Obama Af-Pak policy looking for exit signs

posted at 10:12 am on November 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama will use his speech at West Point to conduct a delicate balancing act on Afghanistan and Pakistan.  On one hand, he will commit more than 30,000 more troops to the war, which should earn the approval of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and those tasked with implementing the COIN strategy Obama has long demanded.  He will also start working towards an American exit, according to the New York Times, which may lessen the disapproval from the anti-war Left, but will also undermine whatever good Obama’s troop escalation will do:

President Obama plans to lay out a time frame for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan when he announces his decision this week to send more forces, senior administration officials said Sunday.

Although the speech was still in draft form, the officials said the president wanted to use the address at the United States Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday night not only to announce the immediate order to deploy roughly 30,000 more troops, but also to convey how he intends to turn the fight over to the Kabul government.

“It’s accurate to say that he will be more explicit about both goals and time frame than has been the case before and than has been part of the public discussion,” said a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the speech before it is delivered. “He wants to give a clear sense of both the time frame for action and how the war will eventually wind down.”

The officials would not disclose the time frame. But they said it would not be tied to particular conditions on the ground nor would it be as firm as the current schedule for withdrawing troops in Iraq, where Mr. Obama has committed to withdrawing most combat units by August and all forces by the end of 2011.

Then what kind of time frame is it?  A series of operational benchmarks might be in order here, matching American strategic decisions with conditions on the ground — the normal case for war management, it should be noted.  But in this case, Obama and the White House don’t seem particularly interested in that kind of strategic planning.  Artificial timetables are almost the worst kind of planning, where a nation signals its disinterest in the fight by sticking to calendar dates — but according to the Times, the White House won’t do that, either.

So what’s left?  War by whim.  We will apparently fight until we get tired of it, and whether we win or pull out by a certain date are secondary considerations at best, at least according to this report.  Jules Crittenden sees this as Obama attempting to eat his cake and have it, too:

Sounds like he wants it both ways. To be able to assure everyone  we’re getting out while assuring everyone we’re not going anywhere. If that’s the case, this promises to be a tour de force of Obamian rhetorical gymnastics, possibly topping even that wretched speech where he was hailed as the second coming of Martin Luther King Jr. for lame excuses for his bigot of a pastor.

Meanwhile, I was just listening to NPR kvetching about how he sells this to an American public that is increasingly blah blah blah.

Here’s how you do it. You tell them you are in it to win. That it isn’t over till it’s over. That we have a volunteer military that knows what it is doing, is highly experienced, and highly motivated, which is why we’re willing to give them what they need for the job. And by the way, remind them that in time of war, the best, most useful and noblest thing any American can do is join them. The next best thing is unreservedly supporting what they are doing.

And the third-best thing to do would be to get the hell out if you’re not going to commit to victory.  This war requires a serious commitment, much more so than Iraq did.  It will take a generation or longer to stabilize Afghanistan and provide it an infrastructure to tamp down extremism and modernize a population more connected to the 14th century than the 21st.  There is a serious question as to whether any American President could guarantee that kind of commitment, let alone one that has taken almost four months to decide whether or not to properly resource a strategy he himself demanded for over two years and officially imposed eight months ago.

Blundering around Afghanistan with no commitment to do anything except leave, and leave on some unknown combination of the stars and the winds, is about as bad a choice as it gets.  It undermines the entire basis for COIN, which is to ensure stability through security and trust — trust based on our commitment to the security of the individual communities that resist the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  It’s a waste of resources, and worse yet, a waste of fine men and women in our military who want to win this fight and defeat extremism and terrorism.

Let’s hope that Obama skips the off-ramps and focuses on victory tomorrow night.


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Let’s hope that Obama skips the off-ramps and focuses on victory tomorrow night.

ahem

“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,” Obama told ABC News.

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Reminds me of a cartoon I saw years ago. A man is standing at the end of a path that goes over the horizon. Beside the path is a sign that reads, “The Road To Knowledge – Exit Only”.

