Two Generals and the President

Now that the White House has traded Gen Stanley McChrystal for Gen David Petraeus ( formerly known by liberal Democrats as Betray us, compliments of Moveon.org ) what does it all mean?  Oh and other assorted and sundry Democrats  named Reid and Clinton chimed in with their unflattering comments  as well.

First of all, Obama had to fire McChrystal. I believed that even before I heard it from Glenn Beck or my informal survey of several retired military friends. It brings to mind, just a little, mind you, of Truman  firing McArthur. But no Obama has not risen to Truman’s level with the firing even though Wolf Blitzer says that now he is the commander-in-chief. No, Wolf, he held that title from day one of his inauguration. now if you mean he finally acted like the commander-in-chief, you would be much more accurate.

There are many interesting things about this action, some of which will not materialize until some  time  has passed. Just a few. Petraeus actually is replacing a guy who reported to him in his role as CentCom Commander. So, does that not leave us  a general short?  Petraeus cannot do justice to the job in Afghanistan and run CentCom  at the same time. ( Imagine moving from Tampa to Kandahar?) So, one would think that someone needs to be promoted, right?

Ok, next up, why in the world did a four star general even agree to an interview with Rolling Stone magazine? You have to figure that nothing good will come from it and possibly something very, very bad. And so it did. That would be like, oh I don’t know, say  a Rush Limbaugh interviewing with them only worse. So, an obviously smart and capable military man does this for what reason? At some point, when things have settled down, I hope that he is forthcoming with his reasons.

Finally, was it just 2-3 years ago when Senators Obama and Biden at different times and in different public settings blasted Gen Petraeus for his lack of competency in Iraq?  Indeed it was, Obama at a Senate hearing in which he gave the general no time to respond and Biden in an interview with Tim Russert.

If you are Obama, would it not be a nightmarish scenario to have McChrystal make the  rounds of the talk shows or maybe even write a book? Can you say, bete noir? After all, McArthur had his triumphant parade in New York City.


June 25, 2010 Posted by | military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


The World's Toughest NeighborhoodThe above acronym is often used by Joel Rosenberg in his political/religious thrillers which have been quite successful and eerily prophetic. The  letters described a division of the CIA known as North Africa, the Middle East and the stan countries; Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. Fictional or not, the phrase almost epitomizes tough neighborhood in a geopolitical sense.

Look at a map of the area some time and then look at major news headlines from any source of your choosing. While not always the top story, the are seems to carry a weight far beyond its size. This weekend was a real case in point. There  were some major suicide bombings in what was considered a relatively secure part of Iraq. Baghdad was the site of two bombings whose death toll approaches 200 with many more injured. And it may have damaged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki even more.

Travel a relatively short distance to the west to Jerusalem and what do you discover? Israeli police with stun grenades. Palestinian protesters throwing rocks and who knows what else outside the holiest site in all of Israel, the Temple Mount in the center of Jerusalem. What sparked the clash? Probably no one  knows. David Cohen, Israel’s national police chief laid blame on Muslim extremists. Muslim leaders claimed there were plots  to damage the sites. Israel has controlled the site since 1967 but in a situation that only makes sense in the Middle East allows a Muslim clerical body, the Waqf, to handle day-to-day administration. Tourists and Israelis can only visit at certain times.

And  we have Iran, who virtually lives on the front page. Nukes or not, selling enriched uranium to Russia or not ? Will there be talks? What part will Russia play? That is another Big factor when one looks at Russia’s position geographically versus the Middle East.

One more  factor is of course Afghanistan. It was the site for deadly helicopter crashes  just a few days ago, killing a number of American troops. Will Obama send troops, how many and when? Whose advice is better, Sen Kerry or Gen. McChrystal? Remember that during the campaign,the Afghan war was the one we should be fighting.

It seems that the are is a dominant feature of every president’s foreign policy, from probably Truman through Obama and rightfully so. One thing that is quite easy for us to overlook, given our Western tendency to take a short term view, is that the problems  that are there far predate our involvement; by a long time. No, make that a very long time.

My woeful lack of knowledge and historical perspective point up once again my need for te historical study of  a region whose importance can hardly be overstated. Try these phrases from your long ago study of history: Mesopotamia, Tigris-Euphrates, pyramids; there are many more and there is much history from which to learn.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | History, International politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is There A Correct Way to Criticize?

So, now that Rush has been dropped from the potential  ownership group maybe attempting to buy the St Louis Rams, one of only how many members we don’t know, since only he and Dave Checketts names were released. Doubtless there is joy in liberal land this night. As an aside, rock singer Fergie is joining the Dolphins as a partial owner. Pretty soon, the Dolphins will be able to put on some rollicking concerts, using only their ownership. You might want to check out some  of  her song lyrics and remember NFL Commish Roger Goddell saying that we don’t need divisive comments  and we here are all held to a higher standard. Contrary to Mr  Sharpton’s comments, it is not a moral victory for all Americans.

Anyway, score one for the libs. And today we have this. Award winning journalist, Seymour Hersh spoke at Duke (guess I can use that word in my blog) University last night with an interesting theme. He says that the U  S military is at war- with President Obama. Yep, that’s what he said. Gotta be true, he said . There is racism in the Pentagon and we all know it, as he was quoted in the Durham Herald-Sun.

Mr Hersh was critical of the president, particularly on Afghanistan. He said that the President must  stand up to the military. He must run the Pentagon or the Pentagon will run him. Other statements say that the military think he  is weak and the wrong color. He criticized Gen McChrystal for publicly requesting 40,000 additional troops, adding that it puts Obama in a no-win position. Give him the troops and lose politically or not provide the  troops and  lose- politically. That is somewhat telling to me. Not sending the requested troops is  a    loss  politically, not militarily. Hmm.

Mr Hersh has suggestions. Negotiate with the Taliban, it is  the only way. Continue the  process with Iran, which Bush of course mucked up. And, realize that we have a lot in common with Russia.

I close with this thought. What is the acceptable way in which one  disagrees with  the President? Can it be done without being racist? Hint only if you are a liberal, since a liberal cannot be racist, right?

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments