Obama and the Olympics

So Obama is going to Copenhagen to press Chicago's case for the 2016 Olympics.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/27654.html

I'm so glad he has the time to do this , what with Afghanistan going on, the health care debate, the economy, etc. Gotta love this tax payer funded trip.

No votes yet

Excellent...the next manufactured controversy is here.

Pink Slip

Yup...Remember Pink conservatives are used to a President who can't watch football and eat pretzels at the same time.

Of course they are pretty quiet about the fact that in the first 7 years of his Presidency, Bush spent 879 days either at Camp David or in Crawford Texas...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/03/04/BL200803040...

This is the conservative mind set these days. They have no ideas, no desire to govern, they just want to fight. If Obama wants the Olympics to be held in Chicago, then it MUST be bad and it MUST be stopped.

He wants to distance himself from the healthcare takeover debate as much as possible cuz it's neutering his presidency.

MikeyA

Maybe his flight will get detoured so he can actually talk to General McChrystal and General Betrayus.

MikeyA

McChrystal is way too busy talking to the Media to talk to the President.

Really. So for the past 9 months he's been talking to the media?

Just a reminder.
http://crooksandliars.com/2008/07/21/senator-obama-on-afghanistan-situat...

It must not be THAT precarious or THAT urgent.

And McChrystal has been spending time talking to the media?

Maybe another surge won't meet "long term goals"
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/22/eveningnews/main4283623.shtml

MikeyA

"Maybe his flight will get detoured so he can actually talk to General McChrystal and General Betrayus"

Wow, you sound like MoveOn.org. Anyway, who says the President doesn't talk to General Petraeus?

Pink Slip

The SecDef said it yesterday in response to Gen McChrystal's comment that they only spoke once.

The Sec said that there is a chain of command. Since Gen. Betrayus is in that chain of command we can resonably deduce that he hasn't spoken with the President as well. If that deduction is false than the Pres. HAS GROSSLY mismanaged Afghanistan, the place with a precarious and urgent situation.

MikeyA

I thought everything was going great in Afghanistan. Hell things were so great Bush pulled a bunch of troops out and sent them to Iraq.

If you read my comments on Afghanistan you'll know I don't believe that to be true and never have. I am on the record and still stand by saying that the war in Afghanistan will outlast the Obama administration.

MikeyA

'If that deduction is false than the Pres. HAS GROSSLY mismanaged Afghanistan, the place with a precarious and urgent situation'.

Given the almost eight fucking years of Afghanistan 'mismanagement' by the previous administration, you have alot of nerve calling out Obama on this after nine months in office.

Just HOW did this situation get so 'precarious' and 'urgent' in the first place?

Do you actually believe it began on Jan. 20?

No I don't believe it began on Jan 20th. I contend that the Administration knew we faced a tipping point and has done nothing in their 9 months. Look at the dates of when he made these comments. These were all as a candidate. What action has he taken since?

The last administration didn't mismanage the situation.

Afghanistan is a problem because all of the factors favor the Taliban. The population, the culture, the terrain, the political geography.

The President has cut federal funding for the war in Afghanistan. Regardless if he sends troops or not this is what will doom the war because infrastructure is what ultimately will save or lose the country.

MikeyA

The US has increased the troop level quite a bit in Afganistan this year already -

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/17/obama.troops/index.html

And we're considering more -
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/09/04/gates_o...

When did Obama cut funding to the war in Afghanistan?

He has no strategy. So by using that and your comments then he's just throwing troops at the problem.

Obama froze the military budget across the board. I am feeling it's effects as we speak. It was done when they ended the "War on Terror". OEF funds are a part of this.

Now, you can still request more funds. Which we do. But this takes time for it to get to you. As much as people criticize the amount of money the Bush admin spent on the war we never had to worry about the budget when we needed something.

Right now I'm dealing with headaches because of this. I have a platoon about to go out on a MEU. I cannot tell you the headaches I've had getting that platoon into their pre-deployment training because it's the end of the fiscal year. This was never a problem when Bush was in the White House.

