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  • Morning Bell: A Speech Unbecoming of the Cause

    During the month of November, while President Barack Obama was dithering on whether or not to embrace General Stanley McChrystal’s strategy for winning in Afghanistan, something unexpected happened in American public opinion on the war. According to Gallup, the American public switched from 42% for and 44% against sending more troops to Afghanistan, to 47% for and only 39% against a troop build up. It is unclear why the American people came to support an increase in troops last month, but it is safe to rule out strong leadership from the White House as the cause. Hopefully the President’s incoherent address to a muted West Point audience will not reverse America’s growing support for victory.

    Too Few Troops: As we noted yesterday, when General McChrystal provided President Obama his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan in August, he identified three troop levels each with a corresponding level of risk that the mission could fail: 1) an additional 20,000 troops that would run a “high risk of failure“; 2) an additional 80,000 troops that would be a “low risk option” that has “best chance to contain the Taliban-led insurgency and stabilize Afghanistan“; or 3) an additional 40,000 to 45,000 troop “medium risk option.” President Obama’s 30,000 troop increase falls squarely between the “high” and “medium” risk options. Nowhere in his address did Obama explain how a medium or high risk of failure in Afghanistan could possibly be acceptable to the American people.

    Counterproductive Time Line: In the very next sentence after announcing he would send only 30,000 more troops, President Obama then informed al Qaeda and the Taliban exactly how long they would have to survive before Obama began to withdrawal: July 2011. It is difficult to comprehend why Obama would have designated such an early date to begin withdrawing U.S. forces, when most observers acknowledge it will take at least 3 -4 years to fully train and equip the Afghan National Army to a level sufficient to the task of taking on the Taliban. The announcement of a withdrawal date only provides a psychological advantage to the Taliban who will convince their recruits that the American will is lacking and thus they can just “wait us out.” Promising firm dates for troop pullouts is an entirely political move that has everything to do with placating the leftist base of the Democratic Party and nothing to do with the national security interests of the American people.

    Confusing Our Allies: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Brussels later this week to meet with NATO Foreign Ministers in the hopes of securing additional troop commitments from our allies. However, President Obama’s decisions to only partially meet his commander’s request for 80,000 troops and establish an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal will undermine her efforts. Europe’s various commanders-in-chief managed to stave off repeated requests from President Bush for additional troops and equipment; so, why would they not just wait the clock out on President Obama?

    We hope that the President’s plan will succeed, and Americans should do everything in their power to ensure that it does. But if it does not, then we must remember the choices that were available to the President for this fateful decision. He had the chance to turn this war around; if he does not, the result will be his responsibility alone.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to Gallup, only 35% of Americans currently approve of President Obama’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan, down from 56% in July.
    • Describing President Obama’s Afghanistan speech, MSNBC personality Chris Matthews described the United States Military Academy at West Point as “the enemy camp”.
    • The director of Britain’s University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he hyped the case for man-made climate change.
    • Just months after President Obama personally fired the CEO for government owned General Motors, current GM CEO Fritz Henderson resigned unexpectedly yesterday.
    • House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) will outline a pro-growth jobs plan at 2 p.m. today. You can watch and ask the Congressman questions on Facebook.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    41 Responses to Morning Bell: A Speech Unbecoming of the Cause

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Obama didn't fool the audience with his obvious double speak. His message was from a weak politician attempting to appease the masses, not one from a U.S. commander in chief in the lead. Must of been hell for those young cadets to have to sit and listen to this guy.

    2. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      This "Community Organizer" is the poorest excuse for a President I have seen in my lifetime! He has no concept of his actions other than the affect they have on his personal agenda. If this man were in charge during WWII, we would have lost the War by 1943 and the Japanese would have been fighting the Germans in Iowa.

