June 22, 2011

"We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place."

"We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government."

Obama's Afghanistan speech.

Andrew Malcolm comments:
The president is in a mess of his own making. He built his initial national political persona on opposition to Bush's Iraq war because, the former U.S. senator argued, it distracted America from the far more important conflict against Al Qaeda, the Taliban and terrorism in Afghanistan, which was the haven for Al Qaeda's 9/11 training.

Bush's Iraq surge worked, however, enabling Obama to proclaim victory and transfer those troops. This, in turn, enabled Vice President Joe Biden, the candidate who wanted to slice Iraq into three parts, to go on cable TV and with no sense of irony call Iraq one of Obama's "great achievements."

That left the Afghanistan war, 10 years old this fall, where Al Qaeda forces were making gains against the invisible central government. When Obama became commander-in-chief, the United States had 32,000 troops there. Today it has 100,000.

137 comments:

JAL said...

So.

General Petraeus doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

But the great Barack does.

Lem said...

"It would be impossible for me in a paragraph or a page or two or a tome or volumes one and two to help you understand the dynamics of these events.".. but it was not the Taliban that attacked us on 9/11.

The killing of Bin Laden, the continued drone attacks on Al Qaeda and (knock on wood) the absence of an attack here at home proves that what we are doing to defend the homeland is working.

Had we been attacked again I might be saying something entirely different.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

He's gotta shore up his base with the copperheads. Just Blacks and union thugs won't get it done.

Cedarford said...

In the earlier thread, Fen wrote:

"Fen - "Right. In the age of WMD, we wait till we are attacked, stack the bodies, and then react."

Pretty much, Fen, we have to rely on strategic deterrance - unless you want to go with the John McCain prescription of endless war and slow attrition of troops and bleedoff of trillions we don't have in 30-year long "nation building projects".
And if the criteria is endless war in any country, stone age or not that "might" harbor terrorists someday who might attack us ..you are talking dozens of nations through Africa and Asia.
We don't have the will or resources to fight the endless wars then "nation-building adventures".
As for the claim that we must invade Sudan and pay to make it as good as Iowa while we ignore Detroit and gutted industrial small towns....because The Evildoers Could Set off A Bomb and There Would Be No REturn Address!!
Sure there would be. .
The supplier of the WMD (a WMD capable nation we could wipe out save Russia), and the supplier of the ideology (be it Saudi Arabia or Iran..)

garage mahal said...

Point: Obama is weak on national security.

Counterpoint: bin Laden's face.

edutcher said...

Little Zero's indifference to this is criminal. He doesn't care. It's just something to be used to advance him politically.

And, as Fen notes, when it happens the next time, it will be somebody else's fault.

Maybe Joe's.

Never his.

Like Woody Wilson, Zero may not always be right, but he is never wrong.

Cedarford said...

In the earlier thread, Fen wrote:

"Fen - "Right. In the age of WMD, we wait till we are attacked, stack the bodies, and then react."

Pretty much, Fen, we have to rely on strategic deterrance - unless you want to go with the John McCain prescription of endless war and slow attrition of troops and bleedoff of trillions we don't have in 30-year long "nation building projects".
And if the criteria is endless war in any country, stone age or not that "might" harbor terrorists someday who might attack us ..you are talking dozens of nations through Africa and Asia.
We don't have the will or resources to fight the endless wars then "nation-building adventures".


Not if we listen to Cedar and the Demos. We have the will and the resources - Dubya proved that.

The issue is there are always people who want to say otherwise, but we tried to run away for 40 years after 'Nam and Somalia and it led us to 9/11.

I have a feeling Cedar would have said we should get out of Texas and New Mexico and Nebraska 150 years ago.

Lem said...

Is the propping up of a weak Afghan central government worth the blood and treasure of the American people for what seems like well beyond the foreseeable future?

Absent an attack here at home and/or some stronger excuse for our troops to be there.. my answer is NO.

If that means Obama is right.. then so be it.

As I recall Bush did say we were not going to be there for ever.

DinobotPrime said...

Lem
And I will tell you now, the United States will be back in that country again within a decade. A repeat of Iraq but much deadlier and nastier with a different mission altogether.

traditionalguy said...

My POV is that although Obama is my enemy, when my enemy wants to do something that I want to be done, then I should quit trying to stop him. All we can win in Afghanistan is ever more experience in bringing in human targets for insane Muslims to ambush and kill while we pretend that we are protecting the most worthless and unimportant place on earth.

bagoh20 said...

Whether you want victory or withdrawal, this President is gonna disappoint. So we will die and pay and still lose.

bagoh20 said...

"unless you want to go with the John McCain prescription of endless war and slow attrition of troops and bleedoff of trillions we don't have in 30-year long "nation building projects".

So that's the only alternative to an American city being blown up? How about 2 cities? Two every decade?

I think we can do better than that, and I think you have very little imagination, probably due to the blinding hatred of ... well just about everything and everyone as far as I can tell.

edutcher said...

The government in Kabul doesn't have to be perfect, but it can be responsive to the people and strong enough to defend itself.

Anyone who thinks it can't be done because what we have now is corrupt should take a look at South Korea. A similar case as late as thirty years ago.

FWBuff said...

Why "Pockiston" and "Tollybon" but not "Offgonnyston"? Obama's inconsistent, pseudo-intellectual pronunciation was so distracting, it was impossible to focus on the substance.

bagoh20 said...

"it was impossible to focus on the substance.".

Obama succeeds again!

Carol_Herman said...

Quagmires are our specialty.

We've been so mired since Truman opted to go with the UN's "police action" in Korea. For no good account.

Other than power fills power vacuums when weak men are made presidents.

We haven't seen too many winnahs ... since Teddy Roosevelt. And, he was the first progressive we got.

