much press that will get!

  79. I don’t like when Democrats publicly trash the President. I believe that they can simply send a message or call a White House staffer to talk about their disagreement with POTUS on issue(s). I read that many commanders only wanted to withdraw about 4,0000, so POTUS withdrawing 10,000 is major. However, I think the number should be raised, also I pray that each withdrawal is done safely.

  80. Personally, I’d like to see an accelerated exit schedule from Afghanistan. But I work on geopolitics for a living and it is apparent that the Afghan-Pak area is very active at the moment, particularly across the border in nuclear Pak, and I would not doubt that these realities are fueling the president’s calculus. It should also be noted that we simply don’t see the intelligence he does… and we have a lot of new intel from the Bin Laden raid. In the end, I trust the president to make a wise decision about the Afghanistan strategy…. and he’s really doing what he promised in the 2008 campaign anyway.

    On a side note, this is my first post here although I have been lurking since losing BWD at the Orange Lunacy Center. I am happy to see other familiar names here such as Askew and AMK for Obama.

  81. No. I just agree with people as opposed to petreaus. And commanders.

    Militarys always wants more troops. More troops means more money spent.

  82. You’ve just summarized the delicate balance that needs to be struck. I have a feeling that the leak was intentional to gauge public opinion and see how far they could push the withdrawal. Remember: no final decision as yet.

    I’m actually surprised that they are talking about withdrawing so soon after admitting negotiations are taking place. Surely they’d want to see how that played out first? I don’t know.

  83. I personally don’t have any expectations here. Obama said withdrawal would START in July of this year. When anyone, and I mean anyone not just politicians use that word, I don’t get my hopes up because it basically means ‘we’ll see what happens’.

  84. I want every troop out as well. I just wish people would make feel as assured that Pakistan isn’t going to fall apart and/or the wrong people aren’t going to get nuclear material; and/or India or China isn’t going to misbehave if we aren’t around? There seems to be a sincere cryout to bring our folks home, but no one is talking about any possible dangers of doing so on the quick. Does analysis have a place in progressive politics or can one be a Progressive and hold such a perspective?

  85. I am one of those who thought he should have gone with Biden’s plan to begin with and I would love to see all of our troop leave. What I can’t agree with is democratic members of congress or the public, publicly making demand and threats about withholding support or votes. i honestly believe President Obama wants to do what is best and he is not a war hawk, any number he comes up with will not be enough, but he has his reasons for his choices.

  86. Sebastianguy, you are echoing my thoughts. I know we don’t have the $ and I hate to see the loss of life, and I am not sure we’re accomplishing much in Afghan what with Karzai at the helm there… However, there is the geopolitical element. The Taliban and remaining al-Qaida types are in the border regions — often moving across the border — with nuclearized Pak, and we also know that Pakistani ISI is probably in cahoots with them. There may be a view that it is worthwhile to have boots on the ground next door, given the fragility of the Pak gov’t . I don’t know. I do concur that there has to be a serious debate about whether or not one can be progressive AND still analyze the complex geopolitical challenges without coming to expected ideological conclusions. In my view, that’s one of the things the president does well, and it is one of the many reasons I support him.

  87. Yes.

    I just think not witdrawing significantly will have bad consequences economically, politically, and psychologically.

  88. The military commanders reportedly wanted him to withdraw about 4,000. I am curious to know what will be the final number POTUS will settle on. Does anyone know why the U.S. is holding talks with the Tailiban?

  89. I don’t know anything about military strategy or what’s happening on the ground so I cannot comment on the amount he should withdraw. Yes, its been going on for 10 years. It was seriously neglected for 8 and under Obama for 2 of those 10 years. In Obama’s time we’ve caught Osama Bin Laden and are having talks, actual talks with the Taliban.

    I am sure of one thing. It is immoral to bomb a country and kill innocent civilians for 10 years and then just up and leave like nothing happened.

    I wish we could get rid of Karzai. That guy is slimy. Bet he knows what happened to that $6 billion dollars.

  90. Dennis the Menance has a diary on the daily gos trying to raise money off his objection to the objection to the lybia intervention.

  91. Bravo President Obama!

    We need to get our troops home !
    I am thrilled to hear this news report.
    Thank you and God Bless our Troops
    Toni Rosenberg

  92. This has been a date set by Obama in the SOTU, correct? He needs to do something by that date.

  93. It bothers me when we bandy numbers around as if we have any idea of what those numbers mean. You think Congress can micromanage a war? You think the newest outrage du jour of Democrats comes from anyone with knowledge of the conditions on the ground and/or the intelligence concerning the area?

    Because a particular number ‘feels good’ , do any of us have the expertise to know what those numbers mean?

