Green Room

Which is worse? – a continuing series (Obama, Conservatives, and Afghanistan #3)

posted at 12:53 pm on September 20, 2009 by

I’m not interested in just being in Afghanistan for the sake of being in Afghanistan or saving face or, in some way – you know, sending a message that America is here for the duration.

Mr. Presidentregardless of what you’re planning – that last part would be a good message.

To say the least, we’ve been here before – I feel like we’ve always been in this particular place with this particular politician, as we’ve often been with his party: Either he and they don’t get it, or they do get it, and that’s a lot worse…

Why does our Truly Great Leader feel a need to say these things? What positive purpose can it serve to put our commitment in question? Especially now… mere days after reversing himself on European missile defense, mere days before entering into the arena with our allies, rivals, and enemies on the world stage? If he has in fact decided to reject the generals’ war-winning plan, or is even giving the idea serious consideration – that’s all the more reason to keep it to himself until the last possible moment… unless his main concern is protecting himself politically on the far left.

Yes, I understand that what he means, on its face, is that he doesn’t want us to escalate just to prove that we mean it, but he really doesn’t seem to understand, and hasn’t for years really, anything about morale and the function of commitment in any fight. If he were Cortez, instead of burning his boats, he’d leave half his men behind to refurbish them for the earliest and most convenient return voyage. Can you imagine him speaking to the troops before a battle – or to a little league team before the big game? “Now, I don’t want you to focus on winning. Whether or not we win, I’m sure we’ll make do, and, frankly, I’m not even sure whether it’s worth showing up in the first place, or whether this all hasn’t been a big waste of time anyway, but, don’t worry, if the going gets tough, we’ll have an exit plan…” I imagine him as a doctor talking to a critically ill patient: “Giving up the fight against your illness is something we’ll have to consider. Bye now!”

Come to think of it, isn’t that kind of what he told that lady who’s very elderly mother had exhibited an extraordinary will to live?

Whatever the explanation, the TGL appears yet once again to be perfectly content having our enemies, our allies, fence-sitters, and our troops conclude that America’s days (ahem, in theater…) are numbered…

Allahpundit-style exit question before I lose all sense of decorum: If he rejects the Petraeus-McChrystal strategy, what do Petraeus and/or McChrystal do (other than say, “Yes, sir”)?

cross-posted at Zombie Contentions

Recently in the Green Room:



Trackback URL


CKM — as you’ll see at my post, I believe the TGL says these things because he in fact has a different policy in mind, one that does not involve the commitment you correctly point out he is effectively disavowing.

Given Obama’s record of public comments on both Iraq and Afghanistan, I think it takes a whole heap of self-delusion for anyone to think that secretly, Obama really supports the commitment to stability and self-government in these two countries, and for some inexplicable reason just keeps blundering when he talks about it.

J.E. Dyer on September 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Or, JED, as on 9/11 and at sundry other opportunities, he somehow forgets to mention his support for the troops and their mission.

Still interested in the answer to the exit question. Observers on the left described Obama as having been “rolled by his generals” when he capitulated to Odierno and others on releasing detainee abuse photos. What happens when he takes the generals on? Are McChrystal and Petraeus and others the kinda guys who just roll over, attempting to make a strategy that they don’t believe in work? Won’t they be forced to give signals – whether they want to or not? Wouldn’t anything less than a full-throated defense of the alternative policy amount to a negative signal? Will that be enough for them to preserve and secure their self-respect, reputations, and, most of all, the lives and interests of their troops and allies?

Assuming Obama doesn’t surprise us, and go the whole nine yards on a victory policy – something that in your current post you clearly do not believe he’s going to do – what’s a good general to do?

CK MacLeod on September 20, 2009 at 2:32 PM

The “commitment” I took Obama to be talking about is the commitment to LEAVE. Now I am totally confused. I read this in conjunction with the item that sent me here. Argghh.

This is another dimension of the nightmare that is Obama. Domestic policy, and now foreign policy. Unfortunately, the dimwits who voted for this guy gave him the power to do whatever he wants. The question is whether he can be stopped or not.

tanarg on September 20, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Resign or stay and run counterstrategies to reduce the damage Obama can do? Hard choice.

tanarg on September 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM

HotAir — Politics, Culture, Media, 2017, Breaking News from a conservative viewpoint
Top Pick

I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I said that

Top Pick

Rocking the boat majorly

Big government never contracts. It only grows more powerful

It’s only a “ban” until it becomes inconvenient

The decline and fall of Obamacare and the AHCA

Jazz Shaw Jun 24, 2017 8:31 AM

This was all over before it began

Fixing crime in America is a complicated issue

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 8:31 PM

Cops alone won’t solve it.

Victim’s father was President Maduro’s supervisor back when he was a bus driver.

Democrats forgot all about the “era of good feelings”

“Bernie and Jane Sanders have lawyered up.”

“the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey.”

Winning isn’t everything. It is the only thing

Trump signs VA reform bill into law

John Sexton Jun 23, 2017 2:41 PM

“What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls.”

A new era of something.

“…died suddenly in less than a week just after his return to the U.S.”

The shortsightedness of “Denounce and Preserve”

Taylor Millard Jun 23, 2017 12:11 PM

Pragmatism for the sake of pragmatism doesn’t always work.

Perhaps if you threw in a new car?

Gay marriages still growing, but not as fast

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 10:31 AM

More, but not as quickly.

Should’ve stuck with the pirate gig. It was working for him

The battle for the rubble of Raqqa is underway

Andrew Malcolm Jun 23, 2017 8:51 AM

Won’t be much left.

Your list of demands is a publicity stunt

“what happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives…”

“The jobs are still leaving. Nothing has stopped.”

Bad vendor. Bad! No cookie!

“The Corps is just starting to grapple with the issues the court has identified.”

“So you want me to sing my praises, is that what you’re saying?”

Why would we possibly want that?

“I mean he sold our country to The Russians.”

I could think of someone else you might want to ask about…

“You can ask a hundred people what hate speech is and you get a thousand different answers”

Trump: I never made any recordings of Comey

Allahpundit Jun 22, 2017 2:01 PM


Hackers stole private data from election databases

John Sexton Jun 22, 2017 1:21 PM

“90,000 records stolen by Russian state actors contained drivers license numbers”

Failure to protect the city

Big man on the Middle Eastern campus

Biased Americans see media as biased.