Well, You F***ed Up…You Trusted Him

You know, I believed this was true and just told myself that it was impossible.

I even told myself that Obama might not believe in our military activities overseas, but that he saw some wisdom in them.

And I was a fool. Here’s Jackson Diehl, in the Washington Post:

One of the most remarkable aspects of Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” is its portrait of a White House that has all but resigned itself to failure in Afghanistan. As Woodward recounts it, by last spring — just six months after President Obama announced the dispatch of 30,000 additional U.S. troops, along with a modified counterinsurgency strategy — virtually every civilian official at the National Security Council and in the vice president’s office had concluded that the plan was doomed.

If that doesn’t offend you, you’re not paying attention. Forget my outrage as the father of a soldier whose life Obama was prepared to waste in support of a cause he and his team have no faith in – I’m outraged as a taxpayer, as a citizen, as someone who relies on my government to defend me and mine and to advance the causes of our nation.

No wonder Obama is uncomfortable around military families. Not only does he think they were fools for enlisting but greater fools to march forward into hazard in the service of a plan he doesn’t believe in.


10 thoughts on “Well, You F***ed Up…You Trusted Him”

  1. But clearly, you are not a fool. So the question I would recommend is, how did you allow yourself to be fooled? What aspect of, forgive me, bad philosophy, what unexamined premise, made you vulnerable to such beliefs in the face of the available evidence? And I would suggest that your prior post on the animating force of the Tea Parties, and the difference between “government does” and “government protects,” might be a good starting point.

    Then again, I voted for Bush in 2004, so you can take that with a grain of salt, I suppose. (Not that I would have voted for Kerry, but there are third party options.)

  2. Perhaps Jackson Diehl has read more than the excerpts I’ve seen online, but I don’t think he sufficiently supports his claim that the political civilian leadership doesn’t believe with this mixed bag of anecdotes. (And since I think Karl Eikenberry should have been quietly escorted home after the Rolling Stone article, I can’t help but read his own problems as part of a studied pattern of C.Y.A.)

    What I think has been revealed is rather narrow strategic thinking from Obama, focused almost entirely on troop strength and duration, instead of obtainable strategic objectives. What I am waiting to read is why David McKiernan was fired to really get a sense where the administration’s head has been.

  3. I hate to say I told you so, but many of us did, and you didn’t listen.

    Whats so funny is how eagerly he follows the plans Bushco laid out for him when it came to Iraq, but when he had to apply something of his own “design” for Afghanistan, he failed miserably, or as Woodward portrays, didn’t care.

    You can link everyone of Obama’s failures to this simple fact, if it doesn’t improve his standing in how he sees himself, then he doesn’t care about the outcome.

    Most Narcissistic President Evar.

  4. If there is anything that Obama has been clear on it has been his intention to wothdraw from both wars.
    Our involvement in Afghanistan, other than for hunting down and killing the Al-Queda leadership has been nonsensical from the beginning.

    The mission creep has been ridiculous with us now wanting to destroy the Taliban, root out corruption and build an Afghan Nation. If anyone thinks that is possible then I would like to have some of what they are smoking.

    What is our strategic interest there, if there is one. Are we being altruistic. If we do have any strategic interest how does it weigh against what we are putting in there to protect it? And just how long will it take. As far as I am concerned, you can tell me from now until the cows come home that we are now winning the war, but if you cannot answer basic strategic questions and those about cost and timelines, you are just wasting everyone’s time, money and lives.

    None of these have been answered by either Administration. It seems to me that 10 years with no progress plan or strategy is long enough.

  5. #5, toc3:

    If there is anything that Obama has been clear on it has been his intention to wothdraw from both wars.

    I don’t think that’s true. Obama pre-election was adamant that he was going to go into Afghanistan, kick ass, take names, and not leave until the job was done, where “job” was somewhere between kill bin Laden and the utter destruction of al Qaida.

    At some point, that changed.

    Since we’re talking about Woodward, though, I’ll throw out this quote, which I have to take out of context because I’ve never been sufficiently enraptured with Woodward to read his stuff, and I’m way too busy to change that now: Apparently, Obama said something along the lines of not thinking in terms of winning or losing a particular war, but in terms of making the country stronger or weaker.

    When I read that excerpt, I thought the following thoughts:

    1) Duh. What other metric could there be? Are we to take the other position, and pursue victory at all costs even if (say) “winning” costs us fifty trillion dollars and bankrupts us?

    2) Wow, I bet he gets savaged for that remark. And for all the wrong reasons. (Although if he has, then to my shock and delight, I have pruned my reading list of the sorts of places where that savaging occurred.)

    3) Okay, granted, usually winning and stronger-country go hand in hand. But clearly, this is not always the case.

    I don’t begrudge the man for making a rational calculus and determining that we have sufficiently achieved our goals in the region to the degree that we can withdraw. I don’t know that I agree, because Pakistan is still critical; but I don’t know that I disagree either, precisely because it’s Pakistan and India that are more important, and because while “destroying” al Qaida is effectively impossible, we’ve sure as hell degraded them from a global player to a stuggling theater power. “We’re done, here,” does not seem obviously wrong to me.

    What I do begrudge, though, is the basic lack of trust and transparency, the condescension, and the notion that the American public is not sufficiently adult to engage in policy and strategy discussions.

    Not that I should be surprised, here– the Bush Administration put the knife to its own throat in almost the same way. Yeah, we technically had a casus belli, and yes, I still think going into Iraq was the right thing to do, and more important than Afghanistan ever was. But the Bush Administration never bothered to make the deeper point of, “and even aside from that, it’s in our interests to do this for reasons X, Y, and Z.”

    It could easily have done so. It would have been prudent to do so. I was irate at the time that they chose not to, in the same way that I’m irate that the Obama administration refuses to be straight on Afghani policy now.

    PS – I’m glad everything is all right, too, A.L.

  6. If only Dr. Lyshenko were still commenting. Democrat pressure made Bush adopt the COIN men like Petraus were touting.

    Obama opposed it. And was proven wrong.

    Then, when faced with the Big Boy Pants on Afghanistan, he diddled.

    It’s ok AL, _we_ on the right still love you. Time to come home.

    Come on man; are the folks that trashed the Washington Mall this last weekend _your_ people?

    We’ll be waiting!

    Meanwhile, pray the offspring comes home well. Just had some good brothers come home from there and it is a relief to the soul.

  7. Thorley, he’s home!! Safe, remarkably sound, and ready to move to the next stage of his military career (not that he’s a lifer…).


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