NeighborhoodCatLady on November 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Everyone in San Francisco will be tuned in!

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Ogabe to the troops: When you land in Afghanistan don’t bother unpacking, you might be leaving soon after.

If President Pantload sends troops to war just to make himself look more hawkish but with no intention to really support the war effort, then he needs to be dragged from office by his ears.

Bishop on November 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Let’s hope that Obama skips the off-ramps and focuses on victory tomorrow night.

Don’t hold your breath. Obama’s idea of “winnng” is for America to be subservient to everyone.

Guardian on November 30, 2009 at 10:17 AM

“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,” Obama told ABC News.
ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

You had to make me throw up this early in the morning, didn’t you, Ted?

What a wuss.

kingsjester on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Even with war this clown needs a drum roll….

Please…………..

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Obama administration slogan: “victory is NOT an option!”

olesparkie on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I’m thinking that we should have an open-ended commitment so that the Afghans and Pakistanis know that they never actually have to step up. Wouldn’t want to stress them out. Also, the longer we stay, the more the locals love us, so the job will become increasingly easy. The Afghans have a particularly long history on welcoming liberators.

And if we promise to stay forever, every two or three years we can have another general step up and say that if they just get twenty or thirty or forty thousand more troops, we can finally win this thing. You know. Like Vietnam.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Whatever he does, he’ll use the Senate’s Tora Bora report to continue to blame Bush.

flipflop on November 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

There will be off ramps,..Karzai’s corruption is the gift that keeps on giving for Barry. He can pull it out of the hat anytime he needs to start making exit noises.

a capella on November 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Whatever he does, he’ll use the Senate’s Tora Bora report to continue to blame Bush.

flipflop on November 30, 2009 at 10:19 AM

He’ll fit it into his blather, bet on it.

thomasaur on November 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.
George S. Patton

A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end.
George S. Patton

A pint of sweat, saves a gallon of blood.
George S. Patton

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
George S. Patton

All very successful commanders are prima donnas and must be so treated.
George S. Patton

Always do everything you ask of those you command.
George S. Patton

Americans love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle. George S. Patton

Americans play to win at all times. I wouldn’t give a hoot and hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor ever lose a war.
George S. Patton

Battle is an orgy of disorder.
George S. Patton

Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.
George S. Patton

Better to fight for something than live for nothing.
George S. Patton

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.
George S. Patton

Do your damnedest in an ostentatious manner all the time.
George S. Patton

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
George S. Patton

I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.
George S. Patton

If a man does his best, what else is there?
George S. Patton

shall the CINC use any quotes from any other USMA graduates?

Will there be any Q/A from the cadets?

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Bullwinkle was always pulling tricks out of that hat huh

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Obama is turning this into another Vietnam with every move he makes.

kingsjester on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

And if we promise to stay forever, every two or three years we can have another general step up and say that if they just get twenty or thirty or forty thousand more troops, we can finally win this thing. You know. Like Vietnam.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Are you saying the military lost Viet Nam?

a capella on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Boy we sure did show McCain by staying home and not voting for him. That’ll learn the GOP somethin’!

Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”
Winston Churchill

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”
Douglas MacArthur

Will we hear the words of any of these leaders repeated at the hallowed grounds of West Point?

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

I’ve had all of this transforming America bul;lsh*t I can stand

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM

And if we promise to stay forever, every two or three years we can have another general step up and say that if they just get twenty or thirty or forty thousand more troops, we can finally win this thing. You know. Like Vietnam.
Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I’m with ya. We could never beat Japan, why, because they have never been successfully invaded or conquered, they have an ancient warrior tradition, they will fight to the death, defeating them will just take too long.

Bishop on November 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Let’s hope that Obama skips the off-ramps and focuses on victory tomorrow night.

Hahahahahaha!!!! Yeah, right. If anything, he’ll be HIGHLIGHTING every off-ramp.

Bring the troops home NOW! We have a CINC with no balls and no will to WIN.

GarandFan on November 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

The hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty — that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.