    3. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      This is just like the other things he has said and done. The dems and obama are only in this because they want absolute power and controll of all. The extra troops are just a ploy so they can say "we tried", not an effort to win. I am sure that obama will be sending his "sincere apologies" to the terroist and the islam countries for their trouble, but in the end he will turn tale and run. I am a Vitenam Vet, and know well the problems involved when politicians turn from the Generals and think they know what is best to fight and win a war.It was just plain stupid on obama's part to tell when we would pull all troops out, why not just give and stop now. This shows what kind of leadership this country has. In WW2 there was a saying "loose lips sink ships", I think this is also necessay today, yet obama seems to not think so. I hope he will sent an engraved letter next so there will be no mistake as to what he has plans to do, that way they only have to hide untill 2011, and then declare victory.

    4. EDWARD GERSTEN says:


    5. Jonathan Seid, Willi says:

      To all my Democratic Party friends and dis-affected Republican Party friends:

      To those of you who campaigned and voted for President Obama, my sincerest thanks for getting elected another incompetent commander in chief. How does it feel to be hoodwinked again by a man with more style than substance?

    6. M. Bailey, Maryland says:

      Credentials: USMC son recently back from Iraq; new daughter in law, also, USMC, who will deploy shortly for Afghanistan. Until the President permits serious revisions to the rules of engagement, our troops go in destined for needless casualties. Wonder how many of the brave will eventually be up for courts martial like the three SEALS? Last night was an attempt at confusing double speak.

    7. Ron Derry NH says:

      It is not just painful but obvious that the left thought they could support a tool to get their agenda of socialism and defeatism rammed down America's throat.

      With more than half of the people bribed with welfare or government employment, the idea of folding and allowing just another puppet soil our countries pride and dignity, just may be the medicine to wake that half up to how the rest of us feel about taking us down the road of serfdom and the indignity you must embrace to accept it.

      Indecision after indecision proves a lack of command knowledge and ability to lead, whether in economics or in battle as they are the same.

      The Dems are acting to appease other nations at a sacrifice of our free liberty and destiny and have acted so for years, that is why they have always appeared to be straddling a fence and look unsure which horse to back…..America or World government!?!

      Still the painful acceptance of the foolishness of the belief that Obama and the Dems had a plan to make America anything but a lesser country and to invite the decay of socialism's rewards into dismantling our dignity of earned value and strength by ownership of that value must be acknowledge.

      Until then, the pain has just begun and the obvious will seem hidden to most and the demise will continue.

    8. Padraik, NorCal says:

      I have to say, his decision is disappointing. The Anti-war Left won't ever shut up about it, even though he was clearly compromising in their favor. However, the last thing this war and our troops need is political compromise over a very real danger in Afghanistan.

      What about "We need 80,000 troops" is so hard to understand? I grant, he has to have some time to think it over and weigh everything, but it's just like Heritage puts it: "He had the chance to turn this war around; if he does not, the result will be his responsibility alone."

    9. P. Dykhuis, Raleigh, says:

      Beyond his self-important speaking manner and teleprompter reading skills, Barack Obama has revealed that he has little else to offer our nation, and much to hide.

      It is important that we prevail in Afghanistan; but Obama's inadequacies and half-hearted commitment to the mission causes concern for the fate of our troops.

      With Obama's ill-considered timeline and reduced deployment of troops, he is attempting to go to war a little bit, and only for a short while. Like trying to get only a little bit pregnant, this is hardly a strategy for success.

    10. David D Harvison says:

      Having read the pirated McChrystal request, I found no clarity in his document, or in the President's address, as to the allocation of personnel and why so many are needed. The plan is to train 400,000 Afgan police and military using the over 100,000 U.S. led troops. The total count when finished with the training is over 550,000.

      Opposed to this are differing estimates of 10,000 to 25,000 Taliban and affiliates.

      It seems that the Taliban is incredibly efficient and the U.S. might want to re-evaluate the party we support.

    11. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      Obama is a good orator but all he ever delivers is ignorance of reality.

      I thought Carter was a bad President; Obama, in one year has proven himself to be far worse!

      I hope we can survive him and his gang of Marxist idiots.

      His sycophants praise every word that comes out of his mouth but they too have no sense and cannot 'hear' what he really means or doesn't mean. They swallow his obfuscations hook, line and sinker!

      It seems all far-leftists never consider any consequences to what they say or do. They are all knee-'JERK' emotional reactors!