Woodrow Wilson wouldn't have won ... if Teddy Roosevelt, pissed at Taft for NOT being a progressive ... didn't go an run as a Bull Moose.

On the other hand?

I'm all for Sarah running, now, as an independent. Be fun to see "ONE NATION" signs taking hold across all the roads even journalists travel, to get to work.

It's gonna be like a Gallagher routine, with watermelons.

Joanna said...

blahblahblah re-elect-me blahblahblah 2012 blahblahblah re-elect-me

That's all I heard tonight.

Carol_Herman said...

As to Afghanistan, you could see right away it was a mistake.

All the Afghans wanted were 8 lane highways ... to more efficiently move their poppy trade to market. Even Osama didn't want to live in their caves.

You could have told first thing out ... since no one in America sells "Afghan" food.

We pretty much do better with people who can come here and open restaurants.

But the cartels put a lot of pressure on Dubya. Besides the saud's looking to promote their own religion.

Never passed muster.

Carol_Herman said...

Israel sits closer to being a target of a nuke. But I read somewhere that IF iran fired one of them off ... it would probably land in Senegal. Accuracy isn't one of their qualifiers.

For propaganda, iran shakes her threats. Israel only sent STUXNET.

And, IF iran had nuclear material, there'd be a mushroom shaped cloud over Bashir (sp?)

Meanwhile, Nebraska's in trouble, like Japan. And, Obama has clamped down on the news jerks. Russia, however, is reporting this. Nu?

We need wars when our media has turned into PRAVDA?

Kirby Olson said...

We can't give the Afghan women universal human rights unless the men are willing. And it's not our problem. Human rights are a Protestant invention. Unless they all turn Lutheran we can't make the place into Denmark or Norway or Sweden. We should only help Protestant countries henceforth. Of course, they are the only countries that don't need any help. So, that should be our effective foreign policy. We are a Protestant nation and will only recognize Protestant nations. All others are illegitimate. We shouldn't even trade with them or allow immigration from anything but Protestant nations. This idea has some problems with the Establishment Clause, but we might as well be honest and face the facts. Only Protestantism functions. Everything else is a stupid mess, and nothing can clean it up.

Chip Ahoy said...

Okay, what? There's this guy named Obama and he gave a speech.

Fred4Pres said...

I am surprised Barack Obama did not have Yusef Islam playing guitar in the background.

Cedarford said...

JAL said...
So.

General Petraeus doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

But the great Barack does
***************************

The Great General graduated West point in the upper 5% of his class. He has a graduate degree from an Ivy League university. He was Airborne. He conducted a brilliant surge in war. Such was his reputation and gravitas with soldiers and many in Congress and the Administration that when he wanted another "Surge" he was instrumental in getting it. His name was spoken with near Godlike reverence by certain Senators. He had but to ask, and the President and Congress got in line and gave him almost all the people and resources he asked for to conduct another successful Surge.
Any that questioned the Surge and uplift of the Noble People of Vietnam to Freedom were told that the General and his people knew best what they needed.

Then things went to hell in 1968.

What? THought I was talking about the Great Petraeus?

Nope, William Westmoreland. 1st in his class at West Point, distinguished (Top 5%) graduate of Harvard MBA school. Like Petraeus a soldiers soldier parachutist (he was 82nd, Petraeus 101). A brilliant tactician that helped pioneer the use of Airborne Surge in Korea.

He recommended enough US soldiers for Vietnam that he could protect bases, "surge out" and stabilize the countryside and show The American Way was good and win the gratitude of the populace until a stable post-Diem government had the S Vietnamese rally around it.
Congress Reps, already being beaten up for it by 1967, explained:

1. Westmoreland is a hero. Maybe the greatest general since Eisenhower and George Marshall. They were just following his advice.
2. The war and it's escalation were justified by the crazy recklessness of Vietnam attacking a US warship in the Gulf of Tonkin.
"So when I hear some complaint about another 80,000 men going - remember they attacked us 1st!"

Not saying Petraeus is wrong, or that Westmoreland was wrong had several variables he couldn't control (the deeply corrupt Thieu government), the Soviet/Chinese aid had not also escalated.....

But beware of Worship of Superstar Generals by unquestioning media pundits, politicians and idealogues. .

A general McArthur or Westmoreland or Petraeus Himself (as McCain usually phrased it) is not enough in and of themselves. Military commitments and resources need to be looked at with enough people - to get a full picture of what is in our best vital interests. It may or may not be consonant with the wishes of a single commander for a single committed force in a single country.

In 1989, the strongest, largest conventional force the world had ever seen... with forces with commitments in 17 different countries, finally begin collapsing economically. After almost a decade of stagnation, beng out-competed economically.

It isn't just Obama - this desire to get out of endless war and nation-building is a growing bipartisan thing. A majority of Republican Senators and Republican Presidential candidates agree. With a raging rear guard of neocons that see their hopes of "Next wars!!" are threatened. Their faster, faster more Heroes in more counties to bring Freedom!! a list of Syria, Iran, Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen - maybe an Asian nation-building or two plus and African uplift tossed in to prove we are not just doing wars on Muslims - fading fast as hopeful wars for them and the Likud Party.

Mary Beth said...

The speech was pre-empted here for three hours of tornado warnings. Some of the barns at Churchill Downs were hit but there aren't any reports of horses or people being injured there.

Overall, I think this was less stressful for me than listening to Obama.

Jason said...

Step 1: Ignore military advice!

Step 2: ????

Step 3: Success!

RBB said...

So...

Bush won his war by gutting it out in the face of adversity.

Obama lost "his" war by NOT doing the same.

Bush was vilified by the MSM for making the tough call to win a war.

Wanna bet Obama is celebrated for his decision to lose one?

Curious George said...

Point: Obama is weak on national security.

Counterpoint: bin Laden's face.