George Washington, General Orders, August 23, 1776

will we hear the words of another commander in chief quoted at West Point?

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Will we hear the words of any of these leaders repeated at the hallowed grounds of West Point?

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:24 AM

- – - -

Not by this boy king you won’t. He will remind all of our arrogance and preach that we must be steadfast and weak and accept blame.

bluegrass on November 30, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Will they hook up the “APPLAUSE” sign tomorrow night at West Point?

kingsjester on November 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM

And if we promise to stay forever, every two or three years we can have another general step up and say that if they just get twenty or thirty or forty thousand more troops, we can finally win this thing. You know. Like Vietnam.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Are you saying the military lost Viet Nam?

a capella on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

it was clearly a joint effort. Thew military distinguished itself by pretending that it was making progress when it wasn’t; the politicians distinguished themselves by believing it.

The main problem was that it was a stupid, unwinnable war to begin with.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

The History of West Point is integral to the history of the United States of America. From the day of its founding on March 16, 1802, A favorite expression at West Point is that “much of the history we teach was made by people we taught.” Great leaders such as Grant and Lee, Pershing and MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton, Schwarzkopf and Petraeus are among the more than 50,000 graduates. Countless others, following military service, have had distinguished careers in business, medicine, law, sports, politics, and science.

I wonder how West Point feels about a revisionist historian conducting class inside its walls….

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM

It is either victory or retreat…there is no honor dying on the battlefield for “glory” of a politicians dream…
Bush understood that, history will tell the story of a man (right or wrong) who stood strong and carved out a victory.
Does Obama has President Bush’s resolve?

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Does Obama has President Bush’s resolve?

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

If he did, he’d blame bush for leaving it to him…

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Can you imagine Americans putting up with the kinds of draconian measures needed on the home front to win WWII if “exit strategies” were being bandied about? Can you imagine our soldiers putting their heart into the fight against the Axis if they thought they might be the last death just before the “exit strategy” kicked in?

Imagine FDR saying something like this in a Fireside Chat.

I can’t.

unclesmrgol on November 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

I think they should issue Afghanistan War Bonds, not tax us all
I would buy them in a second

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Did this president really ever intend on fighting this war? I have come to suspect that this admin thought that if they could quickly push through healthcare and Cap&Tax, along with the stimulus, they were hoping that they could then say, “I just don’t think we have the money to fight in Afghanistan.”

I honestly think they figured if they supported the war to get votes, they could then change their minds and decide that healthcare and the environment took priority after inauguration. Now that things didn’t go their way on those two agenda items, they MUST act on Afghanistan. Maybe that’s why they “dithered”. Had their original plans worked they wouldn’t have had to send troops at all.

pjean on November 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM

If the Taliban and al Qaida know their history of the modern Democratic Party and the U.S. media, they’ll be planning their own version of the Tet Offensive — not to do any long-standing damage to the American military forces, but to scare the media and the Democrats in Washington into demanding an immediate troop withdrawal sometime next year.

jon1979 on November 30, 2009 at 10:36 AM

excerpt from Obama’s West Point speech leaked:

This is all Reagan’s fault. If he had left the Soviets alone, Afghanistan would be a socialist paradise

Daveyardbird on November 30, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Boy we sure did show McCain by staying home and not voting for him. That’ll learn the GOP somethin’!
Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Remind me when and where McCain launched his America Prepared campaign to ratchet up the military to a point where manpower isn’t an issue…oh right. He hasn’t. Maybe he should run for Congress and do something about that?

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Does Obama has President Bush’s resolve?

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM
Wouldn`t resolve show substance? Not gonna happen.

LSUMama on November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

The main problem was that it was a stupid, unwinnable war to begin with.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Better keep reading…we militarily won that war. The politicians gave it away.
South Vietnam, even in the last days, were peaceful and completely won over.
Liberals, like Kerry, Fonda, made sure we lost that war, and tens of thousand our men. Then millions of Cambodians after the war were slaughtered, not thousands, but millions.

