Posts Tagged ‘Bush’s general’

Critical Failure Overload: Which Obama Failure Should We Focus On?

June 30, 2010

There seems to be a genius to Obama’s incompetence.  He is failing on so many levels, in so many ways, all at the same time, that nobody can possibly keep track of them all.

Which means, paradoxically, that the more failures Obama accumulates, the better he looks, as coverage of all the failure is dissipated such that nothing receives the focus it needs to penetrate the American culture of distraction.

A few days ago, the media hailed Obama’s firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacement by Gen. David Petraeus as a magnificent act of presidential leadership and decision-making.  Let’s not mention that the same figures on the left who were hailing Petraeus yesterday were demonizing him when Bush appointed him to take control over the Iraq War and the surge strategy that won that war.

Obama is turning to Bush’s general and Bush’s Secretary of Defense in order to overcome the failure created by utterly failed Democrat Party ideas.

Chief among those utterly failed Democrat ideas is the timetable for cut-and-run.  Democrats wanted to impose this guaranteed-to-fail strategy for Iraq, but Bush prevailed and won the war.  Now they want to make sure we lose in Afghanistan, as Afghans who want to stay alive realize who will still be there a year from now (i.e., the Taliban), and who won’t (i.e., the United States), and that they’d better not ally themselves with their “timetable for withdrawal” all-too-temporary American allies.

We find that the July 2011 timetable for withdrawal was a purely political decision that had no military justification or support whatsoever.

Of course, the failure in Afghanistan comes as a welcome relief to day 72 of the even bigger failure in the Gulf of Mexico.

The leftwing media is essentially shouting, “Hey, take your eye off that total failure over there on the Gulf Coast.  Look over here!!!  Obama fired a guy that pricked his thin-skin and appointed Bush’s general to save his liberal ass.  And he gave a speech!!!  Don’t waste your time thinking about the fact that BP took the cap off the leaking hole so that 104,000 gallons of oil per hour could pour out of the sea floor.  Don’t look at the possibility that as much as 4.2 million gallons of oil are pouring out of that damn hole Obama can’t plug every single day!!!

Come on!  Obama’s got Bush’s general now!!!  The one whom Obama and every other Democrat demonized three years ago while he was winning in Iraq!!!”

Well, go ahead and take a look at how terribly Obama is failing in Afghanistan.  Look at how Obama doubled Bush’s last body count in 2009, and how he is now on pace to double his own doubling of Bush’s body count this year.  Look at how terrible a job Obama is doing mismanaging the various top-level civilian and military personnel who are clearly not on the same page with one another as personal fiefdoms rather than the mission dominate (see also here).  The divisions – which underscore that Obama’s entire Afghanistan plan is in freefall – aren’t pretty.  And don’t forget to look at the fact that “Those divisions are of Obama’s own making, stemming from his lack of leadership and failure to make a firm commitment to victory in Afghanistan.”

While you’re at it, take a look at the fact that, by the standards Democrats used to attack Bush in 2004, Barack Hussein is the worst president in American history bar none.

The Obama-failure in Afghanistan is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico.  And the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the economy.

Look at the fact that a full year and a half later, jobless claims continue to go up “sharply.” Look at the fact that new home sales have plunged to the lowest level ever recorded.   Look at the fact that that disaster followed the news that Obama’s mortgage modification program had officially imploded.  And look at the fact that bank foreclosures have doubled under Obama’s “wreckovery.”

One in four homeowners are underwater in their mortgages, and are increasingly just bailing out and walking away from their responsibilities in Obama’s God-damn-America.  Consumer confidence is down dramatically.    And oil prices are way down for the very bad reason that our economy is in such bad shape no one can afford to go anywhere.  And, of course, our stock market just took a very cold bath yesterday.

Where are we supposed to look to see an area in which Obama HASN’T failed?