    I want us out. I never wanted us to go in without clear objectives. Has the surge worked? I’m not even seeing a substantive discussion on that.

    I think it’s naive to think we can pull all the troops out and not send Afghanistan and Pakistan into chaos, but I really don’t know. I hate when everything is viewed to electoral victory. We have stopped functioning as a government, because of the way Republicans treat this President.

  94. This is a MUST READ for everyone.

    Try to convince Democrats that he’s anything but the usual idea-less, craven big-business conservative who would ruin the nation’s economy like he did Utah’s.

    Great find, DTTM.

  95. Exactly my fellow Buckeye!! 🙂 We are on the same page. Thanks for agreeing. I love all my fellow Obamabots, but we have to be patient with our beloved Prez and let him work his magic. He needs our support not a whole bunch of *itching and complaining from his faithful. Obama/Biden 2012!!

  96. Hey there – nice to see you here. You bring up some great points about why the President would favor a slower withdrawal. While it seems like there hasn’t been much progress in Afghanistan, a quick withdrawal could destabilize Afghan-Pak area significantly.

  97. Dorothy, that so called “war” was over when we got Bin Laden. That’s why we went in there in the first place. If Bush had done the job right we would have long been out of there and had no “war” with Iraq. I will point out as have several others that large numbers of troops can’t just be pulled out willy nilly with out a clear practical plan of withdrawal. Even at the end of WWII, we just didn’t send all out troops home immediately.

    I am telling you this as a person who comes from a military family with two Marines deployed in these wars. Our withdrawal has to be planned and orderly and I trust it will be. I also want an end to this. Libya is an other matter. We have no troops on the ground there. We could stop at any time and leave the rest to UN and NATO, which is exactly what Gates actually ‘told’ Europe which has more at stake there than we do. ♥

  98. I love that video. I’ve seen it at least half dozen times and Michelle’s reaction plus that “I’ve got this” look on PBO’s face make me laugh every time. Our wonderful Prez The Dad-in-chief!

    Thanks, Africa!

  99. Well, you all can take a half breath of relief in that the Greek parliament has voted for the government. The next big test will be next Tuesday when the Greek budget has to be approved. The UK government has let it be known that it has an exposure, through its banks, to the Greek debt totaling 366 Billion Pounds.

  100. Yes Huntsman gets that low number on a day that was both sunny and not humid, quite beautiful in fact. He is not generating enthusiasm and even the MSM found him boring.

  101. Like Aqua Granny, I come from a miltiary famliy with several families who have been deployed in the past few years. It does have to be done carefully and methodically and it takes time. So what seems slow to the civiilian population is the normal pace of things for the military.

  102. From a Daily Mail article:

    Danny Gabay, of Fathom Financial Consulting, which calculated the figure using data from the Department of Business, said: ‘It’s not the direct loan that’s the problem, it’s the derivatives of those loans which can go on to be multiples of the actual original size of the loan.

    ‘London made a vast amount of money in the ten years before this crisis selling those loans. Those chickens may now be coming home to roost.’

    Why speculators are allowed to gamble on government debt like high rollers in Vegas is beyond me.

  103. That’s just awesome. Commander in Chief and Baby Soother in Chief. Love it!

  104. Great to be here! I like this environment so much more… Looking forward to sensible exchanges among sane folks!

  105. ONLY in California…

    So, being a good liberal and having gay friends, I joined Equality California’s mailing list during the Prop 8 campaign. That organization is having a cocktail reception for the Palm Springs Equality Awards. Here’s what the directions to the event say:

    1 block east of Bob Hope, just south of Ginger Rogers.

    One could make something dirty out of that, but why? It would just ruin its perfect Zen nature.

  106. LOL! Love it!

    That’s also how they give directions in some other places I have lived….Left by that big oak tree that got hit by lightening in ’08 etc… I think it’s not just in California.

    Thanks for sharing this I did get such a laugh.

  107. The Commander in Chief is President Obama – not Congress. They can vote as much as they want, but he makes the decisions.

  108. Plus there is no guarantee it would pass. As stated here earlier, the American Public is sick to death of these wars. Plus the Iraqi government said they want us out. So Congress can vote all they want, it won’t change anything.

  109. Indeed – the man who was responsible for the Iraq withdrawal said it was the fastest they’d done something of that magnitude – and that took over a year!