In just this one prison in Svay Rieng province, between 20,000 and 30,000 people were executed, and during the Pol Pot era, about 1.7 million Cambodians died — more than 20% of the country’s population.

This is what timid politicians create…this is what liberals created with their weak expression of “freedom”…freedom to a liberal is “kill anyone but me”…
No, my foolish friend who reads only what is fed him, we had militarily won that war, but weak people couldn’t push through that last “mile”…
“On the plains of hesitation, lay the bleached bones of the countless millions, who at the dawn of victory, sat and waited…and waiting died”.

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I think they should issue Afghanistan War Bonds, not tax us all
I would buy them in a second

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

I wouldn’t trust this administration to spend the War Bond receipts on the war.

thomasaur on November 30, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Wouldn`t resolve show substance? Not gonna happen.

LSUMama on November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

That is my concern…a waffling CINC doesn’t give me any confidence.

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM

It will take a generation or longer to stabilize Afghanistan and provide it an infrastructure to tamp down extremism and modernize a population more connected to the 14th century than the 21st.

Why do all that? The problem is political, not economic, and the main reason their political problems are so severe is that we’d rather have a two-year truce that blows up in our face than bomb them into submission. We treated Germany and Japan differently and their reconstruction didn’t take a generation.

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 10:44 AM

At least he’s not following the advice of Michael Moore 100 percent. Yet.

Track-A-'Crat on November 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Remind me when and where McCain launched his America Prepared campaign to ratchet up the military to a point where manpower isn’t an issue…oh right. He hasn’t. Maybe he should run for Congress and do something about that?

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Remind me where Obama said he would do that.

Oh… right… he hasn’t. But we do know that McCain wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to retreat ASAP.

Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM

A friend of mine had her cousin who is attending West Point over for Thanksgiving weekend. He was looking for someone with a fever to cozy up to, hoping to be in quarantine by Tuesday. I feel sorry for those young men, how difficult it will be to show respect for a CIC you have no respect for.

ctmom on November 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

That’s strange. I seem to remember the politicians directing the conduct of the war, then shutting off funding to appease the longhairs after the media declared the war lost. In fact, I believe Johnson and McNamara were even selecting the bombing targets.

a capella on November 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Funny, that’s the exact criticism you guys gave the Surge in Iraq.

Chuck Schick on November 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Only Obama has the nerve to stand at West Point and lie, lie, lie.

mobydutch on November 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM

I think they should issue Afghanistan War Bonds, not tax us all
I would buy them in a second

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

With what? Everyone’s broke. And you want this Government to back them up? Last time I looked, they’re broke too. Maybe China can back our War Bonds/

Knucklehead on November 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM

“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,” Obama told ABC News.

I’m always worried about applying the phrase “brilliant”** to an unprecedented historical ignoramus in the White House.

**

The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. — Joe Biden, October 19, 2008

ya2daup on November 30, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Lumpy Riefthensal (Mikey Moore) published a letter to O’bama today.

Hilarious excerpts:

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new “war president”? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. “You’re fired!,” said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son.

We’re counting on you.

Yours, Michael Moore

Del Dolemonte on November 30, 2009 at 10:52 AM

“On the plains of hesitation, lay the bleached bones of the countless millions, who at the dawn of victory, sat and waited…and waiting died”.

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Well said. The American press and the peace movement actually prolonged the war by giving hope to the Viet Cong. And then the press’s complete lack of interest in post-war Southeast Asia helped facilitate the murder of millions.

The truth is, we can beat any enemy, if we set our will towards it. But is modern America able to set our will toward any difficult goal? Bush warned us that the war would be long, and difficult. Did we cheer our troops on at first, only to abandon them a short while later? Or do we resolve to pursue our enemy, destroying him wherever he is found, until at last he give up his violent ways?

hawksruleva on November 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM

President Obama is passionate about defending the US from — conservatives, insurance companies, tonsil vultures, “greedy” bankers, and global warming deniers. From foreign enemies? I see no evidence of any such passion. Not a drop. Absolute zilch. For Obama, Afghanistan is literally a distraction, keeping him from focusing on that which he really cares about, namely his radical domestic agenda.

