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September 28, 2009

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Well, Mr. Gates?

He's a bad joke. Or a bad dream. Lot's of people no longer laughing and more waking up.
=================================

bgates

It's out of my hands. There's just no talking to the guy.

bishop

Unlike the banks and the auto companies and health care, this is something he certainly wants to run, hence his almost total silence
on the topic

Dave (in the People's Banana Republic of MA)
this is something he certainly wants to run
...away from?
Jane

In case you guys missed it last night LUN is a link to Tom Bowler's Tea Party blog entry and associated pix. He is an occasional poster here - but we missed each other in DC.

Enjoy!

Charlie (Colorado)

It wouldn't be unusual for the President to be in regular communications with the theater commander.

Mike Myers

He's voting "present" until he sees which way the wind blows. But as long as the report/request is "stalled" somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon and DOD, The Won can claim that he's not been presented with the opportunity to make a decision.

In the meantime the battlefield prep continues with copious leaks to the press.

Feckless is too kind a word to use to describe this POTUS.

Crazeeeee!

You know what else he is besides all his other personality disorders? He's passive aggressive. That has been his legislative style. Let others do the work, but claim the credit. If it fouls up, it's the other one's fault. Congress is going to get tired of that and I'll bet it makes Pelosi and Reed sick every morning.
============================

peter

Feckless is too kind a word to use to describe this POTUS.

He certainly is without a feck.

Which may explain the First Lady's unhappy visage.

PeterUK

"He's voting "present" until he sees which way the wind blows. But as long as the report/request is "stalled" somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon and DOD, The Won can claim that he's not been presented with the opportunity to make a decision."

That will not wash,Obama is CiC it will be impossible for him to avoid the issue without appearing to have blood on his hands.

Tom Bowler

Jane,

Thanks for the link to my post on the DC Tea Party. We had a fabulous day, but it would have been better had we been able to hook up with you guys. I just didn't see your reply when I asked earlier if anybody was going to be there. I guess I'll have to read the JOM comments a little more carefully.

Jane

Tom,

WE couldn't even find the people we were expecting.

BTW I loved loved loved your post - particularly the part about the Black family Reunion. (LUN)

maryrose

Obama has time to go to C=openhagen but no time to talk about Afghanistan and confer with the generals. Obama gets no popular boost from anything having to do with Afghanistan so he judiciously avoids it because it doesn't promote HIM! Passive -aggressive fits him to a tee!

Porchlight

I so, so hope Chicago fails to bully its way into getting the Olympics. Is that wrong?

Cecil Turner

I don't know. I recall from "The Gamble" that Bush was in frequent contact with Petraeus in Iraq, which surely strained the chain of command above Petraeus.

Probably did, but it's worth noting the chain goes directly from the NCA (i.e, President and SecDef) to the Combatant Commander, so the only "chain above Petraeus" was ADM Fallon (when he was CentCom), and after Oct '08 the chain connected the two directly (though communications typically pass through CJCS, there is no requirement it do so unless the President so directs).

Captain Hate

I so, so hope Chicago fails to bully its way into getting the Olympics. Is that wrong?

I wish every country would tell the Olympics to GFY; I haven't watched it years and can't imagine that ever changing. So no, you're not wrong but if they do get them it would be dueling dirtbag politicos.

Jane

Is that wrong?

Well if it is, I stand with you.

I assume it is an opportunity to line the same pockets. And that pisses me off.

Dave (in the People's Banana Republic of MA)

If they get the Olympics it will make the Big Dig look like small potatoes.

Ranger

For comparison, people might want to check out real wartime leadership from Lincoln, http://www.mrlincolnstmails.com/index.php>who read almost every telegram that passed through the war office:

Without precedent to guide him, Lincoln began by reading the telegraph traffic among his generals. Then he used the telegraph to supplement his preferred form of communication-meetings and letters. He did not replace those face-to-face interactions. Through this experience, Lincoln crafted the best way to guide, reprimand, praise, reward, and encourage his commanders in the field.

