Posts Tagged ‘fatalities’

Obama Keeps Air-Raiding Villages And Killing Civilians

February 23, 2010

During the campaign, Obama attacked George Bush’s Afghanistan policy saying:

“We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.”

So the question is, why is the man who demagogued George Bush for air-raiding villages and killing civilians air-raiding villages and killing civilians?

KABUL — American-led efforts to avert civilian deaths in the war against the Taliban suffered a new blow over the weekend when a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed about two dozen civilians.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head of coalition forces in Afghanistan, sought to contain outrage Monday for the attack by delivering a personal apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He conceded, however, that the attack Sunday was likely to shake public confidence in his pledge to minimize civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

“We are extremely saddened by the tragic loss of innocent lives,” McChrystal’s statement said. “I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission. We will redouble our efforts to regain that trust.”

Sunday’s airstrike was the second in a week to kill Afghan civilians. A week earlier, U.S. Marines killed 12 Afghans during the ongoing offensive in the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in southern Afghanistan.

Sunday’s strike hit a three-vehicle convoy of civilians in a remote part of the country. There were conflicting estimates of the death toll. The Afghan Council of Ministers said that 27 civilians — including four women and a child — had been killed, while the local police chief said 21 had died. Two others were missing, he said.

The fact of the matter, for all of Obama’s demagogic rhetoric, is that civilians deaths are up significantly in Afghanistan since Mr. “air-raiding villages and killing civilians” took over the war.

Obama owes Bush a profound apology.

Obama is killing more civilians than Bush ever did in spite of the most perverse and self-defeating rules of engagement ever to be used by any military in the history of warfare:

MARJAH, Afghanistan (AP) — Some American and Afghan troops say they’re fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.

“I understand the reason behind it, but it’s so hard to fight a war like this,” said Lance Cpl. Travis Anderson, 20, of Altoona, Iowa. “They’re using our rules of engagement against us,” he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.

If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon — or if they did not personally watch him drop one.

What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can’t count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.

Obama is so concerned with preventing the possibility of civilian deaths that he is displaying what amounts to depraved indifferent to our own warriors’ lives.

Which explains why American causalities in Afghanistan have more than doubled, and will keep going up and up and up.

There’s a part of me that says, “Hey, we should support our president at war.  We should recognize that the fog of war makes tragic outcomes unavoidable, but trust that our warriors and war planners are doing the very best they can.”

And then there’s that part of me that recognizes that Democrats never once considered any of that while they were tearing President Bush apart day after day while they gleefully demagogued the war and deliberately eroded public opinion and public support.

I remember Democrats like Jack Murtha – and Barack Obama – accused our soldiers of war crimes.  I remember Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying, “Now I believe this war is lost” while our troops were in the field fighting to secure the victory that those same Democrats are now hypocritically and despicably calling “this administration’s greatest achievement.”

I can’t be like the Democrats.  That would be utterly vile of me.

Unlike the Democrats, I actually want our troops to WIN:

July 30, 2007: [Democrat] “House Majority Whip Representative James Clyburn said that good news in Iraq amounted to a problem for Democrats.”

Barack Obama: “I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.”  As opposed to Ronald Reagan’s view: “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”

For the record, I have a dramatically different take on the Japanese surrender (Hirohito was not present; Obama is wrong as usual) to the United States.  I welcome it.  I liked it.  I’m thrilled we won and the Japanese lost.  I think the American victory over genuine totalitarian evil was a great thing.  I actually have the “audacity of hope” to WANT my country to win.

Crazy, I know.  Damned politically incorrect of me.

I support our troops.  I support their mission.  I support their courage and their dedication and their respect for the sanctity of civilian lives.

And unlike their current commander-in-chief, I always have.

Obama Furious McChrystal Supporting His Troops Instead Of Obama

October 5, 2009

The general whom Barack Obama handpicked only months ago is trying to stand up for his soldiers.  And Obama is furious at him for it.

Here’s the gist: Obama wants to put off a troop increase which would anger his liberal base because he knows he needs his base to ram his unpopular health care through.  He didn’t want to anger and dishearten his base until he got his health care agenda through Congress.  So he ordered that the report be shelved until – well, who knows how long?

What does Gen. McChrystal want?  He wants a commitment from the commander-in-chief that this isn’t going to be just another throw-away cut-and-run Democrat war.  And so far the Pentagon is legitimately deeply concerned about a lack of commitment from Obama.    McChrystal wants a decision so he can know how many troops he can expect – and when they will arrive – so that he can plan his operations.  If he knew what to expect in the future, it would help him plan for the present.  In short, he wants what ANY good commander wants: he wants to know what the hell is going on.

It’s just such a shocker that Gen. McChrystal isn’t willing to send his soldiers home in coffins so Obama can win his health care “victory.”

So Obama is playing politics, and McChrystal is dead-serious about matters life and death.

Suggestion: perhaps Obama should fire McChrystal and appoint a weak, pandering ditherer like himself?

White House angry at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan
The relationship between President Barack Obama and the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan has been put under severe strain by Gen Stanley McChrystal’s comments on strategy for the war.

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 7:00AM BST 05 Oct 2009

According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.  [Because God forbid that a general should ever be blunt.  A general who has no clue what he wants to do is always much better].

The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago’s unsuccessful Olympic bid.  [Because 25 minutes – and speaking twice to your most significant combat commander in 100 days is MORE than enough to know exactly what’s going on in such a CLEARLY simple situation as Afghanistan].

