Posts Tagged ‘McChrystal’

Turning The Tables On Vicious Rolling Stone Leftist Attack Piece On Michelle Palin (Among Other Things, They Plagiarized).

June 24, 2011

There was a particularly vicious leftwing assault by leftwing rag The Rolling Stone. The only time I ever hear anything about Rolling Stone Magazine is when they do something particularly vile, because on their best day they are still vile and so why read them?  Their last infamous hit piece (on General Stanley McChrystal) was also filled with fraud.  But what can you say?  Liberals are people who swim in an ocean of lies; and why should they be troubled when the people they trust to lie to them turn out to be dishonest???

There are such lines in the Rolling Stone piece as “Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions.” I don’t need to read further than that. It was a toxic, rabid hit piece by toxic, rabid secular humanist liberals.

But let us consider the “standards” of journalism that these people follow. Let us consider who the REAL religious zealots whose brains are raging electrical storms of demonic visions and paranoid delusions are. Let us consider who should have the last laugh, and who should be fired as disgraces:

Rolling Stone caught in potential plagiarism flap over Michele Bachmann profile
By Joe Pompeo & Dylan Stableford
June 24, 2011

It’s been a few months since we’ve had ourselves a good-old plagiarism incident to get riled up about. But thanks to Rolling Stone, our sleepy summer Friday just got a bit more scandalous!

The magazine is taking some heat today for lifting quotes in Matt Taibbi’s hit piece on Minnesota’s 2012 Tea Party hopeful Michele Bachmann.

In the story, posted online Wednesday, Taibbi borrows heavily from a 2006 profile of Bachmann by G.R. Anderson, a former Minneapolis City Pages reporter who now teaches journalism at the University of Minnesota. The thin sourcing, as Abe Sauer argues over at The Awl, is part of a “parade of uncredited use of material” from local blogs and reporters who “have dogged Bachmann for years now.”

But the larger issue for journalism’s ethical watchdogs concerns the several unattributed quotes Sauer spotted in Taibbi’s piece, which Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates explained away by saying he’d cut out the attributions due to “space concerns” and that he would “get some links included in the story online.”

At least one plagiarism “expert” doesn’t buy Bates’ logic.

“Attribution is the last thing an editor should cut!!!!” Jack Shafer, who is known to grill copy-stealers in his media column for Slate (and who used to edit two alt-weeklies similar to City Pages), told The Cutline via email. “How big was the art hole on that piece? Huge, I’ll bet.”

Shafer added: “If an editor deletes attribution, can the writer be called a plagiarist? I don’t think so. Is that what happened? If Taibbi approved the deletions, it’s another question.”

We emailed Taibbi, who is no stranger to press controversies, with a request for comment and will update this if we hear back.

UPDATE 4 p.m. “I did in fact refer to the City Pages piece in the draft I submitted,” Taibbi told The Cutline. “I did not see that those attributions had been removed. I grew up in alternative newspapers and have been in the position the City Pages reporter is in, so I’m sympathetic. They did good work in that piece and deserve to be credited. But you should know also that this isn’t plagiarism–it’s not even an allegation of plagiarism. It’s an attribution issue.”

In the meantime, Anderson is giving Rolling Stone the benefit of the doubt, although he didn’t let them off the hook entirely.

“I would not consider what the Rolling Stone [piece] contained in it to be plagiarism,” Anderson told City Pages. “What I will say, as a graduate of the Columbia J-School, and an adjunct at the University of Minnesota J-School, I do know that if a student handed in a story with that particular lack of sourcing, not only would I give it an ‘F,’ I would probably put that student on academic fraud.”

You can check out a side-by-side comparison of the two Bachmann profiles over at The Awl.

What is particularly ironic is the use of an image of Michelle Bachmann as holy warrior, gripping the Bible in one hand and a sword dripping in blood in the other as a bloody slaughter continues unabated in the background. It’s an image that is intended to summon the most grisly spectre of the Crusades, of course.

Accompanying the Rolling Stone article on Bachmann:

At the worst of the Crusades, the “Christian warriors” were given Absolution for their sins for taking part in the Holy War. You could literally get away with murder. And too many did just that (at least until they found out the hard way that the Pope’s absolution didn’t give them absolution from a just and holy God).