What is facinating is that Lincoln was smart enough to use the information properly, rather than simply trying to micromanage the war. He kept close track of the situation, and interviened when he felt it nesessary, but also held back and observed as well.

Given that Obama fancies himself another Lincoln, he might try to actually win the war he is Comander and Chief of for starters.

Rob Crawford

Given that Obama fancies himself another Lincoln...

Except that Lincoln was better educated

Jack is Back!

The Olympic movement and organization has turned into a mirror image of the United Nations - corrupt, anti-American and all about money. But it fits in perfectly with a city politic like Chicago, a Chicago thug and insider like Obama and more importantly he has yet to apologize to the IOC. This is all part of the Obama Apology Tour. I have a steak diner at The Palm if he DOESN'T issue at least one apology in his remarks - probably for Michael Phelp's 8 gold medals since we should be sharing those with the less fortunate and slower swimmers like that kid from Equatorial Guinea.

MayBee

I think Obama is afraid to talk to McChrystal because Obama doesn't know military terms and strategies, etc. He needs someone to run interference for him on military matters.

Remember how badly he screwed up information during the campaign? Remember how he was afraid to go into Landstuhl/Ramstein without his military advisers with him?

Obama needs translators to talk directly to military leadership. And he needs to figure out a way to deal with Afghanistan that won't open himself up to the kind of scathing criticism he gave Bush.

PD

I don't want the Olympics around, but for the purely selfish reason that Chicago is only a couple of hours away and I don't want to be anywhere near all the hassles the Olympics would cause.

Rush is referring to a story out of Chicago that people there don't want the Olympics.

Flodigarry

I live in Chicago and I'm rooting for Rio...

MayBee

I've been rooting for Tokyo.

DebinNC

I wonder where the "larger than life" Richard Holbrooke, Afghanistan czar, fits into the equation? The NYT noted that where others have personal trainers, Holbrooke has a personal archivist. Whatever he's up to, his bloated self-regard indicates it isn't insignificant.

Soylent Red

GEN McChrystal wants 42K troops. Obama doesn't want to give that to him and is looking for a way to deny McChrystal while still appearing resolute. The problem is, Obama has less than no credibility when it comes to military matters. This was supposed to be Biden's lane.

Thus, Obama is desperately looking for his own version of GEN McChrystal to give him the argument to refute the original's request without sounding like a feckless weenie (he just can't give a feck!) who lives in the world of wishes and fairytales.

Look for current commander of US MOONBAT Command, Wesley Clark, or some other such four star politician to make an appearance in 3...2...1...

matt

I was involved in the Olympics at a pretty high level before I quit a week before Atlanta, which turned out to be one of the most corrupt Games. They are a mockery of the old ideals.

IOC meetings are the most self important functions in the world. No wonder Obama is so keen to go.

This as he backburners an urgent request from his top generals in the middle of a war. LUN.

MayBee

Soylent- I was just thinking about that.
Obama needs MoveOn to move in and sully McChrystal somehow, as they tried with General Betrayus.

tea anyone

Tom and Jane,
Thanks for the pictures of the march they were terrific, wanted to be there but had unexpected company for the entire weekend. I also loved the part about the Black Family Reunion and I would bet that the food was great.

PeterUK

This chain of command,isn't it time somebody pulled it?

Pofarmer

Over on Wattsupwith that, they have a post detailing how the Hockey Stick has, been, well, flattened. Worth a look.

Pofarmer

This was supposed to be Biden's lane.

I'm still trying to figure out how that happened.

sbw

I hadn't seen this until it cam viralling across the net: Miss me yet?Miss me yet?

sbw

cam = came

Preview is your fiend.

