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In Search of A Policy

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Ask the White House about the current Afghanistan/Pakistan (AfPak) policy and one is deluged by professorial phrases like 'deliberating a strategy', 'analyzing proposals', 'nuanced thinking' and so forth. Everyone agrees that the decision that President Obama needs to make within weeks is not an easy one and requires careful analysis and deliberation. However, as Charles Krauthammer points out, Afghanistan did not just spring up on them. It has been around for eight years. The administration has had over nine months to deliberate and formulate a strategy. This endless discussion can only be perceived as lack of backbone at worst and indecisiveness at best. At some point this President will have to decide (for or against the surge) and then sell that proposal to the country. Instead we see him second guessing his own six month old strategy before it even has a change to be implemented. When the President can't even sell something he believes in (healthcare), how will he sell a policy that he himself doubts?

The primary problem here is prioritization. President Obama has decided to concentrate all his energy on the created crisis of healthcare. The system is broken to be sure, but Americans have survived with the current system for decades. One more year would not change much. By contrast, the economy (jobs and the sinking dollar), AfPak and Iran will definitely change (for the worse) in a year. These pressing issues should have taken precedence. Instead it is only in the last few days that President Obama has finally started concentrating on Afghanistan. Until now he had spoken to Gen. McChrystal only twice. One of those times was at an airport for 25 minutes. Obama's 'beer summit' lasted longer. As Stephen Colbert points out, Obama did address AfPak but it was after banks, cars, stimulus, health care, a dog, an herb garden, the Olympics and beer.

America's foreign policy has been delegated to Vice President Biden for the most part. It is the strategy being pushed by Biden that is getting the most attention among factions of the White House and Democrats. One can only assume Obama is leaning toward that policy because he has said practically nothing on the matter. Remember this the same Joe Biden who devised the brilliant proposal to divide Iraq into three 'nations'. He is also probably the only person in the country who has been stimulated by the failed stimulus package. The President would be ill advised to accept Biden's proposals.

It is a clear sign that things aren't going well when Gaddafi wants you to be the President forever, Hugo Chavez prays for your health and the French President chides you for living in a virtual world. Iran is adding to Mr. Obama's woes by continually dismissing American overtures for a meaningful dialogue. Iran did accept Obama's offer to unclench its fist, although it was to slap the collective face of this administration and by extension, the United States.

On the positive side, the war on terror as a whole has had recent successes. Raids in Somalia, drone attacks in Pakistan and the recent arrests of terror suspects in the US suggest that the tactics used to prevent further attacks on US soil are working. Iraq is off the news and Obama has been smart to let that country continue to stabilize. Unfortunately for the President, these are Bush legacies. They are working because Obama was smart enough to leave those policies in place.

Most of President Obama's decisions are a confluence of three traits: narcissism, naive idealism and a tendency to avoid confrontation. This explains his incessent need to be on TV and involve himself in everything from the swine flu to Kanye West. It would also explain his childish desire to see a nuke free world and his waffling on AfPak, Gitmo closure and the public option in the healthcare debate.

It seems Mr. Obama suffers from a case of Presidential ADD. Besides healthcare, AfPak, Iran, the economy, the war on terror, Iraq and the dismal unemployment rate, President Obama is trying to micromanage Chicago gang crime (which Senator Obama didn't show much concern for), the New York gubernatorial race and even the Olympics. So far the only real accomplishment of Mr. Obama is appearing on TV more than any other President in history.

It is high time the Candidate became the President. The blame Bush/Cheney cow has been milked dry and then some. People now interpret the 'inherited from Bush' tactic by this administration as a way to deflect blame, as whining. It is not too late to develop a spine, clench his own fist and stand up for something.

The astonishing predicament that this 'transformational change agent' finds himself in would be amusing if it weren't so dangerous.   Still, one gets the feeling that George W. Bush is trying in vain to suppress a grin.

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About Krutic

  • I laud you for this article. You left out one important point. Obama’s policy has one very strong feature – throwing Israel under the bus. Even the idiots in our own Foreign Ministry have decided to distance themselves somewhat from the Americans – though into whose claws they would throw us to is unclear.