Now, let us consider the irony of the “Absolution” given by the left. Women are sacred cows (now watch me get attacked as calling women “cows”) in liberalism. You do not DARE attack women. Unless they are conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. And then liberals are given total Absolution to attack them as women, as wives, as mothers, as sexual beings, as anything that smears them and degrades them. And they have absolution to do it; no women’s group will come after them. Their sins are pardoned.

Call it a leftwing Crusade; better yet, call it a leftwing jihad.  “Kill thee all the enemies of liberalism.  Nullus Dues lo volt! [No God wills it!].  Thous hast absolution to murder thine opponents by any means necessary!”  And off these “journalists” (or JournoLists) go to do their demonic bidding.

A similar case of such liberal Absolution just occurred with Jon Stewart, who mocked black conservative Herman Cain in an obviously racial and racist manner using his Amos and Andy voice. It’s fine; a Jon Stewart liberal can openly racially mock a black man, provided that black man is a conservative. It’s no different than the most cynical criticism of Pope Pius in the Crusades, who said it was okay to murder as long as you were murdering a Muslim.

We see their “objective” work when they flood to Alaska to search through tens of thousands of Sarah Palin emails and even enlist their readers to help them dig for dirt.  They never would have DREAMED of subpeoning Barak Obama’s emails.  We see their “objective” work when they trip all over themselves to buy a story about a bogus lesbian Muslim heroine (i.e. more liberal fraud) just because she was lesbian and Muslim, and that’s exactly what they wanted to see.

I would love nothing more than to have all the Western “journalists” who have played these games grabbed up and taken to a country governed by Islam and watch the look on their formerly smug faces as they were tortured and killed one after another. Until that day, they will continue to serve as useful idiots for communism and terrorism and pretty much every other “ism” that is eroding Western Culture from within.

Add that abject hypocrisy of the left to the fact that for a writer anything resembling plagiarism is the greatest sin imaginable, and you get to see just how utterly vile these people are. They have no honor, no integrity, no decency. Period.

And then we compare the sheer number of plagiarism cases at leftwing papers such as the New York Times (I’ll just drop a couple of names like Jayson Blair and Maureen Dowd and Zachery Kouwe) to conservative papers like the Wall Street Journal, and you see which side simply has no honor, integrity, or decency at all.  But what should we expect from such a rabid little bunch of Goebbels?  Honesty?

It is also interesting to add that the Crusaders were in fact responding to CENTURIES of Muslim aggression. While many of the monstrous acts that occurred on both sides could never be justified, “the Crusades” themselves were quite justifiable. I make mention of this because the left continues to do to the Crusades what they are doing even today; take the side of the aggressive vicious murderers against Western Culture. And when you look at a major rundown of major plagiarism cases in journalism, it’s the leftwing names like the Washington Post and the Boston Globe and ESPN rather than Fox News.

When America is sufficiently toxic and ripe for judgment, it listens to lies and the bad people who tell those lies and votes for Democrats.  That’s basically where we seem to be now.

Oh, by the way, Barack Obama is a documented plagiarist, too.  That’s part of the reason liberal journalists love him so much; he’s truly one of them.

‘Transparency’ In Action: Obama Blocks Media To Conceal Failures

July 8, 2010

Let’s see.  Hope?  No freaking way.  Change?  Yes, but it’s really, really BAD change.  Even die hard and hard-core liberals like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman are predicting that Obamanomics are leading us into a double-dip recession IF we’re lucky enough to avoid a depression. Transparency?

Ooh, boy.

Afghan violence is soaring.  Obama’s own handpicked general is saying that the president is overwhelmed and unprepared, and that his civilian leadership team is a bunch of incompetent clowns.  All the evidence indicates that Obama is massively failing in Iraq.

What should he do?

Well, he should do the same thing in Afghanistan that he’s going to do about all his calamitous failures in the Gulf of Mexico.

He’s going to make sure that the media doesn’t have a chance to report the truth about what a failure he is at everything he touches.

Obama is going to clamp down on senior military commanders’ access to the media.  Oh, that directive has NOTHING to do with the McChrystal fiasco, just as my writing this article on Obama banning the media has nothing whatsoever to do with the new media ban policy.

