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How did we get here?

In the comments on the Last Man Standing post, Argent observes"

And as Barb hints, this McChrystal/Petraeus leadership change is the wrong leadership change required to win this war.

Obama is not at all comitted; no "resolve" as their punching bag used to say.  Which allies and Afghanistanis can trust that the US has the committment to win?  What progress have we seen, especially in the media?  What is Obama enacting and saying that helps reach these difficult goals? Maybe at the end of the day a President can have resolve and even the US military, but not the US itself.  Maybe that's just Democracy in action and a consequence of people at malls ignorant or disinterested in this struggle.
While Argent might be right, and there is a lackadaisical malaise at the heart of American society that leads us to this pass - I would say it is a failure of leadership.

Of both Presidents, and their political machines.

President Bush for putting us into a conflict he was unwilling to mobilize us for - because he sensed the support was fragile, and the appetite for sacrifice was perhaps too weak to support going whole hog, yet being unwilling to to adopt a war strategy that took that into account. 

But if that's the case, part of the blame rests with the current people in power, who were against pretty much anything President Bush did, and railed that the war was overly broad, badly thought out, un-needful and a distraction from more important things - and yet, when they took power, and got the chance to act on that - pretty much kept things going as they were, covering them with mere rhetorical flourishes designed to mask the essential lack of change and lack of interest in changing, now that they had the full briefings and found out how useful the new tools were.

Too bad the economy collapsed (again, with the connivance of both parties) and too bad we've not found a leader who can lead effectively.  What we got this time around was a better speaker who is even less effective as a leader than his predecessor.

But then - in a sense, the system is set up for that.  The Founders built it to be that way, and net, especially in peacetime, that's a good thing.  Bit more problematic for war.

It's too bad that politics can't stop at the shores.  But that's how it is.  The current mess the President finds himself with is one of his own creation - and his weak credibility on things like this are a creature of his own vacillation and fluffy-bunny view of the world at large.

Kind of like the kid who was a pretty good tackle in high school at 180 pounds who finds himself trying to play pro ball where the linemen are 300 pounds.  Better find your steroids there, Mr. President.

Because if you intend to cut and run and not see it through - it's my friends and neighbors you're letting die and get maimed while you dither.  If you end up being another President Johnson, you aren't going to like the book McMaster writes about you.

What's wrong there boss?  The job harder than you expected?  Not as much fun as you thought?

Tough noogies.  I'm guessing you're finding it easier to slap around military faces than you are the Democrat faces at State. 

Lead, follow, or at least get out of the way.

9 Comments

Oh, he's playing golf and enjoying himself - the classic Fiddle While Rome Burns syndrome.  And then he has photo ops looking serious and thoughtful, which don't fool me, and I hope don't fool many American voters.  November is coming - and while we can't vote HIM out yet, we can take Congress out of his pocket, I hope.
 
Remember when you described a bright, intelligent, accomplished hard-charger with the expression, "There ain't no flies on *him*, that's for sure"...?

This kinda says it all.
 
"Lead, follow, or at least get out of the way."

I like option C.  And, would it be too much to ask that he take all the horse's asses he rode in on with him?
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- the classic Fiddle While Rome Burns syndrome.

Or the classic Frank Burns syndrome...

 

Will lemings follow a ferret face?

Inquiring minds want to know.  Tune in *tomorrow* as Mr. DeBille answers that question and others in his newest incarnation of Argghhh-0-Nauts.
0>;~}

 

- Frank Burns syndrome -

I don't think that Michelle will like being called "Hot Lips".
*grin*

 
The whole premise here may take us places John never intended for us to go, oh well. But remember John started it. Do we really want to understand, "How did we get here?" Remember, if you open this can of worms,  you have just established precedent. You now have the "famous breakfast", only, literally, SOS.

Not this comment, but the comments are real gems. "Lead, follow or at least get out of the way." I know guys from my Generation heard GWB come out after the attacks on the US Mainland. He did NOT say we were going to declare war. He didn't mobilize the nation for wartime. It is the role of POTUS to LEAD us into war, not go shopping. As to the "Frank Burns Syndrome" and DL Sly's question, "Will lemmings follow a ferret face?" From the proof of history, I think the actions of  actions of GWB and Obama, show the truth, YES!
 
Um, Grumpy, do you have any idea of what would happen if the United States officially declares war on any country these days?

I didn't think so...

And, no, I'm not being snarky.

 
@casey- I know that you're  not being  snarky, to be snarky you need to have at least some understanding of the subject. For a full US Declaration of War, POTUS goes to Congress and requests a "Formal Declaration of War". Even though it may seem insignificant, it is extremely important. After the Official Announcement, The Seal of The United States changes. Normally, the Eagle looks at the Olive Branch, during Official Wartime the Eagle is looking at the Quiver of Arrows. This change sends a message to a Corporate  Base to meet their role. There is an extensive Treaty Base which also have extensive consequences for failure.