Posts Tagged ‘delayed’

Obama Vs. McChrystal: Whether Obama Fires His General Or Not, He’s Still Weak And No Longer In Control

June 23, 2010

This article from the official unofficial newspaper of the military hits a few nails on the head:

McChrystal forces Obama into a no-win situation
By Leo Shane III
Stars and Stripes
Published: June 22, 2010

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama faces two grim choices on Wednesday: Fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal and risk looking like he’s lost control of the war in Afghanistan. Or keep him and risk looking like he’s lost control of his generals.

Even before McChrystal’s very public slap at his boss surfaced on Monday night, the White House was already bristling at the perception that the war in Afghanistan was becoming unwinnable.

The decisive military offensive to clear the strategic town of Marjah has foundered. Another, bigger offensive to drive the Taliban from its home turf in Kandahar has been delayed. U.S. casualties are rising in a war that ranks as America’s longest, surpassing the grim milestone of 1,000 dead earlier this month. Corrupt warlords and Taliban militants are pocketing tens of millions in U.S. aid.

Now Obama must add a new crisis to that daunting list
: The commander he handpicked to win the Afghanistan war allowed a reporter for Rolling Stone to embed with him and his closest staff for a month, offering up a series of incendiary and embarrassing comments about the president and his war cabinet.

If he fires McChrystal, Obama will enjoy the dubious distinction of being the only president in modern U.S. history to sack two wartime commanders in a little more than a year. Last May, Gen. David McKiernan was relieved of post commanding the Afghan war effort after the White House and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “fresh eyes” were needed to find a more successful path forward.

On Capitol Hill, where last week key lawmakers from both parties peppered Gates and Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus with probing questions about the course of the Afghan war, leaders praised McChrystal’s work but simultaneously blasted his decision to speak with Rolling Stone.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other key Senate Armed Services members issued a statement calling McChrystal’s comments “inappropriate and inconsistent with the traditional relationship between Commander-in-Chief and the military.”

Retired Navy vice admiral Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., said that military officers have a responsibility to speak bluntly, but “you say that privately and keep it behind closed doors.”

But Rep. David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and a key liberal voice in the House, called McChrystal’s comments “contemptuous of his civilian superiors” and demanded his resignation. CBS News later reported that McChrystal had offered a letter of resignation.

“His comments, and those of his subordinates, dismissing the President, the Vice-President, Gen. (James) Jones, Ambassador (Karl) Eikenberry, and Richard Holbrooke suggests that Gen. McChrystal is locked into an ‘everybody is wrong but me’ approach to the world,” Obey said.

Still, most congressmen stopped short of calling for McChrystal’s dismissal, saying instead that the tone and sincerity of his apology after Wednesday’s meeting with Obama would determine his future role.

Daniel Goure, vice president of the conservative Lexington Institute, said the reason for that is simple.

“To put anyone else in charge right now would be a disaster,” Goure said.

Goure said the Rolling Stone article doesn’t quite amount to a Truman/MacArthur moment, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur was sacked over his public opposition to President Harry Truman’s strategy in the Korean War. The most damning comments in the article come from McChrystal’s advisers, Goure noted, and at least one of those staffers has already been fired for his involvement with the piece.

Regardless, Goure said, no other American figure has the clout with Afghan president Hamid Karzai or the knowledge of the counterinsurgency strategy to succeed in Afghanistan.

But the liberal group VoteVets.org said McChrystal must be fired for disrespecting the chain of command.

Brian Katulis, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said the article could easily be used as Taliban propaganda, revealing infighting among U.S. leaders and a lack of real concern for the Afghan people.

“He’s supposed to be leading efforts to win the hearts and minds over there,” Katulis said. “This article doesn’t help.”

Obama already is suffering from dwindling support for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. A Gallup poll released earlier this year showed that more than a third of voters believe it was a mistake to send U.S. troops into Afghanistan. A Pew Research Center poll released earlier this month showed a drop in confidence in Obama’s foreign policy decisions, both among Americans (down 9 percent) and in European and Middle East countries
.

Will Obama fire McChrystal?  No info yet as I type these words.  I feel he probably will – not because it’s the right or even the best thing to do, but simply because Obama is a vain, arrogant, petty, thin-skinned, vindictive man.  Would such a man tend to keep or replace a man who had offended him, irregardless of how necessary that man is to the war effort?

Obama might possibly realize that he will look a lot worse in the long run if his war in Afghanistan tanks and even more American-flag-draped caskets start coming home, and that keeping McChrystal in the job is in his own best interests.  But the money’s got to be on the most thin-skinned president in history setting the record for sacking the most generals in modern history.

If Obama doesn’t fire McChrystal – who is widely viewed in the establishment as the best general to carry out the war in Afghanistan – it will amount to the first time Obama ever put anything else above his image.  I would applaud him for such a milestone, but after a year and a half, well, come ON.

Rep. David Obey characterizes McChrystal’s view as suggesting “that Gen. McChrystal is locked into an ‘everybody is wrong but me’ approach to the world.”  Untrue.  It’s merely an “everybody in the Obama administration is wrong but me” approach.  And that doesn’t seem to be such an unrealistic mindset, given the fact that Obama has been so utterly wrong in absolutely every single sphere he’s acted in.

