Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on September 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Today’s OOTD comes to us from national security expert Jed Babbin at RCP, who notices that Barack Obama offered a bit of a mixed message on the war in Afghanistan. After making timelines for drawdowns as part of his surge plan for the Af-Pak theater, Obama has been pressured on both sides to either reinforce them or abandon them for a conditions-based strategy. Babbin notes that Obama attempted to have his cake and eat it too instead:

Obama confused military leaders – and voters – with his Oval Office speech. Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway had said that setting the withdrawal date was giving the enemy sustenance and that the Taliban leaders would have a lot of explaining to do with their troops when we didn’t leave. Gen. David Petraeus, Afghanistan commander, said repeatedly that the withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground.

Obama recited that “conditions on the ground” as rote. He repeated his goal, saying that, “We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists.”

But Obama contradicted himself and overrode what Conway and Petraeus said, reconfirming the July 2011 withdrawal date regardless of the circumstances: “But make no mistake: this transition will begin – because open-ended war serves neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.” He then proceeded to cite a litany of liberal spending initiatives (education, reducing oil consumption) as the way to honor returning troops.

Maybe Obama’s idea of a conditions-based strategy is a condition that the calendar read a certain date. No one wants an open-ended war, certainly not the Afghans, whose legitimacy will not be settled until the elected government stands on its own without NATO. But the Afghans who have cast their lot with democracy don’t want the US checking its watch and telegraphing the fact that they’re mostly looking forward to a predetermined bug-out date, either. Offering the two mutually exclusive strategies in the same war speech might have been intended to confuse the enemy, but the only one who really looks confused is Obama himself.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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General Obama is trying to earn his Nobel Prize after the fact.

itsnotaboutme on September 15, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Offering the two mutually exclusive strategies in the same war speech might have been intended to confuse the enemy, but the only one who really looks confused is Obama himself.

the academic-in-chief in action once again…

cmsinaz on September 15, 2010 at 8:10 AM

The man is a walking contradiction.

Guardian on September 15, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Barry got into every elected office he’s ever held, including the presidency, by making people on multiple sides of an issue feel like he stands with them. Some call this ‘threading the needle.’ Others ‘having your cake and eating it too.’

I call it: lying.

redfoxbluestate on September 15, 2010 at 8:20 AM

Øbama votes ‘present’.

petefrt on September 15, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Bambi knows exactly what he is doing.He has announced the withdrawal date,depending upon conditions “on the ground”.Of course conditions on the ground are going to improve as that date approaches,the Taliban are not stupid.Then Bambi gets credit for winning the war,and afterthe American troops are gone,Bambi’s buddies move right back in to set Afganistan back to where it was 12 years ago.Win-win situation for Bambi and his Islamic Masters.

DDT on September 15, 2010 at 8:21 AM

He then proceeded to cite a litany of liberal spending initiatives (education, reducing oil consumption) as the way to honor returning troops.

The fact that Obama’s idea of “honor” is to exploit the troops to campaign for his Marxist, sorry, “Progressive” Democrat agenda illustrates just how dishonorable he is.

Buy Danish on September 15, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Well he said “make no mistake,” and we all know that is code for “what I’m about to say is confusing and is totally opposite of what you have already been told.”

sammypants on September 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Offering the two mutually exclusive strategies in the same war speech might have been intended to confuse the enemy, but the only one who really looks confused is Obama himself.

Confucius say, “Better to close mouth and appear stupid than to open mouth and remove all doubt.”

Electrongod on September 15, 2010 at 8:26 AM

He’s a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction
Taking every wrong direction on his lonely way back home

AcidReflux on September 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Well he said “make no mistake,” and we all know that is code for “what I’m about to say is confusing and is totally opposite of what you have already been told.”

sammypants on September 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Actually it seems that everyone has been using that phrase a lot more since President Bush used it a few times in the days after 9/11/01. Has anyone else noticed this?

itsnotaboutme on September 15, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Yeah, confusing, so what! That was a barn burner of a speech! I was enthralled from beginning to end!
.
.
.
.
.
/sarc off

ExpressoBold on September 15, 2010 at 8:35 AM

who notices that Barack Obama offered a bit of a mixed message on the war in Afghanistan.

