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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact check: Does anyone know how much of the President’s speech is factual, wishful thinking or just plain BS?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) June 22nd, 2011

I am not an Obama hater, I voted for the guy even when I am not a GOP or a Democrat. Based off his speech is Al Qaeda really on the ropes like that? We have heard that before. Could these documents claiming that they can’t replace leadership have been a plant for just such an occurrence? Are things really that much better in Iraq? Will there actually be an earnest effort at nation building here, though we should have never needed it in the 1st place?

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12 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

Anything is possible at this point. It’s hard to predict what will and will not happen. Even if intelligence agencies work brilliantly with policy makers, there will always be the uncertainty factor.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

The President doesn’t even know how much of his speech is factual. If he doesn’t know, then neither can I.

woodcutter's avatar

Wishful thinking but I really hope he is right. As soon as we leave the Taliban is going to fill back in and do what they want. So we should just get used to the idea but keep the predators in the air.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve never considered political speeches as a source of factual information. That’s not their purpose. And there is no way for any of us to know what information was collected from Bin Laden’s compound. And no U.S. President has the power to make all that many things happen merely by fiat or executive order. And “nation building at home.” What exactly does that mean? It’s a political speech: part BS, part “rousing the troops,” a fact or a bit of reality thrown in here and there, a defense of some particular action or policy, some promises and a certain amount of “vision statement” stuff. It’s a speech, not a report.

Cruiser's avatar

100% BS and 0% “Change”. Same old song and re-election dance.

woodcutter's avatar

@Cruiser and don’t forget about hope, that was a biggie back in the day

Cruiser's avatar

@woodcutter My eternal gratitude for your valiant observation….

99% BS, 0% Truth and 1% Hope offset by the continued existence of Gitmo and Bush tax cuts.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Cruiser 100% BS? That reminds me of my reaction to every Bush speech I heard which were all 100% BS as well. Long live Democracy!

Cruiser's avatar

@mazingerz88 Democracy?? That went out the back door when Nixon was elected. Since then it has been all “K” street controlled politics.

ETpro's avatar

There wasn’t much factual info there to fact check. Is al Qaeda damaged? I’m willing to believe they are with their spiritual leader and charismatic Caliph, Osama bin Laden dead and with the CIA now having all the intel they found in his compound. The only strategy we ever had in Afghanistan that ever made any sense was the original one Bush announced of tracking down the leaders of al Qaeda and the Taliban and arresting or killing them. For whatever reason, George W. Bush decided not to actually follow through on that when he let the whole bunch slip through our hands at Tora Bora, refusing to commit any US Special Forces to contain and get them. I think he had his eye on the war he really wanted to fight in Iraq, and getting bin Laden at that moment would have robbed him of the Boogeyman he used to lie us into that war. So that strategy was long dead before Obama inherited the war.

When he inherited it, we were just in a holding pattern there with about 35,000 troops sitting in bases and leaving the countryside to itself. Obama set a nation-building strategy and ramped troop levels up to over 100,000 to do it. He took the fight to the Taliban instead of sitting on base waiting for the next attack. It’s sort of transitioned from Nation Building to counter insurgency and it sounds like now it’s heading for counter terrorism only, training an Afghan national army in a country where no army has ever existed and 95% of the people are illiterate.

The fact is we are not going to stay forever, and when we leave, the Pashtun tribes that form the Taliban will rule. I would like to think that in our negotiations with the Taliban, we are telling them that when we leave, they’re going to need to keep terrorists out, and leave Pakistan alone. I’d like to think we’re telling them that if they let another 9/11 happen, our intelligence services will know who’s harboring the terrorists, and this time we won’t invade, we will carpet bomb their tribe into non existence. I’d like to think that. But I don’t think it. If that were so, we could announce a draw down now ending some time next year with no troops left And since I heard 2014, I don’t think those negotiations will go anywhere but down the toilet.

Qingu's avatar

I love how people think it makes them look smart when they knee-jerk disbelieve everything a politician says.

I think it’s pretty clear al-Qaeda is damaged; they haven’t been able to pull off any major attacks since Madrid, their newer plans are pretty half-baked and desperate (underwear bomber?), and their ideology has just been demonstrably ignored by tens (hundreds?) of millions of young Muslims in the Middle East in the Arab Spring.

The extent to which a massive counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan, and sending hellfire missiles sometimes at them and other times at civilians in Pakistan, has accomplished this weakening of AQ is debatable. But I think Obama’s strategy has been just as constrained, if not more, by having to deal with a potential power vacuum in Afghanistan than by the need to go after al-Qaeda.

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu Excellent point about al Qaeda and the Arab Spring. That was the exact opposite of their vision for a consolidated Islamic fundamentalist dictatorship ruling all the Muslim world.

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