    12. Patty McLemore, Iowa says:

      I found the speech uninspiring and non-Presidential in presentation and content. I was hoping that I would find our President would actually listen to his military commander in the field. I suppose President Obama with all his military experience was able to make a much better analysis than the General. Obama can't risk relinquishing any of his power to someone so inferior. I bet the speech was short to allow for all the huge applause He expected after each statement. Didn't happen. I was as bored and disappointed as the cadets in his audience.

    13. Steve, Fairbanks AK says:

      I guess if I were a taliban leader, and I knew when the opfor was going to leave, I would suspend all operations to lull my opposition into thinking that they have won. When the time is right, resume ops and strike. "He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious." Sun Tsu.

    14. judi from Sunnyvale says:

      Stating that the Presidents speech is incoherent can only come from one who does not understand an articulate, clear statement about what is needed, why it is needed and how the plan will be executed. There is nothing that the President can do that will get admiration, support or acknowledgment of the merit it might have from The Heritage Foundation.

    15. bandrs, MO says:

      It took him all these months to come up with an 18 month time table? Kind of dissolves his unwavering resolve, doesn't it? No mention of the word, "victory." No talk what what it looks like to win. We are left without a clue as to what our real purpose there is. Are we there to win hearts and minds? Or to blast the Taliban into oblivion? Or to pay off the locals for promises we all know won't be kept? What a disaster. And a completely anticlimactic speech. In trying to please everyone, he is pleasing NO ONE. A lesson history should have already taught him.

    16. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Can't we all see just how disingenuous and deceptive Obama is? Just look at the back-drops when he reads his teleprompter. This disgusting display last night used the cadets of West Point to deflect his ture nature. Its all about POLITICS and getting re-elected. He is in a perpetual campaign mode. He is no more interested in helping our troups or winning this war than he is in valuing our American way of life.

    17. Arnie Rosner, Founta says:

      It is clear to me this person has no investment in America and no interest in America winning the war. In fact his lack of commitment should appear as no surprise to Americans. In my opinion, this is obviously a group to which he does not subscribe.

      My view of His position, places him as one who is attempting to maintain an equilibrium, between those subversives in this country against the war effort and those who believe him to be an enemy from within.

      In my opinion, his intent is to deliberately undermine the war effort by, frustrating the citizens, demoralizing the military (filing criminal charges against military personnel acting on orders; presumably his) and encouraging our enemies, while satisfying just enough legal residents to avoid an open revolt.

      Saul Alinsky would have been proud of his disciple.

    18. jim toledo says:

      As I watched the 'speech' yesterday, I thought how boring, it was emotionless and how pathetic we must seem to the other countries of the world. As I was flipping through the channels I saw Bob Schieffer, NBC I think, say 'what a speech, we will look back on this and say it was the defining point in Obama's presidency'. I looked at my wife and said we must have been watching the wrong channel; she said no we were watching FOX. It's sad that the media has to try and spin everything for this administration, on their own they would fail miserably.

    19. howiem says:

      A bit off the main topic, but important. The IPCC archives have been removed from the Way Back Machine (Internet Archives )http://web.archive.org. On 30 November 2009, I was able to access the IPCC archives (http://ipcc.ch) , but on 1 December 2009, all I got for the 20 or so links I checked was "Archive not found".

      Looks like the coverup is going full steam ahead.

    20. John Ridpath, Chapel says:

      Funny what happens when Obama speaks in front of an audience that is not only of much above average intelligence but also not necessarily in agreement with him politically.

    21. Truthful James, Illi says:

      It was a great political move. He tied in the Republican warhawks and did not disturb his base, although they may bleat for awhile. Domestics is the only game for them. Foreign affairs are second banana.

      For the Republicans this is a snare and a delusion — one which we should avoid. Americans want to win and win fast track.

      If Pakistan goes. Goes where. Here we go with the LBJ domino theory "..If Vietnam goes…". As I keep pointing out there is a difference between the Pakistan Talibs and the Afghan Talibs.

      It was the Paks themselves who empowered the latter and now let them keep their headquarters in Quetta (Pakistan Baluchistan.) The balancing force in Afghanistan are the Tajiks. The Pashtun based Taliban did not control that part of Afghanistan before (remember the Northern Alliance.)