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday issued a directive to all senior Pentagon military and civilian officials saying their dealing with the media “has grown lax” in recent months and ordering them to get approval for all engagements with the press through his office.

The directive, a two-page memo signed by Mr. Gates, comes just days after Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired as commander in Afghanistan for intemperate remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine. The existence of the directive was reported by the New York Times and a copy was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the timing, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said it had been in the works for months before Gen. McChrystal’s firing. “This memo was written well before that,” Mr. Morrell said. “He thinks the department has been much too cavalier with its handling of the press.”

Now, you’d THINK they’d just admit the obvious and say, “That McChrystal thing was a real disaster, and we need to try to prevent something that disgraceful from happening again.”  But this is the most pathologically dishonest administration in history.  It’s like they have a perfect record on lying, and they’re not going to break it by telling the truth now.

This just goes back to Rahm Emanuel’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” mindset.

This is an administration that is so hostile to actual transparency that it has actually closed workshops on government openness to the public and blocked the press from attending transparency and accountability board meetings.

On front after front, this is the most opaque administration ever.  They block themselves off from media accountability even as they pat themselves on the back for their transparency.

This is the kind of administration that claims that it is advancing the will of the people when they are cynically defying and misrepresenting the will of the people.

It’s a constant pattern.  Just today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Obama has utterly failed at transparency regarding the massive porkulus boondoggleWhat a shock.

In Afghanistan, Obama prevents the military from open access to the press, which means that the military can’t tell us how shockingly incompetent Obama is as commander-in-chief.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama would deal with his failure in the
Gulf of Mexico the same way he’s handled everything else.  He has been so pathetically incompetent that there’s a pretty damn good argument that he is stopping the cleanup efforts on purpose.

White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
By Noel Sheppard
Created 07/03/2010 – 11:28

The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what’s happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that evening, “The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches — 65 feet.”

He elaborated, “Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can’t get close enough to take that picture.”

You’ve got CNN and Anderson Cooper – both of whom lean reliably to the left – having this to say about Obama’s “transparency”:

“This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.”

[...]

We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.

But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.

We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.

We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.

We are not the enemy here.

Everybody who cares about reality, and everybody who cares about truth, is Obama’s enemy, Anderson.

Obama has a lot to hide.  He’s got a lot to be ashamed of.  He’s failing on so many levels at the same time that no one can even keep track of them all.  The Gulf spill – already the worst in history – could be such a disaster that we might literally be in a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment.  Obama is now the worst president in American history even according to the standards the Democrats used against Bush in 2004.  And all he can do on the economy is keep blaming Bush and keep telling the same failed lie he’s been telling since the American people were stupid enough to hand him the keys to the White House.

All I can do about the Fascist-in-Chief is say those four words: I told you so.

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

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.

Question: Should Democrats Confirm ‘General Betray Us’?

June 23, 2010

General David Petraeus earned the legitimate title of “hero” for his incredible work in leading the surge-based turnaround in Iraq.

A work that Democrats did everything they possibly could to undermine and destroy.

When General Petraeus came to Washington to appear before Congress to defend the progress he’d made in Iraq, the leftist MoveOn.org greeted him with the title, “General Betray Us,” which ran at a vastly discounted rate by fellow liberal attack dog The New York Slimes.

Hillary Clinton told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required “a willing suspension of disbelief,” all but calling Petraeus a liar.

The Senate voted to condemn the “General Betray Us” sliming of David Petraeus.  None of the Democrat presidential candidates supported it.  Obama had voted on another bill half an hour earlier, but didn’t have the courage or integrity to vote to condemn those who attacked a great general at war.  He essentially voted “present” yet again.  And Hillary Clinton literally voted in agreement with MoveOn.org.

And, of course, how did Barack Hussein analyze the Iraq strategy that Petraeus championed?

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he told MSNBC. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

What did Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have to say about General David Petraeus’ competence to turn around a difficult situation in Iraq?

