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Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

QUICK THOUGHTS ON GENERAL McCHRYSTAL

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 24, 2010

Yesterday, President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, for harshly critical remarks made by him and his aides against the President. The comments appear in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

Although the President claimed he did not take the comments as a personal insult – and praised McChrystal as one of America’s finest soldiers – he said the resignation was in the best interest of national security.

And while the lamestream media is leaking all over itself, trying to contain its enthusiasm over what many are calling an historic display of leadership and strength exuded by Barack Obama, I am personally continuing to comb through Rolling Stone in an attempt to figure out what exactly he was supposed to have said that was bad enough to hasten his resignation.

I’ll grant you, it wasn’t the brightest move in the world for McChrystal to afford a leftist, anti-military, anti-war rag like Rolling Stone magazine access to him and his inner circle, but was resignation really necessary?

Of course, it didn’t take long for the historically proficient members of the press to insert their obligatory references to President Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan, as well as President Harry Truman and General Douglas MacArthur. Both of those situations were similar to this one only in that it involved a Commander-In-Chief and a General; otherwise, not so much. McClellan was, at best, ineffective and grossly insubordinate. MacArthur spoke openly against the strategy of his Commander-In-Chief in a time of war – an absolute no-no.

McChrystal, on the other hand, was thoroughly compliant.

Many others have written on this matter far more eloquently than I, so I won’t bother going into detailed analysis of this event.

I will, however, say this – and it can hardly be denied: If General McChrystal and his aides had made identical comments with a Republican in the White House, he’d have become the darling of the lamestream media, would have become to go-to guy on every cable talk show, would have probably gotten a gig on MSNBC as the resident “military expert” and would have won the title of “maverick.” He might have even snagged a spot on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine … with hugs and kisses from the editorial staff.

He would have been the “soldier with a conscience,” the “free thinking warrior.”

The entire matter would have been portrayed as clear-cut evidence of incompetence at the top by military experts out in the field.
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GODSPEED

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 13, 2010

The good guys are on the move in Afghanistan in what is being called “the largest operation since the start of the Afghanistan war.” Approximately 15,000 troops – including American, Afghan and NATO forces – kicked off a major assault against the Taliban in the town of Marjah yesterday.

In the early stages of the operation, reports are that all is going well.

From Fox News:

Punching their way through a line of insurgent defenses that included mines and homemade bombs, ground forces crossed a major canal Saturday into the town’s northern entrance.

Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, NATO commander of forces in southern Afghanistan, said Afghan and coalition troops, aided by 60 helicopters, made a “successful insertion” into Marjah without incurring any casualties.

“The operation went without a single hitch,” Carter said at a briefing in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

At least 20 insurgents have been killed and 11 arrested so far in the offensive, said Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, the commander of Afghan forces in the region. Troops have recovered Kalashnikov rifles, heavy machine guns and grenades from those captured, he said.

There are somewhere around 1000 Taliban entrenched in the town of 80,000.

However, the biggest threat comes not from the Taliban, but from the mines and improvised explosive devices they’ve had time to hide along the town’s entry points.

“This may be the largest IED threat and largest minefield that NATO has ever faced,” said Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, commander of Marines in southern Afghanistan.

The operation is seen as a major test for the Afghan government and for President Obama’s strategy to surge troops into the country. If it goes according to plan, the Taliban will lose critical source of funding, the Afghan government will gain legitimacy and Obama can claim his first real victory in a war many believe the U.S. is losing.

This has nothing to do with Barack Obama and his victories. This is one of those instances when I don’t give a damn who is President, providing we are in there to win. This is about defeating the enemy. This what the Commander In Chief is charged to do.

It’s time to kick ass and take names.

Godspeed to our heroes.