Counter counter point: Nidal Malik Hasan yells "allahu akbar" and starts a shootin grampage that kills 12 and wounds 31. Prior to the shooting, he had expressed extremist views which had been brought to the attention of his superiors and the FBI. Hasan was discovered to have exchanged e-mails with Imam Anwar al-Awlaki asking for spiritual guidance regarding violence. Obama says "we cannot fully know" what led to his actions. Obama's AG refuses to say "radical Islam" played a part.

"Underwear Bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempts to detonate a plastic explosive on a plane that had 290 people aboard. The bomb failed to explode, and passengers put out the resulting fire. This shear luck was described by Obama's NSA Jante Napolitano as " the system worked".

Much of the SOuthern border is overrun with with Mexican drug cartel henchmen. Obama's Border Patrol has put up signs saying "Dangerous for US Citizens.

Yea, he is fucking awesome!

Seven Machos said...

Poor Obama. He had no plans other than being awesome. And it turns out he's not even good at that.

The White House must be a gloomy place right now.

Mike said...

Hey The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden (personally after direct involvement in the planning etc.) has full military props. He knows what he's doing (in a Pigford's behind!)

JAL said...

Funny C4 how you left out Walter Cronkite and the misreporting (if that's what one could call it) of the Tet Offensive.
===============

I find the Afghanistan war very difficult to sort out. Seems like a bunch of 14th century tribal war lord opium smokers and traders sitting on a veritable King Solomn's mine worth of minerals which could make them way more wealthy over all. But they are too short sighted to see anything like that. Where there is no vision ...

Hard to give up power.

Karzai's become a disappointment.

Was it worth it? I don't know. We had to go in in 2001.

So why did Obama send the extra troops in (not what was asked for, though) if he didn't mean them to make a difference?

The announced pull out is making up with Americans he pissed off then? With Americans "tired" of Afghanistan?

I do have a personal interest in this as a family member is headed there in the future.

Ironclad said...

There are realistically two ways out of the Afghan mess, and neither are palatible. The first would be to divide Afghanistan into Pashtun and non-Pashto nations (ripping out a chunk of Pakistan, our other "friend" in the area). Then let the Pashtuns know that if they bother the other areas of Afghanistan that we will vaporize them.

The second would be to "go native" and declare blood war on individual tribes that supply the Taliban. And do the WWII act of obliteration on those tribes until the others got the idea that being rouge was a very bad idea.

Both of these are obviously not politically correct or feasible, since it would amount to virtual genocide against groups - but such is the nature of warfare in those areas.

Dont make wars in areas unless you intend to win them.

Dustin said...

The truth is that Bush killed Osama Bin Laden, and Obama took credit for it.

It's a little annoying to see someone like Garage dismiss more drawn out discussions about foreign policy by noting "Osama's face", but only a little. The left may think Americans are that stupid, but they really aren't. They know that was not a difficult call, and that the world is slipping further into chaos on Obama's watch.

Either something puts foreign policy back on the map of political issues, in which case Obama screwed up, or the economy keeps it off, in which case Obama screwed up. I don't think repeatedly spiking the football is going to do it.

windbag said...

It'd be nice if Obama gave up trying to mold America into what he considers a perfect place.

PatCA said...

With Petraeus going to the CIA maybe they hope to have a quiet war from there.

I hope he has a plan.

Paul Ciotti said...

edutcher: Not if we listen to Cedar and the Demos. We have the will and the resources - Dubya proved that.

The only thing Bush proved was that he was as good at ruining the economy as any Democrat. Iraq was a war of choice. Saddam had no WMD and even if he had they couldn't have hurt the US.

As I see it Bush blew off my retirement and my kids' future on a war that didn't need to be fought.

Obama's doing the same thing with the 10 year war in Afghanistan. We've been there long enough (about nine years too long). Every time a drone blows up another wedding party we create another 1,000 jihadists willing to die to avenger their honor.

The hell with Afghanistan. It's never done anything for me. And fighting this war is ruining America before our eyes.

Carol_Herman said...

Ann Coulter pointed out that there are more goats in Afghanistan than there are flushing toilets!

After our 1st six months in ... we should have begun spraying the poppy fields with agent orange.

And, gotten the hell out.

Yes. Then the Afghan's would have had the 8 lane highways we built. But if we had destroyed the poppy fields we would have taken care of their #1 export!

Meanwhile, separate from the costs of war are the costs of addiction.

With agent orange we'd have depleted the opium and heroin stocks. And, made our stupid war on drugs easier on our own economy.

Didn't. And, it's too late to rescue anything.

Instead of calling our involvements wars, we should call them QUAGMIRES!

Anyhoo ... I doubt the dead cat bounces for obama. I think he's dug his hole ... by a continuous parade of stupidity.

History is gonna laugh at the democraps. Jimmy Carter. Clintoon. His wife, the HildaBeast. And, now obama. It's a trifecta!

Jason said...

Saddam had no WMD

False.

Alex said...

Afghanistan is a horrible horrible quagmire and all I can say is BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW.

Lem said...

With Petraeus going to the CIA maybe they hope to have a quiet war from there.

If I remember correctly Rumsfeld wanted a "light footprint" in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Titus said...

Chip Ahoy, do you have any weiner tweets?

Paul Ciotti said...

Jason, you write that it's "false" to say there were no WMD's in Iraq. But former President Bush apparently thinks otherwise. In his book Decision Points he wrote that “no one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons. I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do.”

Do you know something that Bush doesn't know?

Seven Machos said...

Paul -- You as well as some of the more conservative commenters here need to get past the propaganda for the war. The propaganda for any war is very rarely the same as the actual reasons for the war. It's not manufactured. It's just tangentially related.

That's the case here. We invaded Iraq because it was vital to establish a beachhead in the Middle East where we could put our military, our spies, and our diplomats. It could have been any number of countries. It was and remains and will remain for quite some time necessary to have great influence there.