“Now I believe myself … that this war is lost, and that the surge is not accomplishing anything”

Obama spent his entire seven minutes at the Petraeus hearing whining about how awful everything Petraeus was doing was, in basic agreement with Harry Reid’s words of surrender:

It is to suggest that if the American people and the Congress had understood then that after devoting $1 trillion, which is what this thing optimistically will end up having cost, thousands of American lives, the creation of an environment in which Al Qaida in Iraq could operate because it didn’t exist prior to our invasion, that we have increased terrorist recruitment around the world, that Iran has been strengthened, that bin Laden and Al Qaida are stronger than at any time since 2001, and that the process of Iraqi reconstruction and their standard of living would continue to be lower than it was pre- invasion, that if that had been the deal, I think most people would have said that’s a bad deal, that does not make sense, that does not serve the United States’ strategic interests.

And so I think that some of the frustration you hear from some of the questioners is that we have now set the bar so low that modest improvement in what was a completely chaotic situation, to the point where now we just have the levels of intolerable violence that existed in June of 2006 is considered success, and it’s not.

I mean, Petraeus didn’t accomplish anything in Iraq, and actually added to the needless violence, according to now-President Barry Hussein; he’s a flat-out dishonest liar, according to now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; we actually lost the Iraq War during Petraeus’ leadership, according to Harry Reid; and he betrayed this country, according to the leftwing machine that largely got this administration elected. And now this same general is all of a sudden the go-to-guy for these very same Democrats? I mean, excuse me?

History has proven that it was Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the entire liberal establishment who demagogued and demonized the Iraq War, who were the liars. The surge strategy and the Iraq war that General David Petraues led was such a monumental success that Joe Biden (rather appropriately nicknamed Joe “Bite Me” by General Stanley McChyrstal’s staff) tried to claim credit for it, saying:

[Iraq] “could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

Democrats never admit how terribly wrong and in fact shockingly immoral they were when they did everything they possibly could to undermine General Petraeus and the Iraq War. But that doesn’t mean they won’t cynically and hypocritically take credit for both Iraq and Petraeus now. That’s just the kind of weasels Democrats are.

David Petraeus was the general that Democrats and their leftist allies despised.  Petraeus was Bush’s general.  Petraeus was “the surge general.”  And the fact that the same liberals who hated Petraeus are now cheering Obama’s selection of him makes me want to barf.

All I’m doing here is pointing out that by the twisted, vile, hypocritical, loathsome standards by which Democrats evaluated General Petraues, there is no way they should confirm him now.

They should find someone like the Pied Piper of fairy tale lore and confirm him instead.

And if Democrats do in fact now vote to confirm the man they attacked, it will be an open acknowledgment that they were rabid little treasonous vermin back in 2007.

Update, June 30, 2010: Democrats unanimously voted today to confirm as a matter of fact that they were treasonous liars in 2007.

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.

Obama Massively Failing In Afghanistan

June 22, 2010

This is nothing more than an effort to hold Obama accountable to the very same standards he used to demonize George Bush in Iraq:

Afghanistan violence is soaring, U.N. says
Afghanistan is increasingly dangerous for troops and civilians alike, a report says, citing an ‘alarming’ 94% increase in bomb attacks in the first four months of 2010, compared with last year.

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
June 20, 2010
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghanistan has become a far more dangerous place for Western troops and Afghan civilians alike, with an increase in suicide attacks, roadside bombings and political assassinations in the first four months of 2010, the United Nations said in a report released Saturday.

The gloomy assessment comes on the heels of congressional testimony last week by senior U.S. military officials who acknowledged that efforts to stabilize Afghanistan’s volatile south are proving more complex and time-consuming than anticipated.

With the U.S. troop numbers in the country approaching the 100,000 mark, the Western military toll has been rising sharply as the summer “fighting season” unfolds. More than 1,000 U.S. service members have died in the nearly 9-year-old conflict.

“There has been a great deal of ‘kinetic activity’” as Western and Afghan forces confront insurgents in the south, German army Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz, a spokesman for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s International Security Assistance Force, told reporters Saturday in Kabul, the capital. That is the term the military uses to describe battlefield clashes.

The U.N. report, submitted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Security Council and released by the world body’s mission in Afghanistan, notes a near-doubling in the number of attacks involving roadside bombs.