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THE “GITMO” APPROACH TO DOING THE “OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY” THING

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 7, 2010

A bit of a follow-up to my piece yesterday, “Enough With The ‘Gitmo Is A Recruiting Tool’ Crap”…

According the AFP, Al Qaeda says that last week’s suicide bombing that killed seven at a CIA base in Afghanistan was retaliation for American drone missile strikes in Pakistan.

While I obviously applaud the President for carrying out those strikes (being the slobbering, war-mongering, gun-loving, kitten-kicking ruffian I am), I can’t help but wonder …

Now that Al Qaeda has been very specific in saying what the US has done to prompt them to take their “revenge,” what will Barack Obama do? How will he react?

Will he take a page from his “I Hate Gitmo” handbook and conclude that air strikes – like the existence of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility itself – are a powerful recruiting tool for Al Qaeda?

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

If a prison for enemy combatants in the Caribbean is enough to bring in new suicidal talent to Al Qaeda Re-Up Centers, certainly full-blown missile attacks would be at least as effective in attracting fresh blood. I would think American war planes dropping bombs anywhere is a good propaganda tool for enemies of the United States, no?

Maybe we should quit the whole “dropping bombs” thing, too.

Hmmm.

There must be a way to keep the enemy in check while doing all we can to make them happy.

Man, it’s tough to be President, isn’t it?

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ENOUGH WITH THE “GITMO IS A RECRUITING TOOL” CRAP

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 6, 2010

Yesterday, the President of the United States once again blamed the existence of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for boosting Al Qaeda recruitment.

It is a devastatingly idiotic contention that makes him – and this nation – look stupid and anemic.

At the risk of coming across as an aimless bomb thrower and smear merchant, I truly have to believe that Barack Obama and his senses are no longer on a first-name basis. Despite rumors to the contrary, his ability to dabble in coherence appears to be nonexistent, almost mythical.

I sincerely mean that.

To listen to him say anything anymore is both exasperating and frustrating. With each syllable that bounces out of his pie hole, he embarrasses himself and weakens my country. With the world watching – and with America’s enemies feeling as if they’ve been left the keys to daddy’s Porsche – Barack Obama continues to master the art of clueless charisma, showcasing his inability (or unwillingness) to grasp the real world, reprimanding his own country for the creation of terrorists elsewhere.

It’s not about the bad values or evil deeds of our enemies, because Lord knows if this country only gave in a little bit more, peace could actually become a reality.

No, it’s Gitmo’s fault – which translates into being George W. Bush’s fault – that the “underwear terrorist” was this close to carrying out his mission.

I assure you, I derive no great pleasure in saying that, as a Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama has earned a photograph next to the enty for “mortifying” in the Encyclopedia Do-Nothinga.

It’s as if the realities of terrorism have been annoyances to Obama, drawing attention away from his real work, temporarily derailing his Messianic train, throwing a monkey wrench into his Messianic machine, messing up his great Messianic plan. Such inconveniences, such pests these terrorists are.

As soon as he started talking yesterday, the stomach juices started gurgling in anger. My left eye began to jump.

How on Earth can the President look at his teleprompter with a straight face and effectively bend over like the noodleheaded wartime leader he is, grabbing his ankles for the throat-cutters and suicide bombers of radical Islam, and make the imbecilic claim that Gitmo’s existence is a “recruiting tool?”

How exactly?

This is an explanation I, for one, would love to hear.

Terrorist A: “Hold on, Mohammed. They’re going to be closing that Guantanamo Bay prison.”

Terrorist B: “Praise Allah. Do you think I can get my money back on these pipes, nails and fertilizer?”

Why the hell do liberals think they have the ability to transcend the space-time continuum and make terrorists see the evil of their ways and repent?

Wasn’t the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia a “recruiting tool” as well, according to Osama Bin Ladin?

How did that withdrawal work out for us?

