When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

Afghanistan … What’s up with that?

In Obamarama on 13/10/2009 at 20:17

When General Stanly McCrystal put in the order for 40,000 additional troops and a five-year commitment in Afghanistan last month, it appeared to anyone who believed Barack Obama’s campaign pledges to be a no-brainer. After all, his criticism of Bush’s invasion of Iraq and neglect of the “necessary war” was central to the 44th President’s campaign juggernaut. This quote taken from the Washington Times, made by Obama in a speech at Woodrow Wilson International Center in 2007, titled: “The War We Need to Win”:

“When I am president, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy … [including] getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan. …” He added that Afghanistan is the “right battlefield”.

So what has happened in the intervening two years to cause Obama to make what could be a very costly delay in getting McCrystal’s troops to him?

To answer that question I think we have to take a deeper look at the man Obama than the media at large have been willing to take.

Barack Obama has lived a charmed life. Sure, he grew up without his father in the home and his mother was a radical wack job whose main contributions to his upbringing were a radical worldview and a turnstile bedroom lifestyle. It is true his father deserted him and returned to Kenya and that Obama rarely saw him. But all of that aside, Obama grew up most of his life in a two-parent household, his white grandparents assuming the duties his mother and father shirked.

And Obama was smart, handsome, and popular. By some accounts his IQ stands between 130 and 140, pretty darn smart. That and several other components went into the future president’s education, but he was mentored by poet, admitted pedophile, and communist radical Frank Marshall Davis, himself the father of biracial children. Davis recognized the kid’s intellectual aptitude and prepared him for the world as Davis viewed it. The rest is, as they say, history: Obama went on to Columbia and finally Harvard, and rose to the presidency at 47 years old.

So, what does all of this have to do with the President’s decision on Afghanistan, you ask? Well, everything. The remarkable man I have just described has never known an unpopular day in his life, and that may be his Achilles heel.

Anything Obama does concerning Afghanistan will be unpopular. If he goes forward he will alienate the Far Left and the under-40 voter base that elected him; if he draws back or maintains the status quo, although initially it will prove the popular decision, when the body bags begin to stack up—and they will—he will be perceived as a loser, both here and abroad. … And in either case, casualties are a certainty in war.

More Americans will die in Afghanistan regardless of what decision Obama comes to on McCrystal’s request. This is the kind of decision that takes the courage to risk descent, descent from the Right, Left, and Center, the kind of descent George W. Bush willingly accepted on a daily basis for eight grueling years. Anyone who thinks that that is the legacy Bush had in mind when he ascended to the Oval Office is just plain nuts.

Last week, conservative columnist George Will suggested that Obama might well become known as the “vain” president. This week Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes says that Obama is and will be known as a weak president. Well, I think almost anyone will agree that Barack Obama does not have a self-esteem problem, and history will determine his strengths and weaknesses. However, I believe the issue is more complex than these illustrious conservatives suggest.

I think something more important to the young president is at stake here, something that is key to the man’s core being. Something he has treasured since the first young woman noticed him in school, or the first teacher praised his academic excellence.

Barack Obama’s brilliance, his good looks, his magnetic personality are his stock and trade; his popularity and success have been totally dependent on these qualities alone, because he has had no experience that would have prepared him to lead even a third-world nation, much less the world’s only superpower. For the first time in his life, Barack Hussein Obama is about to come face-to-face with enormous unpopularity from all sides.

And if there is one thing Barack Obama cannot suffer it is unpopularity.

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