MikeyA

You're right, there is no strategy right now and there hasn't been one for years. Any new stategy will involve new troops, so at least the ground work is being layed.

Two weeks ago Congress authorized another $ 128 Billion for the Iraq and Afgan wars. That is out side the defense budget.

BTW Obama's defense budget requested a 4% increase in military spending. How is that a cut?

"there is no strategy right now" That's my point.

You'd think he would have been meeting with Gens McChrystal and Petraeus because they were the two who developed the strategy in Iraq. A strategy that was denounced by Pres. Obama.

"BTW Obama's defense budget requested a 4% increase in military spending. How is that a cut?" I am glad you asked.

First off, "military spending" doesn't necessarily mean money to Afghanistan. In fact, since both the Army and the Marine Corps have expanded in the last year that money mostly is going to augment the added costs of more soldiers and Marines. More food, more travel costs, more families to care for. etc.

As for the $128 billion. In the Bush admin we were told to spend that money. Spend it, go into a deficit and then when it gets authorized it we pay off the deficit and spend the remainder. Now we are expressly told NOT to spend.

The platoon I have going on the MEU in support of (whisper) the War on Terror. I have to fight for money to train them and just get parts to keep their vehicles moving. We had to go two levels higher for fuel....FUEL. We're a mechanized unit and we're BEGGING for FUEL! And this isn't a platoon that's just sitting around they're going on the MEU in less than 3 months. This is their training. AND now 7th Marines is telling us "OH BTW we might be getting diverted to Afghanistan."

So to that I ask you what good is sending more units to Afghanistan when you have denied them the money they need to do the prior training?

MikeyA

"He has no strategy."

That's funny, the SecDef just said that they got a strategy now for the first time ever

note: I adhere to Ron Paul's foreign policy, but facts is facts

Pink Slip

"SecDef just said that they got a strategy now for the first time ever"

Really who came up with it? Where is it? Why aren't they consulting the men who were behind the WINNING strategy in Iraq?

Given McChrystals comments I am led to believe that this "strategy" is the brainchild of Washington Insiders and people who have been removed from Afghanistan for some time.

As a military member I'd rather the in theater strategy be determined by the Commander on the ground. Stay away from the centralization of command that we had in the 90's. It's meant for the Cold War and not an insurgency.

MikeyA

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/60461-gates-bush-lacked-afgha...

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Sunday said that the United States has faced difficulties in the Afghanistan conflict because the Bush administration did not have the same kind of "comprehensive strategy" that President Barack Obama does for the nation.

Gates served as Defense Secretary in the Bush administration, under which American forces first arrived in Afghanistan in 2001. Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld in January 2007.

"I will tell you, I think that the strategy the president put forward in late March, is the first real strategy we have had for Afghanistan since the early 1980s," he told CNN.

Pink Slip

Pink I am unsure how this fits with my last post because you didn't directly link it. However I do want to address what it says because it has several good points. I will add a new reply at the end of the thread.

MikeyA

'The last administration didn't mismanage the situation'

As the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, said in summer of 2008:

"my priorities . . . given to me by the commander in chief (Bush) are: Focus on Iraq first. It's been that way for some time. Focus on Afghanistan second."

In other words...fumble.

'Afghanistan is a problem because all of the factors favor the Taliban. The population, the culture, the terrain, the political geography.'

Wow, that's a defeatest attitude if I ever heard one. The terrorists who attacked us 9/11 were trained there, right? Supported by the Taliban who were driven out, then became resurgent under Bush with the Iraq fools' errand.

.

"Wow, that's a defeatest attitude if I ever heard one."

No actually McCaskey it's not defeatest. It's realistic. Defeatest would be saying we have no chance of beating them. That is not what they said.

However, the battle for Afghanistan is going to be a long and difficult one even under the BEST of circumstances.

Iraq was the easier of the two missions BECAUSE it was not a third-world country. Afghanistan is a third-world country.

Iraq needed one thing to be successful.... security. Afghanistan need many things to be successful.

They need something to keep up their economy other than poppy fields.

The population has no infrastructure. That's something that will take year to build again even in the BEST of circumstances.

