Rob’ reckonings: Obama should stay focused to end war

Story by Rob Hanson

It’s sad to say, but for the average citizen it’s easy to forget this country is at war.

Of course, every now and then a newscast will grab one’s attention with flashy bombing footage or high-casualty reports. But, nearly nine years later, it is for the most part, business as usual. We continue to slog through this seemingly endless war and put it on the national tab. ‘Don’t worry, someday we’ll win and someday we’ll pay off this gargantuan debt’ seems to be the curiously docile mentality of the American public.

President Obama’s decision to send in 30,000 to 35,000 additional troops has changed that pacifism, at least for me, stirring up the pot and serving as a reminder that there are still thousands of men and women putting their lives at risk every day.

Some have been quick to draw a comparison between our current situation and Vietnam. As anti-war as I am, I won’t go that far until our government implements a draft again, which most likely won’t happen.

However, there are some similarities. Much like Vietnam, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan lack any kind of public support and also like Vietnam those wars seem to lack true direction or meaning. Can anybody possibly claim victory after thousands have died and cities have been destroyed over the span of a decade?

It’s easy to point fingers this far from Washington and even further from the Middle East.

Though at first I felt slightly burned — after being wrapped up in a campaign of change and peace – that our president would make such a large contribution to an unjust war. But for the most part, it’s really not his fault. We need to remember that President Obama inherited this situation. After eight disastrous years brought on by the Bush Administration, Obama has no other choice than to run damage control. Simply pulling out now could cost too many lives and in fact might leave the public and soldiers with a taste in their mouth similar to Vietnam. All that time spent and nothing accomplished … what exactly happened here?

That is, of course, little excuse. Obama has do what he has to do. I — as well as anybody reading this – cannot even comprehend what it would be like to have to tell 30,000 people that they have to go to war.

But overall, the Obama Administration needs to keep its promises in mind and focus more now than ever on ending this war.

From the beginning of his presidency, Obama has been criticized for failing to accomplish many of the grandiose goals that he spoon fed America during his campaign.

Failing to end this war in a timely fashion would be the biggest failure of his legacy and a slap in the face to the people who tirelessly worked to help Obama into office.

Heaven forbid that yet another president has to inherit this mess, especially from a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Especially from a man that built his entire following on one word: Change.