Look at a map, dude. Look where Iraq is. Then think.

The best part is I bet you take yourself for someone who is not easily fooled by propaganda. But you are, just as much as the people swearing there was WMD in Iraq.

Chip Ahoy said...

No, Titus, I'm totally tweetless.

Ironclad said...

We invaded Iraq because the sanction embargo on the country was killing everyone there but the ruling party. The sanctions were unsustainable - but stopping them meant that Saddam would have been free to pursue a REAL WMD program again. And after they found what was a nascent nuclear program after the initial sanctions - imagine what Saddam would have done with the AQ Khan nuclear sale baazar running in Pakistan.

Bush bet that we could take out Saadam and have the Iraqis move forward. He did not count on the Sunnis being insane over losing control and the Iranians being so open in stoking the Shia's to push revenge. When Al-Qaeda moved in and the thing went insane - the place fell apart until the Sunnis realized that the Al-Qaeda guys were worse than Saadam.

But the point is - moving around the sanctions were the motivator. How many children died in Iraq under them? - remember Allbright saying it was worth it?

Lem said...

"We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place."

And you, Mr president are trying to make Libya into..

Oh, that's right, We are not at war with Libya. But we've always been at war with Eastasia ;)

Seven Machos said...

Iron makes tremendous points about the human cost of sanctions. Thousand of people died. Many were truly and completely innocent in the nearly metaphysical sense of the word. Many were children.

That's more of the tangential reasons. There were numerous very good tangential reasons. The fact that we believed that Saddam was producing nuclear weapons like Iran is now was a very good one.

In retrospect, Iran would have been great to invade. Maybe we should have. But we didn't have the necessary casus beli and, besides, we now have Iran surrounded. Not that Obama is helping with that.

Paul Ciotti said...

Seven Machos: We invaded Iraq because it was vital to establish a beachhead in the Middle East where we could put our military, our spies, and our diplomats.

I agree that's why Bush did it. I just don't agree with his reasons. To me Iraq was a war of choice and therefore not anything we needed to do.

Robert said...

Paul Ciotti said
To me Iraq was a war of choice and therefore not anything we needed to do.

Maybe Obama's use of targeted killing is a better way to fight the terrorists. As a Bush supporter I was disappointed that no large stores of WMD were found. I read all the excuses given, but it still wasn't good. I don't think Bush and the others knowingly lied about it, though.

Herpes Simplex said...

Let us all go back to a time when Obama was voted President, but waiting to set foot in office come January 2009. When Christopher Hitchens said this -

http://www.slate.com/id/2204240/

"The recognition of these obvious points should also alert us to a related danger, which is the cousinhood of euphoria and hysteria. Those who think that they have just voted to legalize Utopia (and I hardly exaggerate when I say this; have you been reading the moist and trusting comments of our commentariat?) are preparing for a disillusionment that I very much doubt they will blame on themselves. The national Treasury is an echoing, empty vault; our Russian and Iranian enemies are acting even more wolfishly even as they sense a repudiation of Bush-Cheney; the lines of jobless and evicted are going to lengthen, and I don't think a diet of hope is going to cover it. Nor even a diet of audacity, though can you picture anything less audacious than the gray, safety-first figures who have so far been chosen by Obama to be on his team?"

rhhardin said...

God what a shithead Obama is.

That's independent of his Afghanistan policy.

"I know how to prounounce Pakistan better than you do" tone-deafness.

The policy, except for probably costly show withdrawals, is more or less right though.

What he can't do is explain it, which is a mark of his stupidity.

The Drill SGT said...

three other Malcom points of note:

since 2001, 1,632 Americans have died there, 696 of them (43%) during the 882 days of Obama's presidency.

At West Point in his Afghanistan surge speech, sending in 30,000 more pairs of U.S. boots, Obama spoke 4,582 words. He said "Al Qaeda" 22 times and "Taliban" 12 times. He said the word "victory" zero times.

Set aside losing, Americans even hate not winning. Stalemates don't sell in American politics, one of Obama's growing problems with whatever he's calling the non-hostile, kinetic, friendly bomb-dropping action on Libya.


I hope we have a good plan for getting the last 5,000 Americans out of the country when the Taliban take Kabul. It's a long way to the ocean and I doubt the 7th Fleet will be parked in the middle of Iran to lift them off the Embassy.

I mean a solid SHTF Plan and a couple of backup plans. Cause the first couple never survive the enemy's plans...

Marshal said...

This has to put a crimp in the "Obama's lying is good" theme, right?

Lem said...

What he can't do is explain it, which is a mark of his stupidity.

Exactly.

The Drill SGT said...

A bit of trivia for the folks that don't read Milblogs

our umbrella NATO force in A-stan is the ISAF = International Security Assistance Force

GI's call ISAF = I Saw Americans Fighting

viator said...

This will turn out to be an unmitigated disaster. For the US, for Afghanistan, for South Asia, for Pakistan, for the Democrats, for Obama. The French followed in less than twelve hours with a complete pullout. NATO will turn tail and run. Watch for picture of US personnel and frantic Afghans fighting to board the last helicopter out of Kabul.
Look for the wave of loyal Afghan refugees. Prepare for the land of the Pashtuns to again become the incubator of world terror. Watch our friends quail and our enemies lick their chops.

"French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced the phased withdrawal of its 4,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan."

BBC

viator said...

Max Boot:
History Will Not Be Deceived

"L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace!” To Napoleon and other great generals the willingness to be bold and audacious was the key to victory. Barack Obama is no Napoleon. He seems to believe that timidity is the key to success–that flip-flopping and triangulating can somehow convince our enemies to make nice. He is sorely mistaken, and it is our troops in Afghanistan and their allies who will pay the price for his unwillingness to back them all the way to victory.