  110. They put their “breaking news” insignia when a cat crosses the road – it’s only news when it’s actually news. People need to remember why they wanted the war in Afghanistan in the first place. I remember a very mild-mannered friend at work actually calling for Afghanistan to be made into a parking lot – and she didn’t care how many women and children were numbered among the dead, or how many more enemies were created. There wasn’t an outcry when Afghanistan’s progress was deferred in favor of attacking Iraq illegally. I’m glad President Obama is the one making decisions, and he cares about the people who will be left behind, and making sure that they have a future to safeguard so that they don’t turn to what the Taliban and other extremists will offer them in exchange. It may not be happening fast enough, but I’m sure that the people of Afghanistan didn’t want to be invaded and then left at the mercy of the Taliban after the initial trust they placed in the US before Iraq. There is a whole generation of children who have known nothing but war, and would easily be snatched up by extremists if they have nothing to look forward to.

  111. I don’t think the President would leave anyone there unnecessarily. This man cares about the people who make up the military and he’s proven that time and again. And I’m sure no-one would be in favor of destabilizing the region to the point of allowing extremists to plot more attacks, right?

  112. I think the President’s priority is national security. Not playing political games with the lives of those in the military. And since the economy is going to play a factor in the election (although, it still surprises me that people would really vote for a Republican if the economy is still recovering slowly), I’m sure the President is aware of the economic cost of his decision. But the same people calling for him to just pick a bigger number would likely be the first to abandon ship if there was another attack (heaven forbid).

  113. Randi Rhodes talked about this on her show today. Apparently, the US has talked with the Taliban before, and the last time was at the beginning of the Bush Administration. They negotiated a $40 million settlement that would entice the Afghans to burn their poppy fields. It resulted in a decrease in poppy production, which ultimately increased the cost of drugs, and limited drug use because people didn’t just try it for fun. When the Bush Admin moved on to Iraq, the deal ended, too – and drug production went back up.

  114. Afghanistan: Momentum For Withdrawal…

    When President Obama announced in December 2009 a surge of 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan, he made it clear that those troops would begin to withdraw in July 2011. “It will be clear to the Afghan government — and, more importantly, to the Afghan people — that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country,” the president said in his speech announcing the surge. Now the debate in the White House on the future of American involvement in Afghanistan has ramped up in recent weeks, and various news outlets have reported that — despite promising the president in 2009 that the job in Afghanistan would be near complete by next month — military leaders are pushing back against any significant withdrawal starting next month. Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, reportedly would only endorse a withdrawal plan that won’t see the surge forces exit Afghanistan until the end of 2012 (under this plan, more U.S. troops will be in Afghanistan than at any other time during the Bush administration). The Los Angeles Times reports today that on Wednesday, Obama is expected to announce that he will order 10,000 “personnel” withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year…
    As I’ve said before, “I will await our Prez’ final decision, tomorrow!”…

    He’s trustworthy! 😉

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! 😉

  115. Feel so depressed as I see today’s Gallup Poll has Obama 4pts down. Why? I just don’t get it.

  116. I stopped looking at Gallup two years ago. It’s just not worth your emotions. The only poll that counts is in November 2012. Just keep working as hard as possible to educate as many people as possible. We can’t afford to get demoralized.

  117. Daily tracking polls are almost completely useless. Especially when as you indicate there is a 4 pt drop when literally nothing happened. It’s just noise.

  118. With all of the snafus with Huntsman’s “coming out” I would think that he would be happy that there is something else being talked about today::-):

  119. Betsy you aren’t going to make it to Nov. 2012 if you stay obsessed with a daily tracking poll. Polls fluctuate too much to be concerned with them before Nov. 2012. Give yourself a break and leave them alone. PBO’s poll numbers have been all over the place since Bin Laden. Escape the MADNESS girl! 🙂

  120. Well said, africa. And considering the attention and profit-seeking of the professional left, I don’t see how and why they are considered any sort of informational standard whatsoever. They’re looking to maintain the prominence built during the Bush years as lefties flew online to register disapproval. No matter how much the professional left LIES and LIES and LIES, President Obama is an undescribably vast improvement over Bush, and thus the outrage machine which brings in money and fame is being misapplied to President Obama. At this point, I fault the audience, especially the moderates who are lingering, more than the provocateurs.

    POTUS has proven many times to be both benevolent and far-sighted. Two qualities which his detractors can’t claim. I want out of Afghanistan alongside everyone and fear quagmire, but POTUS has more than earned the benefit of the doubt from me.

  121. I’ll await President Obama’s speech before passing judgment although I do want him to tell some of those military types like Petraeus where to go. A withdrawal of only 5,000 troop by the end of the year as Petraeus has proposed would render the withdrawal inconsequential. They always have a vested interest in keeping things going (that’s their thing, after all). My hope is that President Obama pushes back at the military brass and errs more in the Biden direction than the Petraeus direction.

  122. Polls are pretty fickle. Obama at the moment is the same poll wise as Clinton was and the only real way that is going to change is when 1. the economy really improves. 2. drastic measures about troop withdrawal come out at some point. These are the two leading areas where Obama needs to work on. Problem is that the economy is mostly not going to budge unless congress is willing to work together on the issue.

