OBAMA’S AFGHAN DELAY COSTS U.S. LIVES
http://www.nachi.org/forum/images/byEmail.gifIn the name of God, Mr. President, just decide.
Before your dithering costs any more American lives, pull your finger out of the air and decide on a strategy for Afghanistan. You sought the presidency, for crying out loud, now exercise it.
If you’re going to be commander in chief, dammit, command!
That’s the simple message to Barack Obama. But it is a message which, astoundingly, he seems content to ignore. Seldom has indecision been raised to such a fine art, or been boasted of as a matter of pride.
In an historic display of uncertainty masquarading as deliberateness, the fundamental weakness of our leadership is shown. When the problem is more complex than taking over a company or raising taxes – or leading throngs in a rousing “Yes We Can!” – the president is stumped, stuck at a fork in the road without either a clue or a GPS.
Which is surprising for a guy who campaigned for two years on what to do in Afghanistan. He told Democratic primary voters, as well as general-election voters, that he was going to win in Afghanistan and that he knew how to do it. That was a cornerstone of his platform.
But it seems like his thinking hadn’t gone much past promising.
In March, when he implemented his now-failed Afghanistan strategy, he did so with great confidence. Like he knew what he was doing.
But that having failed – and having done so at an escalating cost in American lives – he seems completely flumoxed. And so, for several weeks now, he has been deciding. In between golf outings and weekends at Camp David and swell concerts at the White House, and various trips around the country to play the Yes-We-Can game, he has met with legions of his advisors – several times. On Friday, he is meeting again with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
This is the most discussed, chewed-over, politicked, lobbied, pondered decision ever made.
And it stands in stark contrast to vastly more difficult and consequential decisions made by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Those presidents, facing true pressure, decided things, sometimes in minutes, that affected hundreds of thousands of people and changed the course of history.
Yet, unflinching, day after day they decided.
And Obama dawdled.
And, incredibly, he dawdled in public – which means: In front of our enemies.
And if our leader is unable to decide how to act in Afghanistan, the various sheiks, elders, chiefs and mullahs we face have no such difficulty. They have lustily attacked, day after day, location after location, all across the country. They know what they want and they know how to get it.
Seeing the weakness of indecision and uncertainty – the public advertisement of our abandonment of the battlefield initiative – the other side has gone on the offensive. We have surrendered the initiative and our foe has seized it.
That is why this month is already the bloodiest in our history in Afghanistan. That is why last month was only slightly less deadly for American GIs. It is because the enemy, seeing the faltering president and recognizing his indecisiveness and vulnerability to political pressure, has decided to increase that pressure by killing as many Americans as they can.
Why the onslaught of IED attacks and ambushes of recent weeks? Because of Obama. If he can’t make up his mind, the Afthan mountain men want to help him.
And they are sending their message in American blood.
Damn them for that. But damn the president for giving them the opportunity.
His administration is debating this in public, second guessing the military in full view of the enemy, dragging this out in a fashion that hurts our troops and helps our enemies.
Yes, it is a big decision. Yes, there are strong feelings and strong arguments on both sides. Yes, a lot is riding on this decision. There is no doubt this is a difficult and fateful decision.
But it is the job of a president to decide such things, and to do so in a fashion and in a time frame that assist our cause and serve our national interest. Unfortunately, that is not happening here. Unfortunately, while American heroes fight and die, the muddler in chief says it’ll be another week or two.
Obama and his party, to include the news media, mocked George W. Bush when he said that he was the “Decider.” That mockery seems particularly bitter now given Barack Obama’s reluctance or inability to be the decider.
No strategic or tactical decision made by Abraham Lincoln took this long to make. No strategic or tactial decision made by Franklin Roosevelt took this long to make. Harry Truman didn’t take this long to decide to drop the nuclear bomb.
And if John F. Kennedy had taken this long to decide how to handle the Cuban Missile Crisis, we’d be speaking Russian today.
The lone military decision of modern history that was wrestled over this long by an American president was made by Jimmy Carter, and that ended in a disaster in the desert.
Failure to act is, first and foremost, failure. Barack Obama is demonstrating that. For the sake of our national defense, for the sake of his presidency, for the sake of the American servicemen who will be targeted until he makes a decision, let us pray that Barack Obama makes up his mind soon.
Because time means American blood, and he’s already wasted too much of both.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2009