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If You Support Obama, Please Quit Driving, Traveling, Or Using Most Household Products

June 4, 2010

Barack Obama took more money from British Petroleum than any politician over a twenty year period.  In spite of the fact that he had only been in national politics for less than three years.  Barack Obama’s administration approved the project and granted the permit for the doomed BP drilling site.  Barack Obama’s administration helped quash environmental problems and issued an environmental waiver to BP at said doomed site only days before the disaster.  Barack Obama failed to take the disaster seriously and delayed serious action for weeks, fiddling with fundraisers, golf outings, and vacations while the Gulf went to hell.  The Obama administration has continued to delay and waste time pursuing the dotting of the i’s and the crossing of the t’s regarding mindless bureaucratic inanities.

Obama is rather like Oliver Hardy blaming British Petroleum like it was Stan Laurel: “Well, that’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!”  But the fact is that Obama was up to his eyeballs in this mess from the inception.

One example of the time-wasting bureaucratic idiocy that is so characteristic of shockingly poor leadership was the sand berms that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal demanded.  Jindal spent weeks urging the federal government to construct sand berms that would protect the coastland and the vital marshes from oil seepage, but ran into one federal government delay after another.  He wanted some two dozen temporary berms, but the federal government dithered and then dithered some more.  Eventually the feds said they would allow six such berms.  And would only pay for one.  And that they wouldn’t allow any construction until after an environmental impact study.  While lethal oil began to contaminate the coastlands and marshes.

“It is clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here,” Gov. Jindal said.  “Oil sits and waits for cleanup, and every day that it waits for cleanup more of our marsh dies.”

44 days after the disaster, Obama graciously allowed Louisiana to construct six berms.  You know, the-build-a-barn-after-the-horses-left thing.

Jon Stewart absolutely skewered Obama’s incompetence by playing videos in which Obama vows “not to rest” until he solves the BP disaster, intermixed with video footage of all the useless garbage he’s been up to.

Jon Stewart link 1

Jon Stewart link 2

And then there’s the “never let a good crisis go to waste” thing.  Obama has handled this crisis more as a political problem than a national disaster from the outset.  And in Barack Obama’s brand of politics, you demagogue and you pander to leftist special interests.  And thus:

Obama: US must end its dependence on fossil fuels
3:16 PM on 06/02/2010
JULIE PACE, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Seizing on a disastrous oil spill to advance a cause, President Barack Obama on Wednesday called on Congress to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil and pass a clean-energy bill that he says would help the nation end its dependence on fossil fuels.

Obama predicted that he would find the political support for legislation that would dramatically alter the way Americans fuel their homes and cars, including placing a price on carbon pollution, even though such legislation is politically divisive and remains bogged in the Senate.

“The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months,” Obama told an audience at Carnegie Mellon University. “I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can, and I will work with anyone to get this done. And we will get it done.”

Obama said the country’s continuing dependence on fossil fuels “will jeopardize our national security, it will smother our planet and will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk.” […]

“The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future,” the president said. […]

Obama also used the speech to lash out at Republicans with partisan rhetoric, saying they have mostly “sat on the sidelines and shouted from the bleachers” as he’s tried to restore the economy.

And thus Obama, who couldn’t be more responsible for this disaster without being the guy who blew up the platform, resorts to his constant stream of demagogic bullcrap.  It’s those Republicans who are responsible, you know: “The fact that I took all that BP campaign money, and then paid BP back by securing environmental waivers, and then paid BP back some more by letting BP broadcast the message that everything was under control and it was just a minor technical problem, nothing to worry about, is beside the point.  Republicans are evil, and they are to blame for everything.”

Mind you, Obama doesn’t have anything even close to a consistent energy position; to have that, he’d have to be an actual leader rather than a mere politically opportunistic demagogue.  Thus only a couple of months ago Obama was the one who ENDED the ban on offshore drilling (hint: not Bush):

From NPR, March 31, 2010:

President Obama announced the end of a decades-old ban on oil and gas drilling along much of the U.S. Atlantic coast and northern Alaska on Wednesday, as part of an effort to reduce foreign imports and win support for an energy and climate bill.

Then we had the Gulf of Mexico disaster, and suddenly “the end of a decades-old ban” suddenly became a brand new ban.  And the politician who accepted more BP-bribe money than anybody is suddenly shooting out demagoguery onto the airwaves the way that damn hole keeps shooting out oil into the ocean.

It’s not like Obama is an actual leader who needs a consistent policy; rather, he’s a pandering constantly-in-campaign-mode weasel who will say or do anything to gain a momentary political advantage.

And, of course, Obama also demonized oil companies.  Not just British Petroleum, the one actually responsible for paying Obama all those campaign contributions and creating the disaster, but ALL oil companies.  Because oil is as evil as Republicans.  And Democrats want to stop oil at all costs.

Forget the fact that this disaster was caused by Democrats who kept pushing oil companies further and further away from shore, into more and more and more dangerous conditions, until a disaster was inevitable.  Every single Democrat who has helped stopped oil drilling on the coastal shelf or – better yet, on our land – is partly to blame for this disaster.

Unless you don’t think we need oil.

But if you don’t think we need oil, the stop the hell using it.

Let me just put it this way: if you support Barack Obama, quit traveling.  Do not drive your car, do not take the bus, do not fly, do not get on a boat.  Because it’s finally time that you were consistent: ending oil means no oil.  So don’t use it.

Go to this site and make sure you don’t use any of the household products that contain oil, too.

My advice to you Democrats is just to move out of your house with all those evil oil products and live in a hole.  Don’t use a shovel to dig your hole – because it was made using oil – just scratch at the dirt with your fingernails.

Turn off your computer, too.  Because it’s got oil products, too.

And just climb in that damn hole and stay there.

Heck, maybe we could plug the hole in the Gulf with Democrats and have the best of all possible worlds.