Vidal has a point about Obama’s military knowledge and his handling of military matters. Right now, he’s got his General’s plan for Afghanistan sitting on his desk. This plan has been on his desk for weeks. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. The military says it needs 35,000 soldiers desperately or the situation will still continue to deteriorate. And what is Obama’s response? He’s ‘studying it’, and says he’s going to take a few more weeks to make up his mind. This is ridiculous.
In the meantime, Joe Biden has channeled Donald Rumsfeld and is producing a plan to win the war on the cheap, without boots on the ground, using predators and high technology.
Does any of this sound familiar? Think Rumsfeld vs Shinsecki. Think of the drubbing Bush took on this board and elsewhere for not listening to his generals and going with his civilian SecDef’s radical ideas.
And now we have Obama, sitting on a plan the generals have come up with and which is being urged on him so strongly that the theater commander has threatened to resign if Obama doesn’t accept it. And what’s he doing? Giving serious consideration to a plan drawn up by his idiot VP over the plan drawn up by his professional military men? It’s insane. In the meantime, his handpicked representative in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, is complaining that things are adrift, no decisions are being made, hands are tied, and he can’t do his job. And Obama’s SecDef has had to come out and publicly oppose Biden’s plan. What a mess.
The conclusion I draw from this is that Obama knows this decision is going to cost him political capital no matter which way he goes on it, and he’s delaying it until he gets health care passed. But if that’s true, it’s an awfully cynical thing to do, because soldiers are going to die in the meantime, and any ground lost to the Taliban in the interim will have to be won back at the cost of more blood.
The more charitable, but more worrying interpretation is that Obama is overwhelmed and paralyzed by the magnitude of the decisions he’s being forced to make, and he’s simply struggling in the job.
And you’d think that with a decision of this magnitude, Obama would be surrounded with military experts, be in numerous meetings with his generals, and in general working feverishly to figure out what to do, calling on the best help he can. But no. The accounts I’ve heard is that he’s only met with General McChrystal once, and had a 34 minute conference with him. That’s it. But by God, he can spend days trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago. How about those priorities?
Really, his handling of Afghanistan recently is abysmal.
Then there’s his wishy-washy UN performance, which even drew a rebuke from Sarkozy. Sarkozy has said that he’s “inexperienced, ill-prepared by advisers, and thus far not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.”
In the meantime, France is worried that Obama is too soft on Iran.
When France is worried that you’re too much of an appeaser, it’s time to take a big look in the mirror and think about your strategy.
So at this point, I’d have to say that yeah, Hillary would have done a better job.