Question for Nobel Appease Prize winner
By Joseph Farah
October 11, 2009
I have a question for Barack Obama, the Nobel Appease Prize winner, and the man who told us during last year's presidential campaign that troops needed to be redeployed from Iraq to the "real" front in the war on terrorism – Afghanistan.
In case your memory fails you, here's what he said in July 2008:
"In fact – as should have been apparent to President Bush and Sen. (John) McCain – the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was. That's why the second goal of my new strategy will be taking the fight to al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
"It is unacceptable that almost seven years after nearly 3,000 Americans were killed on our soil, the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 are still at large. Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahari are recording messages to their followers and plotting more terror. The Taliban controls parts of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida has an expanding base in Pakistan that is probably no farther from their old Afghan sanctuary than a train ride from Washington to Philadelphia. If another attack on our homeland comes, it will likely come from the same region where 9/11 was planned. And yet today, we have five times more troops in Iraq than Afghanistan."
"… as president, I will make the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban the top priority that it should be. This is a war that we have to win."
"We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region. And we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights."
So what happened between then and now?
Well, Obama got his wish. He became president. He is now fully in command. He can divert any resources he wishes from Iraq to Afghanistan. He got to appoint a new commander for the Afghan campaign, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. And what did Gen. McChrystal advise?
He told Obama he needs "more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region" – exactly the prescription Obama was calling for more than a year ago during the campaign.
And what has been Obama's reaction?
He can't believe it.
He is mulling it over.
Mulling it over?
Isn't this exactly what Obama said he wanted to do more than a year ago?
What has changed since then and now – other than the fact that Obama actually has the power to do what he advocated doing in July 2008?
Maybe it's that Nobel Appease Prize?
I don't know.
My guess is that it's a lot easier being an armchair general when you don't have the power to send men and women to risk their lives.
Maybe Obama really thought he could negotiate with al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Maybe he thought they would lay down their arms when he took office.
But reality is setting in.
Nine months after taking office, Obama has not greatly reduced U.S. forces in Iraq and he has only modestly increased U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Now he seems to resist doing what he pledged to do and what the general he placed in charge of the battlefield says must be done.
I guess it was a lot easier second-guessing President Bush and Sen. McCain than it is expanding a war that is unpopular with his base – and his own friends in Congress.
Suddenly, it seems, Barack Obama's knees are getting wobbly.
Some questions for the White House:
How soon can we expect that decision now?
Will you be replacing your general and looking for a military recommendation you like better?
Are you waiting to send in the "don't ask, don't tell" brigade?
Will you be taking military command of the battlefield yourself?
Or will you be changing your mind – yet again?