Posts Tagged ‘once in 70 days’

Obama To Gen. McChrystal: ‘Talk To The Hand’

September 28, 2009

Here’s the story, in short-and-sweet format:

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he’s talked to President Obama only once since taking command of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan over the summer, a revelation that drew swift criticism from some who are concerned that the president is putting off McChrystal’s request for more troops.

“It’s startling,” Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., told FOX News.

McChrystal talked about his interaction with the president in an interview with CBS News.

“I’ve talked to the president since I’ve been here once on a (video teleconference),” he said.

“You talked to him once in 70 days?” CBS’ David Martin asked.

“That’s correct,” McChrystal said.

McChrystal, who warned in a recent assessment of the war in Afghanistan that the United States risks failure without more troops, submitted a request for more resources on Friday.

But the White House says it will review the overall strategy in Afghanistan before addressing troop levels.

The disclosure that the president and his top Afghanistan commander have spoken just once added to concerns that the administration is waiting too long to deal with the troop level issue.

Gregg said that former President George W. Bush spoke with his then-top Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus, on a regular basis. He said that while Obama may be speaking regularly with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Petraeus, who is now head of Central Command, the president should still keep in regular contact with McChrystal.

“I would think you’d want to hear one-on-one from your field commander more than once in six months,” he said.

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, said he found it “extraordinarily surprising” that McChrystal, once in regular contact with former Vice President Dick Cheney, has talked to Obama only once since taking command.

“It’s not really a good sign,” he said.

To put it bluntly, Talk to the hand, Gen. McChrystal.

You almost wish Reagan could come back – to the  White House rather than the Brandenburg Gate – and say:

“Mr. Obama, send those troops.  Mr. Obama, pay attention to Afghanistan!”

Of course, when President Ronald Reagan spoke to the Soviets, he stood for the greatest and most powerful ideals of American freedom and liberty and confronted the Soviets with their evil and their crushing of the human spirit.  When President Barack Obama addressed America’s enemies, he offered his humblest apologies for everything we’ve done wrong to offend them.

Of course, President Reagan – who famously shared his vision regarding the Cold War as “We win, they lose” – was very different indeed from a President who recently said:

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.

That Barack Obama will make his decision regarding commitment to Afghanistan without even bothering to speak to the general he himself selected to lead the war there is an insult not only to General Stanley McChrystal and to our troops under his command, but to basic common sense itself.