However I do agree with one thing that Obama did say and that is that the situation is URGENT. I only wish his actions would have reflected that.

MikeyA

that whatever difficulties are inherent in Afghanistan, the situation was going to worsen because we needlessly shifted priorities to another front.

Once again, when you say the situation is URGENT, and you fail to acknowledge the bone-headed manuevers of the Bush administration for eight years that have made the situation URGENT now, you make no sense.

McCaskey - In Mike and many conservatives world nothing bad happen anywhere till Obama became President.

The economy was great, unemployment was low and there was nothing but rainbows and kittens. Then suddenly Obama was elected and everything went down hill fast. He single handily tanked the economy and laid off millions.

Hell it was only a few short months ago that Obama was blamed for the tanking stock market with conservatives (many on this board) pointing to Obama’s Democratic nomination as the reason stocks were down. Every time the market went down the day after his speech, they’d be pointing to him as the cause.

Now that the market is up (many times after a speech) and conservatives move on to something else to obsess be out raged over.

Actually no Sensor.

If you recall I was support of the President's stance during the Iran crisis. I for the most part have been silent on his foreign policy until now. A lot of this is because I have a lot of respect in most of his NSA team and his Sec of State.

I never blamed him for anything on the economy that happened before his election. I have questioned his judgements on economic issues but I haven't put all the blame on him. I actually put more on Pelosi.

As far as your post McCaskey. I am very much against using the servicemembers for political gain. I was like that in the casket photo issue. I am like that when it comes to Afghanistan.

In fact up until this week I was willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt because of his choice of language before the election. However, given his choice of words and the action taken since he took his oath as I weigh them and knowing what is now happening I must call it inexcusable because 1. he was pandering then or 2. he is playing politics now. Either way it puts the men on the ground in a dangerous situation. Obama should be better than that.

MikeyA

Obama 'should be better than that', prior administration that had almost eight years to get it right, and in fact made it worse, gets free pass.

There's plenty of other conservative nimrods on this board; in my view, you 'should be better than that.'

Face it...the wheels are comin off.....Obama needs bread and circus'

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

coming in just under a comment about 'conservative nimrods'.

Excellent timing.

I'm quite positive that the President has met/spoken with General Petraeus often.

Pink Slip

I would have believed that before the 60 minutes interview. Now I don't.

MikeyA

A quick Google search pulled this up:

"During his first week in office, President Obama held a series of meetings with defence chiefs including General Petraeus and State Department officials led by Hillary Clinton."

Series of meetings...and that was just during his first week

Pink Slip

One could conclude that he only met with him once. It doesn't say series of meetings with General Betrayus. That series of meetings could be one with Betrayus, one with the joint chiefs, one with the service secretaries, and others with state dept officials.

Note I'm not saying he didn't meet with him. Or that it's not possible. I'm just saying now I am very leary that he did.

MikeyA

'Note I'm not saying he didn't meet with him. Or that it's not possible. I'm just saying now I am very leary that he did.'

This is mush, lol. Whatever happened to you? And is this supposed to be some inside joke?---

General Betrayus

I am just reminding everyone what the liberal stance was when it came to the WINNING strategy in Iraq.

Gen Petraeus was derided as Gen. Betrayus. What are they going to do this time? Compare McChrystal to Mayor McCheese or just not attack him because there's a liberal President in office?

MikeyA

The main reason we invaded has been a proven sham and as far as 'security' for the Iraqi people goes, when the last American soldier on the ground leaves we'll know just how real the 'security' is.

Of course, if nothing else, we'll still have the big-ass new embassy, though, lol. I guess that'll be a symbol of 'success' to some.

Spoken like a true liberal....

Forget the mass graves, forget the rape rooms, forget the childrens prison,forget the fact that saddam supported terrorists, forget he violated sanctions, forget he used WMD's ON HIS OWN PEOPLE....

Just forget all that crap...well screw that...I dont forget anything...

I'll say it again...it's just a good thing Saddam is dead or the liberals would be pushing to have him re-instated with an apology...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Congress, and the American people, never would have gone along with the invasion to begin with had these been the 'reasons.'

