Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The New Way Forward - The President's Address

Well, earlier today you had the opportunity to read the speech that Tom Engelhardt (and many other progressives) think the President should have given (but wouldn't). Here now is the video and full transcript of the actual speech delivered by President Obama tonight at West Point:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on the Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Eisenhower Hall Theatre, United States Military Academy at West Point, West Point, New York

8:01 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our Armed Services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan -- the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It's an extraordinary honor for me to do so here at West Point -- where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.
To address these important issues, it's important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of passengers onboard one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

The Next Page In the Afghanistan War

President Obama will be giving a speech tonight to be broadcast live from West Point, in which he will outline his strategy to move forward in Afghanistan. It will be interesting to hear how he describes the mission, and what constitutes success. From what has leaked so far, it seems he plans to deploy 30,000 more troops and set a timetable of about 3 years. I won't comment on this until his actual speech, but this interesting post was published a week or so ago, and deserves some consideration:

Originally posted on TomDispatch.com: Read the whole post, with additional commentary from Tom Englehardt, here.

The Afghanistan Speech Obama Should Give (but won't)

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

A New Way Forward:

The President's Address to the American People on Afghan Strategy

Oval Office

For Immediate Release

December 2nd

8:01 P.M. EDT
My fellow Americans,
On March 28th, I outlined what I called a "comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." It was ambitious. It was also an attempt to fulfill a campaign promise that was heartfelt. I believed -- and still believe -- that, in invading Iraq, a war this administration is now ending, we took our eye off Afghanistan. Our well-being and safety, as well as that of the Afghan people, suffered for it.
I suggested then that the situation in Afghanistan was already "perilous." I announced that we would be sending 17,000 more American soldiers into that war zone, as well as 4,000 trainers and advisors whose job would be to increase the size of the Afghan security forces so that they could someday take the lead in securing their own country. There could be no more serious decision for an American president.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

5 Lessons From the Charlie Weis Era

This might be a bit presumptuous, given that the firing hasn't happened yet, but that is a gamble I'm willing to make.

Presenting: Henry's 5 Lessons From the Charlie Weis Era

#5: Being a native son shouldn't earn you preferential treatment.

#4: Notre Dame can recruit again. However, a coach cannot lean only on the caliber of his recruits. He must develop those players.

#3: Hire someone who has already proven themselves as a head coach at the D-1 FBS college level.

#2: College football is more about executing fundamentals well and less about "schematic advantages."

#1: Don't give 10-year contracts to anyone.