Gregory Koster

But Ranger, in those days, telegrams from the field were the ONLY source of information a Prez had. Not surprisingly Lincoln read them avidly. Lincoln was also a war president, as opposed to The Once, who sees foreign affairs as a distraction, save when they give him a platform to display his halo. The commander in chief model he is following is Woodrow Wilson, another Prez who wanted to stay out of foreign affairs, loved to talk and talk and talk, and had a big domestic agenda he wanted to push through. It's a terrifying model, not least because Wilson was elected to two terms, getting reelected on the "He Kept Us Out Of War" motto and a month after his second inauguration saying, well, whaddaya know. He also had a tendency to stay aloof from Pershing and his other generals.

Once more: we are getting a taste of what Churchill must have felt like in 1936-38, facing Premiers who were either a) bored with foreign affairs or b) thought they knew more than everyone else combined and treated disagreement at home as bad faith to be punished with metaphorical keelhauling. Abroad, though, disagreement was to be handled with apologies for past sins, proposed loans, renegotiated treaties, and above all excuses, excuses, excuses. Churchill suffered from spells of depression in his life, and not surprisingly, this was one of those times.

Dave (in the People's Banana Republic of MA)

Pofarmer, I recall almost choking when hearing that Obama gave Biden the nod because of his "foreign policy chops".

centralcal

Over at the Corner (I know, I know) they are speculating that Chicago must have gotten the Olympics and that Obama is now going so he can claim credit for it.

Sounds about right to me.

Jane

CC - Maybee he is just determined to have a tour of the world at our expense (E.g. Hillary and CHelsea) and Denmark is his next stop.

Okay, wishful thinking....

MayBee

I think that is very possible too, Jane.
This man, he likes the perks of the office.

matt

The potential for graft in Chicago will be unlimited. Time for a RICO investigation of this administration.

Jane

I think for him Maybee, it's all perks.

Original MikeS

After their humiliating defeat in Iraq, jihadis have migrated back to Af-Pak. Obama may have been expecting a migration in the opposite direction after his planned retreat from the "dumb war" in Iraq.

Foreign jihadis inspire, finance, and train locals who carry out most of the attacks in Afghanistan.

It is hard to imagine Obama balking at McChrystal's request for 40k troops and a massive training surge that could result in a total of 400k Afghanistan government forces, army and national police, in 24 months. Since indigenous troops start out several steps ahead of us in gaining the support of the population, you would think this plan would meet Obama's definition of a 'smart' war.

fdcol63

To consider Obama "feckless" or "naive" in matters of foreign policy and national security is too charitable, and ignores the obvious:

1) Obama is going out of his way to alienate 2 of our strongest and closest allies - the UK and Israel.

2) He's throwing some our newest allies in Eastern Europe to the Russian bear - countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, etc., who have really gone to bat for us in Iraq and Afghanistan to help spread democracy and freedom because they know all too well what it's like to live under authoritarian regimes.

3) Obama curries favor with and enjoys the support of despots and tyrants like Putin, Chavez, Khaddafi, et al, who'd like nothing more than to see a "post-American" world that is no longer protected by the US.

4) He continues to be willing to enter into direct negotiations with Iran and North Korea, despite their continued and willful violations of UN sanctions and international community "concerns".

Obama and his ilk are brilliantly succeeding in destroying American credibility, prestige, and power while his critics misguidedly blame him for being "feckless" and "naive".

Like Iran, they're hoping to keep us distracted in a circle jerk while they move to the completion of their objectives.

Original MikeS

I'm afraid Obama may be "taking his eye off the ball" and concentrating too much on his new Ministry of Public Engagement and Health Care you can believe nobody wants.

BruceT

The Magic Negro is too busy dropping in on late night tv talk shows and hustlin for the Olympics.....what a joke this Marxist/Moooslim is.

centralcal

Jane: Oh he and Michelle love all the perks, and the celebrity, no doubt about it.

Tom Bowler

During the Bush administration it was the CIA that leaked like a sieve, but Obama apparently took his first hit from the Pentagon. State and Defense were notoriously at war during the Bush administration but I never thought of it as a partisan struggle. Until yesterday when I was watching FOX News Sunday.