This is very sad, because although the Taliban is composed of wicked men, they are not stupid. It will not be difficult for them to compose a strategy of survival against the level of threat posed by Obama, who will devote himself to the war as enthusiastically as a 6 year old boy ordered to eat his serving of cauliflower.

jwolf on November 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM

The main problem was that it was a stupid, unwinnable war to begin with.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Better keep reading…we militarily won that war. The politicians gave it away.
South Vietnam, even in the last days, were peaceful and completely won over.
Liberals, like Kerry, Fonda, made sure we lost that war, and tens of thousand our men. Then millions of Cambodians after the war were slaughtered, not thousands, but millions.

In just this one prison in Svay Rieng province, between 20,000 and 30,000 people were executed, and during the Pol Pot era, about 1.7 million Cambodians died — more than 20% of the country’s population.

This is what timid politicians create…this is what liberals created with their weak expression of “freedom”…freedom to a liberal is “kill anyone but me”…
No, my foolish friend who reads only what is fed him, we had militarily won that war, but weak people couldn’t push through that last “mile”…
“On the plains of hesitation, lay the bleached bones of the countless millions, who at the dawn of victory, sat and waited…and waiting died”.

right2bright on November 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

South Vietnam was crawling with Vietcong and ruled by a corrupt and incompetent regime. North Vietnam was never going to surrender and if they had surrendered they’d still be killing troops which would still be occupying it today. Fighting an anti-colonial insurgency on behalf or a corrupt and repressive government is a fools errand.

Funny you should mention Cambodia. The biggest boost the insurgents there ever got was when we started (illegally) bombing it and radicalized the population.

Even your boy NIxon saw the writing on that wall, BS’d about victory long enough to get re-elected, and then cut and ran. A smart move, just four years too late.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Behold, I give you Vietnam II.

Hucklebuck on November 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM

I think they should issue Afghanistan War Bonds, not tax us all
I would buy them in a second

ginaswo on November 30, 2009 at 10:35 AM

I’d buy. I’d ration, too. And I’d donate materials to the war effort. I’d pick up cans on the side of the road. Americans are already voluntarily sending stuff to soldiers. Imagine if the government HARNESSED our will to help in the war effort. But really, winning or losing against Islam is all relative, isn’t it? That’s what the media tells us these days.

hawksruleva on November 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM

It is a shameful dishonor for our nation to put its finest resources (the men and women of the military) and so much of its national treasure (what isn’t being rapidly wasted elsewhere) in the hands of an arrogant, America-hating coward who has no understanding of what the issues and stakes are in this world.

I wish we had a Congress with the guts and patriotism to remove Osama Obama from office before the damage he is causing is beyond repair.

MrScribbler on November 30, 2009 at 10:57 AM

South Vietnam was crawling with Vietcong and ruled by a corrupt and incompetent regime. North Vietnam was never going to surrender and if they had surrendered they’d still be killing troops which would still be occupying it today. Fighting an anti-colonial insurgency on behalf or a corrupt and repressive government is a fools errand.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM

North Vietnam was on the verge of collapse. All that kept them in the fight was the knowledge that many in America were working on their side, and that they had only to outlast America’s will to fight.

hawksruleva on November 30, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Boy we sure did show McCain by staying home and not voting for him. That’ll learn the GOP somethin’!
Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Actually, some of us got out, held our nose, and voted for the RINO bastard but swore that we would never again be put in a position where the GOP candidate was just a slightly less liberal choice than the ‘rats pick. (I’m talking about candidate Obama, not the radical socialist who is in power).

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

“Can’t I just eat my waffle?” Why do media people still expect greatness from the Won? They build him up and he fails to deliver.

Kissmygrits on November 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM

South Vietnam was crawling with Vietcong and ruled by a corrupt and incompetent regime.

After Tet the VC were consumed, except in the deltas.
I suppose Hanoi was just and enlightened?

