Ace runs through it all more extensively than I am either able or have time to do, but I do want to make a couple three points.
1. If he is worried about government spending, why is he focused on the relative pittance it would cost to fully fund the fight in Afghanistan and not the ridiculous cost of spending related to the Spendulus, Obamacare, & his bloated budget?
2. Why opt for an alternative that was not one of the 4 suggested by your commanders on the ground? Do you really know better than they?
3. A drop-dead date? Really? You think that will help either us or our allies? Enough with appeasing the leftists--they make up a small fraction of the 52% who voted for you in 2008. This is a stupid, stupid strategy.
I had a conversations a couple of weeks ago with several intelligence types and they all agreed that President Obama taking time tot sort this thing out was a good thing. None of them anticipated that the way in which he would "sort this thing out" would be an irresponsible plan that is more appeasing the extreme left of his party than legitimate solution to the Afghanistan question.
President Obama's inexperience is showing, once again.
Our troops deserve better.
You ought to read Byron York, too, who writes about Democrat party political
lies calculations w/re: to Iraq & Afghanistan:
Democratic voters and candidates were playing a complex game. Nearly all of them hated the war in Iraq and wanted to pull Americans out of that country. But they were afraid to appear soft on national security, so they pronounced the smaller conflict in Afghanistan one they could support. Many of them didn’t, really, but for political expediency they supported candidates who said they did. Thus the party base signed on to a good war-bad war strategy.I have friends who support our efforts in Afghanistan who thought they could vote Democrat and do no damage to our efforts there.
Other top Democrats adopted the get-tough approach, at least when it came time to campaign. In September 2006, as she was leading the effort that would result in Democrats taking over the House and her becoming speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said George W. Bush “took his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. “We had a presence over there the past few years, but not to the extent that we needed to get the job done,” Pelosi said. The phrase “took his eye off the ball” became a Democratic mantra about the supposed neglect of Afghanistan — a situation that would be remedied by electing ready-to-fight Democrats.
But now, with Democrats in charge of the entire U.S. government and George Bush nowhere to be found, Pelosi and others in her party are suddenly very, very worried about U.S. escalation in Afghanistan. “There is serious unrest in our caucus,” the speaker said recently. There is so much unrest that Democrats who show little concern about the tripling of already-large budget deficits say they’re worried about the rising cost of the war.
It is in that atmosphere that Obama makes his West Point speech. He had to make certain promises to get elected. Unlike some of his supporters, he has to remember those promises now that he is in office. So he is sending more troops. But he still can’t tell the truth about so many Democratic pledges to support the war in Afghanistan: They didn’t mean it.
Guys, I hate to tell you, you were wrong.
UPDATE 4:09pm BST: Former Democrat candidate for President, John Kerry, is one such tool (h/t Scott L.):
President Obama unveils his new Afghanistan strategy today, and in the nick of time Senator John Kerry has arrived with a report claiming that none of this would be necessary if former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had only deployed more troops eight years ago. Yes, he really said more troops.Since Senator Lieberman left in 2006, there are few responsible adults left in the Democrat party.
In a 43-page report issued yesterday by his Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Kerry says bin Laden and deputy Ayman Zawahiri were poised for capture at the Tora Bora cave complex in late 2001. But because of the "unwillingness" of Mr. Rumsfeld and his generals "to deploy the troops required to take advantage of solid intelligence and unique circumstances to kill or capture bin Laden," the al Qaeda leaders escaped.
This in turn "paved the way for exactly what we had hoped to avoid—a protracted insurgency that has cost more lives than anyone estimates would have been lost in a full-blown assault on Tora Bora."
The timing of the report's release suggests that Mr. Kerry intends this as political cover for Mr. Obama and Democrats, and some in the press corps have even taken it seriously. But coming from Mr. Kerry, of all people, this criticism is nothing short of astonishing.
In 2001, readers may recall, the Washington establishment that included Mr. Kerry was fretting about the danger in Afghanistan from committing too many troops. The New York Times made the "quagmire" point explicitly in a famous page-one analysis, and Seymour Hersh fed the cliche at The New Yorker.
On CNN with Larry King on Dec. 15, 2001, a viewer called in to say the U.S. should "smoke [bin Laden] out" of the Tora Bora caves. Mr. Kerry responded: "For the moment what we are doing, I think, is having its impact and it is the best way to protect our troops and sort of minimalize the proximity, if you will. I think we have been doing this pretty effectively and we should continue to do it that way." The Rumsfeld-General Tommy Franks troop strategy may have missed bin Laden, but it reflected domestic political doubts about an extended Afghan campaign.
Remarkably, Mr. Kerry is now repeating those same doubts about Mr. Obama's troop decision, saying that the "Afghans must do the heavy lifting" and that he supports additional troops only for "limited purposes" and wants the U.S. out within "four to five years." Adapting his legendary 2004 campaign locution, Mr. Kerry is now in favor of more troops after he was against them, but in any case not for very long.
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