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, Osama Bin Ladin issued a statement in which he specifically blamed the existence of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay for an increase in the number of recruits into the ranks of Al Qaeda. And let’s say that the Yemeni division of Al Qaeda came out with their own statement saying that because of Gitmo, they’re recruitment numbers are up eighty-seven percent in the last twelve months. And what if Al Jazeera hosted a round table of Al Qaeda terror cell representatives from sixteen nations, and among the resolutions agreed upon is one that says recruitment increases among aspiring terrorists are directly attributable to the existence of Guantanamo Bay? And what if a petition that read, “You are right, President Obama … Gitmo has been our greatest recruiting tool. Love, Al Qaeda” undersigned by twenty million terrorists were presented to the Commander-in-Chief, notarized and framed?

Even if all of those things actually happened – and even if Al Qaeda opened up a recruiting office in the heart of Times Square with posters all over the windows and doors saying, “Thank you, Gitmo!” – so what?

Who cares?

What difference should it make?

Does the United States now take its cues from the enemy?

Apparently so, because the sad reality is, the President of the United States is closing Gitmo because it agitates the terrorists.

And he is not kidding.

Welcome to “hope and change” national security.

what is with the big belt, Mrs. Obama?

One can only guess the Obamacratic response if, for instance, Al Qaeda claimed tomorrow that US battleships on the open seas are provoking them to murderous actions. Or that American aircraft carriers are making their otherwise disaffected males jump up to join the ranks of the terrorist class. What if they said they were angered because we don’t do enough in this country to make Ramadan more prominent? Or that MTV drives them to slaughter infidels? Will an emergency session of President Obama’s Cabinet be called to discuss “toning things down a bit” so we aren’t so provocative?

Does the United States now take into consideration that which may or may not offend those who are at war with her?

Seriously, since when does the President of the United States concern himself with the feelings, sensitivities and concerns of Al Qaeda? Since when does the President of the United States have the audacity to blame his own nation for the actions of those sworn to slaughter innocent Americans? Since when does this country acquiesce to the butchers who would slice the throats of our President’s daughters if given the chance?

Honestly, I don’t get it.

What happens once Gitmo closes? Does Al Qaeda finally calm down a bit? Like they did after American troops withdrew from Saudi Arabia?

And if Al Qaeda announced that NBA basketball caused recruitment to jump, would the President suspend play? If the terrorists said that Rachel Maddow was to blame for the boost in new recruits, would he move to have Rachel taken off the air? And what if Osama Bin Ladin said that Michelle Obama’s big black waist belts were to blame for Al Qaeda recruitment increases, would Bammy lay down the law and tell his wife she couldn’t wear them anymore?

Hmmm..

On second thought …

One last question … if the closing of Guantanamo Bay was so critical to national security, as professed by Obamacrats across the board, shouldn’t it have been closed immediately?

As it stands now, it could be two years (or more) before it actually shuts down. That’s a long time to compromise the security of the country.

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BONEHEAD ADMINISTRATION – EXAMPLE 15997

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 6, 2009

Just when you think you’ve had your share of “You can’t make this stuff up” moments from one administration, Obamacrats turn around and top themselves. Considering the dizzying array of bungles and stumbles that Bammy and friends have regaled us with for nearly eleven electrifying months, this one is near the top of the hit parade. The words “competency” and “Obama” have, indeed, been the strangest of bedfellows since the beginning of the Messianic Age, but if this wasn’t about national security – and the lives of those serving in America’s armed forces – this would be pure comedy gold.

Back on October 8th, in a meeting with Obamacrat advisers (via video link from Kabul), General Stanley McChrystal finally got his chance to offer administration officials his reccomendations on what needed to be done in Afghanistan. It wasn’t the official National Security Council meeting with President Obama, mind you – that wasn’t scheduled until the next day – but a kind of “dress rehearsal,” to quote a phrase.

Anne E. Kornblut, Scott Wilson and Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post explain what happened next:

McChrystal began with the policy underlying his approach, established by the White House review hastily compiled in February that led to Obama’s March 27 strategy announcement and the deployment of nearly 22,000 new troops over the spring and summer.

