Conservative Blog Post for September 28
Three Historical Lessons to Help the President Cope
The President of the United States, when confronted with major challenges and decisions, did what most Democrats do when challenged – He made plans to leave town. Flying to Denmark to pitch the 2012 Olympic Selection Committee on behalf of his semi-native Chicago, Obama will leave behind a myriad of problems requiring leadership. Apparently believing press reports that His words are leadership enough, the President thought he could take a ride on Air Force One and go back to Europe for a day to receive the usual leftist adoration.
The President this morning appears confronted by both domestic and international crises. Obama’s pick for General of the Afghanistan war (Obama’s ‘real’ war as opposed to George W. Bush’s Iraq war), General Stanley McChrystal has expressed concern that the Prez will want to pull out of Afghanistan rather than fight the enemy there. The Iranians – shaking in their shoes after Obama’s words over the weekend – continued testing its missiles designed to deliver nuclear war heads to Tel Aviv. And the health care takeover is losing momentum. These issues require hard work for a hardened politician. Most that want to be President relish these days as the chance to make a real difference for the country. Obama chooses a flight to Copenhagen.
Defense Secretary Gates furthered the concern over Afghanistan on the Sunday talk shows by pointing out that leaving that basket-case of a country would allow the Taliban and Al Qaida to regroup, rearm and re-attack the American homeland. Should that occur, of course the US military would be sent back into Afghanistan to hunt bad guys – at least until the next leftist liberal was elected President. The Prez though, is reluctant to get into a war that can’t be quickly won. Accordingly He is looking for the typical Democrat solution – a way out where He can declare victory without actually doing anything.
The President’s preferred choice may be to fight the War on Terror on the streets of American cities rather than Afghanistan. Reasoning that we wouldn’t have to pay transportation costs to get troops to a distant land, we could just fight the bad guys here. Obama’s waffling on making any kind of decision on the Afghan war leaves most observers wondering – what in the world is the President looking for? General McChrystal himself hasn’t been allowed a meeting with the President over this serious situation in over two months.
And then there is Iran. The Muslim oligarchy that runs Iran understands that Obama’s options are limited. And the options the President has are ones He will almost certainly never use. The laughter in Tehran has almost died down after Obama’s statement that Iran must comply with world opinion or ‘face the consequences.’ Iran’s Russian and Chinese friends will ensure that these consequences will be of little worth. Obama’s only recourse is to threaten unilateral military action and be prepared to use it. Unfortunately for the free world, Obama doesn’t believe in military action, preferring instead to rely on the utterly worthless and increasingly contemptible United Nations. Israel on the other hand – very much believes that its own existence is worth defending and will probably enact some military action of its own when it becomes clear that the United States won’t.
It seems obvious to most that Obama is caught in a quandary with few, if any, good options on either Iraq or Afghanistan. Israel won’t wait around to get a weapon of mass destruction fired at them and Obama can’t simply talk the Iranians into giving up their nukes. In Afghanistan, although Obama’s instinct is to cut and run, a US with drawl means seeing a resurgent Taliban and Al Qaida that will bring the War on Terror home again to US soil.
The President took this job apparently thinking that in the old Greek model of governance applied – where decisions are entrusted to Philosopher-Kings and the execution of policy is done by underlings. It has dawned on the administration this week that hard work is necessary to resolve these problems and that this work cannot be off-loaded to others. As hard as the President has tried to get rid of the Afghanistan issue by ignoring it (as evidenced by only having a single phone call conversation with General McChrystal in the past 70 days) it hasn’t gone away. Iran won’t go away either.
What does seem in danger of ‘going away’ is the President’s plan to take over American health care. All the advertising that the Prez extorted out of insurance companies and political allies has not moved support for the endeavor at all. Here again, the President has worked Himself into another political box where He can’t compromise to get any meaningful legislation through the Senate. His leftist supporters threaten to abandon support if a public option is not included. Reasonable voters are dead-set against the notion that any savings can be found in Medicare that won’t directly restrict health care to America’s senior citizens – not to mention the fact that without increasing in the supply of doctors, scarcity of medical treatment (rationing) is inevitable.
