Published December 01, 2009
After all, how would he explain the fact that it took five months to claim that his strategy "was not 'wavering'" from his own policy as it was expressed in March of this very year?
President Obama's lengthy speech on Tuesday night was a bag of confusion, poorly defined terms, badly defined objectives and even less overall clarity.
In one sentence President Obama proclaimed that the effort in Afghanistan was the greatest threat to peace for the worldwide community and in the next sentence he declared the deadline by which the military objectives must be completed.
Message to the terrorists? Wait it out. Blend in. Pretend to be a non-terrorist until July of 2011, then all will be well.
But since he can't come out and say that, and since he can't allow the man he put in charge to fail, the president had to find a middle ground.
So, starting with a troop deployment by Christmas, General McChrystal will begin to get the first few of the 30,000 troops the president decided to allow to go. That number -- some 50,000 less than the general originally wanted -- will be Obama's last chance to demonstrate that he takes the threat of terrorists seriously.
The president sounded defensive. Some of his verbiage harkened back to his campaign stump speeches. He also looked awkward condemning the war in Iraq -- explaining that he had always been opposed to it -- while claiming the fight in Afghanistan was as simple as the harboring of Al Qaeda.
Did he not know that Saddam Hussein also allowed Al Qaeda operatives to operate openly in Iraq? If the policy was to go after those who harbored terrorists, and those who funded terrorists, didn't Saddam fit the bill for paying the families of suicide bombers in other nations $25,000 per suicide?
President Obama tried to speak about the war efforts in the two theaters as two separate wars, yet he betrayed brazen ignorance, or dishonest intention, in not admitting the very ties that bound them together (i.e.: even Usama bin Ladin labeled the Iraq front as the primary fight in the war. Or laptops recently recovered that revealed new e-mail communication between the top terrorists in Iraq and UBL.).
Obama had a tough job. He needed to explain how he would protect America, but he still had to pander to his anti-war base that have called for all our troops to be brought home.
In the end he adopted the Bush/Cheney strategy. In the end he adopted the recommendations made from the Bush review completed in November of 2008. A review that he had asked the Bush administration to remain silent on concerning its findings. A review that he adopted as his own policies in March of this year. A review that after nine additional review sessions with his war council--he did not significantly alter.
President Obama, in outlining his Afghanistan strategy on Tuesday night, has adopted President Bush's strategy for winning in Afghanistan.
With one major difference... That stupid deadline.
Now all our enemies must do is blend in for the next 18 months or so.
Look for them to do it.
And brace yourself for what such stupidity will rain down upon us.
Now it's just a waiting game.
Kevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of "'Baldwin/McCullough Radio" now heard on 197 stations and columnist based in New York. He blogs at www.muscleheadrevolution.com. His second book "The Kind Of MAN Every Man SHOULD Be" is in stores now.