Pofarmer

State and Defense were notoriously at war during the Bush administration but I never thought of it as a partisan struggle. Until yesterday when I was watching FOX News Sunday.

Can you Clarify?

I thought it was Patently obvious that the leaks and subversion from State was Political. Don't get Fox News.

Porchlight

Barry and Michelle, after a career of doing not much of anything on the public dime, are amazed that there is anything more to the job than perks and celebrity.

Woody Allen

I think it is disgraceful that this country is still going after Roman Polanski. He's a brilliant artist and we should just let the guy go and quit hassling him about underage sex.

Jerry Lee Lewis

Here, here.

Old Lurker

Hey Po...you "Don't get Fox News"...and yet you can get as cranky as the rest of us without experiencing Shep Smith? Man if you DO ever get to watch, it will be a hoot to read your posts after that experience!

Old Lurker

Oh Woody.

You are so well named.

Tom Bowler

Pofarmer, I suppose I was naive, but at the time I thought the CIA leaks were sprung to force CIA's desired policy choices onto the White House. I thought of The CIA war on the White House more along the lines of inter-agency politics. It wasn't until this weekend that I wondered if the State vs. Defense matchup could be more partisan fight than an inter-agency fight. It may just be that there is no escaping the partisan fight.

bishop

Well State's role in this specially when you consider the role of Powell and Armitage
is less ideological and more financial, in regards to the Plame matter

Pofarmer

Well, Tom, I'm not claiming to be right. I just always though that State and CIA were running a united front against the Bush administration. Oh, and portions of DOJ, and retired Clintoon Generals, and, well, you get the picture.

matt

Remember, the 7 former directors of the CIA point blank advised Obama to back off on the investigation. McChrystal, Petraeus, and Adm. Mullen all stated strongly that we need the troops now. It was rumored that McChrystal might resign.

Then the report was leaked last week. I think we may start seeing more of this. This is becoming a pitched battle now. Obama has turned his back publicly on his Defense/Intelligence establishment and is listening only selectively.

This, coupled with his bizarre foreign policy and spendthrift monetary/fiscal policy bodes very ill for our country.

The grown ups are trying to fix what they can, and all the while an leftist fool with ADD is more interested in impressing the world rather than actually accomplishing concrete solutions.

Pops

I am really getting tired of all the right wingers complaining McCrystal only talked to Obama once.

Everyones knows we have freedom of religion in this country, so this General can do as we all should and hit his knees tonight and speak his mind in prayer.

He is listening,he will hear you. The One hears us all.

daddy

I hope Rio gets the Olympics.

I'm about as sick of the darn thing as Captain Hate, but at least if it's Rio we'll get tons of human interest stories on gorgeous Bikini clad Brazilian beachbabe's.

More importantly, we'll get a very welcome infusion of Bossa Nova Music. In general Bossa is uplifting and invigorating, and especially so when sung by any of a million sultry Portuguese gals with cool acoustic jazz chords in the background. Perhaps that would finally break the backlog of Rap and whatever other non-melodic crap is constantly droning at my daughters over the radio.

I await Melinda's linking to an essential version of "Brazil"later today, or to that amazing late version of Sarah Vaughn's "Waters of March", or to any other absolutely essential Bossa my betters might link to later. Plus we'll get interesting history lessons explaining why the largest community of Japanese outside Japan live in Brazil, and also what happened to the Confederates who quit the US after The Civil War and moved to Brazil to unsuccessfully re-establish a Confederate state down there.

Best of all, the selection of Rio over Chicago would avoid about 5 million Obama speeches between now and opening ceremonies, so if for no other reason, lets pray it's Rio just for that small blessing.

Pofarmer

the selection of Rio over Chicago would avoid about 5 million Obama speeches between now and opening ceremonies

I don't think you're gonna escape them, regardless. I have mental pictures of Obama and his teleprompter giving speeches to a switched off camera.

JM Hanes

TM:

"I don't know. I recall from "The Gamble" that Bush was in frequent contact with Petraeus in Iraq, which surely strained the chain of command above Petraeus."

