What kind of commander in chief sends tens of thousands of troops to war announcing in advance a fixed date for beginning their withdrawal? One who doesn't have his heart in it. One who doesn't really want to win but is making some kind of political gesture. One who thinks he has to be seen as trying but is preparing the ground -- meaning, the political cover -- for failure....
Until now, the above was just inference from the president's public rhetoric. No longer. Now we have the private quotes. Bob Woodward's new book, drawing on classified memos and interviews with scores of national security officials, has Obama telling his advisers: "I want an exit strategy." He tells the country publicly that Afghanistan is a "vital national interest," but he tells his generals that he will not do the kind of patient institution-building that is the very essence of the counterinsurgency strategy that Gens. Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus crafted and that he -- Obama -- adopted.
Moreover, he must find an exit because "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party." This admission is the most crushing of all.
First, isn't this the party that in two consecutive presidential campaigns -- John Kerry's and then Obama's -- argued vociferously that Afghanistan is the good war, the right war, the war of necessity, the central front in the war on terror? Now, after acceding to power and being given charge of that very war, Obama confides that he must retreat, lest that very same party abandon him. What happened in the interim? Did it suddenly develop a faint heart? Or was the party disingenuous about the Afghan war all along, using it as a convenient club with which to attack George W. Bush over Iraq, while protecting Democrats from the charge of being reflexively antiwar?
Whatever the reason, is it not Obama's job as president and party leader to bring the party with him? This is the man who made Berlin coo, America swoon and the Nobel committee lose its mind. Yet he cannot get his own party to follow him on what he insists is a matter of vital national interest?
The hopeychangey economic policies of this president are bad enough and are continuing to cripple the American economy; but what is truly frightening about this faint-hearted president is his foreign policy which consistently denigrates America and American values; elevates those countries and groups who are eager to destroy or humiliate this country; and which places Americans at risk at home and abroad.
Frankly, Obama has never figured out his job as President and possibly never will. He never intended to represent American interests; just his own ideological fantasies and his own narcissism which seems endless. It's not that his heart is faint when it comes to standing up for the US, it's that it need all out CPR--not just a "little break."
Victor Davis Hanson once stated in an essay titled "Why Study War" (in City Journal):
Indeed, by ignoring history, the modern age is free to interpret war as a failure of communication, of diplomacy, of talking—as if aggressors don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, frustrated by the Bush administration’s intransigence in the War on Terror, flew to Syria, hoping to persuade President Assad to stop funding terror in the Middle East. She assumed that Assad’s belligerence resulted from our aloofness and arrogance rather than from his dictatorship’s interest in destroying democracy in Lebanon and Iraq, before such contagious freedom might in fact destroy him. For a therapeutically inclined generation raised on Oprah and Dr. Phil—and not on the letters of William Tecumseh Sherman and William Shirer’s Berlin Diary—problems between states, like those in our personal lives, should be argued about by equally civilized and peaceful rivals, and so solved without resorting to violence.
Yet it’s hard to find many wars that result from miscommunication. Far more often they break out because of malevolent intent and the absence of deterrence. Margaret Atwood also wrote in her poem: “Wars happen because the ones who start them / think they can win.” Hitler did; so did Mussolini and Tojo—and their assumptions were logical, given the relative disarmament of the Western democracies at the time. Bin Laden attacked on September 11 not because there was a dearth of American diplomats willing to dialogue with him in the Hindu Kush. Instead, he recognized that a series of Islamic terrorist assaults against U.S. interests over two decades had met with no meaningful reprisals, and concluded that decadent Westerners would never fight, whatever the provocation—or that, if we did, we would withdraw as we had from Mogadishu.
And yet the political left and it's operational arm, the Democratic Party (including Speaker Pelosi, Secretary of State Clinton, and President Obama--especially President Obama) have fundamentally accepted and overly rely on this idea that miscommunication is the root cause of all disagreements.
It is this idea that is behind much of the diplomatic insanity (i.e., lunatic appeasement) that runs through the Obama's foreign policy initiatives. It is an almost shocking degree of naivete about people. In fact, it is also shockingly self-centered (i.e., narcissistic) because it assumes that your behavior is the primary determinant of other people's and that other people do not have thoughts, feelings, or motivations separate from or distinct from one's self.
"He is out of Afghanistan psychologically," says Woodward of Obama. Well, he may be out, but the soldiers he ordered to Afghanistan are in.
Some will not come home.
Obama's faint heart and narcissistic psyche could get us all killed.
UPDATE: Figure out which side in the following exchange is having a misunderstanding in communication:
[Political cartoons by Chuck Asay can be found here]