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September 24, 2009

Take Your Time, Mr. President


After all, they're not going anywhere:

House Armed Services ranking member Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) said Wednesday that Gates told him on a July trip to Afghanistan that Obama “wasn’t inclined to send troops over there.”

McKeon said Gates also told him that, in light of Gen. David Petraeus and McChrystal being asked to submit assessments to the president on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively, Obama had “given instructions” to them to “scrub everything, to make sure they didn’t ask for more than they needed.”

That conversation prompted McKeon to ask McChrystal if the directive sent “a chilling message” that the U.S. and NATO commander should ask for less troops than he needed. “He said, ‘No, I’m honor-bound to ask for what I need,’” McKeon said.

McKeon’s comments come at a time when Obama is facing growing criticism from Republicans for appearing to soften his stance on the need to maintain a presence in Afghanistan. Some have expressed concern that the president may be attempting to push off debate on the war until after health care reform is done, despite warnings from military leaders that time is of the essence.

The Pentagon signaled Wednesday that it would be some time before McChrystal’s troop request is passed from Gates to Obama, who wants more time to review the overall strategy for Afghanistan.

“I want to make it perfectly clear that, once [Gates] has it, he intends to hold onto it until such time as the president and his national security team are ready to consider it,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said.

Obama, a mere 36 days ago:

... I announced a new, comprehensive strategy in March ...our new strategy has a clear mission and defined goals: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies.

...As I said when I announced this strategy, there will be more difficult days ahead. The insurgency in Afghanistan didn't just happen overnight and we won't defeat it overnight. This will not be quick, nor easy. But we must never forget: This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is a — this is fundamental to the defense of our people.

36 days. I've seen gnats with longer attention spans.

Posted by Cassandra at September 24, 2009 07:08 PM

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Just a thought.


Maybe Obama should pay attention.

Posted by: Kbob in Katy at September 24, 2009 09:46 PM

I've got nothing to say on posts like this because if I give voice to the thoughts I'm trying to ignore, I'll end up foaming at the mouth. Cassandra, your ability to write about this in a calm and rational manner amazes me.

Posted by: FbL at September 24, 2009 10:04 PM

It's not about attention span; rather, it's who and what he's paying attention to.

I know, don't end a sentence with a preposition...

Posted by: camojack at September 25, 2009 01:37 AM

The Pentagon signaled Wednesday that it would be some time before McChrystal’s troop request is passed from Gates to Obama, who wants more time to review the overall strategy for Afghanistan.

First, he needs to understand how and *if* the current strategy can achieve the desired end-state. Unless someone explains it to him in terms of a political campaign, Obama won't even know what he's reading.

If he were making a serious attempt to understand what needs to be accomplished and what's *needed* to accomplish it, he'd be spending 18-hour days in the White House situation room, becoming educated on the subject. He's not doing that -- he's treating Afghanistan like a temporary problem which will go away if it's ignored long enough.

Posted by: BillT & The Other BillT at September 25, 2009 05:51 AM

Sensing weakness alqaeda threatens the Germans with Madrid attacks if Merkel is reelected. In addition, new leaders are in place for a "Tet" like offensive in Afghanistan to force Obama to begin withdrawal blaming public sentiment against the war.

Our POTUS is on the run just as al qaeda has been terribly weakened. History appears to be repeating itself. Rhetorical bromides from Obama do not persuade our determined enemies. Isolationism will only delay the inevitable confrontation. The Israelis are going to take the point on this one it appears.

Posted by: vet66 at September 25, 2009 11:40 AM

Now, now... We all know that poor old B.O. is slammed, what with having to make all the appearances he makes.

And then we must take into account all the rehearsals of multiple TotUS readings. Not to mention having to actually give the speeches every week.

Then there are appearances on Letterman and Pravda...

Meetings with the Brother's Rafke every week.

Having Rahm Grima Wormtongue Emanuel perpetually in his ear.

Weighing the prospect of becoming the adopted son of Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi in the grand scheme of ruling the world, or at least being loved by the world.

Removing all the sulfur stench from the U.N.

Wow, The Won's plate is full!

STOP THE PRESSES! I forgot about the integrity of the Afghanistan elections being called into question. Which is not so dissimilar to Honduras or Venezuela. At least in the Politburo's eyes. Especially if you don't count Jummah Chutuh's verification of Hugo's election being a valid, honest exercise of a democratic election. Hmmm, maybe J.C. can do that election voodoo he do so well once more in Honduras and again in Afghanistan?

Yep, taken on the whole, there's no wonder that The Won ducks something like General McChrystal's report on Afghanistan. I think we can all agree that it will probably do little to nothing for Michelle's children.

So it easy to see that The Won doesn't have time to learn anything other than how to apologize for the U.S.. Oh yeah! And to promise that The Won, and only The Won, will make the sun rise with a brighter, more intense warmth for all nations... except the United States, of course.

Whoops, let me shorten that down a mite...

What FBL said.

Posted by: bthun at September 25, 2009 12:02 PM

You've right Vet66...

Unlike our public schools, our enemies study our history and know how play us.

Unfortunately for us, we now have the same old gang from '68 running the asylum. Their names have changed, their plans are more ambitious, but the result is the same. To weaken this nation as much as possible.

Posted by: bthun at September 25, 2009 12:12 PM

Since there are no immediate elections to worry about, the political left, despite their oft stated love for those in uniform, have more important things on their mind. What? Well, how about cramming a health plan the majority of the people do not want down their throats. Of course, since we are too bright to fall for their blatherings, we are too dimwitted to understand what is really important.

Posted by: RIslander at September 25, 2009 12:21 PM

I am beginning to think that The Won and his friends really believed that Bush was an idiot and that this would be easy, and they're just discovering that reality is very different than what they thought it was.

Posted by: htom at September 25, 2009 04:33 PM

Obama's "shuck and jive" campaign philosophy caught up with him faster than he thought possible. They are in a defensive posture and responding to threats, overt or otherwise, as the axis of evil cohort organizes against them.

This is the moment Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Ahmadinejad, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Qaddafy, Assad and the rest of the wackos have been waiting for. Obama called it right but for the wrong team when he infamously stated "We are the change we have been waiting for" and "Yes we can."

Them's mean streets out there when you are a dandy from Chicago walking behind a parade of camels with a shovel and a wheelbarrow. I recall the scene from Godfather when instructions were given that Al Pacino's character was to emerge from the bathroom with something more than just his "d**k" in his hand.

Posted by: vet66 at September 26, 2009 07:49 AM