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Blog Buzz: The blog of war

As President Obama prepares to address the nation on the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan tonight, two bloggers offered vastly different interpretations of the still-rising death toll in Afghanistan so far, and which leader's handling of the war -- George W. Bush's or Obama's -- is to blame.

Linking to a Washington Post article citing 22 American deaths in Afghanistan over the past five days, AMERICAblog's liberal writer Joe Sudbay wrote that responsibility begins with the president who started the war and who, in his mind, did not set enough groundwork to prevent a situation like the present one.

This is Obama's problem now, obviously. But, history and the American people should never forgive Bush for letting the situation in Afghanistan get so out of control... Seriously, back in October of 2001, when it seemed that most Americans were supportive of the war in Afghanistan, could you ever have imagined that we'd be seeing 'record-high death tolls' in the summer of 2010?

Conservative blogger Dave Poff at Red State attributed the rising death toll to what he called Obama's indeciciveness in the region.

In 86 months the total number of casualties in Afghanistan was 630 under the Bush command. Under Obama’s weak, waffling, hand-wringing and navel-gazing command, in just 19 months, the US casualty count as of August 30, 2010 now surpasses Bush’s numbers, sitting now at a total of 632…and counting. How can this be?

We’ve had 4,763 strategy reviews. We’ve made kissy-face with our enemies. We’ve announced to them that we have a date-certain withdrawal plan if only they could just quiet themselves and wait us out. We’ve changed leadership on the ground, modified the ROE, incorporated the Rahm Emanuel-style approach to winning friends and influencing people there, and we’ve even begun indirect negotiations with our enemy to help facilitate their return to power once we tuck tail and run.