    But it is clear that Obama’s inability to think clearly is killing your country. You are no longer a world power at all, and the signs, the lighting of the Empire State Building in the red and yellow of the Communist Chinese dictatorship to honor an anniversary of genocidal bastards, bowing to the so-called king of “Saudi” Arabia, and chumming up to scum like Chávez, should be clear enough signs to you that the American Colussus is falling.

  • Jordan Richardson

    should be clear enough signs to you that the American Colussus is falling

    Actually, those are merely clear signs that it’s business as usual in America. When has America not had absurdly close ties with the world’s most despicable? And when do we start to see that those close ties also, I daresay, make America one of the world’s most despicable?

    Obama isn’t killing anything. He’s supporting the status quo like a good president. Any “bowing” to Saudi Arabia was in full bend long before he got there and “chumming” it up with Chavez is small potatoes when one considers what previous leaders of the “free world” have done in South America.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The administration has had over nine months to deliberate and formulate a strategy.

    And the last one had years to formulate a strategy. At least he’s still pumping drones in to Pakistan’s tribal region and taking out some significant targets with reasonable success.

    The problem with Afghanistan is that any action Obama takes is literally going to be the wrong one: he can crank in more troops and commit about a decade of resources and lives to the conflict Bush figured could be solved with CIA agents and suitcases full of cash OR he can leave. Damned to hell, either way.

    If he goes with McChrystal’s strategy, the body count of American soldiers will rise and the outcry from the public will rise with it.

    I think what Obama is doing here is looking for the lesser of the evils, much like he is with the health care debacle. This could be the toughest call of his presidency and he needs to consider the options, but at the end of the day there’s really only one way to look at the situation over there: it’s fucked.

  • Doug Hunter

    Our foreign policy must be good enough, Obama just won the peace prize.

  • Our foreign policy must be good enough, Obama just won the peace prize.

    The Nobel “Peace” Prize is already trash, worth less than toilet paper, and more akin to that bucolic substance toilet paper is designed to clean up. The bunch of gutless Norwegian fools who would award a murdering paedophile as Arafat such a prize cannot sink much lower. Once you get to the level of calling a murderer and terrorist a “peacemaker”, Obama is only a step up from the offal – albeit not much of a step up.

  • Nothing new from a war hawk who believes the ‘war on terror’ has had some successes. This article is swill and should be devoured and enjoyed by the proper animal.

  • Cindy,

    If you are condemning this article, the author MUST be on the right track.

  • Who is the war hawk? The author?

  • Roger, yes the author.

  • Well, he ain’t the only one.

    It looks as though the stigma of 9/11 has become a permanent feature of American history. And so our illustrious leader have devised a winning strategy: the American people need a real or imaginary enemy so they won’t bother to concern themselves with things that matter.

  • What’s ironic about this whole Afghan affair, and which everyone seems to forget – the Afghanis were quite capable of defeating the mighty Soviet war machinery; all we provided them with was the right kind of weaponry (See Charlie Wilson’s War), but now they are deemed helpless.

    I guess Al Qaeda and Taliban are more formidable enemies than the Soviets were. And we’re supposed to fall for that crap.

  • I left you some new material; have fun.

  • Glenn Contrarian


    Yet another article by the “Obama is Hitler/Stalin/Dahmer/anti-Christ!” crowd.

    The author apparently understands little of the military – otherwise he’d know that the President should not have directly met General McChrystal at all because that’s a clear violation of the chain of command. If anything, McChrystal should be getting his butt chewed for allowing this request to be seen by the press.

    And for Ruvy – remember MAD? That kept the peace between America and the Soviet Union for forty years. It might work for you, too – after all, peace is almost always preferable to war (though if the hammer of war is all you know, every problem looks like a nail).

  • P.S. It seems the US instigated the 911 terror attacks.

    Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack

    “Osama bin Laden and the Taliban received threats of possible American military strikes against them two months before the terrorist assaults on New York and Washington, which were allegedly masterminded by the Saudi-born fundamentalist, a Guardian investigation has established.

    The threats of war unless the Taliban surrendered Osama bin Laden were passed to the regime in Afghanistan by the Pakistani government, senior diplomatic sources revealed yesterday.

