Make a decision, Mr. President, don’t simply vote present


Political through and through, and indecisive deep inside, essentially is how President Obama can be described.  Nonetheless, those descriptors have gotten him this far, and now have gotten him to today’s meeting with General McChrystal…  [Photo from NY Daily News]

 A profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal in Rolling Stone was titled 'The Runaway General.'

As a state senator in Illinois, rather than take a stand on controversial issues, he often simply voted present when he ought to have pressed the red or green buttons… However indecisive the president might have seemed, that manuever helped propel him to his current position…

More specific examples could be given of actions or inactions that have led to today’s scheduled meeting, having to do generally with his overall muddled dealings with international matters, mismanaging the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and his seemingly politically driven military policy for Afghanistan and Iraq… 

Nevertheless, though General McChrystal has been a tireless patriot in the service of his country, and President Obama might already have lost the war in Afghanistan (and possibly in Iraq) by setting arbitrary, publicized deadlines for troop withdrawals, he can and needs to be dramatically decisive with General McChrystal — for civilian discipline sake and to recapture a bit of respect before the world.

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16 Responses

  1. hippieprof:

    No argument here about Obama having to can McChrystal and I have stated that clearly on my blog.

    I do feel that he has been lax on the Gulf spill in that there has been numerous offers of assistance from other nations and foreign companies to supply assistance of both vessels and booms and those have been rejected out of hand. Obama has not acted decisively on opportunities to take a leadership position in the cleanup process. I agree that he could not have prevented the oil spill itself.

  2. re Hippieprof, “I most certainly do not intend to be rude,…” etc.,.
    I understand the sentiment all the way around, Hippieprof, and take care… We’ll keep in touch periodically..

  3. Re “Hippieprof” .
    We can agree that people put others in simplistic boxes… (Obviously I do not claim to speak for anyone other than myself.).

    But then you quickly go on to say, “will substitute “A number of right-leaning commentators on the web” – and that I can back up with facts.”… Etc.,.

    What I am saying to you Hippieprof, is that you seem to be using words harshly, and it appears that on the one hand you have indicated you do not wish to be rude, but then almost immediately you turn to being rude… It is not just what someone says, but the way they say it that comes across… It makes you seem like an angry man and your ideas get lost in that anger that seems to come from you, and people can tune you out… Relax…

    Additionally, on another point, if I enter your home/your page, I am going to be respectful and understanding that it is your home, and will act accordingly… If and when you enter my home/my page, I do not think it is too much to ask that you act respectfully in my home, and I expect that from you and anybody…

    • What I am saying to you Hippieprof, is that you seem to be using words harshly, and it appears that on the one hand you have indicated you do not wish to be rude, but then almost immediately you turn to being rude… It is not just what someone says, but the way they say it that comes across…

      I most certainly do not intend to be rude, and I am sorry if my words come across that way. I will need to be more careful.

      In my defense, I have been the target of quite a bit of rudeness in the time I have been blogging (never here – you have always been quite polite). I think I have inadvertently slipped into a defensive mode – where I may come across as rude at first contact because that is what I am expecting to get in return.

      Again, I apologize. You have never been anything but polite to me and you deserve that in return.

  4. re “Seriously” Hippieprof — As soon as the Rolling Stone article became public, many, including here, immediately, pointed out that General McChrystal needed to be fired, for various reasons… Fired… It seems you missed that… The call for firing had nothing to do with anyone’s political perspective.

  5. You are correct in saying Obama should take action against the civilian component of the Afghanistan mission.
    I doubt he’ll do it though.

  6. The president has made his decision about not keeping General McChrystal…
    Now he has to either remove American Afghan Ambassador Eikenberry (ex general indicated by some not to have been proficient as a military leader, but a very good politician-general) — or make him effectively handle the civilian component of the Afghanistan strategy…
    The same pressure to be applied on Special Presidential envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, as on Eikenberry..
    The military can’t do everything on its own, while others are simply playing politics and not fulfilling their assigned roles…

    The president’s job is not over, just beginning… He needs to manage more effectively, for the good of those making the sacrifices in combat and for the nation…

  7. Actions mainly based on political calculations at the White House, not principled decisions, its seems…

    • PanAm – seriously – do you think Obama had any choice other than to get rid of McChrystal? Indeed, he was faced with a lose-lose situation – but keeping a publicly insubordinate general onboard was certainly the worst of the two evils.

      While we are at it, how did Obama mismanage BPs gulf disaster? From reports I am seeing, nothing Obama could have done would have had any real effect on the outcome. The “spill” is far worse than anything we have ever seen – and we are still months from its resolution.

  8. PanAm, you make some excellent points here. Once again, it is by now completely obvious that Obama is completely unqualified for the position that he holds and that he poses a clear and present danger to the welfare and future of America.

    It will be interesting to see what his decisions will be in this particular instance.

    • Once again, it is by now completely obvious that Obama is completely unqualified for the position that he holds and that he poses a clear and present danger to the welfare and future of America.

      Perhaps to people who never thought he was qualified to begin with. To date the biggest complaint against him has been indecisiveness. In the last week he has made two very decisive moves – canning McChrystal and negotiating with BP to set up the trust fund. But, perhaps predictably, he still can’t catch a break with you guys.

  9. Shades of Caligula. When fear reigns, heads roll.

    • re HIppieprof, “you guys”, etc., – one of the things that comes out of your comments and usage of words continually is that you seem to have convinced yourself that only you are objective and others who disagree with you or with whom you disagree are not as objective as you and that you are thus on a higher plane… You seem to put people in simplistic boxes of this political persuasion and that, and yourself as sitting above and passing judgement… Please be more objective and don’t just zoom in out on someone else’s page with your seeming anger and preconceived notions… I believe these points have been indicated before…

    • You seem to put people in simplistic boxes of this political persuasion and that, and yourself as sitting above and passing judgement…

      Fai enough. Instead of “you guys” I will substitute “A number of right-leaning commentators on the web” – and that I can back up with facts.

      As far as simplistic boxes are concerned, I certainly understand. I have been (quite incorrectly) called a Marxist and a Socialist and any number of even nastier names (not by you, I understand). If fact, I know you are aware of this because you have left comments on some of the very threads in which I have been called such names. I do apologize for doing something that I detest having done to me.

      So – are we agreed that “simplistic boxes” are improper when used by either side?

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