Posts Tagged ‘Kandahar’

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
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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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Saudi Source Says Obama Willing To Give Afghanistan To Taliban For Quiet

November 23, 2009

Back in May of 2008, I wrote about the danger of appeasement that the election of a liberal Democrat to the presidency posed.

The trend of American casualties had been increasing, without question, but we have NEVER seen the kind of DOUBLING of fatalities (we’re now at 293 American fatalities, versus 155 last year, with more than a month to go) that we are seeing now under Obama’s leadership.  That’s because the Taliban and the terrorists now know that we have a dithering, indecisive, vacillating and appeasing weakling in the White House whom they will be able to push around.

And apparently their piling on is paying off big as “the leader of the free world” cringes before them.

This story is only coming from a single source in Saudi Arabia, but, if true, it means we’re at Neville Chamberlain’s level of disgusting appeasement in exchange for a psuedo “peace in our time” all over again.

Afghan Source: The U.S. Has Offered the Taliban Control in Return for Quiet

An Afghan source in Kabul reports that U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry is holding secret talks with Taliban elements headed by the movement’s foreign minister, Ahmad Mutawakil, at a secret location in Kabul. According to the source, the U.S. has offered the Taliban control of the Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan, Kunar and Nuristan provinces in return for a halt to the Taliban missile attacks on U.S. bases.

Source: Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), November 22, 2009

Even going back to April of last year, the Democrat presidential debates displayed a frightening ignorance of history, which would invariably lead to appeasement and – following the pattern, more demanding and stubborn enemies who sensed our weakness –  if their policies were ever implemented:

As a student of history, I remember the abject failure of the Western allies to grasp the growing threat of their enemies throughout the 1930s. I remember the refusal of the liberal governments of the Allied powers to comprehend what are now known to have been fundamental realities of naked aggression and looming war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain abandoned his country’s commitment to Czechoslovakia with a promise from Hitler of peace. The liberal, “anti-war” Chamberlain returned home saying, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Chamberlain saw Britain’s policy as a willingness to compromise and a desire for peace. But Hitler saw only weakness, hesitation, and cowardice, and became emboldened for total war. Again and again, the West had had an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine resolve to Hitler, and again and again the West had failed to stand.

In our present day, the Democratic Party has demonstrated a shocking degree of treachery in regard to Iraq. It is their war as much as it is Republicans’ war – because it should be America’s war.

History repeats itself because we keep putting the same sort of moral cowards in power.

Note that I was referring to Iraq, rather than Afghanistan, in my above warning.  Why?  Because the Democrats were talking tough about Afghanistan, even as they talked about walking away from Iraq.  Who could have known that a Democrat would so violate his own promises and be so shockingly weak in a war that he himself said was a “must win”? I fully believed that Barack Obama would be a weakling and an appeaser in office; but I simply had no idea that he would be as pathetically weak as he has actually revealed himself to be.

Thankfully, George Bush’s surge strategy in Iraq worked – and worked so well that even Obama’s weakness hasn’t been able to turn the success in Iraq around.  Barack Obama opposed that strategy and said it would fail.  And when he was proven wrong, this weakling and coward merely deleted his wrong, deceitful, and malicious prediction from his web site.

Obama’s dithering (and that’s the term Pentagon officials used, rather than merely Dick Cheney, btw), have 1) emboldened the enemy, 2) undermined American troop morale, 3) undermined the confidence of the military that Barack Obama will remain true to his commitment, and 4) weakened the people of Afghanistan’s trust for us all at once.

The last is the worse: the months that Obama has spent cravenly dithering while the resurgent Taliban have spread their control has forced the Afghani people to begin to choose the Taliban – whom will stay the course – over a U.S. under Barack Obama which clearly won’t.  And that means we may have already lost.

And now this?

What do you expect from the president who sold out Poland to Russia on the 70th anniversary of weakling appeasers just like Obama selling out Poland to Russia?

On top of the defeat in Afghanistan, Obama faces a far more significant defeat in Iran.  Obama is desperate to talk; Iran is determined to build nuclear missiles.  Iran will get become a nuclear military power under Obama’s watch, because the only way to prevent them from becoming such a power is to be willing to go to war with them to stop them – and Iran knows that Obama will not take that step.

As the nightmare of a nuclear-armed Iran manifests itself in the form of increased terrorism, sky-high gas prices, and even nuclear war, just remember: we conservatives tried to warn you.

Update, November 23, 2009: Did I say that 293 U.S. soldiers have been killed so far this year?  Make that 297.  Meanwhile, the survivors are hunkering down and beginning to despair that they are in Afghanistan for no apparent reason while their commander-in-chief dithers around for three months more worried about his own political skin than about his soldiers.