Preview of President Obama\'s speech
The Hiller Instinct: Preview of President Obama's speech
If President Obama orders a surge in Afghanistan, then he'll become a war president, as uncomfortable as that may be for him.
So he'll choose his words very carefully... And here's what you should listen for very carefully.
"Change has come to America!" Obama said on election night last year.
Barack Obama has always stood for -- and always promised -- change. Tonight, he must tell us what exactly he's changing in Afghanistan. If he's just sending in more troops, then it's just more of the same, and that's the opposite of change.
That's why he must explain why it's worth staying there. Are we taking on the Taliban or trying to build a democracy in Afghanistan? Why is leaving too risky?
Perhaps most important: When will it end? Will it be in three years? And if that's right, won't our enemies just wait for us to leave?
Finally, for anyone who believes Barack Obama campaigned against all wars, that's just not true. And this answer to a question about Afghanistan in last year’s presidential debate proves it: "I think we need more troops. I've been saying that for over a year now. And I think we have to do it as quickly as possible, because it's been acknowledged by the commanders on the ground the situation is getting worse, not better."
And now, as we wait for 8 o'clock, here's a prediction: Whatever the president says, roughly half of us are going to like it, and half of us aren't. And very few of us are going to be completely satisfied.
I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.
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