July 29, 2008
Did I Mention That I'm Noble?By Michael J. O'Shea
Is it 297 or 643 times we've heard Barack Obama toot: "I turned down more lucrative jobs and went to work for a group of churches"? As the Church Lady herself remarked: "Well, isn't that special?"
Young Obama nobly sets forth in 1983 for a paltry $12,000 plus a $2,000 old car. Blessed be he.
And ignored be these: the 2,929 who graduated that same year from West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy -- people every bit as bright, from schools at least as selective and even more demanding than Obama's Columbia alma mater, and making, almost to the penny, the same $12,000 that Obama did. But how many of them boast of how noble they were then and are even more so now?
And that $2,000 car? Would be worth $4,320 today. Which could nab a ‘93 BMW, ‘92 Mercedes, or ‘91 Jaguar. Not bad for a lad who had yet to work a lick and whose resume today is almost as blank.
Obama repeatedly touts his "over two decades of public service," but the military has 439 one-stars who were his college contemporaries who've served their country even longer. But with this difference:
Fewer than one percent of career officers will ever be promoted to Flag [that is, one-star General or Admiral]Rank.
That's what usmilitary.about.com states.
And that's fewer than 1% of all career officers -- not just all 1,427,546 men and women on active duty: fewer than 1% of all officers will ever earn a single star. And it took them an average of 25 years to merit just that one.
Moving beyond that sole star demands even longer service if not higher heroics: in the active-duty military today, just 278 men and women bear two stars, only 124 have three, and a mere 34 wear four.
And yet Obama's chief political adviser beams:
Surely that's because they don't know that each of the 875 current Flag Officers has put in more years for less pay and infinitesimally less renown than Obama but, unlike him, each has commanded -- commanded thousands of troops and billions of dollars. Yet Obama knows better about Iraq, Afghanistan, national security, and protecting American lives.
Only now does Obama confer with General Petraeus -- with 38 years serving the US -- about the Middle East, and he confers, not to listen nor to learn, but to announce what he'd already decided about Iraq which he'd visited once and Afghanistan which he'd never seen and on which the Senate sub-committee he chairs has held not a single hearing. And yet he knows, not even God knows how, what's best.
Perhaps Obama deems his Harvard degree superior to Petraeus's Princeton Ph.D. or Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Patrick Walsh's Tufts Ph.D. or newly-appointed Brigadier General H.R. McMaster's University of North Carolina Ph.D., or all the other officers with masters or doctorates from America's most prestigious schools. Who knows? All we do know is that Obama knows that he knows more than anyone else.
So of course he has no interest in hearing current and former commanders tell him
And go back they do, re-enlisting again and again, but Obama never asks, Why? Why do they go back? What do they see that I don't?
Nor does Obama ask Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen why he said that Obama's withdrawal scheme "could be very dangerous." Instead he relishes Prime Minister Maliki's embrace and dodges the fact that Maliki was wrong about Basra, overestimated his own military, and would have failed there had US forces not bolstered his troops.
Commander after commander -- American as well as Iraqi -- states starkly: Iraq has come stunningly far, stunningly fast: but it is not yet ready. It cannot yet stand on its own. Those billions of dollars and thousands of lives Obama decries can have been worth it with a solid, fierce, loyal ally in the heart of the Middle East and the soul of Islam: but not yet. Withdraw, and all could be wasted. Finish, and you help finish Al Qaeda, Sadr, Iran, Syria, and Iraq ever again as a threat.
Yet Barack Obama insists that he is the leader American troops have been longing for. He is the Commander expecting men and women who've seen Middle East horrors first-hand to salute not just as their Commander-in-Chief but as their superior, superior in everything -- intelligence, judgment, character, honor, sacrifice, patriotism. Detroit had Diana Ross and the Supremes, but Chicago has Barack Obama who is the Supreme.
Troopers that they are, salute they would, executing the best they could whatever "plan" the community organizer concocts. No matter their years studying Arabic ways and Arabic leaders and even learning some Arabic itself: Barack reads Arabic numbers and that's Arabic enough. Soldiers have wisdom bled from experience: Obama has revelations from on high.
And from his own Joint Chiefs -- Pelosi, Reid, Levin, Durbin, Rockefeller, Wright, Jackson, Sharpton, Soros, and the thousands of militant anti-military MoveOn-dot-com preeners.
Obama repetitiously extols "our brave troops" but wouldn't brave Berkeley when it banned Marine recruiters nor brave campuses where neither recruiters nor ROTC are welcome but are instead scorned.
Where was Obama when Abu Ghraib erupted? Where was his celebrated eloquence arguing that those few betrayed their hundreds of thousands of buddies? Where was he when his Democrat Senate colleague compared American troops at Guantánamo to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings"?
How can he not see that abandoning Iraq would not only affect recruiting but retention as well? How can he not know that Al Qaeda and Iran would crow about defeating the US just as Hezb'allah boasted of "defeating" Israel just two summers ago? If Israel is less secure after that, how could America not be after aborting in Iraq? But, then, it's better for America to lose a war than for Obama to lose face.
Barack Obama grows rhapsodic citing the Sermon on the Mount, yet he didn't listen carefully: Christ said, "Blessed are the peacemakers" -- he did not say the peaceniks. Blessed are those who, like God in Genesis, bring order out of chaos. And anyone who can't see that Iraq under Saddam was chaos is not only blind, he's dangerous.
Barack Obama still doesn't realize that America is more furious at Congress than it is fearful of Al Qaeda -- because they trust our troops to destroy Al Qaeda. Congress, on the other hand, they see as hopeless. If the man who preaches Hope and Change could help change Congress, Americans might trust him with our troops. What they dread is that he would make our troops like Congress instead of making Congress like our troops.
The change Americans really could believe in -- if only they knew of it -- is the change US troops are bringing to and helping birth in Iraq, taking it in just five years from deadly enemy to staunch ally. No other country ever in the history of the world has changed so radically so fast.
Of course Obama wants to abandon Iraq: it shames his Congressional colleagues and himself by comparison. Like Middle East dictators, the worse they make Iraq look the better they think they make themselves appear. Scapegoats may have originated in the Middle East, but they've been perfected on Capitol Hill.
And so Obama tells American troops Iraq has been a waste, as he simultaneously gloats:
But Obama saw no threat before when he declared that Saddam was armed and so sees none now when the new Iraq is in its infancy. He approves aborting a human child, so of course has no problem aborting a budding democracy.
And thus we meet The Obama Doctrine, stage by stage.
Saddam Stage -- Saddam
Barack Obama adores preaching about race, but had he prevailed the real race would have been between Saddam and Ahmadinejad. And Libya. And North Korea. With Saudi Arabia and others scurrying to catch up.
The Obama Doctrine, Post-Saddam Stage.
Picture the relief David Petraeus feels when hears his Commander-in-Chief expound:
Petraeus thought that was his responsibility as the new CENTCOM commander charged with both Iraq and Afghanistan, but, since Obama has seized those duties, now may turn out to be the ideal time to retire.
And leave America in the hands of a commander who has never commanded, who demands depth from others but has none of his own. A novice who has nothing to learn from commanders who went to school in Iraq, learned Al Qaeda's ways, are destroying Al Qaeda there, and would soon have turned more of their guns -- and Predators and smart bombs and even smarter troops -- on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And destroy Al Qaeda there precisely because of what they learned in Iraq.
But there will be no Lessons Learned for Obama: he's got life all worked out. His troops have been trained for command along proven paths, but it is he to whom wisdom has been revealed.
Be it 297 or 643 times Barack Obama has reminded us he's noble, the longer he lingers the more danger -- not nobility -- shrieks to be heard.