It describes an “alarming” 94% increase in bomb attacks from the same January-April period a year earlier. Roadside bombs planted by the Taliban and other insurgents are generally aimed at foreign troops, but because they are planted on routes used by everyone, they kill and maim many civilians as well.

The report also cites an average of three suicide bombings a week across Afghanistan, a growing number of them attacks involving more than one assailant, sometimes in combination with use of rockets, mortars and gunfire.

Targeted killings of Afghan officials had increased by 45%, the report says, with most taking place in the south, where the insurgency is strongest. The killings tend to target locally influential figures, such as tribal elders and other dignitaries who might be able to rally villagers and townspeople to resist the Taliban.

In one recent example, the district governor in Arghandab, a strategic gateway to the city of Kandahar, was killed in an insurgent bombing. NATO had touted the district as an area in which headway was being made in winning over the populace and improving security

Western officials have been describing their own campaign in the south as a combined political and military effort, and systematic assassinations appear aimed at sapping the will of local officials and others seen as cooperating with foreign forces or the Afghan government.

The U.N. report takes a more hopeful tone about some recent political developments, including nascent efforts by the government of President Hamid Karzai to woo Taliban foot soldiers away from the fight.

It notes, though, that “in general, the Taliban have reacted negatively to peace and reconciliation.”

Let’s reflect on this disastrous report, in light of Obama’s demonization and demagoguery of George Bush’s successful attempt to prevail in Iraq.

Obama attacked and undermined Bush’s incredibly successful troop surge:

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he told MSNBC. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

And then recently tried to take credit for it’s magnificent success via his Vice President:

On Larry King Live last night, Vice President Joe Biden said Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

Obama is the consummate demagogue who demonized Bush in Afghanistan by claiming:

“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.”

Condemn him as a failure and a disgrace according to his own demagogic standard.  He demonized Bush, when Bush succeeded.  How much more should we demonize Obama, as he’s utterly failing???

But this is worse than merely a failure of leadership.  Far worse.

Charles Krauthammer pointed out the sheer cynical depravity of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party as regards Iraq and Afghanistan by pointing to what the Democrats themselves said:

Bob Shrum, who was a high political operative who worked on the Kerry campaign in ’04, wrote a very interesting article in December of last year in which he talked about that campaign, and he said, at the time, the Democrats raised the issue of Afghanistan — and they made it into “the right war” and “the good war” as a way to attack Bush on Iraq.  In retrospect, he writes, that it was, perhaps, he said, misleading. Certainly it was not very wise.

What he really meant to say — or at least I would interpret it — it was utterly cynical. In other words, he’s confessing, in a way, that the Democrats never really supported the Afghan war. It was simply a club with which to bash the [Bush] administration on the Iraq war and pretend that Democrats aren’t anti-war in general, just against the wrong war.

Well, now they are in power, and they are trapped in a box as a result of that, pretending [when] in opposition that Afghanistan is the good war, the war you have to win, the central war in the war on terror. And obviously [they are] now not terribly interested in it, but stuck.

And that’s why Obama has this dilemma. He said explicitly on ABC a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t even use the word “victory” in conjunction with Afghanistan.

And Democrats in Congress have said: If you don’t win this in one year, we’re out of here. He can’t win the war in a year. Everybody knows that, which means he [Obama] has no way out.

Afghanistan was just a way to demagogue Bush in Iraq by describing Afghanistan – where Obama is failing so badly – as “the good war” and Iraq – where Bush won so triumphantly – as “the bad war.”  It was beyond cynical; it was flat-out treasonous.

George Bush selected Iraq as his central front for sound strategic reason.  Iraq had a despotic tyrant who supported terrorism.  Saddam Hussein needed to be removed to mount any kind of successful peace effort in the Middle East.  Iraq is located in the heart of the Arab/Islamic world.  It has an educated population relative to the rest of the region.  It also offered precisely the type of terrain that would allow American forces to implement their massive military superiority in a way that mountainous, cave-ridden Afghanistan would not.

Bush was determined to fight a war where he could win.  Obama foolishly trapped us in a war that would bleed us.  Why?  For no other reason than pure political demagoguery.  And he needs to be held accountable.