The 'reasons', based on phoney-baloney half-baked intell, pushed and encouraged by the administration, was 'security.'

About 99.9% of Americans get this by now, even most 'conservatives' except the lunatic fringe, which is where you come in, lol.

Wow

Wow, nice deflection. Don't answer my questions just reflect on old talking points.

Note: I never supported the WMD argument. It was stupid and it still is. Please don't act as if I have.

MikeyA

above this one was meant for Zeitgeist, not you.

I'm not sure what 'questions' you're referring to.

My criticism of you on this thread has to do with your criticism of Obama's dealing with Afghanistan, when the previous eight years don't seem to count.

Again, final chance, whatever hardships currently connected with Afghanistan can at least be partly placed at the feet of what happened since the priority became Iraq around 2002. No agreement there? If not, we don't have much to discuss.

Obama's record on Afghanistan will be played out for all to see given a proper timeframe. Nine months is not a complete timeframe to put anything is proper perspective.

Eight years, however, is.

Betrayus?...did Hillery engage in a willful suspension of disbelief?...or did she call him a liar again?

Face it...it's another Obama LIE...he's going to cut and run just as soon as he thinks he can get away with it...

Nothing new here...

He's got Kerry (who served in vietnam you know ) advising him that this is vietnam...

All that stuff about fighting "the good war" was pure campaign bullcrap....

Democrats cant be trusted with national security.

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

People beating other people to death in Chi-town on television, might undo all the good the Prez is trying to do in Copenhagen.

Pink, your post didn't directly address what I was saying. In fact it supports my assertion that the "strategy" is coming from Washington and not from Afghanistan.

But I'd like to call attention to this quote "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the McChrystal report needed to be looked at "in context" of an addition of troops in the spring that's just now reaching the end of the deployment cycle and a civilian strategy that's included "beefing up" the embassy in Kabul."

This is what we refer to as the "civilian surge" which has added to the problems in Afghanistan.

In the past 6 months civilian forces have been sent. This is FBI, DEA, and other nonmilitary uniformed services. The added entities have added confusion. Prior to this we had American military, NATO, and CIA operating. These other services require military support but they answer to different chains of command. We've just added more seats to the table and the problem comes when someone doesn't pass the potatoes. It has added to red tape. There are more chains of command, more comm, more of what we call "deconfliction of fires".

Deconfliction of fires is important. This isn't just shooting. Let's say we do as we did in Iraq and imbed a Platoon with Afghan forces in a village. Let's say they let the farmers harvest the poppy (which the military is now ordered to do). We build wells we build good will. Then one day while the Platoon is on an operation the DEA gets told by an informant that the farmer is considering selling his crop to the Taliban. So they then set fire to the crop. The platoon returns to a group of farmers which are not hostile to Americans. The good will the platoon worked for is now undone.

This is why the situation is becoming not even more dangerous but much more difficult.

We've not only added the burden on the military to support other entities but we've added to the logistics chain which they need to operate.

MikeyA

Thanks for the explanation. I was led to believe you didn't think there was a plan for Afghanistan, so I was trying to point out that the SecDef seems confident that there is a plan. If you are actually criticizing the content of the plan, then I have no argument with you. Other than the chain of command ultimately leads to Washington, and although I think it's critical to get input from the 'commanders on the ground', the final decision has always rested with 'civilian' leadership. I think this is the way it should be, since there are always other non-military factors that the military may not be aware of. Now where it gets screwed up, is when those 'non-military' factors are political--which is often the case (unfortunately).

Pink Slip

I will answer both of your posts on this one.

McCaskey. I will agree that Afghanistan wasn't front and center. But I wouldn't say it was forgotten. The emphasis was more on keeping Al Qaeda and Taliban influence down. Plus during that time Pakistan was not actively pursing the Taliban, something which has changed since the very end of the Bush admin. That latter fact is pushing the Taliban back into Afghanistan.

