A few minutes ago I received my umpteenth daily email from the Obama campaign. It informed me that there was a new video that people at Obama headquarters “can not stop watching.”
The three minute video tells the story of young boy name Ian, who serves as the narrator for the video. Scenes of Ian playing with toys in his room are overlaid with Ian reading a thank-you letter he sent to President Obama for bringing his dad home from the war in Iraq.
As the movie ends, we see Ian meeting President Obama at a rally — and hugging him. It was a touching story and served to highlight the President’s charisma and ability to connect to people, as well as his ability to bring our troops home from that catastrophic war.
One question though: What about the children whose parents are currently serving in Afghanistan?
The President’s surge in Afghanistan officially ended today. The surge was intended to beat back the Afghan Taliban and by almost every measure it failed.
After looking at recent data released by NATO command in Afghanistan, Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman – a blogger who has written extensively on the war, concluded that the “suppressive force provided by the surge did not tamp down insurgent activity to levels seen in 2009, when Afghanistan looked sufficiently dire that a bipartisan consensus of Washington policymakers came to believe that a surge was necessary.”
With the failure of the surge to decrease violence, the only ostensible reason we remain in Afghanistan is to train Afghan military personnel, and prepare them to take over for our active combat troops by the end of 2014.
Yet, after a series of recent attacks on NATO troops by the very Afghan forces that we are training, NATO command was forced to announce that they are suspending most joint patrols with Afghan soldiers.
Day after day, like a morbidly leaky faucet, news of soldiers and civilians killed in a war with no real stated goal trickles in. Monday, it was three NATO troops, and 14 civilians, that were killed by a suicide bomber in eastern Afghanistan. 37 civilians were also injured in the blast, including a boy who looked to be about Ian’s age.
Odds are they won’t be the only ones who die this week.
In the video the Obama campaign sent me, there is a scene where Ian fiddles with his father’s dog tags, given to him by his dad before he left for war. We hear Ian say that he “had trouble sleeping some nights because I was worried about [my dad].”
Luckily for Ian, his dad’s war is over.
But in between high-fiving each other and sending self-congratulatory emails for bringing Ian’s dad home, I’d encourage President Obama’s team to spend a few minutes thinking about the children whose parents won’t come home from the quagmire President Obama has failed to end.