And where are we now under Obama’s failed leadership???

An article entitled, “Pentagon worried about Obama’s commitment to Afghanistan” ended with this assessment from a senior Pentagon official:

“I think they (the Obama administration) thought this would be more popular and easier.  We are not getting a Bush-like commitment to this war.”

See my piece from last year predicting this failure.  Read that article and explain to me where I was wrong, liberals.  I dare you.

American casualties under Obama in 2009 more than doubled compared to the total in 2008 when Bush was commander-in-chief.  And they are set to more than double this year compared to 2009.

From iCasualties, accessed June 21, 2010:

We’re paying attention to Obama’s massive, massive failure of leadership in the Gulf Coast.  That’s all well and good.  But don’t forget Obama’s massive failure of leadership in Afghanistan.

And just as we should rightly condemn Barack Obama for his demonization and demagoguery of Bush in Katrina, we should likewise condemn him for his demonization and demagoguery of Bush in Afghanistan.  We should hold Barack Hussein accountable to his own hypocritical, two-faced standards, and demand his resignation as a failure and a fraud.

Update, June 22: Heck, I wrote this yesterday, and hadn’t even published it yet when I discovered I needed to update.  Because now we now that Stanley McChrystal, commanding general in Afghanistan, thinks that Obama – and virtually every single man Obama has appointed in Afghanistan – are a bunch of clueless clowns.

McChrystal sided with his troops against his Failure-in-Chief once before.  I think he did it again to let his troops know that he understands the real problem facing them.

MSNBC has some of the highlights:

  • McChrystal has seized control of the war “by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”
  • One aide called White House National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a retired four star general, a “clown” who was “stuck in 1985.”
  • Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House’s troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.
  • The article portrayed McChrystal’s team as disapproving of the Obama administration, with the exception of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who backed McCrystal’s request for additional troops in Afghanistan.
  • It quotes a member of McChrystal’s team making jokes about Biden, who was seen as critical of the general’s efforts to escalate the conflict and who had favored a more limited counter-terrorism approach. “Biden?” the aide was quoted as saying. “Did you say: Bite me?” Biden initially opposed McChrystal’s proposal for additional forces last year. He favored a narrower focus on hunting terrorists.

This, too, is another example of liberal hypocrisy.  What happened when Bush was depicted as not listening to his generals?  From the Washington Post, after Bush decided to pursue the (in hindsight) magnificently successful surge strategy:

This impulse may well expose Bush to more criticism from Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have sharply condemned him for not listening to Shinseki’s counsel in the beginning.

What’s it like to have your own fingers of demonization now pointing back at you?

Like I said, Obama is massively failing in Afghanistan.  Just like he’s massively failing everywhere else.

Update, June 26, 2010: Oh, by the way, get ready for what might be Obama’s “Abu Ghraib moment,” as videos of a mass slaughter of Afghani civilians makes its way to the public.

Obama’s Message To Taliban Re: Afghanistan: ‘Just Keep Fighting And Wait Us Out And It’ll Be All Yours’

December 2, 2009

I took a nap in front of a television, and dreamed I was being lectured to by this incredibly annoying, pontificating nerd.  When I woke up, Barack Obama was speaking.

In a nationally televised speech, Barack Obama assured the Taliban fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan that they will have an exit strategy out of a bitter conflict.

“Don’t worry, brave and noble Taliban fighters, your long fight will not be in vain.  We will be here today, but gone tomorrow.  I promise you as a Democrat and a liberal that in 18 months, the ultimate victory will be yours, and then you can invite those al-Qaeda friends of yours to come back.”

Don’t worry, Obama didn’t actually say that, at least not in so many words.  But that is nevertheless the clear outcome of his policy.

I feel sorry for our troops.  They have just been told that they are being committed not to a war that they will be allowed to fight and win, but an abandonment to a lost cause that will end with cutting and running.

From the AP:

As President Barack Obama outlined his plan to send 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan — while pledging to start bringing them home in 2011 — soldiers, Marines and their families interviewed by The Associated Press felt a tangle of fresh concerns and renewed hopes. Some took in the televised announcement as they played darts in a barroom near their base, while others watched from their living rooms.