Having ordered a surge of 30,000 troops back in 2009, Obama is now pulling the plug on the effort just when it was showing success."

Commentary

Would you want to be the last soldier killed in the retreat from Afghanistan?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place."

Mission accomplished.

Now, to convince overlord Zero that he should adopt the same stance when it comes to the United States.

I can see his upward-looking gaze and jutting jaw now.

Curious George said...

Paul: "To me Iraq was a war of choice and therefore not anything we needed to do."

What are the characteristics of a war that we do need to do?

edutcher said...

Paul Ciotti said...

edutcher: Not if we listen to Cedar and the Demos. We have the will and the resources - Dubya proved that.

The only thing Bush proved was that he was as good at ruining the economy as any Democrat. Iraq was a war of choice. Saddam had no WMD and even if he had they couldn't have hurt the US.


Lie. Willie wrecked the economy with his subprime mortgages. Cut the budget, rein in entitlements (which we'll have to do anyway), cut taxes, kill the new regulations, and we'll have the resources.

As I see it Bush blew off my retirement and my kids' future on a war that didn't need to be fought.

More Democrat propaganda. The Demos wrecked Social Security and Medicare years ago - Dubya had nothing to do with it and Iraq wasn't what got us into debt. Little Zero spent as much in 1 year as Dubya did in 8.

Besides, Pelosi Galore and Little Zero told us A-stan WAS the War on Terror.

Michael Haz said...

Barry - while you're pulling the troops out of Afghanistan, see if you can pull a budget out of your ass. You're only 780 days late on that one.

Pogo said...

Thankfully,I have learned that my policy of Never Hearing Obama Speak has not resulted in a single thing missed.

He lies more than Lillian Hellman, no mean feat, as she even managed mendacity using 'and' and 'the'.

When QE3 fails to fix the economy, and the market fails to awaken under the heavy hand of Permanent Uncertainty (the default Obama ADHD plan), he will declare victory anyway, with jobs created and green this-n-that, and hope he has paid off enough cronies and unions and gubmint recipients to secure re-election.

And he damn may well do it.

Robert Cook said...

"blahblahblah re-elect-me blahblahblah 2012 blahblahblah re-elect-me

"That's all I heard tonight."


This is the standard presidential speech and has been for many years, passed verbatim from each president to his successor in apostolic succession.

Michael said...

Michael Haz: Our president did present a budget which was voted down, I think unanimously, inasmuch as it was stupidity in black and white. The press buried the catastrophe so deeply and quickly that you have forgotten.

Pogo said...

Cook, I disagree.

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington's speeches betray no such bullshit.

FDR was a master. Reagan had his moments. Clinton wanted reelection, but at least nodded towards good speechifying.

I can't listen to Barry Opacifier, but the reactions to his last few attempts are underwhelming and usually ignored except to mock.

NYTNewYorker said...

Even before Obamas announcement dems were calling for new spending yesterday. The dems can't stand to see money burning up in ANY military operation for any reason, anywhere.

They want to spend that money and more on their slacker base right here at home.

I've been seeing this same movie over and over again for the 50 odd years I've been watching.

So, the left has won, again, America will draw down, the bad guys will be good and bloodied but remain in place.

And we will all do the same exact thing again after the enemy reconstitutes, regroups, resupplies and causes another, bigger catastrophe on our shores in the not too distant future.

These maniacs are willing to bide their time and wait, something that Americans are unwilling to do it seems.

You can't win a war unless you totally destroy your enemy and the left in America hasn't allowed that to happen since WWII

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...This is the standard presidential speech and has been for many years, passed verbatim from each president to his successor in apostolic succession..."

Serious question: why do you live here? You never have a positive thing to say about the US, either it's past or present, feel its a plutocratic police state yet continue to live here. Why?

Honestly your complaints sound much like a petulant teenager who hates his parents but refuses to leave the safety and comfort they provide.

Shouting Thomas said...

This is the standard presidential speech and has been for many years, passed verbatim from each president to his successor in apostolic succession.

Jesus, Kookie and I agree again!

The job of the president is to utter platitudes.

What else is he going to do?

Robert Cook said...

"What are the characteristics of a war that we do need to do?"

A war fought in defense against a nation that has attacked us or that is preparing to attack us imminently.

Scott M said...

A war fought in defense against a nation that has attacked us or that is preparing to attack us imminently.

What if someone had attacked Great Britain or was preparing to attack them imminently? Canada? Japan? Australia? Taiwan?

Robert Cook said...

Fighting to defend our allies would also be a reason to go to war, (assuming our allies were not capable of defending themselves).

Pogo said...

"A war fought in defense against a nation that has attacked us or that is preparing to attack us imminently."

Cook voted for Bush!
Who knew?

Shouting Thomas said...

Uttering vapid platitudes is the job of any leader of a large organization of institution.

How could this be otherwise?

I'm not an organization man, so I know this. Where I differ from Kookie is that I don't think of this as a personal virtue. It's just who I am. If I were an organization man, I'd have a lot more money in the bank.

An organization man succeeds precisely because he buys into the "culture" of his organization.

If he were to say anything particularly insightful, new or daring, he wouldn't be welcome in the organization.

What we're talking about here are the essential building blocks of humans. If you want to succeed, you learn to peddle the cliches. That's just the way human institutions work.

Roger J. said...

The acronymn ISAF and its interpretation is similar to the one we used for NATO: Needs Americans to Operate, or more colloqually: Needs Alcohol to Operate.

Both describe our "allies." We, I suspect, in Libya because our allies needed cheap oil--if there was ever a kinetic action for oil, it would be Libya.

American get less than 20 percent of its oil from the middle east--and if EPA gets out of the way we are sitting on what some have called a 100 year supply--inside out borders.

Oh well--when events are analyzed by slogans and reelection tactics, this is the result.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, yeah, Obama peddled tired, dreary platitudes...

