Our McClellan, Part II

Last week, in my post “Our McClellan” – in which I compared Obama’s dithering in Afghanistan to that of George P. McClellan,  some of the feedback said “look, the President is thinking things over and not being rash, unlike the previous resident”.

That might be true – although Obama doesn’t have the eighteen months Bush had to spend on his deliberations before invading Iraq – but only if he comes out of it with the right decision, as opposed to more concerned inaction.

But when even the LAtimes gets it, you know the Administration is in trouble:

Obama was right to insist on a full review of whether U.S. interests are better served by expanding the American military footprint in Afghanistan or shrinking it.

But now, two months into his second “comprehensive policy review,” after eight Cabinet-level meetings and several slipped target dates, the president still hasn’t made up his mind.

At some point, “deliberation”, especially in the face of an ugly-and-deteriorating situation like Afghanistan, becomes “paralysis”.

In George W. Bush, we had a president who shot first and asked questions later. In Barack Obama, we have a president who asks the right questions but hesitates to pull the trigger.

And there the LATimes is conjecturing based on facts not in evidence.  We have no idea what questions he’s asking.  But we have no idea if he’s “hesitating to pull the trigger”, or if he can’t figure out how to get the pointy things into the gun.

Is he even qualified to make the decision?  Does he have beginner’s flop-sweats?

Three weeks ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney accused Obama of “dithering.” At the time, the charge sounded premature and partisan — but now some of Obama’s own supporters have begun to wonder whether Cheney was right.


Last week, the president’s indecision became even more apparent after White House aides let it be known that he was asking the military for more “exit strategies” — what one official called “off-ramps” — in case things go badly.

Read one way, it sounds like he’s more interested in covering his butt than anything.

And that all of us who said he wasn’t ready for prime time were right.

12 thoughts on “Our McClellan, Part II

  1. Well, yeah. There’s an argument that the attempt to engage in nation building in Afghanistan — as opposed to Taliban / Al Qaeda destruction there — was a mistake, although it’s exactly the opposite of what Obama argued during the campaign. (As if I recall correctly, did most of the Democrats.) Which kind of leaves him stuck, which wouldn’t suck so badly, except that, well, he’s the Commander in Chief.

    My guess is that his plan, such as it is, will be for Operation Dither to continue, in one form or another, until mid-November 2012.

  2. They kept saying “Bush dropped the ball” in Afghanistan. Obama said it was the right war. You don’t suppose the Dems were just playing politics, do you?

  3. Obama dithered, liberty withered?

    Somebody should insist that Obama personally meet with the families of those military members killed while he’s trying to figure out whether to go all out or pull ’em all out. Put a human face on the consequences of fence-sitting and delay.

    Bush would have done it. Isn’t Obama as big a man as Bush?

  4. This is what happens when you start running for re-election the day you’re sworn in. In a sense this is his biggest political quagmire because unlike health care he won’t be able to blame failure on anyone else. Not only that, but it also happens to be the most time sensitive issue, so its the one he can least afford to waffle on.

    I hate politics.

  5. Obama dithered, morale withered.

    There is a difference between making a conscious decision to gather all the facts before you make a crucial decision and what Pres Obama is doing. He brought in Gen McChrystal specifically to take charge of the mission in A-stan because he was the best qualified, most experienced commander for the job. But when the general’s assessment became public that he needed more troops, the White House pressured the general to not make the request.

    Once the request for more troops was finally (officially) made, the excuse was that we needed to wait for the election results before deciding. When the election results came in, they were suddenly declared tainted (even though both candidates fraudulent votes, Karzai just got more of them) then we had to have a run-off election. When that didn’t pan out, suddenly we needed to re-re-reassess the situation on the ground.

    I appreciate a commander in chief who doesn’t put troops in the field recklessly or needlessly. But I find fault with one who leaves the decision hanging while the bullets are flying.

    If Pres Obama doesn’t make the commitment to send more troops soon, then I doubt he ever will. Enemy attacks in A-stan are cyclical, with the winter months being the lowest and a swift ramp up in spring and summer. Which means that as tough as the decision is now, in another two months the number of KIA coming back to Dover will increase rapidly, giving the anti-war effort more ammo in their fight to retreat.

    Morale in A-stan right now is as low or lower than it was in late 2006 in Iraq, when the anti-war effort was at its zenith. But this time, it is the C-I-C that is killing morale, rather than the Code Pink types.

  6. “C-I-C that is killing morale, rather than the Code Pink types.”

    Is there really a difference? Did anyone really believe he was anything else, despite anything he said in the campaign?

  7. Intelligent Americans decided that Obama was unprepared for the top job and voted for the other guy.

    The reality of just how far down the toilet Hopey/Changey morons had flushed America started the first time the Fresh Prince of Bill Ayers used the Bush administration as an excuse for his own incompetence.

    Well, we’re a year in, and we’re really in for a rough three years….hey, maybe he’ll agree to leave in exchange for an Oscar, or how about a nice Heisman!

    Nice messiah, moonbats.

  8. AB,
    Obama’s biggest political quagmire is now and will continue to be the economy. All the deflection his admin is using won’t change unemployment figures, and there is only so much bowing and scraping our foreign creditors are going to stand for.

    If things are brutal in 2012, American voters will turn on Obama like a pack of dogs.

  9. “…unlike health care he won’t be able to blame failure on anyone else…”

    We’ll be hearing the overture to “Obama Inherited Two Wars” in the runup to next November’s election, leading to a crescendo in 2012. Whether or not that’ll be a successful gambit remains to be seen.

  10. Huge difference, Master. Code Pink is a group of civilians opposed to all war (as well as mascara) that I can ignore or just plain laugh at. Pres Obama is the civilian who decides whether my unit goes to A-stan next year.

    And after he brought in McChrystal and ordered the initial troop increase, I had high hopes that he would do the right thing in A-stan and see the job done. Silly me.

  11. Hmmm?

    Where is teh Pernicious Peevee to litter her inane scribbling in this comment section?

    Oh, nevermind, she is too much a coward for this discussion, that must have been a different thread.


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