June 10, 2010
Things Better Left Unannounced
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued an announcement yesterday:
Public support for the war in Afghanistan will evaporate unless the nations leading the fight against insurgents can show by the end of this year that the eight-year war is not locked in stalemate, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday.
"All of us, for our publics, are going to have to show by the end of the year that our strategy is on the track, making some headway," Mr. Gates said ahead of meetings with NATO allies long weary of the war.
Let me understand: Robert Gates has just publicly informed the world -- including the Taliban and al-Qaeda, assuming they listen to the news -- just how long our enemies must hold out and make it appear we're not doing well, before the American people will turn against the war, forcing us to withdraw prematurely and in defeat.
Announced it. For the world press to repeat ad nauseum.
What could possibly go wrong? ™
Now, there's no denying this is a true statement; since the current Commander in Chief took over, things have not been going very well:
Support for the Afghanistan war is dropping in the United States after a period of relatively strong approval for the war and the retooled strategy Mr. Obama announced last year. He followed the announcement with a surge of 30,000 U.S. forces intended to seize momentum from the revived Taliban insurgency.
The U.S. and its allies, fighting alongside Afghan soldiers, do have the upper hand in many parts of the country. But crucial areas remain under the Taliban thumb, with little sign the allies are making headway in persuading local people to throw off the insurgents and align with the central government in Kabul.
But not every true statement must be trumpeted from the highest battlement; some truths are better left unannounced.
Say what you will about the communication skills of George W. Bush and his administration, at least nobody every accused them of blabbing important secrets to the world. Not even Gates himself, back when he had Bush as his boss, found occasion to let slip information that can only help the terrorists.
But Barack H. Obama, by contrast, seems bound and determined to reveal anything and everything that might embarass America and hurt the war effort. It's as if...
- He suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and simply cannot stop himself; or,
- He actually wants to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, perhaps hoping to blame the loss on "the previous administration's rush to war in Afghanistan."
If it's (2), that dog won't fly. When the starting pitcher leaves the game with a big lead, but the relief pitcher turns it into a substantial defeat, I think most folks know who should be charged with the loss.
The propensity towards poor impulse control and babbling trickles down from the fish-head itself to the rest of the cabinet, including Gates 2.0. How long it will be before some secretary, the Vice President, or even the Obamacle himself will call a press conference to solemnly declare, à la Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%), that "this war is lost?"
Our next president may have to spend his or her entire first term doing nothing but "damage control" with a planet-sized pooper scooper, cleaning up the Augean mess created by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 10, 2010, at the time of 3:03 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/4449
The following hissed in response by: Nerys Ghemor
The change in Gates' conduct is absolutely unequivocal evidence that leadership comes from the top. Whatever garbage people might want to say about Bush, it's obvious that he could keep his own administration under control, whereas with Obama there is NO control whatsoever--Biden can't shut his yap, we have Sestak-gate, no control over our foreign policy, no coherent message whatsoever. I'd thought better of Gates, but seeing that he doesn't have the guts to stand up for what's right or at least have the decency to resign rather than be associated with someone who plays this fast and loose with our foreign policy and our troops' lives, that opinion is sinking fast.
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