Obama the new war president
He had no choice but to cross the line and get some distance between him and the left fringe groups that helped elect him. As I said on Twitter this morning, Michael Moore probably had a stroke, Code Pink is turning Green and Moveon.org is paralized. I can dream, can I? These Libs have molded their candidate in such a way that even he began to believe in his own rock star status. Well, it’s over. He can’t continue to vote present. Obama IS the WAR president, much to the dismay of his supporters. That is what he wanted and he got it. Unfortunately someone failed to tell him that from time to time he would have to act like a big boy and lead. Now it’s time to start acting like a president. I’d hate to say this because it will be recorded for posterity but Bill Clinton, even between skirt-chasing and the occasional sax solo, was more presidential than Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama at least addressed some points last night which I thought would not be featured in his speech because of political constraints. I was surprised that the reason for going to war was linked to the September 11th attacks on our nation and admitted that this is a war of need. Very surprised. But so must be his liberal base and other groups that hoped he would not become, as Michael Moore said in a letter to him, ‘the war president.’ Well, he IS the war president in spite of his campaign overseas to paint the United States as some belligerent, hostile invading force bent on expansionism rather than the beacon of liberty and freedom to the rest of the world.
The time has come for Mr. Obama to act as a president and not a politician on the campaign trail. His admission that this is a just war is a good beginning however I was disappointed to hear about a exit plan timeline as a premature move. As much as I supported George W Bush ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment put undue pressure (political) on our armed forces and also set the public’s mindset that wars can be fought and won within a certain time. Anyone who has deployed in any military operation, whether it is a surge or a drawdown, can tell you that this is a complex process that is not designed for expediency. Elite and regular combat units and supporting units can be placed on alert and deploy to theatre within hours. That is not in dispute, however the public is not aware that pulling whole armies out of a war zone still cannot be accomplished say, by Christmas as some arbitrary gift. The people must be made aware each time that the process is slow. I was also surprised to hear him actually say that the US was not bent on world domination and spoke briefly of our accomplishments. He had no choice; we are a great nation and he cannot continue to play against our equally great military heritage.
He also made room to defend his delay in making a decision, saying that he had no intention on approving a troop surge before 2010 anyway, and that the strategic reviews were designed to help him make the decision now. This is interesting. General McChrystal clearly requested a set number of troops back in June 2009 and also addressed that operations would have to commence soon because according to his assessment of the situation on the ground action would take approximately 12-18 months to get under control. I have some trouble believing Mr. Obama’s statement that he was not going to approve a surge before that. I really don’t. How to pay for this surge and continuing the war will indeed be a challenge since he is also publicly linking the importance of a sound economy and the ability to support national security at home and abroad.
Our partnership with Pakistan will also be supported. This is only logical.
The drawdown timeline mentioned again sends the message to Al Qaeda that we’re in this to fight but that we will be looking at our watches often. Um, uh, we’re tight on time here folks, an election looms in the distance only three years away. The enemy does not go by set timelines. They fight until they drive us out. We must learn from this and fight them just as hard until they are gone.
Lastly, to send this first wave of troops to help the Afghans in training with our troops is a good thing, but after eight years of fighting if the Afghan forces still need mentoring and supervision in law enforcement as well as combat, then perhaps we will have to re-assess how we instruct them. As we did in Iraq, modern fighting tactics and western-style rule of law may not work for the Afghans in the end. We should be prepared for the eventuality that the Afghans will incorporate elements of what we teach them and make it their own security, their own rule of law and their own peace. Once we step back we should allow the Afghans to run their own destinies. Nation-building must not be the objective of our presence in Afghanistan, ever. We however must provide sufficient security to the Afghan people to insure that innocents are not targeted however the enemy knows our fighting ethic and will adjust to what we do. And they do not care who is killed.
But then this has been tried before.