North Vietnam was never going to surrender and if they had surrendered they’d still be killing troops which would still be occupying it today.

Giap has said otherwise, I believe.

Funny you should mention Cambodia. The biggest boost the insurgents there ever got was when we started (illegally) bombing it and radicalized the population.

Your Americentrism is disturbing.

Remind me where Obama said he would do that.
Oh… right… he hasn’t. But we do know that McCain wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to retreat ASAP.
Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:45 AM

And that excuses Republican failure? I don’t know that liar would achieve anything in the national interest. I’m proud I did not vote for him. I get that all you Republicans want is to win elections, some of us care about GOVERNMENT.

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

If the experiences of the Soviets had left physical manifestations of ‘exit signs’, we could have built Lady Liberty a twin sister.

Puppet government + determined partisan fighters + ridiculous ROEs = BFF*.

*Big Fat Failure

Dark-Star on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

We need to get out of Afghanistan. The filthy lying coward lacks the moral resolve to adequately fight the war. Better our troops come come than get caught between the reality of warfare and the cowardice of the CINC.

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Your misinformation is staggering. The Viet Cong were virtually non-existent after they lost the Tet offensive. The rest sounds like communist propaganda.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Why do media people still expect greatness from the Won? They build him up and he fails to deliver.

Kissmygrits on November 30, 2009 at 11:03 AM

It’s not about expectations, it is about investment. The state-run media is so invested in the idea that the filthy lying coward is great that they can’t admit the opposite is true. Even when they are critical of the rat bastard traitor they somehow always end up blaming GWB more than the radical socialist affirmative action disaster for the problems.

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:06 AM

North Vietnam was on the verge of collapse. All that kept them in the fight was the knowledge that many in America were working on their side, and that they had only to outlast America’s will to fight.

hawksruleva on November 30, 2009 at 10:59 AM

But, you moron, even if the North Vietnamese government collapsed, they would have kept fighting. By 1970, they’d been fighting for 30 years…

which brings us to Afghanistan, where unless we can cease being occupiers and the Karzhai government can’t be beaten into some semblance of competence, they’ll fight us for thirty years. We can’t just bomb them back into the stone age (which would, admittedly, take less bombing there than some other places).

American troops cannot win this war. We can only hand it off to the people who can.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Crittendon paraphrased. “Obama wants it both ways”.

I, for one, am shocked.

booter on November 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 11:06 AM

You really shouldn’t be feeding the trolls.

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

American troops cannot win this war. We can only hand it off to the people who can.

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

the people who can win this war in the scenario you are describing are the Taliban. Is this the outcome you seek?

booter on November 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM

You really shouldn’t be feeding the trolls.

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Is it feeding, or baiting?

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Obama is a coward if he doesn’t yank all of our forces off this battlefield.

The Dean on November 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

I wish we had a Congress with the guts and patriotism to remove Osama Obama from office before the damage he is causing is beyond repair.

MrScribbler on November 30, 2009 at 10:57 AM

I wish we had a public outrage that would force the filthy lying coward to resign. I can understand the hard left holding on but I really can’t abide with so-called conservatives who keep harping on things like “being fair to Democrats” or saying that “Americans pride themselves on orderly transitions.” The time for fairness has long ago evaporated and you don’t sit around watching the country be destroyed just because the filthy lying coward’s term isn’t up.

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Boy we sure did show McCain by staying home and not voting for him. That’ll learn the GOP somethin’!

Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Actually, some of us got out, held our nose, and voted for the RINO bastard but swore that we would never again be put in a position where the GOP candidate was just a slightly less liberal choice than the ‘rats pick. (I’m talking about candidate Obama, not the radical socialist who is in power).

highhopes on November 30, 2009 at 11:00 AM

1/3 of all voters stayed home in 2008. Not all of course were Republicans, but that’s still an immense number.

Del Dolemonte on November 30, 2009 at 11:15 AM

“A veteran is someone who at one point in life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’”

Author Unknown

csdeven on November 30, 2009 at 11:17 AM

The troop increase is real. The timeline is a fake bone to the left. We’ll be in Af-pak until the dollar collapses.