“All I ask that man to do, if he is going to send them over there, is not send them over in vain,” said 57-year-old Bill Thomas of Jacksonville, N.C., who watched Obama’s televised speech in his living room, where photos of his three sons in uniform hang over the TV.

One of his sons, 23-year-old Cpl. Michael Thomas, is a Marine based at neighboring Camp Lejeune. He’ll deploy next year to Afghanistan.

An ex-Marine himself, Thomas said he supports Obama’s surge strategy. But he shook his head when the president announced a 2011 transition date to begin pulling out troops.

“If I were the enemy, I would hang back until 2011,” Thomas said. “We have to make sure that we are going go stay until the job is done. It ain’t going to be as easy as he thinks it is.”

Some troops chose to ignore Obama’s promise of a timetable of victory for the Taliban:

The president also began outlining an endgame to the war, saying troops would begin pulling out of Afghanistan in July 2011 — though he did not say when a withdrawal could be completed.

Army 1st Lt. Emily Stahl, who is preparing to deploy from Fort Campbell next spring, said she’s not going to focus on the timetable.

“We have to get the job done,” Stahl, 24, said after watching the speech from her home outside the Army post, where she serves in the 101st Airborne Division. “If we do what we’re supposed to do, the end of the war will come when it comes.”

But whether they ignore it or not, the decision has already been made: another Democrat president has promised to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory by assuring the enemy of a future American retreat.

Of course, in addition to the decision to commit not to commit, Obama has blessed our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan with the spirit of indecisive dithering:

At the John Hoover Inn, a bar in Evans Mills, N.Y., near Fort Drum, a dozen soldiers watched the speech on a large-screen TV, drinking beer out of red cups. When Obama announced the troop increase, only one cheered, and the rest remained silent. They continued to play darts while the president was speaking.

“I’m just relieved to know where we’re going,” said Spc. Adam Candee, 29, of Chicago.

Theresa McCleod said she worries what Obama’s plans might mean for her husband, a soldier in the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. She said he’s already done a long combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving her to care for their three children.

“First he was supposed to be pulling everyone out, and now all the sudden he’s throwing everybody back into Afghanistan and it’s like nobody can really make up their minds,” McCleod said of Obama.

Don’t worry, Theresa.  You’re not the only one who’s confused about what the president is doing.  I mean, Barack Obama is the president, and he doesn’t have a clue what the president is doing.

The Obama administration says it was surprised at the corruption in Afghanistan.  Because, after all, who would ever have thunk that the world’s largest producer of opium and heroin would be corrupt?

In similar news that caught the Obama administration completely off guard, it was revealed that there is something called “sand” on the beach.

McChrystal wanted 80,000 troops, and said that he’d probably be able to make do with 40,000.  Obama not only gave McChrystal the lowball commitment, but then proceeded to actually lowball the lowball commitment.  As it is, General Stanley McChrystal will only receive 3/4 of the minimum number of troops he told his president he would absolutely need.

McChrystal has been sitting on his hands since he had the report ready in August.  You should be able to see why he’s been impatient:

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict “will likely result in failure,” according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal says emphatically: “Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near-term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

So Obama spends basically four months dithering, only to announce that he will lowball the lowball troop commitment.  It’s going to take several months to get the troops to Afghanistan and get them ready to fight.

There won’t be a whole lot of time left in McChrystal’s “next 12 months” to avoid the “outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

But Obama – the president who thinks of everything – has resolved this otherwise unresolvable dilemma by ensuring that we ultimately abandon the country we’ve been fighting to rid of the Taliban to the very Taliban we’ve been fighting.

Some ‘Change’: Closest Ally Britain Says Obama Undermining War In Afghanistan

November 24, 2009

We’re constantly told that the world loves us again now that Barack Obama is president.

Mind you, that “love” is utterly meaningless.  We’re not benefiting in any way from all the “love” we’re supposedly receiving.

We’re certainly not getting more support for the war on terror – oops, forgot Obama says we can’t use that term anymore – I mean the “overseas contingency operation” – from our adoring allies.