In June, McChrystal noted, he had arrived in Afghanistan and set about fulfilling his assignment. His lean face, hovering on the screen at the end of the table, was replaced by a mission statement on a PowerPoint slide: “Defeat the Taliban. Secure the Population.”

“Is that really what you think your mission is?” one of the participants asked.

On the face of it, it was impossible — the Taliban were part of the fabric of the Pashtun belt of southern Afghanistan, culturally if not ideologically supported by a significant part of the population. “We don’t need to do that,” (Defense Secretary Robert M.) Gates said, according to a participant. “That’s an open-ended, forever commitment.”

But that was precisely his mission, McChrystal responded, and it was enshrined in the Strategic Implementation Plan — the execution orders for the March strategy, written by the NSC staff.

“I wouldn’t say there was quite a ‘whoa’ moment,” a senior defense official said of the reaction around the table. “It was just sort of a recognition that, ‘Duh, that’s what, in effect, the commander understands he’s been told to do.’ Everybody said, ‘He’s right.’ ”

“It was clear that Stan took a very literal interpretation of the intent” of the NSC document, said (National Security Adviser James L.) Jones, who had signed the orders himself. “I’m not sure that in his position I wouldn’t have done the same thing, as a military commander.” But what McChrystal created in his assessment “was obviously something much bigger and more longer-lasting . . . than we had intended.”

So let’s get this straight … the general was given an assignment – “Defeat the Taliban. Secure the Population” – and arrived in Afghanistan in June intent on meeting that goal. It was a mission crafted and assigned by this administration. It was laid out in the March Strategic Implementation Plan. It was authored by the staff of the National Security Council.

But the Obamacrats around the table that day apparently forgot that, or didn’t know, or didn’t care, or figured no one’s memory would stretch all the way back to March.

Stunning idiocy.

It was their mission statement, and yet, one of them actually had to ask the general, “Is that really what you think your mission is?”

Dumb, dumber, Obamacrats.

One of my favorite George Costanza lines, from the Seinfeld program, keeps popping up in my head: “People this stupid shouldn’t be allowed to live.”

And then, to top it all off, Jones somehow seems dumbfounded – even astounded – that a general in the United States military, charged with the task of formulating war plans and leading soldiers in battle, would actually follow the orders he was given, saying,  “Stan took a very literal interpretation of the intent.”

What the hell was he supposed to take?

A vague interpretation of the intent?

A half-assed interpretation of the intent?

A lecture-hall and academia interpretation of the intent?

Do these people not know what the United States military does?

Isn’t James L. Jones a retired Marine Corps four-star general?

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COMMANDERS TO CADETS: MAKE SOME NOISE … PLEASE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 2, 2009

Maybe he was already tired

I’m sure they tried.

They were told to make it sound good.

It couldn’t have been easy – perhaps as difficult as any task these cadets will ever face as members of the United States military, including combat. It isn’t clear whether they were blatantly disobeying orders or were simply unable to beckon the fortitude needed to fake it.

In theory, cadets shouldn’t have to be reminded to greet their own Commander-in-Chief warmly, but they were.

Maybe this pre-speech prompting is standard procedure for every President who comes to speak at the United States Military Academy. If so, it is interesting to note that the cadets had no problem whatsoever responding eagerly to George W. Bush when he spoke there.

The fact is, the audience at last night’s Afghanistan-policy speech by President Obama was a touch on the quiet side.

One or two in the audience even dozed off.

In an opinion piece from Spiegel Online, Gabor Steingart writes:

Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric — and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.

One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama’s speech would be well-received.

Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond “enthusiastically” to the speech. But it didn’t help: The soldiers’ reception was cool.

One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama’s speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

The audience’s most enthusiastic responses came toward the end of the speech when the President (somehow) managed to shift focus away from himself and the obligatory blame-Bush-for-everything gabble and actually spoke of his own country in positive terms, brief as it was.