      Yesterday to another group I wrote the following:

      The policies, I predict, will follow the basic LBJ policies in Vietnam — incrementalize increases in order to be able to twist the arm of the enemy and 'bring the fool to his senses.' It worked in politics as it did for LBJ in the Senate. It does not work against an ideologically motivated foe.

      LBJ refused to put the American people on a war footing. His Keynesian economic advisors told him that the country could have both guns and butter and a little inflation would pay down the war caused deficit with cheaper dollars.

      What it amounts to is to sacrifice bodies to save face. In the end, as in the RVN, we shall lose bodies and face — and the well of patriotism which supports the American Republic.

      I never thought I would pray for a war surtax, but that is the option he should present to the public. The Christmas recess will tell our Congress people if the citizen believes that the Taliban is a threat to the Republic. If they do not want to fight or fund the war, we should leave.

    22. Ed Udine, Boynton Be says:

      There is no mystery about the July, 2011 date for troop drawdown. It precedes the most important thing on Obama's (Emanuael's, Axelrod's) cumulative mind: starting the re-election campaign with the country ina receptive mood. This is the same reason for the KSM New York trial: provide an anti-Bush platform for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    23. D.S.M., California says:

      There is no mystery about the nature of Obama's speech at West Point. He has said over and over again that he wants to discredit the US Military and loose the effort in the Middle East so that he can show the world America is responcible for the world's problems. He hates the United State and all that it stands for!

    24. Ben C, Ann Arbor says:

      How quickly we forget the lessons of the past. Never start something one is unwilling to finish. Vietnam being the prime example. A miltiary victory was in our grasp but the left and the Frankfurt School successfully bent public opinion in favor of defeat. Will this happen again? Radical Islam has been around since 600 BC and I doubt it will go away. Unless we stand strong our grandchildren will be living in a totally different society – and not necessarily better.

    25. Dusty in Chattanooga says:

      Do we need a sanity check here? To wit: the earliest additional troops could to be deployed to AFG would be the first of 2010, with the full "surge" not present until mid- to late-3rd quarter. Gates just told the Senate that(paraphrasing) "at the end of 2010 we'll make our assessment of the AFG situation relative to the timetable for withdrawal". So, essentially this administration is giving the surge FOUR MONTHS to be effective before a decision will be made whether to withdraw? This McNamarian dictation on how to conduct combat operations is an affront to our trained military leadership, eclipsed only by Biden's incredibly stupid "War of the Drones" proposal. Can they also be so arrogant as to believe the Taliban can't read a calendar either?

    26. ajk, tennessee says:

      Frankly, if we are going to keep fighting wars the way we have been, then we need to bring everyone home now. We need to go to war to win the war and stop all the politics. This dithering around and all the gibberish these politicians throw around make me sick. You never heard Obama say anything about a win stratigy in Afghanistan in his speach…. its all politics and we are wasting our time screwing around. Did we not do the same thing in Viet Nam? I am a Viet Nam vet by the way.

    27. Brock, New Hampshire says:

      It should be mentioned that few troops are on the runway; the exception will be our Marines, set to be there by years' end Therefore, in less than that 18 month period the troops will be rotating back, just in time for the U S election cycle – what a coincidence !

      I refuse to call Obama "Commander in Chief" since his term in an American uniform equals that of my six-year old granddaughter And no wonder that someone called his attendance at West Point "…going into the lion's den" Instead he is President of the U S, mostly on the campaign trail as President of the World

    28. M.Logemann, Chesapea says:

      Every time I hear Obama speak I become more & more disgusted. He is an embarrassment to US citizens. If I have to hear him dribble on about the "horrible things" the US has done abroad, I'm going to puke. I sure hope his supporters are happy with all the "change" he is bringing to our country.

    29. Prevailer76AZ says:

      This feels too much like history repeating itself…Viet Nam all over again. How many lives will have been sacrificed this time, for what? When the uninitiated become heads of state, we can expect nothing more than what the Obama group has delivered so far.