The Calibur on November 30, 2009 at 11:19 AM

But, you moron,

Awww, and to think you once paraded yourself around here as a stable voice unwilling to indulge in personal attacks.

How the mighty have fallen.

Bishop on November 30, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Barack Hussein Obowma: And umm…I plan to…ahh, ummm….vote present….err..ahhh….when we..support….umm, ahhh….our troops…and uhhh…these speeches…umm, ahhh….are starting….to, uhh…interupt my…err, umm….golf game.

dthorny on November 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Why doesn’t Barry just invite the Taliban and Al Qaeda to the White House for an elaborate state dinner? He can turn over the keys to our country at the same time.

Barb Dwyer on November 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Obama is a coward if he doesn’t yank all of our forces off this battlefield.

The Dean on November 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Bassakward comment of the day.

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

can’t believe he will be speaking at West Point…I feel for those cadets…

cmsinaz on November 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Bleeds Blue on November 30, 2009 at 10:29 AM

For once I actually agree with you, it may turn into another Vietnam, but not because of the reasons you spoke of. We will lose it and any war in the future, because we refuse to declare total war. Every operation, patrol, standing order in Iraq and Afghanistan has ROE (Rules of Engagement) attached to it. You can only shoot back at the enemy provided X, Y, Z is present. If X, Y, Z are not happening then you must find cover, not engage, or retreat unless given permission by someone higher up the chain of command to return fire. This crap started in Korea and has been present in every conflict ever since.

War is probably the most terrible thing man can do, and that is the way it should be. War should not be civilized which is what the ROE try to do. From the time the first Europeans settled in America we have declared total and complete war on every single enemy until 1945. We gave no solace, sometimes no quarter, and nothing was off limits.

If 10 indians out of a tribe of 100 attack you, you destroy the village and kill or enslave the rest. If the Lobsterbacks destroy your home, you destroy 10 homes of their supporters. If the Rebs will not surrender you send a general through the South destroying everything down to the plants. If the Germans won’t surrender you bomb everything taller than a blade of grass. Each one of these would be considered a war crime today and the offending soldiers would most likely go to prison or worse, but these terrible acts are what you must do to win a war.

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda have declared total war on us, and in return we investigate our soldiers for giving one of them a fat lip. They promise to kill your family in front of you and we promise we might stick around for a few more years…maybe. They assure everyone that the Americans are weak and will pull out soon, and we have a leader who claims that we need an exit ramp.

txaggie on November 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

cmsinaz on November 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Cadets…you will applaud politely out of deference to the Office…That is an order.

kingsjester on November 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Does anybody know what I am doing right now?…chi-clik, chi-clik, chi-click…shick-shick…tik-click.

royzer on November 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Why do libs worry more about getting out of a conflict than they worry about being successful in one?

katiejane on November 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM

kingsjester on November 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

yes sir!

cmsinaz on November 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM

Get the troops out now.

Spathi on November 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

I get that all you Republicans want is to win elections, some of us care about GOVERNMENT.

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Yes, where in the constitution does it mention allowing government running healthcare? Banks? Taking over industry? Illegally taxing some of the citizenry without the politicians forced to to pay for illegal healthcare coverage and excluding themselves?

The very idea behind the constitution was limiting government from expanding, the exact opposite Obowma is attempting. When it comes to wisdom and knowledge, I’ll take the founding fathers belief in the Lord’s devine blessings toward America over the hate filled, racist radical, ranting narcisisst bent on America’s destruction anyday.

dthorny on November 30, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Count to 10 on November 30, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Not at all, when you look at his campaign promises and realize where the buck would stop. Obama simply hasn’t the spine to issue the orders for a troop withdrawal, because every direct and indirect consequence of doing so would point directly to him. Instead he appears to be waiting until enough of America is screaming to get the **** out of Asscrackistan already as a butt-covering measure…while our troops take sniper and IED casualties every week.