Otherwise, Obama’s “pre-surrender” strategy drew fairly apathetic feedback.

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IMPRESSIONS OF OBAMA’S SPEECH THE NEXT DAY

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 2, 2009

Last night at West Point, with his nation at war, the world saw a man whose heart just wasn’t in what he was doing. Instead of a call to arms, Barack Obama offered a reluctant nudge. Instead of sounding like a wartime leader, he came off as a tedious academic. Instead of rallying the world behind a noble cause, he sounded like he was doing his best to put them to sleep.

Perhaps he could have used some.

The potent orator who could exhilarate the masses with his command of the electronic cue card was nowhere to be found. Instead, the world was treated to what amounted to a college lecture given by a man who either had an exhausting day at the office or was in need of a better teleprompter. It was a night where trashing George W. Bush became reflexive. It was an occassion where the word “victory” was never summoned. It was a call to battle where the nature of the enemy was largely ignored. It was a lackluster talk where what is at stake for America was never explained. More negativity was projected at his own country than at her enemies. More time was spent talking about leaving Afghanistan than in crushing the enemy there. And of course, he used the words “I” and “me” so often, he prompted hate mail from the other lesser-used pronouns.

And it only took three months to put it all together.

There was the obligatory Obama self-congratulatory rhetoric, like reminding everyone that it was he who brought the war in Iraq to a “responsible end” – something only made possible by the Iraqi surge, which he not only opposed but failed to mention last night. Of course, had he mentioned the Iraqi surge, he would have had to acknowledge its success – which means he would have had to acknowledge George W. Bush’s success.

(Some things just aren’t done, even for the sake of national security).

The President also blamed the current situation in Afghanistan on the Iraqi war – “Bush’s war,” he would have said if he only could. He also high-fived himself for the ruminative three-plus months it took to arrive at last night’s decision. After all, he said, he hadn’t seen a single plan that called for troops to be deployed before 2010 anyway.

Well, that explains that.

Indeed, as projected, Obama announced the deployment of fewer troops than had been requested by General Stanley McCrhystal – 30,000 instead of 40,000. He also called on America’s allies to step up and, presumably, help America make up the difference by committing their own soldiers to the fight. Unfortunately, it is unclear whether or not already-hesitant allies will be willing to offer up troops considering that Obama also announced his plan to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in the summer of 2011.

How’s that for a battle plan?

Nothing says “lack of commitment” quite like a withdrawal timetable.

Quite literally, the President spoke of the necessity to increase troop strength in Afghanistan only to follow in his next breath with the importance of withdrawing those same troops eighteen months later.

Consider that it will take several months to get troops into the pipeline and ramped up in Afghanistan. (It took five months in Iraq). That means that the “surge” will actually have about a year to do what it needs to do before withdrawal begins. And despite the President’s assurances that conditions on the ground will be taken into account before withdrawal actually kicks in, how realistic is it that we will be able to win the support and trust of Afghans if they believe we will start pulling out the following year? And what exactly is to keep our enemies from settling back into a “lay low and wait” position? They’ve nowhere else to go.

Keep in mind that the build-up to the 2012 presidential election will kick-off not too long after the proposed withdrawal from Afghanistan is slated to begin. What talking point could be better for a leftist candidate looking to win back his anti-war base?

I haven’t had the chance to check, but I wonder how many nations have won wars by announcing their withdrawal timetable before actually employing the war strategy.

Let me be clear, I agree with the President’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. In that respect, I back the Commander-in-Chief. I certainly back the troops. There is no question of that. Whether or not Obama’s decision actually maximizes the chances for American success is the real question.

After the first few minutes, it admittedly became a tough speech to watch.

It felt like school … and I kept sneaking out of class.

Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard said it best on Fox News last night: “I think it was one of the worst speeches I could imagine in support of the right policy decision.”

