Sunday, September 27, 2009

I hate being right. -- "Obama At War With His General"

Remember this one, folks? A snippet from Tuesday's "Another play from the instruction manual Tyranny for Dummies: The Purge of the Officer Corps."

The officer corps collectively swore another oath after Vietnam, one that was personal, private and kept between themselves: "Never again." No more Vietnams. Next time the officer corps promised themselves and each other that they would resign their commissions rather than participate in political farce that got good men killed for nothing.

Even if Obama knows nothing about the military -- and he's only ever evinced an interest in defunding it as a waste of domestic program money -- General Jones, his military eminence grise has surely explained this to him.

To issue an unconstitutional order, have it refused, and then to fire a general would be very bad publicity, especially if that general speaks out. Far easier to contrive a resignation, even a mass resignation, over "policy differences." Then he can appoint whatever rubber-spined toady wearing a uniform that suits his appetite.

That's the play that's going on here, gentlemen and ladies, I'd bet my life on it.

Ruben Navarette's take on the subject.

September 27, 2009

Obama At War With His General

By Ruben Navarrette

SAN DIEGO -- You can place a top general in Afghanistan, but you can't tell him what to think.

Call that one of President Obama's first lessons as commander in chief. The person who took the president to school on that point was Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was named by Obama just a few months ago as the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan.

You would think the president would put a high value on what his commander has to say. But apparently in Obamaland the wisdom of the messenger is directly proportional to whether the White House wants to heed the message. And there seems to be a lot that McChrystal wants to say that the White House isn't ready to hear.

According to McClatchy Newspapers, military officials in Kabul and Washington say that the White House and Pentagon over the last six weeks had issued directives telling McChrystal not to submit a specific request for an increase in U.S. forces; the general is said to want as many as 45,000 additional troops. The administration isn't ready to consider that option. Instead, McChrystal sent his 66-page report last month to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. As everyone knows by now, the general concluded that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan "will likely result in failure" without a new strategy and an urgent infusion of troops. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, both backed that assessment.

Obama's own arguments about what to do in Afghanistan have not been very persuasive. Not even to himself. In March, he declared that the United States would prevent the return of the Taliban and "enhance the military, governance and economic capacity" of Afghanistan in order to help prevent al-Qaeda from returning and once again using the country as a launching pad for further attacks against the United States. But now the president seems to be backing off from his own hard line. On CBS' "Face the Nation," Obama said that "the only reason I send a single young man or woman in uniform anywhere in the world is because I think it's necessary to keep us safe. ... We're not gonna put the cart before the horse and just think by sending more troops (to Afghanistan) we're automatically going to make Americans safe."

So what's changed? The administration has been floating this line that with the integrity of the recent Afghan election in doubt, we can't be sure we have a reliable partner in Kabul.

Yet what seems to be a reversal on Afghanistan has little to do with a foreign election. This is about politics here at home.

Polls show that Americans have lost their appetite for continuing the fight in Afghanistan. A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found only 39 percent of Americans favor the war -- an all-time low -- and 58 percent are opposed to it.

And then there's the health care debate, which has worsened the relationship between Congress and the White House and stirred up a sizable amount of public discontent toward the administration. This has made it difficult for the White House to convince Americans to sign on to anything.

So no matter what Obama said in the spring, it is no surprise that many White House advisers including Vice President Joe Biden are looking for a way to leave Afghanistan. That would be a grave mistake, and an abdication of Obama's duty to keep Americans safe by preventing more acts of terrorism. More than a clumsy flip-flop on policy, it would also be an outright betrayal of the military leaders that he put in charge of the operation in Afghanistan.

According to McClatchy, some members of McChrystal's staff said they don't understand why Obama called Afghanistan a "war of necessity" but still hasn't given them the resources they need to do what is necessary.

Good question. We should all be asking the same thing.

And at least three officers at the Pentagon and in Kabul told McClatchy that McChrystal would probably resign rather than co-sign a failed policy that puts U.S. troops in danger.

McChrystal is in a tough spot. When he isn't fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, he has to combat ignorance and cowardice on the Potomac. The general might have to end his career over this. But he shouldn't back down -- not when strong leaders are in such short supply.


jon said...

well, $400/barrel oil sustained for a week or two and afghanistan is over -- and every last man there is stranded, while the SPR keeps the lights on and the A/C pumping at the state department.

funny how the military are allegedly the most valuable americans, yet keeping them safe is essentially of no concern to a politician, and keeping them here -- to dissuade said politicians from ever doing the idiotic things which make america hated by terrorists in the first place -- doesn't seem to be the order of the day from the people, either.

if the general knew what he was doing, he'd bring 45,000 to the potomac, and cross it.

AvgJoe said...

Obama is going to damage everything about this country that's American the way we know it.
Right now unemployment for young Americans between the ages of 18 through 24 is over 54 percent. This is an outright attack on the youth of America who many will fall into the trap of feeling hopelessness. Yet Obama and his jack offs at the white house are going to drive off shore more businesses that are currently employing the other 46 percent.
Frankly, the moron/Obama is attacking America on every front and everyone is caught in his net. Its only going to get a lot worse and the suffering is no where near as bad now as its going to get.
To blame one only needs to go to the main stream media for promoting Obama during the last election and not doing their job as they should be under the First Amendment. So the media dumb down the people with half truths and bold faced lies and here we are. A country that is failing in every sector and it suffering has only started.
We will see what happens with the military but I can tell you this. The guys who get out and can't find any work are still in contact with the buddies whom are still enlisted. So will these guys follow orders knowing that they will have no jobs and no money and more than likely no place to live if they leave the service? I can't help wondering if the high unemployment rate is to force our young into the military and keep them there for reasons many feel is not in the best interest of the citizens in due time.

milkorder said...

Don't blame Obama. He never hid his intentions and we knew(know) the crowd he belonged(s) to. Even the great Ronald Reagan signed into law anti 2A legislation.

BLAME WE THE PEOPLE. NFA 34 GCA 68. We have let the tyrant push for way to long. The only way to stop the Federal Gov. is to stop funding it. We are funding their power grab. They are enslaving us and we keep giving them more money. We have to take a stand to protect OUR property and that is what my rifle is for.

The III% is the minority that should decide the future of this country. After all we have the Constitution on our side.

Gunner said...

What I want to know is what is the envisioned state of affairs in Afghanistan is supposed to be when this is all over. What are the goals/objectives/aims of the US government in 'Stan and how are they supposed to be achieved?

strandediniowa said...

A Michael Ramirez cartoon at Black and Right is probably what many think over there.

straightarrow said...

I have a really great idea. Obama fancies himself a persuasive orator who cannot be resisted. He believes he can charm anyone into anything.

Ok, I vote for that. Let's all believe it. But, there's always a butt (Obama) isn't there? While we tell his narcississtic ass that we believe it too, let's urge him to take Biden, Pelosi, and Reid to Afghanistan, get in a Humvee and drive out into the hills so that he may persuade the Taliban to come to peace terms.

He will, of course, need to travel without his security detail, since that would only suggest that he did not come in peace.

At the conclusion of the "talks" I think all sides will be happier, don't you?

Jesse M. said...

Hmmm- need I really say what we are all thinking?

london said...

It just a waste of money and time both...

Happy D said...

White House advisers including Vice President Joe Biden are looking for a way to leave Afghanistan.

Let's see we leave Afghanistan handing the Talibans a victory, secure operating and training bases, and more resources. I seem to recall this plan turning out badly about eight years ago.
If we withdrawal we better burn the place down on the way out. On the up side I don't live near the big targets. The big targets being major hopey changey population centers.
I seem to say this a lot lately.