And, he did what had to be done.

Credit where credit is due.

What did you expect? The Sermon on the Mount?

Scott M said...

Fighting to defend our allies would also be a reason to go to war, (assuming our allies were not capable of defending themselves).

So it is more nuanced then?

Robert Cook said...

No go, Pogo.

Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked us.

Scott M said...

Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked us.

How could Afghanistan attack us? Weren't they considered a failed state at the time? Thus, no national mechanism to attack us existed. What did exist was a homicidal group that ran the place like a sectarian mob which gave it's blessing to the operations of a certain terrorist group.

If Mexico becomes a failed state and one or two cartels' fighting spills over into our territory, killing our citizens, can we attack then?

Hagar said...

If we allow Iran to re-establish the Persian Empire/Baghdad Caliphate, we will sooner or later have to fight a "real" war with them, which won't be pretty.

As for the "endless war" argument, when the U.S. "took over" Mexico's possessions north of the Rio Grande/Gila River, it promised the local Mexicans protection against the Indians. It took the U.S. Army 20 years to "pacify" the Navajos, another 6-7 years to corral the Comanches, and some Apaches were still going 10-12 years after that.

Robert Cook said...

"So it is more nuanced then?"

Slightly.

Hagar said...

and, oh yes, several Army commanders and newspaper commentators thought that it wasn't worth it, and the U.S. should just recall the Army and give the territory back to the Mexico and let the Mexicans and the Indians fight it out by themselves.

Fen said...

Cook: Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked us.

Total bullshit.

Iraq was in violation of peace treaty they signed with us from the previous war. They also fired on American aircraft and even attempted to murder a former President. And Iraq refused to abandon its WMD programs, even a decade of "diplomacy" with 13 UN resolutions and sanctions.

Afganistan allied themselves with Al Queda and refused to turn over the perps after 9-11. So we had to go in and get them ourselves.

Your case for war would be laughable, except for the fact that you have always been rooting for America to lose.

Robert Cook said...

"If Mexico becomes a failed state and one or two cartels' fighting spills over into our territory, killing our citizens, can we attack then?"

Your questions is speculative and, as such, there is insufficient data to say.

Roger J. said...

Hagar--good point--we fought the seminoles starting in the 1830s and you could include Jackson's policy against the creeks and choctaws which started in the 1820s--not concluded until the 1890s

Pogo said...

"Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked us."

So you differ with Bush on the meanings of 'attacked' and "imminent".

Hardly war crimes material there. You and Bush are closer than you are apart.

Whoda thunk it?

Fen said...

ie. there is not a war that Cook is willing to fight. Other than the proletariat against the evil capitalist oppressors.

Fen said...

Hye Cook, whats the point of signing a peace treaty if you're not going to enforce it?

Thats what I'll never get about diplomats. They forget that their life's work is useless unless its backed by the threat of force.

Paper Tiger will be the refrain from our enemies. The World just got alot more dangerous.

Scott M said...

Your questions is speculative and, as such, there is insufficient data to say.

Your existence is speculative.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked us..."

Incorrect, as usual. The Tollybon, the de facto govt.of Afghanistan provided aid and comfort to the organization that killed 3000 people on US soil. They refused to turn over bin laden therefore were just as responsible.

If the US govt was providing a secure base of operations for the Minutemen to launch attacks into Mexico I'm quite confident you'd justify Mexico retaliating with an invasion.

Roger J. said...

ScottM: actually its not speculative in the larger sense--as an epidemiologist I cant state with no margin of error, that all of us will die--I just cant tell you who and when :)

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... "If Mexico becomes a failed state..."

What do you mean "if"?

Robert Cook said...

"Your existence is speculative."

I type, therefore I am.

Robert Cook said...

"If the US govt was providing a secure base of operations for the Minutemen to launch attacks into Mexico I'm quite confident you'd justify Mexico retaliating with an invasion."

No.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So in other words, a nation can sponsor attacks on another and the targeted nation is not justified in retaliating.

Gotcha

Hagar said...

Fen,

No peace treaty.
No armistice.
Just a one-sided ceasefire with conditions attached, which Mr. Hussein did not comply with.

W. would have been entirely within his rights to just say, "I am tired of this and will resume hostilities," and go ahead and do so without further ado.
It was a great mistake to listen to Tony Blair and go back to the U.N. for still more resolutions, and thus make it look like a second war. There was only one.

Robert Cook said...

"So in other words, a nation can sponsor attacks on another and the targeted nation is not justified in retaliating."

Afghanistan did not sponsor Al Qaeda's attacks on us.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually I was fine with Iraq invading Kuwait and would have cheered on had Saddam taking out the Saudis too. A bunch of dead Whabbists would have been a good thing. Maybe then bin laden would have had Atta and his thugs fly planes into Baghdad buildings.

That's what you call a win win.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Afghanistan did not sponsor Al Qaeda's attacks on us..."

Incorrect again.

MadisonMan said...

Re: Pronounciations.

That all springs from Dan Rather going to Afghanistan in 1980, putting on a turban, and reporting from what he called 'Cobble' -- instead of Ka-BOOL, like every one else was pronouncing it.

Until I hear them say Pa-REE when they're in Paris, all the people pronouncing Pockistan, etc., just sound very pretentious to me.

Robin said...

I find it quite bizarre to see people like Robert Cook make statements that they know are at the most charitable, misrepresentations of basic fact. Why do they think that such obvious misrepresentations don't undermine their credibility irretrievably?

Hagar said...

and back then there were also pundits back east who wrote that all that sand and sagebrush was not worth expending American lives and treasure for, and anyway, it was all a plot engineered by greedy railroad barons, bullion mining companies, and land speculators.

Phil 3:14 said...

This fulfills the prophesy of the ending of "Restrepo"

In April 2010
The United States withdrew from the Korengal Valley

FWBuff said...