Relying exclusively on the operational head of any organization for information is foolhardy under any circumstances! "Channels" essentially work from the bottom up, as a matter of functional efficiency, not the top down. When it comes to decision making, however, accumulating filters can leave you worse off than the last person in a grade school game of telephone, because so many of those along the way have reputations and positions to protect or agendas of their own.

Bush's contact with Petraeus may have discomfited the General's superiors, but the obvious, consequential results only confirm the wisdom, indeed, the necessity of doing so. There is a big difference between consulting those further down the chain, and routinely countermanding the orders of their superiors, a practice to be scrupulously avoided except in extremis.

I, personally, will no longer serve on any board which doesn't include reasonably direct access to personnel. It may make me an occasional pain in the ass, but one executive director was fired for misrepresentations uncovered in that give and take, and I can't count the times that such multiple perspectives made a pivotal difference in board deliberations. In the civilian world, it's not just a matter of responsibility, but liabilities as well. There are certainly substantive differences in military organizational dynamics, but I can think of almost no situation in which more on-the-ground information is better than less, except where it delays time-sensitive action.

The fact that Obama is deliberately postponing both information delivery and decision-making on Afghanistan, while attempting to protect himself with a risible firewall of frivolous formalities is the most public measure of White House dysfunction we've had to date.

JM Hanes

I'm so totally onboard with Rio, daddy!


And Porchlight: "Is that wrong?

You and Jane can sign me up too. I've never heard anyone assert that three wrongers don't make a right, have you?


====: "I like ravel and unravel. What do those two words mean?"

Courtesy of Victor Borge, consider sitting down during the day and sitting up at night.

Elliott

Obama needs MoveOn to move in and sully McChrystal somehow, as they tried with General Betrayus.

MayBee, who among us would dare claim Obama is not entirely justified in his reluctance to use the McChrystal method?

Jerry Lee Lewis

You could sell that to them, Elliott.

daddy

Well punned Elliott. Hope you took no offense at my link to Monty Python's "The Latin Lesson-Roman's go Home" yesterday.

And Boris, keep 'em coming.

Someone other than Jerry Lee Lewis

OOps. That might not have been Jerry Lee Lewis.

Tom Bowler

Pofarmer, I agree there was that united front against Bush. But I always thought about it, rightly or not, in terms of turf warfare - over Washington bureaucratic turf. It may be farfetched to see it in terms of Defense tending Republican (thinking of the military vote) and State tending Democrat (liberal and elitist). But that was an impression I got from the commentators on FOX, not that they intended to convey it.

Captain Hate

OOps. That might not have been Jerry Lee Lewis.

I saw the Killer in the early 70s at some club on 301 in Waldorf, Maryland; the Starlight Lounge maybe was the name. Jerry Lee was drunk on his ass and insisted on doing a tribute to Stephen Collins Foster, which made no sense. He tried hitting on some of the local women and, after they spurned his advances, accused them of being lesbians. It wasn't the greatest musical evening.

fdcol63

Well, I think within the CIA we saw at least 2 partisan factions in conflict with each other that led to the leaks:

Operations vs Analysts

With Operations perhaps being a little more supportive of Bush's actions because they saw the enemy at his worst in the field, and with analysts/tech folks perhaps a little more liberal and anti-Bush due to their relative safety sitting behind desks in DC and who wanted to keep their secure, bureaucratic jobs.

Elliott

Daddy,

This week I'd let the graffiti vandals get away with "Roman, you're pwned!".

Pofarmer

But that was an impression I got from the commentators on FOX, not that they intended to convey it.

Well, there's your problem right there. Don't rely on somebody analysis of events to form opinions. The source material is out there. You are probably as smart about what's going on given the facts, and you may even have more facts, than any news commentator on any channel.

MayBee

Captain Hate- perhaps not the best musical evening, but all these years later, a hilarious story to tell. I'm lol'ing this morning.

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