Open thread: Obama to celebrate rare actual accomplishment; Update: “Our goal is to destroy al Qaeda, and we are on a path to do exactly that”

posted at 7:10 pm on May 1, 2012 by Allahpundit

7:30 ET all across the dial, the ceremonial spiking o’ the ball takes place in the campaign end zone you and I know as Bagram air base. Excerpts from The One’s speech:

“My fellow Americans, we have traveled through more than a decade under the dark cloud of war. Yet here, in the pre-dawn darkness of Afghanistan, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon. The Iraq War is over. The number of our troops in harm’s way has been cut in half, and more will be coming home soon. We have a clear path to fulfill our mission in Afghanistan, while delivering justice to al Qaeda.

This future is only within reach because of our men and women in uniform. Time and again, they have answered the call to serve in distant and dangerous places. In an age when so many institutions have come up short, these Americans stood tall. They met their responsibilities to one another, and the flag they serve under. I just met with some of them, and told them that as Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder. In their faces, we see what is best in ourselves and our country.”…

“This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.”

Yeah, like I said in my earlier post, tonight’s address is as much about reminding swing voters that the troops are coming home as it is about kicking Bin Laden’s skull through the uprights. The poll numbers on Afghanistan have turned toxic, and not just among Democrats and indies. There’s not much spring in his “Bin Laden bounce” but there may be a few points for him in reminding the public that things are winding down in a war to which they’ve long since given up paying close attention.

Two interesting things about the excerpts from his speech that the White House released. One: No Bin Laden reference. He’ll mention OBL at some point tonight, rest assured, but maybe his team’s starting to tone down the self-congratulation after the criticism of the past few days. Two: The excerpts emphasize his praise for the troops, something that’s been lacking lately as Team Hopenchange goes fishing for credit for the Bin Laden raid. Speaking of which, check out the brutal — and I mean brutal — vid released by “Veterans for a Strong America” taking Obama to task for trying to make the raid all about the O. That’ll keep you entertained until showtime at Bagram; the second vid below is just to put you in the mood for the occasion.

Update: Here’s the vid and the transcript. Read it and you’ll see that, as noted above, the ball he really wanted to spike tonight was “victory” in Afghanistan and a drawdown of U.S. troops. And the path to victory in this case lies through narrowly defining who the enemy is:

Fourth, we are pursuing a negotiated peace. In coordination with the Afghan government, my Administration has been in direct discussions with the Taliban. We have made it clear that they can be a part of this future if they break with al Qaeda, renounce violence, and abide by Afghan laws. Many members of the Taliban – from foot soldiers to leaders – have indicated an interest in reconciliation. A path to peace is now set before them. Those who refuse to walk it will face strong Afghan Security Forces, backed by the United States and our allies…

As we move forward, some people will ask why we need a firm timeline. The answer is clear: our goal is not to build a country in America’s image, or to eradicate every vestige of the Taliban. These objectives would require many more years, many more dollars, and many more American lives. Our goal is to destroy al Qaeda, and we are on a path to do exactly that. Afghans want to fully assert their sovereignty and build a lasting peace. That requires a clear timeline to wind down the war.

Read this depressing Seth Jones piece about how AQ franchises are actually building up in places like Yemen and Somalia despite the best efforts of U.S. drone operators. (He doesn’t even mention Syria, which is well on its way to becoming the biggest jihadi magnet in the Middle East.) Read David Ignatius too on how, thanks to the Arab Spring and its Islamist tide, “electoral Bin Ladenism” is in ascendance in the region. Memo from Bush to O: Be careful about declaring victory prematurely.

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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

Breaking news: one year later, Bin Laden still dead

petefrt on May 2, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Breaking news: one year later, 0bama’s “birth certificate” is still a forgery.

Fixed it for you.

cane_loader on May 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM

The speech was short because the Barry Campaign deleted all the “me” references. And after they had done that, there was very little left. More or less like the rest of Barry’s record in office, after taking out the brave deeds of Seal Team 6.

galtani on May 1, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Yes, this was written by somebody else but Obama. He should have written his speech himself since he has recently stated he does a better job at it, among other things.

moo on May 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM

From yesterday’s HuffPo:

Joe Arpaio Obama Birth Certificate

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will release new information concerning his team President Barack Obama’s eligibility to hold office.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will make another announcement concerning his team’s investigation of Barack Obama’s eligibility to hold public office in late May or early June.

Mike Zullo, the lead investigator in Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse,” told CBS 5 News the announcement will concern new findings, including data on Obama’s 1980 registration for the draft.

“We didn’t make a mistake the first time. We’re not making a mistake this time,” Zullo said.

Read the rest HERE

After the way he’s been treated by this administration, I hope Sheriff Joe nails him to the wall.

cane_loader on May 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Watch out for Barry the Terminator, Barry the Political Assassin — he means business! (Isn’t all this murder and mayhem stuff against the feel-good Libby Creed?)

Nothing like an emasculated Libby b-boy (redundancy, I know) trying to act and sound tough, saluting the troops he secretly despises.

Get lost, Barry. You’re a fool and a liar and a fraud.

RobertMN on May 2, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I realize this here is a big anti-Obama stronghold, but as much as scripted this speech looked, I don’t mind saying that he did outline the reasoning why, and partial plan of how things will improve in Afghanistan.

Good for him.

AlexB on May 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

I realize this here is a big anti-Obama stronghold, but as much as scripted this speech looked, I don’t mind saying that he did outline the reasoning why, and partial plan of how things will improve in Afghanistan.

Good for him.

AlexB on May 2, 2012 at 2:36 PM

The problem I had with the speech was the idea of being partners with the Taliban. Because that’s what he was saying. I don’t see at all how things can improve in Afghanistan, when the whole reason we went in there is the Taliban and 0bama last night announced to the world that we won’t be targeting them anymore. Remember that the whole reason we invaded Afghanistan was that Mullah Omar of the Taliban refused to hand over bin Laden. Omar cost us a 10-year war and lots of dead young Americans, and now we’re going to negotiate with him. It’s as bad a mistake as when Bush didn’t kill Moqtada al-Sadr when Sadr led the rebellion against the U.S. invasion. I believe that this, along with the failure to flatten Fallujah when it first rebelled, was Bush’s biggest mistake in ’03-’04, that cost a lot of lives, extended the war, and ruined his reputation

I would have liked to have heard the word, “victory.”

This is Vietnam redux.

cane_loader on May 3, 2012 at 1:04 AM

Interesting how he didn’t hesitate to ‘Spike The football’ regarding the anniversary of taking down bin Laden but on the anniversary of his legacy piece of legislation, Obamacare, the man couldn’t be found anywhere.

easyt65 on May 3, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The best part about this video is that it is probably making that un-American turd Ayers lose a lot of sleep.

JeffB. on May 3, 2012 at 10:15 PM

a war to which they’ve long since given up paying close attention.

Three USPS boxes of home baked cookies sent there in less than two weeks. During the lockdown after the Koran-burning episode the guys couldn’t go to the PX so our boxes were the only incoming junk food they had. In other words, some of us are still paying close attention.

unclesmrgol on May 4, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4