My point is Afghanistan is a very big complicated model. We need to decomplicate it. Make everyone in Afghanistan answerable to one person in Afghanistan. Let Washington dictate the goals for the operation and let the Commander there dictate the strategy. There is a saying we use which is logistics dictate tactics and tactics form strategy. The people in Afghanistan are the best to know what they can and can't do.

Now we have a big ace in the hole with Gen McChrystal. He has proven himself to be an expert on counter-insurgency and he has the experience with it to make an impact. When he asks for logistics we should give it to him without hesitation provided we have it to give. We do have it to give. Our forces have expanded, the Iraq success has added to our already high moral and shows us that when we put our mind to something we can do it.

The administration should be trying to remove hurdles at this point, not create them.

By taking money away we've diverted assets. A friend who just got back from Afghan told me "you don't ask for air support. It's too expensive for them to send it out. Asking for artillery support is 50/50". What that does is it takes away one of our biggest advantages - fire superiority. We are then left to fight man to man, up close and personal. Now I don't like making comparisons to Vietnam but that was a part of the NVA strategy - get close, take away their advantage.

Bush, despite his faults, was a good military commander because he was willing to give his commanders support when they asked for it. If Obama will do this remains to be seen. I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but the more I hear makes me more uneasy.

MikeyA

and presents unique problems.

It also was placed on the back-burner for most of the past eight years, making the complexities and uniqueness all the more difficult to deal with today.

It's fine to be 'uneasy' about what Obama does here--many liberals, for different reasons, are 'uneasy'--but the bottom line is this is an inherated situation, because the people in charge before this could not or would not competently deal with it to the extent neccessary.

Whether Obama improves or worsens the situation remains to be seen--but he deserves the proper amount of time to be judged accordingly.

Finally, George Bush as a 'good military commander'? Not on your life, Mikey, not on your life. Not buying today and it's never going to be written that way 'in the books.'

"but he deserves the proper amount of time to be judged accordingly." I agree but what I feel is per his own remarks he hasn't responded the way he said he would.

"Finally, George Bush as a 'good military commander'? Not on your life, Mikey, not on your life. Not buying today and it's never going to be written that way 'in the books.'"

I disagree wholeheartedly. I'll tell you why. He commanded the way Lincoln commanded. He told his commanders here are the goals I want, you tell me what I can do for you to get you those goals.

Now did many of the infighting inside the administration and amongst the Washington Generals get in the way of that? Yes. But he showed a willingness to change and to listen to new ideas. That is why Iraq was secure 6 months after Harry Reid said "we can't win".

Obama needs to do what Bush did. Talk to the area commanders. Find out what their needs are. Address them. Don't wait for General A and General B who sit in an office in the Pentagon and play golf at the Army/Navy Club to make a decision. Don't let the politicians weigh in on who do we bomb and when (and with what plane which oddly always becomes an issue when they're brought in).

He needs to tell the commanders here's the end state I want, here's when I want it by, what do you need to do it? That's what we teach our lieutenants and it's one of the basic fundamentals of military leadership.

I speak from this not from a political aspect. I want to see Afghanistan as a working democracy but more importantly a developed country. That means I have to hope for Pres. Obama to succeed regardless of what voting ballot I choose.

MikeyA

Lincoln accomplished his goals in 4 years, he publicly questioned the leadership skills of his generals, and he avoided conflict with Britain by wisely stating "One war at a time".

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars make the Bush-Lincoln comparison--I'll be very polite here--extremely far-fetched.

I highly doubt the commanders of the Afghan War felt they were 'given all they were needed' to contend with the situation 2002-forward.

I'll just leave it at that.

Check out this article from Pat Buchanan's conservative mag, if true, then Afghanistan is a sorrier mess than anyone could imagine.

http://amconmag.com/article/2009/nov/01/00020/

Here is another view of what's going on.

http://www.amconmag.com/blog/the-mcchrystal-method/

Here's a third article for those who like serious reading.

http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/nov/01/00006/

'defense contracts for all my friends.'

Precisely. With that, we're now getting to the heart of it all, in both wars.

article on Sibel Edmonds. First I've heard about her story. Thanks for that link in particular.

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