On my one of my last deployments over to Africa, one of the guys hooked a DVD player to a projector and hosted movie nights for our local counterparts - a remarkable achievement considering the conditions we were living in. Because of the language features on modern DVDs, he could present American films in French, which of course is the lingua franca of Africa. It was fascinating to watch the Africans’ reaction to R. Lee Emory’s incredible performance in first half of Full Metal Jacket, or George C. Scott’s masterful speech at the beginning of Patton.
The President went to West Point last Tuesday, of course, to announced his long-awaited decision; a 30,000 troop surge. General McChrystal’s original request was 80,000 - that was optimum - forty thousand was his bare minimum, his bottom line; twenty thousand wouldn’t have made a difference. Team Obama obviously split the difference and out of that we get thirty.
The speech was remarkable on many levels; in sending troops off to war there was no inspiring motivation, no Patton speech, not even an explanation of what the objective is. There was no emotion, no inspiration. Instead, he telegraphed to the enemy the entire US national war strategy; an eighteen month timeline to withdrawal.
Not exactly a standing ovation.
On top of that, Obama placed a finite cost on national security: "Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year, and I'll work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit."
If you want to cut costs, Mr. President, why don’t you shut down the National Endowment for the Arts, or maybe sell NASA? A country SUPPOSED to spend its treasure during time of war; you cannot put a price to US national security.
True to form, Obama could not pass up an opportunity to badmouth his country: “I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay”; this is the continuing flawed suggestion that what we subjected terrorist detainees to resembled torture in any way, shape or form. In the Bill Ayers lexicon, however, the words 'torture' and 'Guantanamo' are synonymous with: "America is bad, America commits torture."
Combat veteran Cadet gives Obama a subliminal one-fingered salute.
A couple of tours back, in another time and place, a buddy turned to me and said, "I’d sure hate to die in a place like this."
"I dunno," I shrugged, looking around at the wretched surroundings; "One Third World hole is much like the next; all I know is I’d hate to die for a place like this."
Right now our military is in Afghanistan and elsewhere to capture and kill the people who flew airplanes into our buildings on 9/11, and to shut down their operation - people who to this day are trying to find ways to kill each and every one of us. Our blessed soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are fighting and dying for you and for me; for our safety and security. That’s a worthy cause.
But who amongst them is willing to die for an exit strategy?
116 U.S. Troops Died in Afghanistan While Obama Pondered Reinforcements