The liberal New York Times reports Tuesday that elements in the U.S. military are becoming disenchanted with President Obama because he is taking so long to make a decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan.
"Talking Points" believes that is true, that the military is not happy right now with the commander in chief. My opinion is based on Defense Secretary Gates, who has now publicly stated that Barack Obama must make a decision on Afghan troop deployment.
That is a bold move by Gates. He is putting his job on the line. Like Gen. McChrystal, Secretary Gates is basically putting pressure on President Obama.
For his part, the president continues to say he needs clarity from the Afghan government before he commits more American forces. And so on Tuesday, the Afghan leader Karzai says he will allow an election runoff.
But let's be honest here: The Afghan government is corrupt all day long and that's not going to change anytime soon.
The USA and NATO are fighting to destroy terrorism, to deprive the Taliban and Al Qaeda of sanctuaries. We are not fighting for the Afghan government.
The best case scenario is for the Afghan army to become a force against the terrorists. It could happen, but it won't unless more security is provided by the USA. That's why Gen. McChrystal wants the additional troops.
In the end I believe President Obama will send the soldiers and Marines, but his hesitation is teeing off the military. It's also helping the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Those people will fight if they believe they can outlast America, and all this dithering around has to give them encouragement.
One final thought: If President Obama sincerely believes that the Afghan government is so corrupt and the theater is so out of control that it's impossible to win the fight, then he should say that and get out. I'll support that. President Bush took a huge gamble by surging in Iraq. It worked, but it may not work in Afghanistan.
But one way or the other, the president needs to act now.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is no fan of the president's:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DANA ROHRABACHER, R-CALIF.: Barack Obama's, really, vision, comes from a Marxist background. I see him as someone who's honestly trying to do what he thinks is right. But we do need to recognize his world view will lead us into a place that is totally contrary to what American tradition is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
While I don't believe President Obama is a Marxist, some of you do. So Rohrabacher could be either a pinhead or patriot depending on your point of view.
On the pinhead front, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared on "Celebrity Jeopardy":
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, FORMER BASKETBALL STAR: "I Went to UCLA" for $400.
ALEC TREBEK, HOST, "JEOPARDY": You're going to love it. "Tell your old man to drag this '70s UCLA and Trail Blazer center up and down the court for 48 minutes." Kareem?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Who is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
TREBEK: No! You're the one who delivered the line, but it was about Bill Walton.
TREBEK: Embarrassing moments on "Jeopardy."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
For laughing at himself, I think Mr. Jabbar is a patriot, but the answer was definitely pinhead-y.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org