After Two Months of Contemplation, Obama Decides on Bush Strategy in Afghanistan
.. that’s kinda what happened.. except President Obama decided to break another campaign promise. Remember as he was running for president then-senator Obama promised to “listen to the generals on the ground” for war strategy? (http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/obama/839220,obamaweb031208.article) For my money, he’s done nothing less than ignore what his hand-picked general in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has asked for. McChrystal offered three options to how to better go forward in winning in Afghanistan. 1st option was some increase in troops — but, no specific number was put on it, second option was a surge of 40,000 (this was widely known to be McChrystal’s preference), third option was more than 60,000 more troops (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/09/troop-request-exceeds/). For some reason, this president decided to go with 30,000 more and took time in his speech to remind us about how wonderful the Muslim faith is. He also took time to remind us of the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression” (a lie he continues to get away with saying. Again, this is revisionist history which completely glosses over the Carter administration). He reminded us of what he got when he was inaugurated and how we took our eyes off the ball in America and how we damaged all of our international relationships by going into Iraq. He reminded us of how he opposed Iraq — which he never had to take an official stand on as he wasn’t a US Senator when the vote to give then-president Bush the authority to move on Baghdad was taken. He also reminded us of what he’s done for the majority of this first year in office. He’s been travelling around the world fixing those damaged relationships. I can’t tell if he’s delusional or if he thinks if he says it, we’ll believe it. He contradicted his powers as Commander in Chief by saying no increase in troops was delayed as he took the time to come to a decision on what to do about Afghanistan — and then later saying — “If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.” He can do that — but, he couldn’t increase the troops as immediately? Huh? Many wondered how the president will pay for the increase. He kind of addressed that while offering the fantasy that he’s somehow bringing down the deficit, “Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year, and I’ll work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit.” Huh? How are congress and the president ‘working to bring the deficit down’ again? Did you notice as I did how the president referenced his visit to Dover as flag-draped caskets were brought home? Finally, I know why he went there. So he could mention it in this speech. A couple of general observations : How many in the big media do you think will call the president out for delivering this speech at West Point which was obviously a photo op? I wonder if those who bashed Bush over the aircraft carrier will question this setting. It would have more appropriate for this president to offer this decision from the Oval Office. And, when the president looked into the camera and spoke directly to the Afghan people, how many there do you think have TVs and were gathered around to take in the message? It was political theater again.. and our president, I’m sorry to report, is little more than a B actor. The only decision this president seems to have taken two months to make on Afghanistan is the same decision his predecessor made on Iraq. Surge, win the hearts and minds and stabalize the country. but, what do I know? Comments?