Friday, November 13, 2009

President Obama: Our Very Own General McClellan !

According to the New York Post:

When the tall, skinny guy from Illinois was elected president a year ago, many Americans were hoping for another Honest Abe. Ironically, they seem to have gotten George McClellan -- the timorous general Lincoln had to fire for refusing to fight the Civil War.

When it came to combat, McClellan just couldn't make up his mind.

Nor, it seems, can President Obama.

It's been two-plus months and counting since Obama announced he was reconsidering his options for the war in Afghanistan.
Now those options are being rewritten yet again -- which likely will delay the president's announcement of a new Afghan strategy until well into December...

No wonder French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has wondered aloud why Obama is leaving his ostensible NATO allies -- who may be called on to provide more troops -- completely in the dark.
"Where are the Americans?" he asked. "It begins to be a problem. We need to talk to each other as allies."

Whatever happened to strengthening our overseas alliances, a key foreign-policy campaign plank of the Obama campaign? Well, maybe Obama was talking about our new apparent alliances with Venezuela and Iran...

Jennifer Rubin notes Obama's McClellan-esque inability to move forward from theory to action:

One senses that the president is buffeted by this and that group, seemingly unwilling or unable to just decide. The helpful spinners both on and off the record assure us the president is being more “assertive” and “challenging” the advice.

How’s it working out? “The behind-the-scenes tug-of-war over policy has become increasingly bitter.” Not as bitter as I imagine those in the field and their families may become as the seminars churn, the equivocation continues over the precise numbers to be deployed (38,000 or 36, 500? or maybe just 26,750?), and both our allies and adversaries look on slack-jawed.

It is quite a spectacle...

Indeed. And by rejecting the advice of his generals one minute, and his advisers the next, and continually demanding more and more options, he has made himself into the proverbial fish in a barrel: that Obama has reportedly rejected all of the plans from all of the experts in order to craft something more befitting his Olympian intellect he couldn't possibly own the war more. Now if things go (more) south he can't even say "I relied on the best guidance and advice of my generals."

Hint to President McClellan: Sometimes you reach a fork in the road; and you have to turn either left or right. Sitting behind the wheel of an idling engine interminably will not cause a magical third way - containing the magical path you have been hoping for - to appear. Instead, you will likely overheat the engine, causing the vehicle to break down and angering the passengers to quite a considerable degree. Or, you can just turn around and go home, but then of course you'll need to explain why you wasted so much time with the whole trip to begin with, again angering your passengers to quite a considerable degree.

Choose a path, Mr. President, or you will surely suffer McClellan's fate...

UPDATE: Obama steals my analogy (sorry, "spreads it's wealth"):

Am I the only one who smells Kabuki in the reports that President Obama has dramatically rejected all the Afghan war options with which he was presented, demanding to know where the "off ramps" are?

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