Every time I hear Obama say "Tollybon", it makes me think of bad cinnamon rolls in airports . . .

Jeremy said...

President Obama will continue to pull troops out of little Georgie's ill-conceived wars and will be once more elected to do what he can to right the course.

The usual teabagger whining and bitching about one speech means nothing.

But keep it up...because it is fun to watch.

P.S. - USA Today/Gallup poll: Shows that 47 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party – an increase of 7 percentage points in just over a year. Meanwhile, favorable impressions of the tea party nationwide have declined 6 percentage points to 33 percent.

It gets better every day...

Jeremy said...

Hagar - Duh.

Carol_Herman said...

It's all in how you define the word "perfect."

Nancy Pelosi has enough Botox injections in her face. "Perfect."

The man you wanted to marry, marries someone else. She discovers he's gay. PERFECT.

We went into Afghanistan for no sane reason known to mankind. LESS THAN PERFECT.

Afghanistan is like the Sahara Desert. The Sahara Desert is a bigger hunk of land than the United States. It kept the tribes from wandering. Unless they knew about camels. And, they wore clothes for protection. Including turbans. Was this perfect?

You mean there was a choice?

Whatever possessed Dubya to go and make wars, has something to do with his inability to make smart decisions. The outcome has been "less than perfect."

But for news all we get is PR.

And, we're taught Americans aren't allowed to insult their presidents.

Heck, Bill Clinton proves this rule. Because you can describe what Monica saw.

We've had 44 presidents up till now. And, only one description of a penis.

Do we have a great press, or what?

As to Petraeus, for some reason neither party wants to anoint him as a presidential candidate. Why is that?

Scott M said...

It gets better every day...

Awesome. I assume, then, that you're expecting big wins all around the country next November?

Fen said...

Jeremy: President Obama will continue to pull troops out of little Georgie's ill-conceived wars

Dumbass. Obama said AfPak was the "right" war. As did most Libtards.

The usual teabagger whining

I see you're still trolling to suck someone's balls.

Fen said...

@ Hagar - Yup, you're right.

Fen said...

still waiting....

"Hey Cook, whats the point of signing a peace treaty if you're not going to enforce it?"

[chirp]

[chirp]

Hagar said...

He has progressed though; gone to first person plural rather than first person singular; I guess he does not want sole responsibility for this mess any more.

OTOH, that implies that he is speaking for me too, and he is not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...President Obama will continue to pull troops out of little Georgie's ill-conceived wars and will be once more elected to do what he can to right the course..."

Lol.! Bambi can't even pull his pants on. He's had over two years to end these wars and all he's manager to do is get us mired in a third one. Hey, wasn't Gitmo supposed to be shut down?

Heckava job Bambi.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Every time I hear Obama..."

I just hear static.

Scott M said...

Racist.

Jeremy said...

Scotty - "Awesome. I assume, then, that you're expecting big wins all around the country next November?"

I said what I believe.

Reading comprehension?

Jeremy said...

Corn Cob - "He's had over two years to end these wars and all he's manager to do is get us mired in a third one."

So you believe a President, left or right, should have the power to just pull the plug on any wars we may be waging?

And if so, two wars as extensive as what we have now, could actually be ended in such a short period of time?
No ramifications for the citizens of the countries involved? No logistical problems associated with the pullout of troops and equipment?

Did you learn that in school?

*And anybody who considers the situation in Libya to be an American "war" is as dumb as a bag of rocks.

You know...like you.

Jeremy said...

If the teabaggers here think President Obama is such a poor leader...why do you all waste your time listening to his speeches?

Fen said...

Jeremy: I said what I believe.

And you didn't say anything about big wins for the Left in November.

Reading comprehension?

Actually, the term you are looking for is "blowback": little Jeremy swayed by Gallup propaganda intended for the "enemy". I predict a meltdown on election day, some nonsense from you about how "but I didn't know ANYONE who voted for the Tea Party!"

I'll bring the beer.

Fen said...

Jeremy: If the teabaggers here think President Obama is such a poor leader...why do you all waste your time listening to his speeches?

Yes, Jeremy is really this stupid. Indulge him. You'll be paying for his medical care if he has another "incident".

[along the vein, little Libtard, not across it]

Scott M said...

I said what I believe.

Reading comprehension?


You didn't say anything about the election. I asked you a pointed question based on what you wrote. What does reading comprehension have to do with that? Could you just not resist the urge to insult?

B said...

Blogger Fen said...'The usual teabagger whining...I see you're still trolling to suck someone's balls.'

It's conservative balls that Jeremy is obsessed with. You'd think after all this time advertising his yearning, someone would have ltaken him up on the offer. Jeremy must be one godawfull physically offputting troll not to be able to work out a lick or two at least.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...So you believe a President, left or right, should have the power to just pull the plug on any wars we may be waging? ..."

Yes. That's why he is the Commander in Chief. Read that in the Constitution. You might have heard of it.

And if so, two wars as extensive as what we have now, could actually be ended in such a short period of time? ...."

It's been over 2 years. Georgie got us in two wars in less time.

*And anybody who considers the situation in Libya to be an American "war" is as dumb as a bag of rocks..."

Look up the definition of a war. It's when you use military forces in combat to effect a political outcome. I read that in a book by von Clauswitz. You might have heard of him.

Jeremy said...

Corn Cob - "It's been over 2 years. Georgie got us in two wars in less time."

Great argument, Corny.

As for this :Libyan intervention you appear to think is actually a "war"...

Did you also whine and bitch when Ronnie "The Saint" Reagan bombed Libya? How about that Grenada thingie?

Congress has only officially declared war five times: England in 1812, Mexico in 1846, and in Spain in 1898, and in World War I and World War II. In each instance, Congress did so at the request of the President.

