Another good one from Jon Stewart — keep talking [Video below the fold.] I know many of you don’t much care for him but let us acknowledge whatever little turn around we can get from the kool-aid drinkers. More so when we have our erratic media fact checking a comedy skit as in — CNN fact checks SNL skit on Obama. Just unbelievable!
Indecision and convenient flip-flops have been the hallmark of this presidency so far but it has started to sow doubt about Obama among a number of his cheerleaders. The fact remains that they just didn’t think much of the 130 or so “present” votes he cast during his state senate days; they didn’t think much of his self-conferred celebrity during his US senate days when he could not be bothered to conduct hearings on, wait for it, the Afghanistan war and learn [more on this below the fold]. All the signs were there but they just could not be bothered to “THINK” and now they with the rest of America are paying the price for it.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Gay After Tomorrow|
Jon Stewart is seeing the light — “get a bigger plate, because you are the president of the United States.” Many presidential candidates get into the game because they love challenges. But this guy never seemed up for it from the beginning; he had to be propped up by a servile media and dragged through the finish line by his cronies. Remember his “let me eat my waffle” days during the campaign. Remember how he ran away from the debates and remember how he was afraid to go before O’Reilly when our girl, Hillary, ate him for lunch. He cheated and defrauded to get here and all for what? For his handlers to whine that there is too much on his plate? Give me a break.
One more thing, when his handlers start talking about him doing things “deliberately”, note that it is the wimpiest excuse I have ever heard for indecision.
What he wants to be is the nominal head of the country jetting around the world with the excellent perks that come with it, sprinkling his inspirational hope and change gobbledygook on gullible nincompoops. Unfortunately for him, American democracy does not work that way, even though he and his cronies turned it into a parliamentary coup during the Democratic primaries. Now that he is there and he has to play the decider, why can’t he work, dammit?
For most of us here at NQ, it is a rhetorical question. Let us see if the kool-aid drinkers will ponder over it in some earnestness.
While they ponder over it, they may as well educate themselves with what is going on in Afghanistan.
In early March, after weeks of debate across a conference table in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the participants in President Obama’s strategic review of the war in Afghanistan figured that the most contentious part of their discussions was behind them. Everyone, save Vice President Biden’s national security adviser, agreed that the United States needed to mount a comprehensive counterinsurgency mission to defeat the Taliban.
That conclusion, which was later endorsed by the president and members of his national security team, would become the first in a set of recommendations contained in an administration white paper outlining what Obama called “a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Preventing al-Qaeda’s return to Afghanistan, the document stated, would require “executing and resourcing an integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency strategy.”
To senior military commanders, the sentence was unambiguous: U.S. and NATO forces would have to change the way they operated in Afghanistan. Instead of focusing on hunting and killing insurgents, the troops would have to concentrate on protecting the good Afghans from the bad ones.
And to carry out such a counterinsurgency effort the way its doctrine prescribes, the military would almost certainly need more boots on the ground.
To some civilians who participated in the strategic review, that conclusion was much less clear. Some took it as inevitable that more troops would be needed, but others thought the thrust of the new approach was to send over scores more diplomats and reconstruction experts. They figured a counterinsurgency mission could be accomplished with the forces already in the country, plus the 17,000 new troops Obama had authorized in February.
“It was easy to say, ‘Hey, I support COIN,’ because nobody had done the assessment of what it would really take, and nobody had thought through whether we want to do what it takes,” said one senior civilian administration official who participated in the review, using the shorthand for counterinsurgency.
The failure to reach a shared understanding of the resources required to execute the strategy has complicated the White House’s response to the grim assessment of the war by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, forcing the president to decide, in effect, what his administration really meant when it endorsed a counterinsurgency plan. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s follow-up request for more forces, which presents a range of options but makes clear that the best chance of achieving the administration’s goals requires an additional 40,000 U.S. troops on top of the 68,000 who are already there, has given senior members of Obama’s national security team “a case of sticker shock,” the administration official said.
Obama is backtracking from his original support of Afghanistan strategy because he has a case of sticker shock. Read the rest of the article for more unraveling of the events from March leading up to McChrystal today. Follow Larry Johnson’s post here to see how the White House and others are trying to make General McChrystal the scapegoat now.
Democrats have found someone worth fighting in Afghanistan. His name is Stan McChrystal.
White House aides have fanned these flames with recent leaks to the media that “officials are challenging” his assessment asking for more troops. In the last two days, the White House National Security Adviser and the Secretary of Defense have both suggested that the general should keep his mouth shut. President Obama called him in Friday for a talking-to on the tarmac at Copenhagen airport.
Though a decorated Army four-star officer, the General’s introduction to Beltway warfare is proving to be brutal. To be fair, Gen. McChrystal couldn’t know that his Commander in Chief would go wobbly so soon on his commitment to him as well as to his own Afghan strategy when he was tapped for the job in April. We’re told by people who know him that Gen. McChrystal “feels terrible” and “had no intention whatsoever of trying to lobby and influence” the Administration. His sense of bewilderment makes perfect sense anywhere but in the political battlefield of Washington. He was, after all, following orders.
As usual this WH has a knack for smearing people in an attempt to hide their own flaws. Any number of advisers can help but there is only one decider and one place where the buck stops in the White House. Right now that person has sticker shock and worries about passing his sham of a health care reform or his 2012 re-election or whatever.
[As an aside, the body language in that picture of the two of them is telling. Obama is looking down and the General is looking straight at him. Something about it bothers me. Is Obama afraid of the military, perhaps because he does not understand them?]