October 15th, 2009

Obama at the Rubicon
in Pakghanistan

Paul Street complained in well informed style about the Peace Prize and Obama’s war-making trail so far.


Nevertheless, he did say Woah on a Sunday talk show a few weeks ago, triggering the current Pakghanistan policy debate — and outing McChrystal.

My blog the past 11 months is full of disapppointed rants re the people Obama kept on or hired atop the Nat’l Security Apparat, including a post headlined (like yours) with Orwell’s name after the surreal scene in Strasbourg.

But to think Obama had much of a choice about, e.g., Stanley Mac’s appointment is perhaps to overestimate a callow president’s power to reject the truths and advice of the Briefers of the Apparat.

His chief failing, it seems to me, is that of an ingenue, not a Kissinger; and those of us who elected the ingenue bear some responsibility.

During the campaign I thought Hillary was the better choice to feed into this sausage grinder. She was ready for battle and knows how to take a bullet. Obama seemed better suited as her successor.

But one goes to peace with the President one has. The policy at this moment is in the air, and for the first time since Gates-Mullen picked up the pieces post Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz. If Obama fails to make this opportunity a turning point, I’ll jump on the bandwagon damning him simply.

But I’m hoping he manages to execute a change in rough accord with the Cairo speech that will mark the end of the beginning of his foreign policy odyssey.

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  1. ed says:

    White House says the Prez will make up his mind “in a couple of weeks.”

    Also says the 13,000 “support” pairs of boots shuffling in are Bush-Cheney troops cycling in or something equally vague and quasi-sensical.

    Here’s the Wash Post story re the 13,000. Off balance sheet, as it were. Off shore.

    October 13th, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  2. ed says:

    John Kerry is out there again saying no more troops to Pakghanistan.

    And indicating he has Obama’s ear.

    Interesting and good that he’s being so perisistent. As a Vietnam vet has more gravitas than the Prez to be saying this.

    October 13th, 2009 at 8:04 pm

  3. ed says:

    And here’s at Times front page piece, next day after Kerry, saying Biden is no longer alone within Admin in pessimism re Afghanistan.

    My man!


    October 14th, 2009 at 10:53 am

  4. ed says:

    BBC reporting that Obama has decided to give McChrystal another 45,000 troops.

    This denial by Wh House voice Gibbs seems rather feeble in it’s specialness: Merely “no decision has been made” rather than rejecting the notion.

    October 14th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

  5. ed says:

    Well. The New York Times seems ready and willing to endorse an escalation of the sort the BBC has reported (see prior comment) — with a glowing Sunday Magazine piece on none other than General Stanley McChrystal.

    Rather unbelievable.

    But there it is.

    On a Wednesday. ?!?

    Why is the Sunday Magazine feature being published on a Wednesday?

    At the request, perhaps, of the White House? To better and sooner prepare the country for crossing the Rubicon?

    Well. We shall see.

    October 15th, 2009 at 12:47 am

  6. ed says:

    Washington Post touching on the McChrystal-Petraeus theme, perhaps tacitly thinking of Lansdale as well.


    October 15th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  7. ed says:

    Britain yesterday pledged 500 more soldiers. Something of a rebound for them.

    But today Sarkozy says not a single French soldier more.

    Rumors again circulating — rooted in BBC report two days ago — that Obama has granted the Pentagon another 40,000 or so souls.

    October 15th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

  8. ed says:

    “Arundhati Roy … on a recent visit to Pakistan … at the Karachi Press Club … stated:

    “I’m here to understand what you mean when you say Taliban … Do you mean a militant? Do you mean an ideology? Exactly what is it that is being fought?”


    October 15th, 2009 at 10:32 pm

  9. ed says:

    Here’s the Swift Boat attack.

    Head of the VFW issues paper telling the President to just listen to his generals and that debating the policy endangers soldiers.

    This takes us back to the Generals vs Cheney in September, and the NewsMax Memo about the usefullness of a military coup.

    October 16th, 2009 at 12:40 am

  10. ed says:

    London Daily Telegraph elaborates and perhaps confirms BBC report earlier in week.

    Brit Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, their top uniformed commander, says he’s been given to understand another 45,000 american troops will be given to Stanley.

    Bringing total to 110,000.

    One can only hope Jock has gone off half cocked.

    October 16th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

  11. ed says:

    Well, it seems Jock was right the question has indeed been answered.

    John Kerry today changed his tune on a Sunday talk show, endorsing in his way another 40,000 troops.

    Semms a clear forecast of the White House decision.

    Let’s go to a new thread.

    October 18th, 2009 at 7:56 pm

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