Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Obama’s secret trip to Afghanistan

March 29, 2010


For a leader who has come to own the Afghan war, U.S. President Barack Obama’s first trip to Kabul and the military headquarters in  Bagram since he took office 15 months ago was remarkable for its secrecy and surprise.

He flew in late on Sunday night, the blinds lowered on Air Force One all the way from Washington, and left while it was still dark.

It tells you more about the state of the eight-year war than anything else in recent weeks. Imagine visiting a country in the dead of the night, calling on its president sometime soon after and then flying out before the sun rises.

Here’s a Reuters story on how the six-hour trip was orchestrated.

One encouraging sign though: a Washington Post poll released just as Obama made the trip to the war-shattered nation showed that Afghanistan is still the one issue where Americans are behind  him.

Overall, 53 percent of those polled approved of the way he was dealing with the situation in Afghanistan with 35 percent expressing disapproval.


Obama needed to tell the troops, “Thank you. Now pack your bags, you’re coming home. We can’t afford this war anymore and we certainly cannot win it.”


Hopefully Obama will show some sanity while saving Americans to go back in ugly fashion.

Posted by Khan | Report as abusive

Way to go, take them on at their home turf. I did not enjoy the Nobel Prize Speech, but have changed my views, exterminate and get out ASAP, give the other surrounding countries a turn too, regroup and go back later, keep the foot on the pedal ! After all, it is a Holy War, not an Oil War.

Posted by Gandhiolfini | Report as abusive

Hi, my name’s Obama and I know the war is wrong but the defense industry won’t be letting me bring you home this year. Opium line forms to the right…

Posted by The Bell | Report as abusive

Yes it sucks that we are still there after eight years, but it is a pivotal mess that is justifiably attended to with military force (for now) and Presidential backing.

Interestingly, the fear and hate rhetoric that was fomented during and after the election and through the healthcare/tea bagger nonsense from friends still on active duty has shifted significantly and new sentiment indicates Obama’s leadership and intelligence on Afghanistan and other issues has seeped in and softened some very hard views and most of them (officers and enlisted) have expressed outright respect.

This is an amazing shift, given the hyperbole expressed several months ago from some of same group who really didn’t know any better (because they had no first hand experience with Obama leadership as a basis for an informed opinion). It is a scary reality that Fox News is almost mandated as the channel of choice in most chow halls and rec rooms, so the brainwashing is constant and misinformation is rampant…no surprise.

But the truth will out…eventually.

If the Dems prove effective war time leaders (just like every other Dem in modern history) one of the NeoCon artist’s biggest falsehoods will evaporate and/or shatter (just like most smoke and mirror tacticts do with time).

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

I can almost hear the cheering and see the high five’s going on in the camps of our enemy knowing that the president of the United States of America thinks that they are so fearfull that he is afraid to be there in the day light.

Posted by Glenn | Report as abusive

Glenn, just as you said, here is a Reuters story about the Taliban mocking the visit. tent/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033100763. html


Karzai is getting “unreliable,” meaning he resents Obama’s efforts to sideline him, so the O-Man had to drag himself over there to set things straight. Doubtful he succeeded.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

The guy is straight dumb, no one told him that you write with the right hand and not with the left. He is definitely not a left hander per say. The Pashtoon resistance have not yet come out in force to confront the intruders. The talaban eagles(snipers) are currently in action. The tribal leaders call is necessary before the total uprising of the nation. Then the marines would suddenly find no civilians in that warriors country. I suspect that following the traditional pattern Mr Karzai would preempt their call and declare first the onslaught against foreigners first.

Posted by rex minor | Report as abusive

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