In his slick PR fashion, Obama's answer to the charge that he is "dithering on Afghanistan" is to feed the hungry media a military photo op. Yes, Obama can be seen in the pic saluting a US Soldier's flag-draped casket coming back from Afghanistan. Now we know why the White House insisted that our battlefield casualties should not be shielded from the media. You need tame media access for photo ops. So Obama is finally showing some respect.
For the Hollyweirdos, appearance is reality. We now have a Commander in Chief who knows how to salute. He must therefore be competent to lead. It's right there in the photo op.
That's the good news.
The darker news is that General McChrystal's request for 40,000 more troops for Afghanistan is now more than two months old, and the enemy isn't dithering. The Taliban are attacking, and the Afghans caught in the middle are losing their faith in US protection. How many truck bombs do you have to see go off in your local market in Kabul before you figure the US is on the losing side? I mean, pretend it's Chicago gang warfare. (In fact, could we pay the Crips and the Bloods to go over there and fight the enemy?)
Feinstein participated in a meeting at the White House with Obama and other members of Congress earlier in the week. She told Stephanopoulos her take:
"Well, what he (Obama) revealed was his thinking up to this point, and that the fact that he wanted to hear from various members, and some of us spoke up. And I'll tell you what I said. I reviewed all of the intelligence and looked at the situation, and it was pretty clear to me that violence was up 100 percent, 950 attacks in August. The Taliban now controls 37 percent of the people in the areas where these people are. Attrition in police is running 67 percent, either killed or leaving the service.
"And the mission is in serious jeopardy. I think General McChrystal, who is one of our very best, if not the best at this, has said a counterterrorism strategy will not work. The president said to us very clearly ... we will not pull out.
"Now, if you're going to stay, you have to have a way of winning. The question is, what is that way? And I think the counterinsurgency strategy, which means protecting the people, not shooting from afar, but securing, taking, holding, and providing security for a period of time is really critical."
Obama isn't sure because he just hasn't thought very much about matters of war and peace. He really needs that Harvard Law Seminar they're having in the White House. It's the only explanation for this murderous delay, with our troops stuck in places where the Taliban can find them. The Taliban are trying to kill as many Americans as possible because they know American casualties make headlines, and that's how they plan to win. Senator Feinstein knows it, and so does everybody else. Obama is getting lots of opinions from all the Enlightened Thinkers of the Left, who all disagree with each other, except that they mostly lean toward retreat. Except for Senator Dianne Feinstein, bless her.
We lost Vietnam through the liberal media. We nearly lost the Cold War because of the liberal media. We are withdrawing in Iraq because of the media. We are eager to appease the crazies in Iran because of the feckless media, and we are going to leave the Israelis to deal with the genociders over there because of the media. We are therefore risking the first nuclear martyrdom cult in history -- all because of the liberal media.
Now we know what Karl Marx meant by saying, "First, Conquer the Organs of Propaganda!" That's the slogan of our J-School Media. We are a hag-ridden nation, and the liberal media are our MacBeth witches, constantly screaming in our ears.
The Taliban obviously think that Obama can be scared into appeasement by killing American soldiers. Weakness kills; strength saves lives. Everybody knows that but the Left. They only practice that kind of power politics against normal Americans.
Obama could be genuinely baffled by the novelty of having to make tough choices. If we give him the benefit of the doubt, he just has to be rehearsed about the options over and over again by General Jones, his NatSec Advisor; by Joe Biden; and by -- good grief! -- John F. Kerry, the Swiftboat Hero of Vietnam. Democrats are amazingly ignorant and naïve about war and why intelligent warfare seems unavoidable for a decent nation living in the real world with barbarians...like so many members of the UN Human Rights Commission.
Why would Obama be any better informed than the rest of the Left? He's swallowed the Party Line for decades. He never has an original thought when it comes to liberalism; he memorized it when he was a kid, and by gum, it's still exactly the same as it was decades ago. So he must have gulped down the whole peacenik delusion wholesale. And now a Divine Providence with a highly developed sense of irony has made him Commander in Chief.
After all, what does a Chicago pol have to really know about national security? Nothing. Chicago pols don't even know about school security on the South Side. If they did, the schools would be much more peaceful. In New York City, it took Rudy Giuliani to clean up crime because generations of liberal mayors couldn't figure it out. If they can't run safe schools, what can they know about keeping peace on a global scale? When Obama and Bill Ayers got together on that Chicago inner-city program for fixing schools and buying votes, the best he came up with was a "jazz curriculum." That's the Dixiecrat solution for African-American education. It is disrespectful to parents and children of any race.
The less honorable explanation is that Obama is dithering on purpose because he's caught between the delusional Left (which is almost all of it) and the inescapable demands of reality. O might be trying to keep the Left guessing because he wants to cover up any war decision. Maybe he'll try to sign the Mob-O-Care bill into law at the same time as sending some troops to General McChrystal. If that's the case, US soldiers are dying over there while Obama worries about Leftie delusionoids.
George W. Bush accepted six years of foaming rage from the yapping Left with good grace. I think he could shrug it off because he understood what was important and what was merely self-serving. The Bush family has a record of solid values. Dad still jumps out of airplanes at 85. George W. Bush used to visit privately with wounded soldiers and their families, and go to see the dead coming home. Real tears are private. Bill Clinton had Hollywood photo ops in Normandy.
The difference is values. Has Obama transcended petty PR when it comes to war and peace? I sure hope so, but I don't see it.
I would like to believe that Obama is dithering because he really doesn't understand what's at stake. That idiot Bush couldn't have been right, could he? Or Darth Cheney? So there's got to be a way out, there's got to be a way to buy off the Taliban, even the ones who have lived all their lives boasting about their warrior spirit and their yearning to die for Allah.
Obama can flip anybody in Chicago. Hell, he can flip the whole Democratic Party establishment. He just knows in his bones there has to be some really really smart way to flip the Taliban and the Twelver Cult in Tehran. It's just Seminar time until he figures out a way out.
Good luck to our Soldiers. Bless them. They have the best leaders, and one of these days Obama will figure that out.