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QUICK THOUGHTS ON TONIGHT’S SPEECH

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 1, 2009

The President will finally share his Afghanistan strategy tonight in a speech from West Point. Much to the dismay of the anti-war left, Obama will not be announcing a withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Not immediately anyway.

By all accounts, the President will announce what will amount to a limited “surge” – anywhere from 30,000 to 35,000 additional troops on the ground. It will be a strategy dressed in limitations (because war strategies only work if there are pre-defined limits).

Paramount to Obama will be that in announcing the troop uptick, he sound nothing like George W. Bush.

It’s what the enemy is counting on.

I’ll rightfully save the bulk of my commentary on the matter until after he has finished speaking (so that I can pull quotes to eviscerate). There are, however, things to look out for tonight.

As a whole new batch of Americans prepare to go to war, how often do you think we will hear the word “victory” come out of the mouth of Barack Obama this evening? How will the Commander-in-Chief inspire his troops tonight as they get ready to march into battle? With the world watching, how exactly will he lead?

White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs said that tonight’s speech will “outline for the public … the cost of [Obama’s] new strategy in Afghanistan and the limits on U.S. involvement there.”

Spine tingling.

Rousing.

“You will hear the president discuss clearly that this is not open-ended,” Gibbs said. “This is about what has to be done in order to ensure that the Afghans can assume the responsibility of securing their country.”

If this is any indication of what we can expect tonight from the President, it ain’t good.

Pray tell, how was President Obama, after only mere months of contemplation, able to decide that the war was not to be an open-ended one? That’s the kind of wartime leadership they sing about around the campfire.

Apparently, dithering begats clarity.

Here’s the reality of the situation … The moment Obama uses the phrase “exit strategy” or throws in the word “timetable,” understand that he has, for all intents and purposes, conceded Afghanistan. By using tonight’s West Point speech to make it known that America will be walking away based on some pre-determined set of limitations, without ever setting victory as the objective, and only after sending in less troops than his commanders in the field asked for, he will essentially be inviting the Taliban to hold back until the coast is clear.

Remember, the surge in Iraq was as much as psychological tactic as it was a military one.

If the American will to do what it takes to win has a shelf life, the patience of our enemies will prove to be as formidable a weapon as any we are up against on the battlefield.

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SPANKING OBAMA?

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 28, 2009

Aside from those who may enjoy a hint of sadomasochism in their private lives, getting spanked from two directions is probably not something most people aspire to – not even the President of the United States (unless he is from Arkansas or Massachusetts).

Any president, obviously, expects to weather his share of open handed political slaps from the other team. It’s what politics are all about. But when a president’s own side starts promising a smack back in response to a policy decision, and it is in addition to the searing heat already coming from the opposition on the same issue, things are definitely getting hairy.

With President Obama already establishing brand new standards for lackadaisical wartime leadership, he is apparently ready to tell the world how the United States will proceed in Afghanistan. The scuttlebutt is he will announce that he is sending as many as 35,000 troops there early next year – less than the 40,000 General Stanley McChrystal requested.

And while Obama’s many months of glittering indecision has disgusted and angered conservatives (and others), the idea that he will send anyone else to Afghanistan is angering some liberals.

Stephen Clark of Fox News writes:

President Obama is days away from announcing a new Afghan strategy, but his immediate battle could come from liberals within his own party who are vowing to “spank” the president for committing tens of thousands of more troops to the eight-year conflict.

“I think there will be some disillusionment within his base,” said Paul Kawika Martin, political director for Peace Action, a grassroots organization, who added that thousands of activists are planning to protest following the president’s announcement.

“We’re going to spank him for sending more troops,” he told FoxNews.com, adding that they may also “thank him” if he announces a quick exit strategy.

The White House has said that the U.S. won’t be in Afghanistan for another eight or nine years. But that won’t satisfy liberals, Martin said.

