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Today's Other Big Story: Spinning the Obama-McChrystal Meeting

President Obama met with General Stanley McChystal today for twenty five minutes. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says that McChrystal and the President agree that Obama's waffling on his previous commitments to the War in Afghanistan is ok and that they both agree that a drawn out decision process ( read: reversal of previous policy) will help troop morale. Ok, so Gibbs didn't say exactly that. Here's what the CBS Cheerleaders said happened:

The White House says that President Barack Obama's meeting with his top commander in Afghanistan was very helpful to his review of war strategy.

Obama and Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal met for 25 minutes aboard his plane before he departed Copenhagen to return to Washington. Obama was in the Danish capital to pitch Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic games, and McChrystal was summonded there from London, where he gave a speech on Thursday.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters on the plane that Obama and McChrystal agreed that the president's drawn-out review of the war "is a helpful process."

Let's dial down the credulity necessary to take this statement at face value and examine it for what it is: an admission of failure by the Obama administration of its handling of its own Afghanistan policy.

Obama needed a photo op with the General so that he could mitigate the damage from McChrystal's interview last week with 60 Minutes, in which it was revealed that the President wasn't even talking to his own hand picked theatre commander in Afghanistan.

Does anyone believe that a meeting between the President of the United States and one of his Generals would result in anything but an agreement between the two? That the president's press flack has to even make this point is an indicator of how weak this administration perceives itself with its own military. Said another way, the Obama administration knows it is walking a thin line with our military. The lessons of Vietnam still resonate with voters and the waffling by this president is done at great risk. Today's dog and pony show aboard Air Force One was telling proof of such.


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Comments (36)

What a load of crap. I bet... (Below threshold)
CDR M:

What a load of crap. I bet that conversation was mostly one way and the General didn't get to say much if anything.

Hey! The Prez carved out a ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Hey! The Prez carved out a few minutes from his very important Olympic vacation. Just be happy he had time for such trivial things as Afghanistan.
racist.

I'll admit it. I don't know... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

I'll admit it. I don't know what the hell a "drawn-out review" is. But, something tells me that a "drawn-out review" is not a good thing in a war when American soldiers are getting hurt. It's a good thing that The Obama had some tarmac time so that he could finally listen to what Gen. McChrystal has to say.

Sarah Palin has something to do with this and deserves a good portion of the blame.

With his knowledge of milit... (Below threshold)
Ran:

With his knowledge of military matters, would you REALLY want him to make a decision?

Of course they saw eye to e... (Below threshold)
kathie:

Of course they saw eye to eye on, wait for it.........the General is no longer free to discuss his point of view publicly. On that they can agree.

Yeah, I'm betting we don't ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Yeah, I'm betting we don't hear again from the General

Becoming more and m... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:


Becoming more and more evident Astan will be Vietnam redux.

"Today's dog and pony show ... (Below threshold)

"Today's dog and pony show aboard Air Force One..."

Make that dog and phony show!

25 WHOLE minutes??? Yikes.... (Below threshold)

25 WHOLE minutes??? Yikes.

Thank God that Michelle, Oprah and, of course, Barry spent millions of dollars to fly to Copenhagen so Obama could spend 25 WHOLE minutes with the man leading our men & women into BATTLE in Afghanistan!

Of course, the General could have flown to Washington...and then Barry might have had twenty-SIX minutes for him.

Apparently 25 minutes was a... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Apparently 25 minutes was all it took to tell McChrystal to shut up and follow the Obama line or he'd be busted out of the Army as a private.

Twenty five minutes of whic... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Twenty five minutes of which fifteen were spent with "General, don't you EVER DARE to make me look like an ass on national TV again.....blah blah blah....are we CLEAR?"

"Credulity" requires a link... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"Credulity" requires a link to a dictionary? LOL - you sure know your audience.

Looking forward to the rest of your "analysis" once I stop laughing.

Vic

Any bets on when General St... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Any bets on when General Stanley McChystal will resign?

Victory was Ours wrote:... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

Victory was Ours wrote:

"Credulity" requires a link to a dictionary? LOL - you sure know your audience.