  123. seem like I,m reading some comments from the PL site, I trust that obama know what to do about the troop withdraw. He don’t let people push him around, He is a good rightious man and I believe he will do what is best for this country not for votes. So I believe that the people on this site can support him because he knows what is the safe direction to go. If it safe to pullout 10k he will do it or 30k he will do that . if he saids 5k for right now, I have study him enough to know he is a very smart and caring man and if it safe to bring 100k home, he will do that even if the team don’t agree.

  124. And of the remaining 20, they were people that just happened to walk by and stayed to see what was going on. An impressive start to a campaign. Not.

  125. I agree, too. PBO knows what he is doing based on the intelligence he is getting daily. I trust his judgement. So,,,I had to unsubscribe from Boxer’s list today cause now she wants to tell the President what to do. Sigh. I really, really, really wish the Dems would support the decisions of the best President they will ever know.

  126. Get the tar and feathers and the rail ready, Theo, because we may just have to use them to run the bankers out of town yet.

  127. People have a right to disagree with his decisions, I think many forget that. 10,000 is a low number to withdraw.

  128. People do have a right to disagree with his decisions IF they have ALL the SAME information he does and are able to logically and methodically process that information and make a sound decision based on it that takes in all of the parameters.

  129. James T. Kloppenberg’s TRUE TO HIS WORD


    Every old-fashioned American amusement park had a fun house with mirrors that exaggerated your features. One mirror lengthened your legs, another widened your middle, a third made your face a wavy mask. If you stood in the right place, you vanished into endless distorting reflections. Nowadays, the political stage has become America’s communal fun house, and nobody looks stranger than Barack Obama.

    The president’s critics on the right deride him as a radical socialist seething with anti-American rage. To them, he’s a frightening success who has transformed the federal government, ruined the economy, and undermined national security. To the left, Obama is a tragic failure who squandered his chance for dramatic change: no single-payer health-care plan, no heated battle against Wall Street, and endless war in Afghanistan. If the president is struggling these days, the critics say, it’s perhaps because he’s out of touch with Americans, and even at odds with his own principles.

    Yet OBAMA IS DOING EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO. PERHAPS THE CRITICS SHOULD READ—OR REREAD—THE PRESIDENT’S OWN BOOKS. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER (1995) and THE AUDACITY OF HOPE (2006) are the most substantial works written by anyone elected president since Woodrow Wilson (who wrote several books before he won election in 1912). In laying out his philosophy, Obama contrasts the GOP’s excessive individualism with the ideal of “ordered liberty” and the rich traditions of civic engagement typical of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. He also criticizes orthodox Democrats for too quickly dismissing market solutions and too often defending failed government programs. Above all, he criticizes the hyperpartisan atmosphere of contemporary public life.

    PBHO IS “The Real Deal!” 😉

    YES.WE.CAN…DO.(Much)More, Together!
    I’M IN…FIRED UP & GOIN’! 😉

  130. That was hilarious! He really knows how to put the insanity in perspective, doesn’t he. That was the most ridiculous poll I have seen.

  131. One can/will disagree with him regardless of having the to go through all of what you said. Many Americans want more than 10,000 soldiers to come home, so they have the right to take issue with having only 10,000 come home next month. I am pretty sure the President is alright with people not liking everything he does.

  132. I’m sorry but one has to go through a logical thought process and sound decision-making. Otherwise, you are acting only on emotion and plucking a number out of the air that sounds like a nice round number to you but that could cause death to the soldiers remaining there. I don’t want a President who picks numbers out of the air, or who acts solely out of the political aspects of a decision, or who sits on the extreme end of a party. Do you want a president who makes stupid, wrong decisions?

  133. Thank you Al Gore for saying President Obama has failed to lead on climate change. Although when you had the white house for eight years you certainly had enough time to push for stronger regulations, but I just you guys were too busy making sure that the big dog didn’t run off the porch. Also I want to thank you for throwing in the towel when it was your time to fight Bush in the rigged 2000 election. I would have thought you were above these types of attacks knowing full well what President Obama has faced in terms of obstructionism.

  134. I think one of the problems with us Progressives (and maybe Americans, in general) is that we’re very impatient; we don’t acknowledge progress and can’t wait. It’s ALL, IMMEDIATELY! Is that reasonable or even wise?

  135. PBO announces withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan (something the left has been screaming for since forever) and the first thing out of Rachel Maddow’s mouth in response is a complaint. Why am I not surprised? She’s obviously still steamed over Weiner. Maddow has turned out to be such a disappointment. I used to really respect her but not anymore.

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