As an aside, most of Obama’s former supporters are seeing that he’s not ending “Bush’s wars” – and their responses range from disappointed to furious.

Dark-Star on November 30, 2009 at 11:36 AM

royzer on November 30, 2009 at 11:30 AM

either walking in high heels or locking and loading a weapon and taking it off safe.

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Get the troops out now.

Spathi on November 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Protip: you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind on here. Go hold Obama’s feet to the fire in any one of a hundred ways, he’s the one that can make it happen.

Dark-Star on November 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I’ll sum up the West Point speech here:

“Cadets, Attention! Mark time, March!”

–The President

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Never read his books. Did Barry ever win a fistfight in his life?

Christien on November 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Taliban should wait for thew offramp and then get back to it.

tarpon on November 30, 2009 at 11:48 AM

either walking in high heels or locking and loading a weapon and taking it off safe.

ted c on November 30, 2009 at 11:37 AM

HAHAHAHA….that was funny, thanks, i needed that laugh,the later is correct.

royzer on November 30, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Only Obama has the nerve to stand at West Point and lie, lie, lie.

mobydutch on November 30, 2009 at 10:51 AM

You mean BOW?

He should be there on his knees thanking them for their service.

dthorny on November 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

And that excuses Republican failure? I don’t know that liar would achieve anything in the national interest. I’m proud I did not vote for him. I get that all you Republicans want is to win elections, some of us care about GOVERNMENT.

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

No, I think it emphasizes Democrat FAILURE. Look around pal, Obama and The Democrats are pushing us to third world nation status all the while happily nationalizing our industries for the good of Big Brother.

I’ll take Republican failures over this socialist twat ANY DAY.

Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Each one of these would be considered a war crime today and the offending soldiers would most likely go to prison or worse, but these terrible acts are what you must do to win a war.

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda have declared total war on us, and in return we investigate our soldiers for giving one of them a fat lip. They promise to kill your family in front of you and we promise we might stick around for a few more years…maybe. They assure everyone that the Americans are weak and will pull out soon, and we have a leader who claims that we need an exit ramp.

txaggie on November 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Well said. We could defeat the Taliban, but it would take the will to invade western Pakistan and pursue the enemy with impunity. And that was actually part of the Bush doctrine – we would pursue the terrorists wherever they hid. But Colin Powell’s State Dept. nipped that in the bud, I’ll wager.

hawksruleva on November 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Get the troops out now.

Spathi on November 30, 2009 at 11:35 AM

But you “support” them, right?

Del Dolemonte on November 30, 2009 at 12:31 PM

A series of operational benchmarks might be in order here, matching American strategic decisions with conditions on the ground — the normal case for war management, it should be noted. But in this case, Obama and the White House don’t seem particularly interested in that kind of strategic planning.

Again, Morrissey doesn’t appear to actually read the article he links to:

At West Point, Mr. Obama was expected to describe commitments from Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, and specific benchmarks his government must meet: to crack down on corruption, deploy well-trained Afghan troops and police officers, and focus on development in one of the world’s poorest nations.

I mean, it’s not that hard to do a page search for “benchmarks” before you claim that Obama isn’t interested in them, right?

But Morrissey sure likes to talk about VICTORY! Without ever defining it. I mean, he lists a few nice-sounding things, but doesn’t say how they could be realistically achieved, then admits that it’s probably not realistic.

But who cares about realism when you’ve got a chance to talk about VICTORY?

orange on November 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

We can’t just bomb them back into the stone age (which would, admittedly, take less bombing there than some other places).

Yes, we Can!

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

No, I think it emphasizes Democrat FAILURE. Look around pal, Obama and The Democrats are pushing us to third world nation status all the while happily nationalizing our industries for the good of Big Brother.

I’ll take Republican failures over this socialist twat ANY DAY.

Skywise on November 30, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Yeah, keep running incomptence up the flagpole, and whining when I don’t salute.

If you’re gonna fail like the Democrats you’re no better than the Democrats.

Chris_Balsz on November 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

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