Look at everything, if you have time to contemplate all the failure that Obama has brought.  But don’t be distracted from taking time to watch the spill cam footage every day, or following the latest tracking of Obama’s oil spill and its contamination of the Gulf Coast, or following the Obama-regime-caused inability to clean up the mess.

As you watch the daily disaster unfolding, don’t forget to remember that Obama is the guy running the show.  Or that the show looks like a chicken running around after its head has been cut off

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Rolling Stone Broke Journalistic Ethics In Publishing McChrystal Remarks

June 27, 2010

It’s ironic.  Barack Obama said that Gen. Stan McChrystal showed “poor judgment” in his comments to Rolling Stone.

I can’t disagree.  But I would hasten to add that he showed even worse judgment in his vote for president.

And now Obama is firing probably the only senior general in the US military who had the terrible judgment to vote for him.

We can breathe easy.  Now that the pro-Obama general is gone, we have Bush’s general running the war to go along with Bush’s Secretary of State running the military.

It appears that we have – in the case of Rolling Stone devouring Gen. McChrystal – yet another case of liberals eating one of their own.

And we have yet another case demonstrating that liberals and legitimate journalism simply do not mix.

That said, let’s see what integrity Rolling Stone threw away in order to have its “gotcha! moment”:

Rolling Stone broke rules over Stanley McChrystal interview
By Toby Harnden World Last updated: June 26th, 2010

So now we know. It is mind-bogglingly inexplicable why this is only emerging now (though I have one theory on that – see below) but it turns out that Rolling Stone did not run all its quotations past McChrystal’s staff as their editor said they did. The general’s staff now say that all the offensive quotations were clearly off the record. So far from this being “terrific journalism” as my colleague Harry Mount put it, the Rolling Stone piece now looks much more like a disgrace to the profession.

I say mind-boggling because if McChrystal’s staff had come out with this in the first few hours of the furore on Tuesday morning then the entire narrative of the week would have changed and the general might very well still be in his job today.

My hunch as to why it didn’t come out earlier? Basically, because McChrystal is an honourable man who thought it would be unseemly to quibble about the details. There could have been a tactical element to that, certainly – perhaps he or his staff calculated that trying to wriggle out of things would not be viewed kindly by Obama and that it could have fuelled a row with Rolling Stone that might have made things worse (if so, how wrong they were).

Politico has a list of the 30 fact-checking questions submitted. The most interesting one is number 30 in which Rolling STone asks whether McChrystal did indeed vote for Obama. The reponse – irony of ironies – was this:

IMPORTANT — PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE THIS — THIS IS PERSONAL AND PRIVATE INFORMATION AND UNREALTED TO HIS JOB. IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE TO SHARE. MY REASON FOR THIS IS IT WOULD PRESENT AN UNDUE COMMAND INFLLUENCE ON JUNIOR OFFICERS OR SOLDIERS WHO SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN POLITICAL DECISIONS. THERE ARE VERY STRICT RULES IN THE MILITARY ON SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE ON THIS SORT OF STUFF – HAVE TO KEEP OUT OF POLITICAL PREFERENCE AND PERSONAL CHOICE.

But, of course, they left it in. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Rolling Stone did not care a hoot about the agreed journalistic ground rules or about McChrystal. They were out to get him and get him they did.

This is sadly all history now and nothing can change Obama’s decision. But it would be interesting to know if anyone in the White House even inquired into whether the profane and juvenile quotations about civilian officials were really on the record or if they just took Rolling Stone’s word for it.

If they didn’t, think about what this means: the Obama administration accepts the word of a counter-culture magazine and doesn’t even bother to check with the four-star general commanding 100,000 troops in wartime whose career the magazine is seeking to destroy.

We can endlessly speculate whether the Fool-in-Chief was right in canning his record-setting second general.  We can’t know for sure whether Obama canned McChrystal because he is at heart a vain, arrogant, petty, thin-skinned, vindictive man – as I listed as the reasons in predicting that Obama would fire McChrystal – or rather because there truly was some better reason.

