I picked out today's "quote du jour" by Obama a day or so before I heard about the situation with General McChrystal. Quite frankly, it just didn't sound believable coming from the lips of our current Commander-in-Chief. Tales of US combat troops being killed because of changed Rules of Engagement or lack of support (or both) seemed to belie the forceful rhetoric of our President. It seemed to be simply more empty rhetoric.
When Obama was running for President, one of his talking points was that the real war on terror was in Afghanistan, and Bush was misguided with his focus on Iraq, and that once he was President, Barack would see that the war against terror in Afghanistan would be conducted successfully.
As late as last month, in his address to Veterans, Obama said Afghanistan was “a war of necessity” and “fundamental to the defense of our people”.
Krauthammer on Obama and Afghanistan:
Well, I think what's really important here are two dates. The first is August 30. That's when the McChrystal report was sent to Washington. That is three weeks ago. Obama has had a single meeting [on that report] since then.
He says he hasn't reached a conclusion — I suppose because he is spending all his time preparing for Letterman and speeches to schoolchildren — to focus on a war in which our soldiers are in the field getting shot at and, as the president himself is saying, without a strategy.
Now, the other date is the 27th of March, when Obama gave a speech in the White House flanked by his Secretaries of Defense and State, in which he said, and I will read you this, because it is as if it never happened, "Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan."
So we for six months have been living under the new Obama strategy, of which he says today we have none. And his next sentence is, again in March, "This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review" — not the beginning, the end of the policy review.
So it has been his policy, and now he tells us we don't have a cart and we don't have a horse.
What's happening here is he announced the strategy of counterinsurgency in March. He said at the time that we “cannot afford” an “Afghanistan that slides [back] into chaos.”
He said "My message to the terrorists who oppose us — We will defeat you," And now he's not sure he wants to defeat them.
Five appearances on five Sunday shows plus trading lame jokes with Letterman seem to be higher up the priority ladder with Obama than conducting the "real" war on terror, the "war of necessity fundamental to the defense of our people". In the meantime, Americans are dying on foreign soil, and America's enemies are looking to see if the President of the United States is going to do anything about it.
Obama keeps making speeches as if he were still campaigning for the job. Is it really too much to ask if now that he has the job, he would actually take responsibility for doing it? He's been AWOL on his Afghan policy for way too long!