Looking forward to the rest of your "analysis" once I stop laughing.

You are a dumbass.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dumbass

The Obama spent 25 minutes waiting for the plane to depart talking to McChrystal, and now we have decided to a "drawn-out review"?
[I plugged in "drawn-out review" into Dictionary.com, and even it couldn't figure out what it was, you dumbass.]
Laugh it up while our service members get knocked off, you dumbass.
At least Obama got to give a really great 8th grade level speech in Denmark. Which convinced no one. You dumbass.

Yep, I agree. 25 minutes i... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Yep, I agree. 25 minutes is just enough time to remind McChrystal that the US Constitution assures civilian control over the military. That Barry is quite the constitutional scholar............when it's convenient, of course.

"Credulity" requires a link... (Below threshold)
HughS:

"Credulity" requires a link to a dictionary? LOL - you sure know your audience."

And subtelty is not your strength, is it Vic? I chose the link to Merriam Webster for a reason. Stephanopoulos gets it, but you don't. Help yourself to some more rope....

After 25 minutes McChrystal... (Below threshold)
jim m:

After 25 minutes McChrystal came to the same conclusion as the IOC: no amount of Obama bloviation is capable of putting him in your top 3 priorities.

McChrystal calls 25 minutes... (Below threshold)
jim m:

McChrystal calls 25 minutes with The One "drawn out".

Sounds like short hand for Obama talked for 25 minutes and said nothing.

Fer Crissakes, Obama spent ... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

Fer Crissakes, Obama spent more time on the toilet
in AF 1 after the IOC bomb than he did with
his hand-picked Afghan commander. Admiring
his pecs in the mirror takes more time than
he gave McChrystal. This guy is a phony-baloney
good-time Charlie who is in 100% reparations
mode and can't be bothered with side issues
like war.

25 minutes.It'd be... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

25 minutes.

It'd be nice if Obama took Afghanistan as seriously as he took the Olympic bid.

But I can actually understand why he's avoiding the issue. (And that's what a 'drawn-out review' effectively is - a way to avoid making a decision. After all - he's got a reputation to maintain - what if he makes a decision and it's the wrong one?) He's buying time - conditions might change in his favor, people might forget it's a problem, something else will come up as a distraction...

But in the mean time - people will die, resources will be wasted, because he's afraid of making a decision HE will be responsible for.

We could abandon Afghanistan.

We could commit to victory in Afghanistan.

But either of those would require him making a decision - and that's something he's avoided pretty much all of his professional life.

It's really quite simple.</... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It's really quite simple.

Obama doesn't care about Afghanistan. He never did. His rhetoric about it being important was just empty words to make him look like he actually gave the war there some thought.

Obama doesn't want America to win there. He has moved consistently to downgrade America's importance and significance on the world stage. He has undermined our standing in Europe and alienated our allies. There is hardly anywhere on the globe where he hasn't pissed off our allies.

Other nations may have opposed Bush and his policies, but there was an understanding that Opposition carried a price and many were unwilling to pay it. It becomes clearer by the day that there is no such penalty for opposing Obama and nations are quite willing to thumb their noses at him and consequently, America.

Iran's going to nuke somebody within a year unless Israel takes them out before they can. If Iran does my guess is that Obama does nothing (unless you count wetting your pants as a diplomatic response).

I say Dear Leader's shelf l... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

I say Dear Leader's shelf life runs out by Xmas.

Is it too much to ask for O... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Is it too much to ask for Obama to do one damn thing right? Apparently.

Absolutely no morals or val... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Absolutely no morals or values has BHO.

Mr. President,

If you honestly do not believe we should be in Afghanistan then PULL OUT! GET OUR PEOPLE THE F**K OUT OF THERE! Do NOT let them die for no reason, and do not tie their hands with ROE.

If on the other hand you believe we NEED or MUST win this war in Afghanistan then SEND OVERWHELMING FORCE! Shock and Awe aint got nothing on what we can muster if we need to. Untie our hands and let our men and women do what they are trained to do. Kill the enemy.

Its very simple. If you believe we need to be there then WIN THE DAMN THING. If not then BRING THEM HOME.