What we DO know is that when one actually reads the Rolling Stone article, there really wasn’t a whole lot of “there” there.  The very worse thing McChrystal’s staff did was to reveal that Obama’s civilian leadership team in Afghanistan were in complete chaos.  It does seem that nothing can be worse in the Obama administration than telling the truth.  But that’s where we are.

Liberals in the mainstream media hailed the firing of Stanley McChrystal as though it were the most brilliant and courageous act of presidential leadership in world history.  It wasn’t.  It was a sad and tragic situation – even if Obama did the right thing.

The best thing that will come from this change is likely this: that General David Petraeus will change General McChrystal’s godawful rules of engagement and actually give the soldiers and Marines under his command the ability to carry the fight to the enemy.

What Do McChrystal And BP Have In Common – Aside From Fact That Both Were Democrat Supporters?

June 26, 2010

The following article by Mark Steyn is brilliant.  My title isn’t an accurate summary of Steyn’s point (but maybe it got you to read an article you otherwise wouldn’t have read!).

It is certainly beyond hilarious that pro-Obama Democrat Stanley McChrystal and pro-Obama BP are now on the outs in a cloud of self-destruction, while George Bush’s Secretary of Defense and George Bush’s general have been called upon to save the day.

But the real meat of the article gets to the heart of one issue: Barack Obama is an empty suit who stands for nothing beyond self-promoting Barack Obama.

Published: June 25, 2010
Updated: 10:57 a.m.
Learning the rules of an unengaged president
By MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

What do Gen. McChrystal and British Petroleum have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re both Democratic Party supporters.

Or they were. Stanley McChrystal is a liberal who voted for Obama and banned Fox News from his HQ TV. Which may at least partly explain how he became the first U.S. general to be lost in combat while giving an interview to Rolling Stone: They’ll be studying that one in war colleges around the world for decades. The management of BP were unable to vote for Obama, being, as we now know, the most sinister duplicitous bunch of shifty Brits to pitch up offshore since the War of 1812. But, in their “Beyond Petroleum” marketing and beyond, they signed on to every modish nostrum of the eco-Left. Their recently retired chairman, Lord Browne, was one of the most prominent promoters of cap-and-trade. BP was the Democrats’ favorite oil company. They were to Obama what Total Fina Elf was to Saddam.

But what do McChrystal’s and BP’s defenestration tell us about the president of the United States? Barack Obama is a thin-skinned man and, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, White House aides indicated that what angered the president most about the Rolling Stone piece was “a McChrystal aide saying that McChrystal had thought that Obama was not engaged when they first met last year.” If finding Obama “not engaged” is now a firing offense, who among us is safe?

Only the other day, Florida Sen. George Lemieux attempted to rouse the president to jump-start America’s overpaid, overmanned and oversleeping federal bureaucracy and get it to do something on the oil debacle. There are 2,000 oil skimmers in the United States: Weeks after the spill, only 20 of them are off the coast of Florida. Seventeen friendly nations with great expertise in the field have offered their own skimmers; the Dutch volunteered their “super-skimmers”: Obama turned them all down. Raising the problem, Sen. Lemieux found the president unengaged, and uninformed. “He doesn’t seem to know the situation about foreign skimmers and domestic skimmers,” reported the senator.

He doesn’t seem to know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t seem to care that he doesn’t care. “It can seem that at the heart of Barack Obama’s foreign policy is no heart at all,” wrote Richard Cohen in The Washington Post last week. “For instance, it’s not clear that Obama is appalled by China’s appalling human-rights record. He seems hardly stirred about continued repression in Russia.

The president seems to stand foursquare for nothing much.

“This, of course, is the Obama enigma: Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?”

Gee, if only your newspaper had thought to ask those fascinating questions oh, say, a month before the Iowa caucuses.

And even today Cohen is still giving President Whoisthisguy a pass.

