Saturday, October 10, 2009

Karl's Weekend Reading

The WSJ's Daniel Henninger reviews Michael Moore's latest movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, in his opinion article, Michael Moore's 'Socialist' President.

Of all the issues raised in the two-year campaign, Mr. Moore picks one, the famous charge that will not die: "Obama is a socialist."

Unlike the president, Mr. Moore doesn't duck. "The more they called Obama a socialist," he says, "the more he rose in the polls."
We live in an age of ideologically transgendered leaders.
The most immediate problem facing the U.S. is not that we have too much capitalism, but that we don't have enough of it.
The important difference between the "socialist" Barack Obama and the Republicans is he'd settle for 2% annual growth (gotta pay for the green dreams) and they might get 3%. In a world of China, India and Brazil, growing at rates between 5% and 9%, we need more. A future president who puts the U.S. back in the race with these fast runners could call himself a communist for all I care.

For those not born, too young or who weren't paying attention in the 60's, you no longer have to wonder what it looks like when a US president loses a war that could otherwise easily be won. Obama's behavior since Gen. McChrystal's request for more troops to fulfill the mission Obama hired him to do several months ago is disgraceful. It is, in our opinion, and we've never said this before... impeachable. McChrystal's critics say he is trying to dictate policy through his public statements. One such public statement was the fact that his commander in chief spoke with him exactly once in his first 70 days as the war commander. WSJ Opinion Page: Obama and the General:

Recall that in March Mr. Obama unveiled his "comprehensive new strategy . . . to reverse the Taliban's gains and promote a more capable and accountable Afghan government." The Commander in Chief pledged to properly resource this "war of necessity," which he also called during the 2008 campaign "the central front on terror." The President then sacked his war commander, who had been chosen by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in favor of Gen. McChrystal, an expert in counterinsurgency.
Gen. McChrystal's liberal critics also have very short memories. In 2003, Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki clashed with his superiors by saying many more troops were needed to pacify Iraq. He became a Democratic hero and is now Mr. Obama's Veterans Secretary. In this case, Gen. McChrystal has become a political target merely for taking at face value Mr. Obama's order to fight the war properly. His superiors, the Central Commander David Petraeus and Adm. Mullen, back him, but can hardly be said to question civil control of the military.

In an interview with Newsweek, Gen. McChrystal said he wouldn't resign if the President rejects his request for more troops. If he were really trying to dictate policy, he'd have given a different answer. But we don't think Gen. McChrystal should stay to implement a Biden war plan either. No commander in uniform should ask his soldiers to die for a strategy he doesn't think is winnable—or for a President who lets his advisers and party blame a general for their own lack of political nerve.

It is the General's public image that has gotten Obama off his **s on this issue. There are four scenarios: 1) Obama steps up and we win this war - real victory, 2) Obama is shamed into giving McChrystal some of the requested troops and resources and we continue to take the fight to the enemy, or 3) Obama surrenders but keeps troops there to die, or 4) Obama surrenders and pulls out of Afghanistan.

An AP story reported on Drudge today: US forces leave isolated Afghan base after attack.

KABUL (AP) - U.S. forces have withdrawn from an isolated base in eastern Afghanistan that insurgents attacked last week in one of the deadliest battles of the war for U.S. troops, the NATO-led coalition said Friday.
The pullout from the Kamdesh outpost near the Pakistani border is likely to embolden insurgent fighters in the region. The Taliban swiftly claimed "victory" for forcing the coalition to leave and said they had raised their flag above the town.

Obama's hesitation is sending a very clear signal. Even if he gives McChrystal the requested troops, McChrystal's job will be harder now than it would have been. In short, more great American soldiers will suffer.

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