I would much rather "lose" in Afghanistan than dilly dally around and watch more people die. Though I personally believe that as long as we actually fight them over there they stay away from Mainland USA. That is the real point.

Not counter-insurgency at this point. Pure unleashed hell! With smart bombs and new-age weapons systems we can do serious damage in a small time frame once we have eyes on the target. If you are worried about casualties then drop fliers before you bomb to warn civilians and force the enemy to move (giving you targets see?) just like the Israelies did for Palestine.

There is no war the US cannot win if we want to excepting possibly invading mainland China and that only because they have the numbers. Just let us do it.

I would much rather "los... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I would much rather "lose" in Afghanistan

The problem JustRuss is that above is the one part of your post that Obama agrees with.

"Any bets on when General S... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"Any bets on when General Stanley McChrystal will resign."

Sure...

I'd say shortly after the next insurgent surge this coming spring when the body count starts to rise and 'The Won' declares the war there is 'hopeless'. This of course predicated on the fact that Obambi does not increase strength levels and everything else in the region remains static.

If Israel attacks or Iran launches then its all bets off other than just how big the stain in his pants will be.

"The Won's" pants just to c... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

"The Won's" pants just to clarify...

How can one expect an angry... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

How can one expect an angry "organizer" from
a city in chaos and bloodshed to make big
decisions on big problems in a big world.
He organizes PEOPLE...to fight the establish-
ment. He organized agaencies to organize
people to vote for him. On election eve,
I'm sure he turned to Michelle and said, "what
the hell do we do now?" So far, his question
remains unanswered. But for the first time
in their lives, America is no longer a "mean"
country.

It's all about the politica... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

It's all about the political calculus.. and that's wrong.

If Obama supports a healthcare bill that doesn't have a 'public option', he'll need to appease the far Left to get them to support it. If he commits to winning Afghanistan by sending the requested troops, he'll risk angering the far Left - in which case, he'll have a harder time getting them to support a bill without a 'public option'.

In my estimation, Obama's told the General that he'll get the troops... after Obama figures out where 'his' healthcare bill stands. Of course as evidenced by many past promises, they're subject to revision.

I think that the GEN will r... (Below threshold)
retired military:

I think that the GEN will retire within 3 months citing family issues or some other pretense.

After that he will go on talk shows (FOX only since the rest of the "media" doesnt want to hear what he has to say) and support the troops but say that they are not getting the support they need from the govt.

Failure in Afghanistan will be laid at his feet by the Obama admin. The GEN realizes that he will be the scapegoat but will leave quickly to accept the blame and try to cut down on the number of American lives that will be lost in a war that the admin wants to lose.

_Mike_ - "It's ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

_Mike_ -

"It's all about the political calculus.. and that's wrong."

For Obama and the folks he's surrounded himself with - that's ALL it's ever been about.

I wish the media had been one tenth as skeptical about Obama as they were of Bush in '04. We'd likely have Hillary in office - but I don't believe she'd FUBAR the country to stroke her own ego.

Well, if Obama decides to l... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Well, if Obama decides to lose the war in Afghanistan. The Taliban reassert themselves into Afghan life and Osama comes back across the border to a safe haven. Makes plans for attacks to change the government in Pakistan because of the lack of support from the US to that government. Say al Qaeda obtains nuclears weapons from Pakistan and detonates one or two in the US. Would the Obama administration, just before being overthrown by a very angry armed America, still blame Bush?

25 minutes ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

25 minutes

The real question I doubt w... (Below threshold)
epador:

The real question I doubt we'll know the answer to is whether McChrystal was summoned, or he showed up on the flight-line demanding face time.

Ah well, now I see the Pres... (Below threshold)
epador:

Ah well, now I see the Pres called him over from London to spank him. Oh to have been a fly on that wall. Wait a minute, I have seen what the ONE can do with a fly messing with his interview. I bet a four star is a little harder to snatch and stun, however.

We closed our News Bureaus ... (Below threshold)

We closed our News Bureaus around the world and punditry substitutes for correspondents. The media and their partisanship is useless to those of us who want unfiltered news.




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