History of course provides lessons valuable in solving each of these problems. Since Obama hasn’t and certainly won’t release his college course grades, we don’t know if the President has any understanding of history. If the Obamamaniacs can get past their campaign slogans and do some real work, these lessons are available to all. But, in the interest of national safety and prosperity, here are three significant lessons to help the President in His decision making:
Afghanistan: Lefties are quick to draw comparisons to the lessons of Vietnam and conclude that the US should not be drawn into a land war. What history shows though is that the North Vietnamese had logistical and military support from China, the USSR and the East European Communist bloc. They were able to keep the war going to wear out American will to fight. Their objective was to simply keep the Americans engaged militarily until they lost the will to fight.
Now, the shoe is on the other foot. The American objective should be continual engagement with the enemy on his battlefield until the fanatics either lose their will to fight or can’t find any more young fanatics willing to blow themselves up. A terrorist encountered on the battlefield may be killed by US forces and after that, will not endanger the US homeland. The point to fighting in Afghanistan is based on the Napoleonic code of war which the North Vietnamese used very effectively against us– engage the enemy, destroy his capability to fight and don’t waste time worrying about capturing cities and territory.
Obama has to understand that this commitment will take generations to fight. It takes 15 to 18 years to replace a suicide bomber. And if we keep killing them in Afghanistan, there will be far fewer of them attacking us here. Still, as John McCain once said – this could leave us with a presence in the region for 100 years. Obama needs to eat his words and admit that in the case of Afghanistan, McCain was right.
Iran: History’s lesson on this can be summed up in a word and a date; Munich, 1938. Allowing Hitler to complete a peaceful takeover of the Sudetenland and portions of Czechoslovakia (you libs will have to look this up), emboldened the German dictator to speed construction of his military capability. In the end, Hitler wanted much more than the few thousands of square miles of central European land. The western policy of appeasement resulted in millions of European lives lost. Had the west stood up to Hitler and threatened him with war in 1938, German Generals were going to overthrow the dictator. Unfortunately, the west –like Obama wants to do – caved in allowing the horrible destruction of WWII in Europe. Obama of course will never allow the word ‘appeasement’ to be used in describing His policy towards Iran, but His actions have got to support His words. And for this President, that is a tall order.
Obama especially needs to avoid His natural instinct to work through the UN. The UN, like the western powers in 1938, has no will to fight under any circumstances. This makes the world body completely useless. Therefore, no credible consequences exist to Iran for continuing its nuclear program. Hitler correctly judged the west’s lack of will and the nut cases running Iran have made the same judgment about the UN. In swearing to protect the United States last January 20, President Obama needs to entrust security of the US and her allies to generals like McChrystal and not to the loathsome and ineffective United Nations.
Health Care: One doesn’t have to go too far back in history to learn a few lessons on this one. In fact, all Obama has to do is call in his Secretary of State for a heart to heart about what went wrong the last time. The Clinton administration also tried to take over health care and at least to their credit, had Hillary put together a comprehensive plan. This plan was rightfully shattered in Congress, which in part helped the Republicans take over the House in 1994. At least Hillary had the backbone to put an actual plan together and let folks shoot it down. That at least was an honorable defeat.
Obama’s strategy – even with a huge and overwhelming majority of his party, has been to refuse any discussion of details – believing that Hillarycare was beaten because of its specificity. Team Obama appears completely ignorant of the fact that it is the details that have emerged are ones the voters hate. So if Obama wants to win in health care, He has to scale His vision way back. He especially has to end the contentious Congressional fight now so that damage to His Democrat majority will be minimized. Fortunately for conservatives, He shows no signs of giving in on health care and continues to intimidate Grandma and Grandpa into keeping quiet at their town hall meetings. Granny and Gramps won’t forget at all and for the first time since FDR, will be voting Republican starting in 2010.
Newt Gingrich essentially saved Clinton’s job back in 1994 by taking over the House of Representatives – causing Clinton to govern from the middle and produce a balanced federal budget. Obama refuses to believe that He is a servant of the people and continues his efforts to impose an unpopular health care plan on the country. By refusing to throw his leftist allies under the proverbial bus, Obama is marrying His reputation to that of Nancy Pelosi. In 2012, that will make a very easy target for any GOP challenger.
So History is there for the Chosen One and his minions. History allows the intelligent to learn from past mistakes. Campaign slogans however, cause the intellectual lightweights in the population to believe that with a different leader, things can be different. And this is where the concept of hard work leaves Democrats and liberals behind. Studying the lesson of history is a lot more difficult than coming up with a catchy campaign slogan.