The wise decision of an educated and concerned Commander-in-Chief, or the cheap, insincere manipulations of a political animal?
Do I even need to ask?
Jennifer Rubin reacts:
...the speech was a disgraceful attempt to manage a war for the president’s personal political ends. This is not merely a case when the right thinks the drawdown is too fast and the left thinks it’s too slow. Rather, there is surprising unanimity that the president has put politics above national security and that his policy lacks a strategic rationale. The president didn’t pretend to argue that the drawdown with a fixed timetable was going to further our strategic aims. Frankly, he declined to even argue that the de-surge wouldn’t impair our objectives. All he wants is out. To spend money at home. He said it. And it is sticking in the craw of Americans of good will on both sides of the aisle.
"...I mean, it is really remarkable when our troop deployment schedule is being determined by David Axelrod, not by David Petraeus.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen makes some cryptic remarks that scare the shit out of me:
Who's advice was heeded, and whose was ignored? Here's where I gulp...
....General Petraeus did not endorse the decision, said another official. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates argued publicly against a too-hasty withdrawal of troops...General Petraeus had recommended limiting withdrawals to 5,000 troops this year and another 5,000 over the winter. He and other military commanders argued that the 18 months since Mr. Obama announced the troop increase did not allow for enough time for the Americans to consolidate the fragile gains that they had made in Helmand and other provinces....
I remember during the 2008 campaign, when Obama's lack of experience was brought up, defenders retorted that he would surround himself with, and lean upon, the best and brightest minds in the nation for advice and guidance.
And I noticed that in barely a week's time, he rejected the counsel of the top White House lawyers in regards to the defense of the "Libyan Kinetic Military Action" and then rejected the advice of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ostentatiously his top military advisor.
Within his rights, of course, to decide to take his own counsel, along with that of Joe Biden (gulp, again). But to date, just about everything President AssHat has done has gone spectacularly wrong. Is that because he leaned on his advisers too much, or not enough?
We're about to find out. And although the media might be congratulating Obama now on a "audacious" political calculation based upon a certain amount of bi-partisan consensus (if you consider Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman to be Republicans, that is), I wonder how smart he will look in September 2012 if, after all the blood and the treasure we spent, the fragile Afghan nation begins to crumble, and amongst the chaos, falls back into the hands of the Taliban...
Like allowing the Nazis to retake Germany by 1950. Unthinkable, right?
Not in the Age of The One....