    The Taliban refused to comply but the serious nature of what they were told raises the possibility that Bin Laden, far from launching the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon out of the blue 10 days ago, was launching a pre-emptive strike in response to what he saw as US threats.”

    ‘If you want to stop terrorism, then stop initiating it and participating in it.’ – Noam Chomsky

  • Glenn, there is no peace to be had with the Arab terrorists. They must be murdered off before they murder us off. It is the Arabs who are racists, calling the Ethiopian Jewish Israeli soldiers “niggers”. So we know who the real racists are, don’t we? You won’t see this on the internet – the Israeli Hebrew media (and most of the English media here) are dhimmis – just like the American and British media.

    From an e-mail I received early this afternoon.

    Dear et al,

    I couldn’t believe my ears yesterday. The son of Sheikh Raed Salah was interviewed on the radio. The sheikh is head of the northern wing of the Islamic Movement who has been rousing the rabble this past week by shouting that Israel is planning to destroy the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. After a few riots, Israel began to limit the number of Arabs (only those above a cerrtain age) who are allowed to go pray on the Temple Mount, not an uncommon practice. Well, his son was explaining why the Arabs are so angry and said (I paraphrase): How do you think we feel when some [Israeli] soldier from Ethiopia, some nigger [“cushi”], tells us we can’t go to Al-Aksa?

    Oh, by the way. If the Arabs get disappointed with Obama, trhey will call him “nigger” too. They already did that to Condaleezza Rice.

    There can be no “balance of terror”. The racist terrorists must be murdered off, and their running dogs hung on the hangman’s noose.

  • By the way, Glenn, THIS is the reason we have to nuke the Persian bastards, particularly Qom and Teheran. They threaten US, not you. The Persians, and the Arabs masturbating over how they will murder us, off must learn a lesson about killing Jews that they will never ever forget. There can be no balance of terror with murdering hyenas.

  • The weak link in your story, Cindy, 9s that two months doesn’t seem sufficient time to make the preparations. If my memory serves me, the people who enrolled in the aviation schools and who flew those airplanes had done so way sooner. The two-month warning period wouldn’t be enough.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy –

    Did you EVER hear me claim the Arabs (whether Palestinian, Saudi, Iranian, whatever) were NOT racist?

    No, you did not.

    Racism exists at least to some extent in every nation, every culture. Problem is, many cultures are proudly so. Much of the Muslim culture is. Same for most of Asia and Africa. AND is there racism against Muslims BY the Jews? Probably. In fact, I’d venture to guess that at least at first there was probably some racism among the Jews against the Ethiopian Jews – not because of a difference in religion, but because of simple skin color.

    Ruvy, racism’s been a part of humanity since we were chimps…and a people CANNOT fight racism if it doesn’t first acknowledge its own and strive to root it out.

    That’s my issue with the conservatives – a FEW will acknowledge the existence of such racism, but the conservative movement as a whole does NOT strive to root it out. Instead, they deny it – see Dave’s posts for proof of that.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Ruvy –

    As long as Israel does not launch nukes, chances are almost certain that we’d come to your aid militarily – the electorate would not have it any other way.

    However, the moment you launch, all hope of help vanishes. The moment you launch, the days of Israel as a nation are numbered. We might send humanitarian aid, but that’s it. The logistics systems that sustain Israel will be disrupted to the point where you will no longer be able to sustain a viable country…and a billion or so Muslims (and many millions of other anti-Semites) will be screaming for your blood.

    You are an intelligent man and not an idiot, but your call to nuke the others is beyond idiocy. Once more, Israel would only exist in the hopes and dreams of expatriates. History is rife with examples of men who were absolutely sure their country was invincible, was inviolate, was protected by their gods.

    God will do as HE wills…do not make the mistake of assuming that God will do what YOU want Him to do.

    Do you really want to risk the nation of Israel? You have your nation now, and it is quite defensible, particularly with the goodwill of the Western world. If you nuke the Arabs, you will no longer have our goodwill. You’ll only have your ASSUMPTION that God will do as YOU would have Him do.

  • Glenn,

    Do you really want to risk the nation of Israel? You have your nation now, and it is quite defensible, particularly with the goodwill of the Western world. If you nuke the Arabs, you will no longer have our goodwill. You’ll only have your ASSUMPTION that God will do as YOU would have Him do.