Indeed, conservatives have criticized the President for his world-class dithering on this issue. They have hit Obama hard on his disinclination to use the word “victory.” They have excoriated him for failing to give the impression to his own troops – and the world at large – that he is determined to do what it takes to win. He has helped build an image of a weakened America throughout the world.

However, there can be little doubt that if the President asks for Republican support for this 35,000 troop surge, he will wind up getting it. They may question – with good reason – why Obama feels he has the expertise to second guess his own generals by sending in less troops than requested, but Republicans will have to support the move.

Couple those Republicans with the Dems who actually would be willing to support the measure, and the President will be left having to contend with the anti-war left who are promising to “spank” him for his decision.

I’d love someone to define that for me. (No illustrations needed).

Even though Obama’s announcement is sure to reawaken the anti-war movement, Martin said, the protests won’t be as intense as they were in the Bush era because the movement has been weakened by the economic recession — some organizations have shed up to 40 percent of staff in the past year, he said — and is distracted by the national health care debate. He also said many members of the movement voted for Obama and trust him more than the Bush administration.

“So you don’t have that same type of anger,” he said.

But without the support of congressional Democrats, Obama will find himself in the awkward position of relying on the support of Republicans who largely oppose his domestic agenda. And he may have to explain how he supports a troop surge in Afghanistan when he opposed one in Iraq two years ago.

The word “irony” comes to mind.

Remember, this is the “necessary war,” according to President Obama. It is so “necessary,” in fact, that Obama has decided to go McChrystal-light.

Bammy knows best.

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BRITISH DEFENSE MINISTER: COME ON, BAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 25, 2009

235 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan to date – 98 this year alone. Support for the war in Afghanistan continues to drop among Brits, and according to British Defense Secretary Bob Ainsworth, the reason can be summed up in two words: Barack Obama.

In ten-plus months of stunning, history-book rewriting governance, it has become clear that unless one is a tyrant, a totalitarian or a terrorist, President Obama really isn’t all that interested in diplomacy. In fact, it’s quite unlikely that even an Obama patented classic groveling bow before Gordon Brown (or Sir Paul McCartney) could make things better between the two long-time allies.

While President Obama continued, even this week, to valiantly blame every thing wrong with America – including the war in Afghanistan – on eight years of George W. Bush, Ainsworth pointed his finger at Obama.

James Kirkup, Thomas Harding and Toby Harnden of the UK Telegraph write: 

Bob Ainsworth

Mr Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban.

A “period of hiatus” in Washington – and a lack of clear direction – had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said.

Senior British Government sources have become increasingly frustrated with Mr Obama’s “dithering” on Afghanistan, the Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this month, with several former British defence chiefs echoing the concerns.

The Defence Secretary’s blunt remarks about the US threaten to strain further a transatlantic relationship already under pressure over the British release of the Lockerbie bomber and Mr Obama’s decision to snub Mr Brown at the United Nations in September.

Some who have lauded Obama’s thoughtfulness and deliberateness in coming up with a plan of action for Afghanistan claim that those who criticize his “dithering” are ill-informed partisans hell-bent on finding fault with anything he does. Bammy supporters argue that additional troops would not have been available for deployment until January anyway (according to a “senior US defense official”) so the “dithering” issue is largely irrelevant and intellectually dishonest.

But it’s a silly argument.

Whether or not troops are ready to deploy today has nothing to do with whether or not a course of action can be devised. Troop availability today has no bearing on whether or not the Commander-in-Chief of the United States armed forces can formulate a war strategy.

The argument isn’t even logical.

For example, people regularly make plans and devise strategies for their futures by setting goals (buying a house, a car, saving for a child’s education, etc.), and almost always when the funds to make those goals a reality are not in hand.

Considering the speed with which the President embarked on his multi-trillion dollar spending sprees, it’s difficult to lend legitimacy to the “Obama is just being contemplative” argument. After all, the President is obviously more than willing to increase government spending to unprecedented levels without having the funds “in hand” to do so.