Take a look at the following table available from iCasualties.org/Operation Enduring Freedom as of November 24:

In addition to the fact that our casualties under Barack Obama will easily double from 2008 when George Bush was president, there is one more important feature: the fact that, other than the U.K. our allied troop support (see “other”) has actually DECREASED under the leadership of Barack Obama.

While they’ve given token lip service praise of Barack Obama’s “wonderfulness,” they have quietly been doing even LESS to help us in Afghanistan than they were under George Bush.

And the ONLY exception to that pathetic trend is the United Kingdom.

But listen to what the United Kingdom has to say about how Barack Obama is sabotaging and undermining the mission in Afghanistan:

Bob Ainsworth criticises Barack Obama over Afghanistan

Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, has blamed Barack Obama and the United States for the decline in British public support for the war in Afghanistan.

James Kirkup, Thomas Harding and Toby Harnden
Published: 9:00PM GMT 24 Nov 2009

Mr Ainsworth took the unprecedented step of publicly criticising the US President and his delays in sending more troops to bolster the mission against the Taliban.

A “period of hiatus” in Washington – and a lack of clear direction – had made it harder for ministers to persuade the British public to go on backing the Afghan mission in the face of a rising death toll, he said.

Senior British Government sources have become increasingly frustrated with Mr Obama’s “dithering” on Afghanistan, the Daily Telegraph disclosed earlier this month, with several former British defence chiefs echoing the concerns.

But Mr Ainsworth is the first Government minister to express in public what amounts to personal criticism of the US president’s leadership over the conflict which has so far cost 235 British lives.

Polls show most voters now want an early withdrawal, following the death of 98 British service personnel this year alone.

Ministers say the mission is vital to stop international terrorists using Afghanistan as a base, but Gordon Brown has promised an “exit strategy” that could start next year.

The Defence Secretary’s blunt remarks about the US threaten to strain further a transatlantic relationship already under pressure over the British release of the Lockerbie bomber and Mr Obama’s decision to snub Mr Brown at the United Nations in September.

Mr Ainsworth spoke out as the inquiry into the 2003 war in Iraq started in London, hearing evidence from British diplomats that the UK government concluded in 2001 that toppling Saddam Hussein by military action would be illegal.

Mr Obama has been considering advice from General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, to send more than 40,000 extra troops to the country.

Next week, after more than three months of deliberation, the president is expected to announce that he will send around 34,000 more troops.

Mr Ainsworth, speaking to MPs at the defence committee in the House of Commons, welcomed that troop ‘surge’ decision, but lamented the time taken to reach it.

He said that the rising British death toll, the corruption of the Afghan government and the delay in Washington all hamper efforts to retain public backing for the deployment.

“We have suffered a lot of losses,” he said. “We have had a period of hiatus while McChrystal’s plan and his requested uplift has been looked at in the detail to which it has been looked at over a period of some months, and we have had the Afghan elections, which have been far from perfect let us say.

“All of those things have mitigated against our ability to show progress… put that on the other side of the scales when we are suffering the kind of losses that we are.”

Britain has 9,000 troops in Afghanistan and has announced it will send another 500, a decision some US officials saw as a move to put pressure on Mr Obama.

Mr Ainsworth said he is confident that once Mr Obama confirms his new strategy, allies will follow and British public opinion will shift back in favour of the mission.

“I hope and believe that we are about to get an announcement from the USA on troop numbers and I think that that will be followed by contributions from many other Nato allies and so we will be able to show that we are going forward in this campaign to an extent that we have not been able to in recent months with those issues still hanging,” he said. [...]

So you’ve got the documented record of Barack Hussein undermining the ONLY ally that has been worth butkus – or a butt kiss, for that matter – to the United States in Afghanistan.

The repeated acts of public humiliation of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the UK at the hands of Obama and his administration are detailed HERE.

And during the three month period that Obama has dithered – and that is the Brits’ term, in addition to our own Pentagon command, rather than Dick Cheney’s term, as the media keeps falsely reporting – the public support to remain in Afghanistan has dropped dramatically.

And there’s no reason to believe that the forfeited public support will come back.

Maybe Barack Obama is a dandy leader of the whole world – at least until the Antichrist shows up to take over for him – but he is in fact a lousy President of the United States, and an even worse commander-in-chief of the American forces in Afghanistan.


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