Obama's caving in to the pressures of Pentagon to escalate the war in Afghanistan will inevitably mean weakening his programmes at home and losing the support of the broad progressive coalition that brought him to power.
President Obama should have spent his fifteen minutes of prime time Wednesday night talking about diplomacy. Instead of a four-part mostly military plan, he should have outlined four key diplomatic moves, suggests Phyllis Bennis.
The recent civilian casualties demonstrate, for any who doubted it, that this is a war against a vast population of Afghanistan, and the only way to stop killing civilians is to stop the killing. That means to stop all offensive actions and withdraw the troops.
President Obama's speech reflected accountability not to his base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security."