So, if troops were ready to deploy today, President Obama would have already come up with a plan?

Anyone who believes that, stand on his head.

All deployments take time to organize. All battle plans need preparation. Military commanders have already hinted that it could take several months to get new troops in the pipeline. But the plan must first exist.

There is nothing in waiting months and months to announce a strategy that bodes well for Obama on this score.

Nothing.

And if, for the sake of argument, Obama’s dithering actually was based on the fact that additional troops would not be available until January, wouldn’t he – or any of his dancing Obamacrats – have cited it endlessly it as a reason for the prolonged delay? Wouldn’t the mainstream media, ever quick to give the President the benefit of any doubt, have beaten that excuse to death by now?

Ten months in, and everything is still George W. Bush’s fault.

It isn’t as if Obama is averse to passing the buck … or bowing to it.

Next week, after more than three months of deliberation, the president is expected to announce that he will send around 34,000 more troops.

Mr Ainsworth, speaking to MPs at the defence committe in the House of Commons, welcomed that troop ‘surge’ decision, but lamented the time taken to reach it.

He said that the rising British death toll, the corruption of the Afghan government and the delay in Washington all hamper efforts to retain public backing for the deployment.

“We have suffered a lot of losses,” he said. “We have had a period of hiatus while McChrystal’s plan and his requested uplift has been looked at in the detail to which it has been looked at over a period of some months, and we have had the Afghan elections, which have been far from perfect let us say.

“All of those things have mitigated against our ability to show progress… put that on the other side of the scales when we are suffering the kind of losses that we are.”

The President is having a difficult time convincing anybody that he takes the war in Afghanistan seriously.

Ainsworth – the first British minister to publicly speak up against Obama’s turtle-paced approach to prosecuting the war – is clearly not happy.

A set of holiday DVDs presented in a festive gift case ought to put him straight.

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Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Liberalism, national security, Obama Bonehead, politics, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

AFGHANISTAN CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER THE TURKEY

Posted by Andrew Roman on November 20, 2009

The President of the United States – with his nation at war – will not take any decisions on what course of action he will pursue in regard to the war in Afghanistan until after Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving.

A couple of days ago, in fact, the President said it could take several weeks before he comes up with something. No one is exactly sure what other nuggets of information need to be revealed to him before he can finally announce a plan of action there, but he said he will surely let us know.

How nice of him.

While his do-nothing Asian excursion produced no more than a few exceedingly uninteresting moments (except the bow, of course), the war in Afghanistan – being fought by real live Americans deserving of far more than the secondary and tertiary consideration they’re getting from this administration – continued its hapless flap in the political breeze. Indeed, President Obama looked good yesterday telling 1,500 military personnel on Osan Air Base that they made a “pretty good photo op,” but ultimately that’s all it was – a photo op.

There just wasn’t a whole hell of alot that was “presidential” about his visit.

The truth is, the President refuses to own this war, and as long as he can continue to take his cues from the Pathetic President’s Songbook and tie the name of George W. Bush to Afghanistan, he will.

It is sad to say so, but there isn’t an ounce of strength or assuredness coming from this man. The rest of the world sees it. America’s enemies embrace it. America’s troops are the ones paying for it.

With continued indecision comes a real cost – anxious allies, emboldened enemies, and a growing likelihood that Congressional Democrats will feel less inclined to fully back the war effort.

The President himself seems indifferent on the matter.

Yet, Obama’s passions are real. They do exist. Unfortunately, they’re not stirred by his desire to win in Afghanistan. They’re not summoned in his steadfast leadership in the war effort. In fact, he looks mostly lost and discombobulated in his role as Commander-in-Chief. Rather, what arouses him is his annoyance at being asked yet again when he plans to make a decision on Afghanistan; or the fact that from somewhere in his administration, information regarding his deliberations on Afghanistan are leaking out.

Such strength.

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