Sailors Cheer Obama Delaying Afghan Decision

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Oct 27, 2009.

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  1. This compares with a somewhat chillier although polite reception from Marines who were appeared to take a different view of the delay, especially in view of the news of 4 more Marine deaths as well as 10 other Americans.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2009/10/sailors_cheer_obama_vow_to_tak.html
     
  2. Source? (For this article and your own assessment.)
     
  3. Sorry-forgot-edited to add it. My assessment came from a phone call from an officer there at Marine event.
     
  4. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    Can't argue with what Obama said, he pressed all the key rational and emotional drivers:
    - Sending men into harm's way is a serious business
    - There will be a strategy*
    - We will back you up with the equipment you need
    - (Unlike Vietnam) you will be supported on the home front

    In short an impressive performance. I wonder what our troops would have said if Brown had come up with the above? Given the lack of equipment, numbers and strategy thus far in Britiain's Afghan effort, I would imagine it would be scattered applause at best.

    *A unique concept, there Mr President. Well said.
     
  5. Deleted-double post
     
  6. Still just words at this point, but of course I am lately a skeptic by nature. Meanwhile McChrystal sits and waits.
     
  7. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    SNIP
    I am lately a skeptic by nature
    SNIP

    I see what you did there! Very good!
     
  8. Here is some added confirmation of my assessment in the original post as to the mixed nature of the reception of the military audience to the remarks by the LEADER OF THE WORLD.

    "The crowd here was enthusiastic in its reception of the president, though there were pockets of soldiers that appeared more reserved and gave only paltry applause. "

    Linky
     
  9. Personally, I doubt the applause was as rapturous as the NPR blogger would have it or as chilly as JJ's mate reports. I wouldn't mind hearing that the brain trust is thinking long and hard about why I'm being sent on my 4th or 5th tour though.

    The fact is that the McChrystal report is being fundamentally misrepresented in the media. He says himself that the focus shouldn't be on troop numbers:

    Now, let's see if we can spot a theme here:

    In other words, ISAF isn't going to be able to do it by themselves, no matter how many resources get thrown into the mix. It's going to take an Afghan government that's capable of functioning. Now, I don't know if anyone's been paying attention, but hopes aren't that high for Karzai and Co. Might it not be an idea to see how this election run-off goes for starters? How likely is it that we can persuade him to deal with the corruption and the infighting? Is he capable of doing it? If not, then what? A lot of people are using the Vietnam analogy- it might be interesting to compare and contrast Karzai and Diem.

    I know one thing: anyone in America with a uterus isn't going to be too jazzed about Biden's plan to focus on AQ and perhaps seek accommodation with the Taliban. (And Obama is going to have a hard time getting re-elected without them.)
     
  10. To the extent that is true I would agree. As many pundits have, and IMHO accurately, opined, however, the hand-wringing among the LEADER OF THE WORLD and his coterie has much less to do with the substance of McChrystal's report than coming up with a political strategy that mollifies the extreme left base and still "honors" his own general's (supported already by the JCS and CENTCOM) request. This delay has gone long past that needed for the deliberative process needed for a decision on McChrystal's report itself.
     
  11. For the umpteenth time, Obama isn't playing to the extreme left. He's a pragmatic moderate. The Code Pink loons etc., which make up a not-very-powerful .01% of the democratic party. What he needs to worry about are the isolationists who've never liked the idea of nation building- i.e. the people who were hammering Clinton in the 90s over Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo- but were initially sold on the imperative in the aftermath of 9/11.

    And I haven't seen any sensible pundits make the argument you make here. In the big scheme of things, McChrystal's report isn't the ball game. He points out that there are structural considerations that need to be considered over which the United States has very little, if any, control. Jumping in with both feet when those factors aren't in our favor is just foolhardy. Now, there's an election run-off in a couple of weeks, and even if he wins, Karzai might be in a position where if he's going to hang on, he's going to have to make some changes. Might it not be a good idea to see how that pans out? Furthermore, even the appearance that the US is willing to hang Karzai out to dry might be forcing his hand a bit. Did you stop to think of that?
     
  12. I suppose then , yet again, we differ.
     
  13. "… I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary…"


    His attititude is a massive improvement over that mong Bush's
     
  14. Perhaps. We will no doubt see.
     
  15. Really? You had to go all the way to an anonymous editorial from a South African business journal nobody's ever heard of to back up your case?

    Doesn't that tell you something?

    If you do have a genuine difference of opinion, then let's hear it. If you disagree with me, explain why. Where have I got this all wrong and why are you right?

    Now, just to point out what a galactic fcuking mess this is, it's emerged this morning that Karzai's brother- one of the most crooked and corrupt people in possibly the most crooked and corrupt place on earth- has been on CIA's payroll for the last 8 years:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/asia/28intel.html?exprod=myyahoo

    Now, Mr Colonel, Sir, would you mind telling me (and I'm sure the rest of the world wouldn't mind hearing your idea on this front either, because everyone else seems to be at a bit of a loss over this one) how all this gets fixed by just giving McChrystal those troops- when even McChrystal himself admits that troop numbers by themselves will not be enough?

    Meanwhile- it appears that Obama's "dithering" may have led the EU and NATO allies to pull their fingers out of their hoops too:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Afghanistan-Pakistan/idUSTRE59Q1O620091027

    But that remains to be seen...