Get ‘er done — Bush and Obama; a study in contrasts

There’ve been accusations and counter-accusations flying about Obama fiddling while Afghanistan burns.  Cheney accuses him of being a do-nothing.  Gibb claims Bush did nothing.  Jake Tapper looked into the matter and discovered that, while Iraq was a priority, Bush indeed did little with troop requests, struggling to fill them, but only getting bout 1/5 of the way there.

Of course, that truth does little to put Obama into a better position.  The entire point of Obama’s year-and-a-half long campaign rhetoric regarding Afghanistan was that Bush was fighting the wrong war, channeling his energies away unnecessarily from Afghanistan, and that it would take Obama to get it right.

And here we have Obama, ten months into his presidency, and he still can’t get it right — on the war he himself tapped as the single most important battle front.  No wonder Lucianne is getting reams of hate mail just because she put on her home page that macho picture of Bush in a flight suit.  That picture is a brutal reminder that, when it came to his primary goal (Iraq) Bush accomplished his mission; Obama, meanwhile, accomplishes nothing.

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  • suek

    >>The entire point of Obama’s year-and-a-half long campaign rhetoric regarding Afghanistan was that Bush was fighting the wrong war>>

    You know…it did seem that way – at least at first, and as we were in danger of losing the Iraq war. But most of us are civilians…we don’t think like military strategists.

    When you consider islam, you have to recognize that the entire islamic world really has no real political divisions as we recognize them. They have tribal leaders, and their law is sharia which applies to personal behavior- which is applied by the imams, not the tribal leaders. The tribal leaders deal with civil matters. So…attacking Iraq was the same as attacking Afghanistan, in a sense. It was attacking the elephant from the rear instead of from the front, but the elephant was still the elephant. Afghanistan has always been a militarily difficult target – we should never forget the Russians were defeated there, and they were just the last in a long line. Iraq was a much more favorable geographical area to battle – so Bush just picked a better battleground…it was the same enemy.

    When you look at a map – there sits Iraq…right in the heart of the area like a big thumbprint. Personally, I’d have preferred attacking Iran – but there was no justifiable (provable) reason for doing so, and additionally, there would Iraq have been – right next to it. When you remember that even after Iraq and Iran had fought a devasting war for ten years – but when Iraq got attacked, Saddam sent his prize fighter planes to Iran for safe keeping…well…in desperate times, we’re all brother muslims, right?

    Bush was a military man. Obama isn’t.

  • expat

    Another posssible factor: Bush wasn’t convinced about the strategy his officers wanted to use in Afghanistan. Pakistan posed some problems at the time too. And we must not forget the weird rules of engagement of some of our allies. It is really hard to second guess without having the inside story.

  • suek
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  • Ymarsakar

    And we must not forget the weird rules of engagement of some of our allies.

    NATO was more of a problem in Afghanistan than the Taliban.

    Their deals with terrorists, lack of security, and general “don’t care for the locals” political sentiments breached the trust the US had won with OEF. Over almost a decade? You can bet your arse they got tired of the French and started blaming us for bringing them there, and bringing the Taliban as well.

    The psychology, surprisingly, turned out just like Iraq. Iraqis expected us to use our omnipotent firepower and put a stop to all these trifling things that really shouldn’t bother Americans, the mighty Americans. What did they see? Chaotic looting, dis-unified command, and strategy that wasn’t going very well after AQ found a counter.

    What did the Afghans see? Pretty much the same, except worse. They got to see NATO in action, rather than the Marines at Fallujah.

  • Ymarsakar

    AQ sent so much manpower to Iraq, that the Taliban didn’t have enough support even in Pakistan to launch a counter-strike. Once AQ was kicked out from Iraq, they went to Pakistan and trained up the Taliban and now we see em.

    Unless you want me to believe the Taliban, in 2 years, got to a position that they can strike back when for 6 years after 2001, while we were deadlocked in Iraq, they weren’t doing much of anything to extend the fighting front? They didn’t extend it cause they couldn’t. All their fighters were in Iraq, mostly.

    This is like the Left talking about how we should have concentrated on the Pacific Front first, rather than Berlin. This is like the Left talking about how we should have invaded Italy and France first, rather than wasting time in Africa.

    This is the Left, being what the Left is. A human body grinding machine that stops at nothing. This enemy you cannot defeat, only push it into the sea for another generation to discover.