They've,also approved military action 11 times, but these are not official declarations of war.

Oh, and it started with John Adams.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...Great argument, Corny..."

Yes it is. Two years is ample time in which to end hostilities and bring the troops home.


"..As for this :Libyan intervention you appear to think is actually a "war"...

It fits the definition of war in the dictionary as well as von Clauswitz who wrote the definitive book on the subject.

Doesn't matter what past presidents did. Obama promised to end the wars. Even won the Nobel Peace Prize yet now he has the US military taking sides in a civil war against a sovereign nation.

He's a liar, an incompetent and is violating the war powers act. You might have heard of it.

The Drill SGT said...

with a bit more time to think about it, it seems to me that O'bama made a terrible calculation based on pure politics.

1. The war might or might not be capable of being won 9I think not, but regardless), however by signally we don't have the fortitude to stay, he has assured our ultimate defeat.

2. If we are going to lose eventually, the right choice would seem to be to cut and runm, thus saving our blood and treasure for, you know, "fights we're willing to win...", however...

3. to do that would mean we'd have bad images come back by election time, so we're going to keep bleeding at least through the election and maybe through the next one as well, so that those awful evacuation from the Embassy photos that are now a sure thing can be later rather than sooner...

Jeremy said...

Corn Cob - "Doesn't matter what past presidents did."

Exactly my point.

You and the other teabaggers here are ONLY concerned with what our current President does...never having the guts or integrity to admit that Presidents you yourself supported did exactly the same things.

And have you mentioned this great concern you have about Libya to John McCain...the guy you voted for in the last election? He appears to be siding with President Obama.

Quit whining and bitching about everything our President says or does and post something that's even remotely relevant to the reality of the situations.

Jeremy said...

The Drill SGT said...

"by signally we don't have the fortitude to stay, he has assured our ultimate defeat."

Same thing said when we ended the Vietnam conflict. Right?

"If we are going to lose eventually, the right choice would seem to be to cut and run"

So why bitch about pulling troops out? You know full well that there is no logistical way we can merely "cut and run." We have thousands of troops, supporting personnel, equipment and of course, the left behind civilians who helped us.

"to do that would mean we'd have bad images come back by election time"

So you feel "cutting and running" would be the best course of action, not for the soldiers, personnel and civilians, but for the teabagger's/GOP's chances in 2012?

That's very American of you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...You and the other teabaggers here are ONLY concerned with what our current President does..."

Well duh.

Obama promised to end the wars. He hasn't and got us in another. Just pointing out that he lied. Gitmo was supposed to be closed. It's still open so there is another lie.

But that's ok with you because you're a moonbat liberal so anything Bambi does is ok even if it means bombing more brown people.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...So you feel "cutting and running" would be the best course of action, not for the soldiers, personnel and civilians, but for the teabagger's/GOP's chances in 2012?..."

You stated upthread these were ill conceived wars. Leaving now means no more soldier and civilian deaths.

So are you supporting the wars?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh and Bambi didn't get authorization from Congress to attack Libya either Jeremy.

But you support him anyway.

Jason said...

Paul: Jason, you write that it's "false" to say there were no WMD's in Iraq. But former President Bush apparently thinks otherwise. In his book Decision Points he wrote that “no one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons. I had a sickening feeling every time I thought about it. I still do.”

Do you know something that Bush doesn't know?


Perhaps. He had access to the same information, of course, as the president, but that doesn't mean he's read the specific declassified report I'm referring to.

I do know this, with certainty: The assertion that Saddam Hussein did not possess WMDs is false.

Hagar said...

Jason,

You have to understand that for the left, WMD in Iraq means nothing less than fusion MIRV warheads on operational ICBM's. Chemical and bacteriological weapons stores just will not do.

Here at home, I believe I have seen reports of people being charged with assault with WMD's for driving their car into a crowd.

Jeremy said...

Corn Cob - "Obama promised to end the wars. He hasn't and got us in another. Just pointing out that he lied. Gitmo was supposed to be closed. It's still open so there is another lie."

He's still President, right?

How do you know he won't get us out of the two wars and also close Gitmo?

You don't even read, so how would you possibly know what might happen over the course of his next 5 years as President?

Jeremy said...

Hagar "You have to understand that for the left, WMD in Iraq means nothing less than fusion MIRV warheads on operational ICBM's. Chemical and bacteriological weapons stores just will not do."

What chemical and biological weapons are you referring to?

*I can't believe, even here with the teabagging crew, there are STILL people touting the WMD drivel.

Jeremy said...

Jason - So you read the reports, but G.W. didn't?

Duh.

Jeremy said...

Corn Cob - "Oh and Bambi didn't get authorization from Congress to attack Libya either Jeremy."

He didn't have to get permission for what decisions he's made.

As for ending the wars, yes, I do want them to end...but cutting and running is not in the cards.

Why is it so difficult for you to understand this?

Maybe if you read more and posted teabagger horse shit less...?

Hoosier Daddy said...

He didn't have to get permission for what decisions he's made.

Oh dear you really are a moron. See Jeremy, we have this thing called a Constitution, you might have heard of it. Article I Section 8 grants Congress, not the President, power to declare wars. Then there is this other thing called the War Powers Act, you might have heard of it. I quote the pertinent part:

The War Powers Act requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.

So if you had read more rather than spout off easily refuted leftwing bullshit, you'd know that. Listen less to Maddow, Matthews and Stewart for your information. They're idiots.

As for ending the wars, yes, I do want them to end...but cutting and running is not in the cards.

So more US soliders and brown skinned civilians will continue to die because Obama went back on his word to end the wars.

You must be proud of him for continuing those ill fated wars that little Georgie started. I guess as long as a leftwing black President does it, Jeremy will be top cheerleader.

Jason said...

No, Jeremy, you ignorant piece of shit. I read the reports, and YOU didn't.