Who hasn’t?

When has Obama offered anything but mixed messages, regardless of the subject matter?

maverick muse on September 15, 2010 at 8:36 AM

sammypants on September 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM

This administration is stuck on the opposite game.

maverick muse on September 15, 2010 at 8:37 AM

BO is not smart.
This is exactly why as a professor of ConLaw, he never published anything on it.
Instead, he writes a vanity book about himself.
Any professor at any large university worth his salt would have published work behind him.
The man can’t think his way out of a paper bag.
And this sure speaks volumes of the people that have been dazzled by him.

Badger40 on September 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Badger40 on September 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

apparently he just ‘wrote’ a children’s book, rocketing to the top of the charts…where did he have the time with all the pivoting on jobs, nat’l security and golfing?

cmsinaz on September 15, 2010 at 8:43 AM

We are never going to win in Afghanistan because we have not let the military fight a WAR. Unless that happens (and it won’t) we should pretty much just up and leave.

Johnnyreb on September 15, 2010 at 8:44 AM

apparently he just ‘wrote’ a children’s book, rocketing to the top of the charts…where did he have the time with all the pivoting on jobs, nat’l security and golfing? cmsinaz on September 15, 2010 at 8:43 AM

It’s easy when you have so many number 1 priorities.

Mojave Mark on September 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM

It’s almost as if Dear Liar has no executive experience. Oh, wait, He doesn’t.

rbj on September 15, 2010 at 8:51 AM

The man is a walking contradiction.

Guardian on September 15, 2010 at 8:16 AM

He tells no truth and his past is fiction.

darwin-t on September 15, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Mojave Mark on September 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM

:)

cmsinaz on September 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Given what the GPO establishment is doing lately, you might consider starting a GOPElitisms. The base would have a great time putting their betters in their place.

Fair and balanced and all that, you know…

beatcanvas on September 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM

BO is a self-inflated ahole, everyone know it. We will leave next July according to his agenda. Then in a few years it will take a conservative in office to finish the job that he doesn’t have the stones to finish, costing the US trillions more…

jbh45 on September 15, 2010 at 9:13 AM

GPO = GOP, of course. I suffer from morning fingers…

beatcanvas on September 15, 2010 at 9:13 AM

The fact that Obama’s idea of “honor” is to exploit the troops to campaign for his Marxist, sorry, “Progressive” Democrat agenda illustrates just how dishonorable he is.

Buy Danish on September 15, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Worth repeating often.

Extrafishy on September 15, 2010 at 9:55 AM

apparently he just ‘wrote’ a children’s book, rocketing to the top of the charts…where did he have the time with all the pivoting on jobs, nat’l security and golfing?

cmsinaz on September 15, 2010 at 8:43 AM

I can just imagine that conversation with GIC Bill Ayers; -”you want what now?”

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2010 at 10:29 AM

BO is not smart.
This is exactly why as a professor of ConLaw, he never published anything on it.
Instead, he writes a vanity book about himself.
Any professor at any large university worth his salt would have published work behind him.
The man can’t think his way out of a paper bag.
And this sure speaks volumes of the people that have been dazzled by him.

Badger40 on September 15, 2010 at 8:40 AM

There is strong evidence that Bill Ayers wrote one of his two autobiographies, the strong use of boating metaphors?….who writes two autobiographies when they haven’t accomplished anything?

dthorny on September 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM

He just reads whats on his teleprompter. If it said “… and call me Captain Fluffy Pants” he would read that without flinching.

The speeches are just for the Masses. The real agendas are what he is doing to take over as much of the country as possible, aka “Change.”

Neo on September 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Let’s face it, “I won” is in way over his head.

GarandFan on September 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Elections have consequences… and these are terrible. Thanks liberals……..

ultracon on September 15, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Obama talking in circles!!! Noooooo Wayyyy!

HotAirExpert on September 15, 2010 at 2:51 PM