      This administration seems bent on turning us into a constituency of paupers, and while they play games with out lives, they have no compunction about using the office for extravagance and pleasure. Once the tax dollars are used up, who will pay their way?

    30. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Both the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban are said to have willfully supported al-Qaeda. To say these various Taliban groups are not a threat to Americans is dangerously wrong headed. In fact it's just plain stupid to ignore these twisted abettors.

    31. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      "He (Obama) had the chance to turn this war around; if he does not, the result will be his responsibility alone" (to quote the bottom line of the article entitled "A Speech Unbecoming of the Cause", in Heritage's "The Foundry/The Morning Bell").

      Well, to put it in the language of the Socialist Left's perennial favorite nation (France), even though that Euro-Socialist nation's current President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has at least occasionally appeared as if to "break ranks" against Comrade Obama, "Au contraire, mon compatriote!" (Translation: "To the contrary, my compatriot!)

      Don't you see yet…in fact, don't we see yet, that, according to the so-called "Progressive" government elitist and statist Left, anything and everything which is going wrong, or could go wrong, including the war against terror…oops…pardon me…"the overseas contingency operation" (or whatever other “flavor of the month” the Left chooses to call it), all the natural…oops…pardon me again…"anthropomorphic (man-caused)" so-called "global climate change (warming/cooling)", the (Leftist/Socialist) Federal government take-over of private business (including the "financial sector" and even student loans), the now 11 month old skyrocketing of business destruction and unemployment, the fact that, under such as Obama's plan, energy costs will (quoting Obama) "necessarily skyrocket", and even the coming government take-over of every area of our lives through government-controlled so-called "health care", along with the proverbial price of tea in China, are all the fault of anybody and everybody except Obama and his Comrades in Congress and elsewhere?

      So of course now our only too possibly losing the "necessary war in Afghanistan", as even Obama has called it, along with anything and everything else which is going wrong or could go wrong, is the fault of anybody and everybody, except Obama and his Comrades, and especially the fault of us, the people, who are called "dangerous Right-wing extremists" whenever any of us dare to dissent and oppose such irresponsible so-called “Progressives (Leftists)”, right?


      Alas, too many of us brought this on both all of us in the U.S. and other freedom-loving people elsewhere around the world, through such things as apathy and too many of us acquiescing to the “Progressive” government elitism and statism which ruled such elections as the “Presidential” election in the U.S. in 2008.

      So now we, along with other freedom-loving people around the world, have to pay the consequences of that, more than ever before, including Obama making it only too possible that both we, with the otherwise most powerful military in the world, the U.S. military, and freedom-loving people in Afghanistan and elsewhere, lose against a bunch of Islamic extremist fascist terrorists and their Leftist accomplices and apologists there and elsewhere in the world, including here in the U.S.

    32. Pingback: Obama On The Road To Defeat

    33. Judith in Michigan says:

      If The United States of America does not stop the cancer of radical Islamic terrorism, who will?

      Or is this the plan? No one.

    34. Brian Kilcullen says:


      Last night, we listened to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of this nation layout his strategy for Afghanistan. I wish I could tell you that I held great prospects for his plan. I really, really do. Unfortunately, like so many things this government does today, I see nothing but further costs; both in dollars and blood.

      After some months of whirlwind world travels for the likes of the theoretical global-warming disaster, Nobel Peace prize and Olympic city tryouts, the President and all his minions have essentially drafted what can only be described as a failed compromise. Although sending 30,000 more troops (not to mention billions of dollars) to Afghanistan is what the military wants, he will not send quite as many as requested. Though we keep hearing that we can’t leave until we finish the fight and win, wining was not articulated. Although Mr. Obama, acknowledged that these never-ending-wars are costing this nation dearly, he nevertheless states that we will continue to fight and pay for them for at least another year and a half.

      Contrary to his speech’s assertions: This nation was founded as a constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Afghanistan is another Vietnam (undeclared war). Pakistan, our renewed partner, is the enemy. The Afghanis, not to be confused with that Vietnam-era like puppet, Karzai, do not want our help. This Bush-era debacle with no clear plan or attainable goal leaves nothing to win. This continued idiocy does not make our nation safer. And for God’s sake, NO, we don’t need more Homeland Security; as those treasonous bastards (Customs) were the ones who were too busy stealing from the Treasury to stop the September 11th terrorists in the first place.