    Glenn, I am willing to put MY life on the line with MY words. The “good will” of the western world is worth shit – no, less than shit; this was taught the Czechs, Poles and Finns between 1938 and 1940. We are seeing the same cowardice repeated by the arrogant and incompetent piece of offal who occupies the White House now.

    Yes, Glenn, G-d does as He wills. And His will is revealed in prophecy. Prophjecy does not need to happen, but if we fail to repent, it will happen as written in the Tana”kh. And one element in Prophecy guarantees a nuclear bomb exploding near Jerusalem, melting the skin, eyes and tongues of our enemies [Zecharia 14]. One way to repent for our sins is to slaughter our enemies according to OUR Rules of Engagement, rules spelled out in the Torah. OUR Rules of Engagement call for the extermination of the enemy. You have don’t have to consider that civilized, and I don’t really give a damn what you think. Following the Torah in destroying an enemy MAY gain us some favor with G-d.

    Attempting to gain favor with you uncivilized apes has been tried for two millenia and proven to be a failure, bringing us only humiliation, rape, robbery and death on a massive scale.

    Attempting to gain favor with you is a waste of time, insanity that has been tried over and over again – and failed.

    So I’ll put my faith in G-d and certainly not you.

  • Funny, I thought La La Land was Los Angeles, but it has clearly moved to Israel.

    Arrogance, belligerence and wilful ignorance in one post, what an unholy trinity!

  • Truth should at least be entertaining, Chris, even for the less than civilized apes reading it. I’m glad you enjoyed my post….

  • Ruvy, when you either tell the truth or entertain me, I’ll let you know. I enjoy very little of what you post precisely because of the lack of those qualities.

  • Krutic A

    #1: True but it is not a surprise to anyone that Obama’s most stern words have been against Israel and its settlements. It was clear that Obama won’t offer the kind of blanket support that Bush and others did to Israel..and I guess it is a good to reevaluate that sort of blind support but it should be done privately..not said out loud in Cairo.

    #4: Nobel Appease Prize could not have picked anyone better. I know of no one who does Nothing so well. This joke writes itself. Cant wait for the amazing teleprompter reading performance in Oslo.

    #13: I understand more of military strategy then our dear leader..that I know. Obama views the wars where people die each day as ‘distractions’ to use his fav term when dealing with unfavorable issues. I just hope he doesnt delegate it completely to Biden..the genius might just divide the country into Kabulistan and Talibanistan.
    Isn’t it interesting that Clinton is MIA in all of this? A couple perfunctory pictures in meetings and one or two interviews here and there..the kind that a deputy secretary of state for Asian affairs would do.

    #10: Are you saying terrorism doesn’t matter? The guy they arrested in Colorado was an imagined enemy?

  • Ruvy

    It was clear that Obama won’t offer the kind of blanket support that Bush and others did to Israel..and I guess it is a good to reevaluate that sort of blind support but it should be done privately..not said out loud in Cairo.

    I wouldn’t call anything Bush did “blanket support” of this country, but the reason I supported Obama was because I knew he would do precisely what he is doing – throw Israel under the bus. He has done it such a way as to force every Israeli to recognize the enemy and where he is – in the American government.

    It is long past time for US to evaluate what value AMERICA HAS TO US. I argue that America’s value is minimal, with a currency that is about to go down the toilet. And once you take away the money from the equation, America’s “relationship” to us is nothing but bullying. Bullying we do not need to get from America – we can go anywhere in the world and everyone will be happy to bully us – IF WE LET THEM.

    Since we do have nukes, it is about time to use them to OUR interest – like nuking Teheran, Qom and the capital of Arabia. Since we do have an army, it is about time to use it to OUR interest (like slaughtering to the last terrorist the “army” America is training for the resident Arabs here). America is the problem, its government is the hand that wields the Arab hammer. So, it’s time to dump American treasuries, American currency, and buy gold. If that starts a trend to destroy your currency, thus helping to smash that hand, so much the better! If not, then not. But we will have at least tried. In any event, we do not really need you and only fools who think the Yankee dollar still has value will disagree.