A blogger reports that he was pleasantly surprised at one aspect of President Obama's announcement that he was preparing to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. That aspect was what the President didn't say. The President made no attempt to follow the example of the last President. Nowhere in Obama's speech was there any reference to trying to help the Afghan people. He presented the escalation of the war there as something that was in the strategic interests of the US. It was not presented as an attempt to help out any particular groups in that country, but as something that would benefit people here at home. Of course, it falls apart on that basis as well, but this is a modest bit of progress in the right direction.
Reacting to President Obama's announcement, local anti-war activists made it clear that they weren't pleased about it. Brandywine Peace Community had arranged for a demonstration to take place soon after the announcement was made. The group Philly Against War issued a press release once the exact date was known. The announced demonstration was moved from the City Hall plaza to the sidewalk facing it as there was a Christmas celebration taking place at the projected time. About 100 of us gathered and as the photos show, we made a splash! Oh, and a local activist has compiled a whole set of resources for further research on the War in Afghanistan.