In an apparent rebuke to the commander, Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, said: “It is imperative that all of us taking part in these deliberations, civilians and military alike, provide our best advice to the president, candidly but privately.”  [In other words, BUTT OUT, Stanley!!!  The fact that you’re the commander of the effort in Afghanistan doesn’t mean SQUAT to us Chairborne Rangers!].

When asked on CNN about the commander’s public lobbying for more troops, Gen Jim Jones, national security adviser, said:

“Ideally, it’s better for military advice to come up through the chain of command.”  [Just submit your paperwork to the bureaucracy so it can sit on Gate’s desk for six weeks and counting.  Please stand in line and shut the hell up until we call your number].

Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: “I wasn’t there so I can’t answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views.”  [Actually, Barack Obama probably gave McChrystal a 25 minute speech on why he was so wonderful, and McChrystal never got a single word in edgewise].

An adviser to the administration said: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.”  [Mind you, people also aren’t sure whether Obama is being naive or a pathetic weakling.  And if you want to talk about someone not being ready for their damn job, maybe you should take a good long look at your boss].

In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaeda.

He told the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that the formula, which is favoured by Vice-President Joe Biden, would lead to “Chaos-istan”.  [But hey, who wouldn’t go with Biden?  I mean, it’s not as if he’s ever had any truly stupid ideas (and see here for how that brilliant stratagem worked out) before, or anything.  I mean, if I were running a war against insurgent terrorists, the first thing I’d do would be to fire my country’s foremost counter-insurgency expert and put Joe Biden in charge].

When asked whether he would support it, he said: “The short answer is: No.”  [Another short answer would be, “So either start pissing or start getting your troops out of this pot, Obama”].

He went on to say: “Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, and nor will public support.” [In other words, PLEASE STOP DITHERING AROUND PLAYING POLITICS AND SEND ME THE TROOPS I NEED TO BE ABLE TO ACTUALLY WIN OVER HERE].

The remarks have been seen by some in the Obama administration as a barbed reference to the slow pace of debate within the White House. [BECAUSE IT IS, YOU MORONS!!!].

Gen McChrystal delivered a report on Afghanistan requested by the president on Aug 31, but Mr Obama held only his second “principals meeting” on the issue last week.  [And guess who didn’t get his engraved invitation to the “principals meeting”?  You guessed it, the general whose assessment should matter the most].

He will hold at least one more this week, but a decision on how far to follow Gen McChrystal’s recommendation to send 40,000 more US troops will not be made for several weeks.  [I.e., until after Obama passes ObamaCare so he can stop ignoring Afghanistan and start ignoring the liberals he had just counted on for health care].

A military expert said: “They still have working relationship but all in all it’s not great for now.” [I’ve seen enough action movies to know that every time you set a pathetic selfish bureaucrat up against a hero, the pathetic selfish bureaucrat goes into a tizzy.  It’s pretty much an established plot device of the whole action genre].

Some commentators regarded the general’s London comments as verging on insubordination.  [You know, the mainstream media commentators who got thrills up their legs when they heard Obama give speeches].

Bruce Ackerman, an expert on constitutional law at Yale University, said in the Washington Post: “As commanding general, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements.”  [And as commander-in-chief, Barack Obama has no business allowing his most important field commander to twist in the wind ad nauseum.  That in addition to the fact that an expert would know that the Constitution doesn’t put a muzzle on anyone, let alone generals].

He added that it was highly unusual for a senior military officer to “pressure the president in public to adopt his strategy”.  [Because it’s highly unusual for a president to dither around after being confronted with such an urgent military need in time of war].

Relations between the general and the White House began to sour when his report, which painted a grim picture of the allied mission in Afghanistan, was leaked. White House aides have since briefed against the general’s recommendations.  [And the general had the gall to say something rather than throw himself on a landmine?  The nerve!].

The general has responded with a series of candid interviews as well as the speech. He told Newsweek he was firmly against half measures in Afghanistan: “You can’t hope to contain the fire by letting just half the building burn.”  [If Democrats truly think “half-measures” are a good thing, maybe they could start with their health care plans].

As a divide opened up between the military and the White House, senior military figures began criticising the White House for failing to tackle the issue more quickly.  [Having a clue what to do and actually bothering to talk with your senior field commander would go a long way, Barry].

They made no secret of their view that without the vast ground force recommended by Gen McChrystal, the Afghan mission could end in failure and a return to power of the Taliban.  [Mind you, we basically voted for failure and the return to power of the Taliban when we voted for Obama in the first place].

“They want to make sure people know what they asked for if things go wrong,” said Lawrence Korb, a former assistant secretary of defence.  [And they might even want – and this is a shocker – to prevent things from going horribly wrong in the first place].

Critics also pointed out that before their Copenhagen encounter Mr Obama had only met Gen McChrystal once since his appointment in June.  [And if that isn’t pathetic, then nothing is].

Here’s a chart for those of you keeping score of the war at home:


We are shaping up to have easily twice as many American casualties in Afghanistan this year as we had last year.  We’ve had another 20 soldiers killed just five days into October, plus two more long months to go.

My theory: the Taliban smell weakness, indecision, and lack of commitment – and Barack Obama is utterly reeking with all three qualities.  And the mullahs in Iran smell the same thing that the Taliban in Afghanistan smell.

Either send Gen. McChrystal his troops – and do it fast – or just cut-and-run and pull them out so we can have another massive terrorist attack on our soil in a few years.

I’ll tell you what: maybe Obama is outraged at McChrystal for speaking out.  Maybe the White House is furious.  Maybe Democrats are angry.  But if I were a solder hunkering down in a foxhole in Afghanistan, I’d be glad my commanding general stood up for me and demanded the resources we need to succeed.