      Most notably throughout this one hour decree, was not what was said though. You see, we have been told for over eight years that Osama bin Laden was the criminal mastermind behind 9/11. But did we hear his name mentioned once last night? No! How can the most heinous criminal in this nation’s history not merit even so much as an honorable mention when it comes to the war we are told he started; the war, that according to Mr. Obama, is going to cost us, yet more monies and more blood? Are they afraid that if we kill, or dare I say, capture Osama, that the war will end? I mean come on now. How many Afghanis do we have to kill before we recognize that you can’t tell a goat-herder who doesn’t much care for a foreign military presence in his backyard, from a Taliban-al Qaeda-Insurgent?

      Furthermore, all the patriotic words, phraseology and pandering put forth brought nothing new to this soon-to-be Vietnam-long war. Yes, Vietnam was the ten year war. And in 2011, Afghanistan will have reached the ten year milestone. More troops, more blood, more money, more I-know-what-I’m-doing neophytes hasn’t changed the outcome one iota so far. What makes these people think that more of same will make a difference this time around? Or, are they trying to change anything at all?

      If anyone in the District of Columbia, let alone a supposed constitutional scholar, would bother to read, understand and adhere to that other word never mentioned last night, the Constitution, they might see that it would show them a way out of this mess. You see, the Constitution does not allow for un-declared foreign wars. And even if Congress should decide to adhere to the Constitution, they would need to articulate which nation we are at war with. Point being, we are not at war with any nation. We are at war with criminals. We are at war with ourselves; primarily, because we no longer adhere to that most basic core set of principles and laws upon which this nation was founded. Without our Constitution, we are a nation adrift. And these security-hyped nation-building invasions are nothing more than our government capitalizing on undeclared, undefined, patriotic-painted ruses to seize liberties and monies that are not theirs to seize.

      All that had to be said last night was that the Constitution of the United States does not permit undeclared foreign wars and therefore he would bring an end to these illegal debacles post haste. Then, as originally directed by the Congress in 2001, use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks.

      This language does not in any way infer that our troops will be spreading good cheer or billions of US dollars. Nor that we would be paving roads, building bridges, putting in schools or propping up puppets with our families’ blood. The original language quite succinctly states that our troops will be tasked to kill; Osama or anyone who gets in their way. That’s what military force is for. Period! If these nations did not want to suffer the brunt of military force then they should not have aided and abetted these criminals in the first place.

      If these self-appointed demigods in DC would just stick to their oaths and stop thinking that they are the means to an end, then we citizens and our troops would fair far better. We really need to ask ourselves: Who or what do these people serve; and who or what are they really trying to get? Because they’re certainly not serving our Constitution or trying to get Osama bin Laden. Otherwise, we would have heard those words last night!

      Brian Kilcullen

      Enemies in War,

    35. Jeff McDonald - Sant says:

      So, Obama has already surrendered. With the absurd rules of engagement that our kids have to go by, we might as well just surrender to the Taliban and skip the formalities of pretending to try to win. Obama might just as well bring everyone home so that at least we will not lose any more of our bravest Americans. This "president", however, forgot to apologize to the Taliban. What a joke, an amateur who cannot even run an ice cream cart. I am embarrassed to even be American anymore. As far as Obama goes, the line from "Forest Gump" is SO appropriate…."Mama always said 'Stupid is as stupid does.' "

    36. Myles Culbertson says:

      We have a son-in-law, a Marine with three Iraq tours under his belt, who will be ready to deploy again in a few months. Obama's political gesture to the leftists will make the job in Afghanistan much more dangerous and difficult for no acceptable reason, and this "commander in chief" is putting our Marine and his brothers-in-arms in a tough position. We have to win that fight, not treat it like some silly military adventure.

    37. Radar in VA says:

      Obozo just voted "present" on the troops. Too bad the troops can't also vote present.

      This will be another day of Infamy.

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