After all, whatever he feels about “China’s appalling human-rights record” or “continued repression in Russia,” Obama is not directly responsible for it. Whereas the U.S. and allied deaths in Afghanistan are happening on his watch – and the border villagers killed by unmanned drones are being killed at his behest. Cohen calls the president “above all, a pragmatist,” but with the best will in the world you can’t stretch the definition of “pragmatism” to mean “lack of interest.”

“The ugly truth,” wrote Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, “is that no one in the Obama White House wanted this Afghan surge. The only reason they proceeded was because no one knew how to get out of it.”

Well, that’s certainly ugly, but is it the truth? Afghanistan, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the Democrats’ war, the one they allegedly supported, the one the neocons’ Iraq adventure was an unnecessary distraction from. Granted the Dems’ usual shell game – to avoid looking soft on national security, it helps to be in favor of some war other than the one you’re opposing – Candidate Obama was an especially ripe promoter. In one of the livelier moments of his campaign, he chugged down half a bottle of Geopolitical Viagra and claimed he was hot for invading Pakistan.

Then he found himself in the Oval Office, and the dime-store opportunism was no longer helpful. But, as Friedman puts it, “no one knew how to get out of it.” The “pragmatist” settled for “nuance”: He announced a semisurge plus a date for withdrawal of troops to begin. It’s not “victory,” it’s not “defeat,” but rather a more sophisticated mélange of these two outmoded absolutes: If you need a word, “quagmire” would seem to cover it.

Hamid Karzai, the Taliban and the Pakistanis, on the one hand, and Britain and the other American allies heading for the check-out, on the other, all seem to have grasped the essentials of the message, even if Friedman and the other media Obammyboppers never quite did. Karzai is now talking to Islamabad about an accommodation that would see the most viscerally anti-American elements of the Taliban back in Kabul as part of a power-sharing regime. At the height of the shrillest shrieking about the Iraqi “quagmire,” was there ever any talk of hard-core Saddamite Baathists returning to government in Baghdad?

To return to Cohen’s question: “Who is this guy? What are his core beliefs?” Well, he’s a guy who was wafted ever upward – from the Harvard Law Review to state legislator to United States senator – without ever lingering long enough to accomplish anything. “Who is this guy?” Well, when a guy becomes a credible presidential candidate by his mid-40s with no accomplishments other than a couple of memoirs, he evidently has an extraordinary talent for self-promotion, if nothing else. “What are his core beliefs?” It would seem likely that his core belief is in himself. It’s the “nothing else” that the likes of Cohen are belatedly noticing.

Wasn’t he kind of unengaged by the health care debate? That’s why, for all his speeches, he could never quite articulate a rationale for it. In the end, he was happy to leave it to the Democratic Congress and, when his powers of persuasion failed, let them ram it down the throats of the American people through sheer parliamentary muscle.

Likewise, on Afghanistan, his attitude seems to be “I don’t want to hear about it.” Unmanned drones take care of a lot of that, for a while. So do his courtiers in the media: Did all those hopeychangers realize that Obama’s war would be run by Bush’s defense secretary and Bush’s general?

Hey, never mind: the Moveon.org folks have quietly removed their celebrated “General Betray-us” ad from their website. Cindy Sheehan, the supposed conscience of the nation when she was railing against Bush from the front pages, is an irrelevant kook unworthy of coverage when she protests Obama. Why, a cynic might almost think the “anti-war” movement was really an anti-Bush movement, and that they really don’t care about dead foreigners after all. Plus ça change you can believe in, plus c’est la même chose.

Except in one respect. There is a big hole where our strategy should be.

It’s hard to fight a war without war aims, and, in the end, they can only come from the top. It took the oil spill to alert Americans to the unengaged president. From Moscow to Tehran to the caves of Waziristan, our enemies got the message a lot earlier – and long ago figured out the rules of unengagement.

Too bad we elected a president who has a narcissism complex where his conscience should be and a vacuum where his soul should be.