December 20, 2011

On the Road 1 - Make 'Em Gaffe, Make 'Em Gaffe

Hatched by Dafydd

Everybody's talking about a huge political gaffe, a typically goofy malstatement by (surprise!) Vice President "Slow" Joe Biden:

"The Taliban, per se, is not our enemy," Biden told Newsweek, for an article published today. "There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests."

But that's just more Biden inanity, and we've already factored that tendency into the equation. I'm far more infuriated by an entirely different gaffe that's quoted in the same article, one that I managed to miss last May, when President Barack H. "Bubble Boy" Obama himself included it in his speech crowing about having killed Osama bin Laden.

The Newsmax article truncates Obama's quotation; so to be perfectly fair, here is the complete context from the CNN transcript (May 2nd) of Obama's "gaffe," using the Michael Kinsley definition of "inadvertently blurting out the truth":

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

In this particular paragraph, Obama leaves himself just enough wiggle room with the phrase "over the last 10 years" to dodge the charge of narcissism bordering on delusion. He might (plausibly) deny that he meant that he, President B.O., was personally responsible for "remov[ing] the Taliban government" from Afghanistan, a feat accomplished in 2001 by the United States of America during the presidency of George W. Bush.

But evidence later in that same speech indicates that in the mind of the current Occupier of la Casa Blanca, it's always all about Obama. Here is some more fun and games from that same speech:

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. [Note well that he uses both "I" and "we" in a single sentence to refer to the same subject: Barack H. Obama.]

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

Reality check (which beats "mic check" hands down): In the real world, President Bush ordered the killing of bin Laden ten years ago; he made it a "top priority," while he also "continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network." "Painstaking work by our intelligence community" came up with many, many "possible leads." Bush "met repeatedly" with our national-security team (not Bush's personal team; and neither does the One have a personal version of our national-security team). And on numerous occasions, Bush "determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice." It was Bush, after all, who coined the phrase that we would either "bring bin Laden to justice -- or bring justice to bin Laden."

Yet over and over, Obama assumes the mantle of Nimrod the mighty hunter, single-handedly killing bin Laden with his bare hands. (And over and over, the president pro tempore conflates himself -- "I" -- with the entire country, "we." Or perhaps it's merely the royal "we.")

The speech begins by ostensibly talking about America, not Himself. But he segues so seamlessly and quickly into "talking 'bout me" that one cannot take seriously the "modesty" of the opening few sentences. The ego-stroking starts up right quick and never quits until Obama runs out of teleprompter.

Ergo, I am quite convinced that from the very first words, in Obama's own mind, he's actually braying the personal triumphalism and self-glorification that has marked his public utterances since the year dot:

  • When he announced that his election would lead to the oceans receding and the Earth cooling.
  • When he declared that we are the ones we have been waiting for.
  • When he gloried in winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, before he had a single significant accomplishment for "peace" -- other than announcing surrender unilateral withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of the status of the wars or the imminence of achieving our victory conditions; and his breathless announcement -- loudly cheered but since then discarded like a used Kleenex -- that he would close Guantanamo Bay within a year of his inauguration.

Therefore, given the totality of the evidence, I conclude that Obama truly believes that he, himself, kicked the Taliban out of Afghanistan... just as he is the One who set the machinery in motion to kill bin Laden, while that lox, George W. Bush, cowered in a corner and did nothing.

(Sidebar: On 9/11 itself, the very day, the co-worker of an acquaintance of mine -- a very liberal woman -- announced, "I blame Bush; he's a do-nothing president." Then she shrugged and went back to work. That's so leftin'!)

As so many have said so many times, November 2012 can't come soon enough. I just hope that the American people don't back away from what they seem to understand today: that Barack Obama is an unmitigated disaster on the American economy, feckless on national-security (notwithstanding being the guy on watch when the U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden), and an utter catastrophe on health care, labor policy, the environment, energy, diplomacy, judicial appointments, and indeed every domestic and foreign policy to which he has turned his lidless eye.

I still fear that at the last moment, Americans might get so frightened by the looming crises -- so many! -- that they turn to the nearest "strongman," the chest-beating Obama, the man who created or exacerbated our problems in the first place... and beg him to take command, like Hugo Chavez, to save them from their own liberty.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 20, 2011, at the time of 4:51 PM

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