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"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger"

God I miss this guy:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday night accused the White House of dithering over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and urged President Barack Obama to "do what it takes to win."

"Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy.

Cheney disputed remarks by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that the Bush administration had been adrift concerning the war in Afghanistan and that the Obama administration had to start from the beginning to develop a strategy for the 8-year-old war.

To the contrary, Cheney said, the Bush administration undertook its own review of the war before leaving office and presented its findings to Obama's transition team.

"They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt," Cheney said. The strategy Obama announced in March bore a "striking resemblance" to what the Bush administration review had found, the vice president said.

Emanuel told CNN on Sunday that the decision regarding what to do in Afghanistan is more complex than whether to send more troops. The U.S. commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has reportedly asked for as many as 40,000 additional troops to combat the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaida fighters.

"When you go through all the analysis, it's clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that's adrift, that we're beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years," Emanuel said.

Cheney said the Obama administration seems to be pulling back and blaming others for its own failure to implement the strategy it had embraced earlier in the year.

"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," the former vice president said. "It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity."

In the meanwhile:

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he could reach a decision on his new war strategy for Afghanistan before the outcome of an Afghan election run-off on Nov. 7.

The latest sign that Obama was closer to addressing the faltering Afghan war effort came as a new poll showed Americans deeply divided over sending up to 40,000 more troops there.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai removed a major stumbling block for Obama when he agreed on Tuesday, under intense U.S. pressure, to a second round of balloting after many of his votes from the August presidential election were tossed out as fraudulent.

"It is entirely possible that we have a strategy formulated before a runoff is determined," Obama told MSNBC. But he added, somewhat cryptically, "We may not announce it."

Can you imagine being in Afghanistan, putting your life on the line every day, while the President is making these kinds of statements?

Thank God for Dick Cheney.

Thank God for the professionals who serve us, and this Commander-In-Chief, in the military.

Crossposted(*).


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Comments (26)

When your political experie... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

When your political experience has been one of reaping rewards for no constructive work - it tends to lead you to think that you don't have to do anything at all in order to suceed.

Unfortunately, Obama's finding out as President that you've got to actually DO things. He's still seemingly stuck in campaign mode, but the problems and the need for his decisions and plans to deal with them are mounting and can't be ignored much longer.

Say what you will about Bush - but at least the man could make decisions. Obama can't even seem to do that, seemingly unaware that if HE won't make a decision, there's plenty of bad actors in the world that will gladly take advantage of the opportunies he's leaving open.

"Emanuel told CNN on Sunday... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Emanuel told CNN on Sunday that the decision regarding what to do in Afghanistan is more complex............"

And other complex problems like health care and the economy seem to require the most urgent of responses. I am so weary of this administration and its spin machine.

I hope Cheney continues speaking out. I make myself believe that at some point this is all going to sink in with the majority of Americans.

Apparently Cheney forgot to... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Apparently Cheney forgot to tell the rest of the Bush Admin that they had a comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan beyond just stationing 30,000 troops there.
Gates, who was certainly in a position to know about Cheney's imaginary strategy, said that Bush/Cheney did not have an Afghan strategy. "I will tell you, I think that the strategy the president put forward in late March, is the first real strategy we have had for Afghanistan since the early 1980s," he told CNN. "And that strategy was more about [the] Soviet Union that it was about Afghanistan."
And Gen Patraeus, the chief architect of the Iraq war who also met with Mr. Bush via satellite every week, said there is no question that under Bush, the focus was on Iraq, not Afghanistan.

You missed one crucial bit ... (Below threshold)
James H:

You missed one crucial bit here -- Hamid Karzai. Karzai was the apparent leader in an election so riddled with fraud it would make both Chicago and Louisiana jealous. Take out the corruption, and Karzai didn't have a majority in the vote. It took diplomatic pressure to get Karzai to concede to a runoff.

Does it occur to you that perhaps Obama is "dithering" on Afghan policy because he first wanted to make sure Afghanistan has a legitimate government? The United States needs to be very careful about going back into the business of backing corrupt regimes.

"The United States needs to... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

"The United States needs to be very careful about going back into the business of backing corrupt regimes."

Gee, James H., do you mean like Chavez, Castro, and Zelaya???????

p.s. Quite a few Americans... (Below threshold)
Maggie Mama:

p.s. Quite a few Americans might look at the likes of Charlie Rangel and Tim Geithner and have serious questions about "corrupt regimes."

JC -At this point,... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

JC -

At this point, nearly a year later - what BUSH did or didn't do doesn't particularly matter, except as a springboard for Obama's high-flying excuses.

OBAMA now has the responsibility to DO SOMETHING about the problem - and constitutionally, he's unable to. His philosophical training has left him ill-prepared and even more ill-inclined to view the military as anything to be used constructively.

And he's not looking at military power (in a carrotish/sticklike way) as a part of the solution. He's stalling and hoping the problem will either solve itself or the parameters will change so he's not on the hook for the decision. It's really easy to throw money at a problem and proclaim that'll solve it - as our stimulus programs, TARP bailouts, auto-company buyouts and the like prove. If it doesn't solve the problem, then the answer is to throw more money - not look and see whether the money's being used effectively.

It's a lot harder when lives are on the line, when the survival (rather than the discomfiture) of a nation/state is at risk. He might make a MISTAKE, and make the wrong choice - how will that look on his resume later when he tries to glom onto the job of Head Honcho at the UN?

You can blame Bush all you want, but in the end Obama's the guy in the hot seat and HE is the one who's got to deal with it. So far, he's done a magnificent job at evading the actual responsibility, but he can't put it off forever.

Gee, James H., do ... (Below threshold)
James H:
Gee, James H., do you mean like Chavez, Castro, and Zelaya???????

When have we backed Castro again?

I was thinking along the lines of Saddam Hussein, Ferdinand Marcos ...

JLaw makes a fair point abo... (Below threshold)
James H:

JLaw makes a fair point about responsibility. Yes, President Obama inherited a hot mess from the Bush administration. But you can't blame Bush for everything. At this point, cleaning up the mess is far more important than pointing fingers.

JL, you are correct on some... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

JL, you are correct on some points, but who first started the TARP bailouts? Also, I am not blaming President Bush, as I feel he only made a couple of large errors while in office. First was invading Iraq, and second was stopping there. He should have went through the whole mid east and kicked ass all the way. If he would have done that, I think most of the terrorist problems would be gone by now.

And none of the banks and auto company's should have received a penny. Granted that would have made this recession worse, but that's besides the point. I really wanted McCain in the White House, he would have taken care of the Iran problem, sent more troops to Afgan, etc.

Nor do I see Obama not doing anything. His style, weather right or wrong, is trying to find a workable solution, not just jumping into a non workable solution. Yes, our military may be suffering because of that, but like Rumsfeld said, you go to war with what you have.

But the large factor no one is addressing, where are we going to get all the troops from? The military is being worn out. With the recession going on, maybe they can continue to draw more people into enlisting in the military. Otherwise, the draft may have to start back up. That will really please everyone, snark.

"His style, weather right o... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"His style, weather right or wrong, is trying to find a workable solution,"

Well, that's working pretty damn well all through his administration, wouldn't you say?

Obama doesn't have the experience needed to recognize a workable solution if it crawled onto the table. His entire 'problem-solving' toolbox has only a few things in it - notably "throw money at problem", "throw money at cronies who can make problem go away", and a sheet of paper with the following story on it...

Once upon a time in China, there lived an Emperor who owned a majestic white stallion, the finest beast in all his Kingdom. One night, a thief tried to slip in and steal the horse, but was captured by the palace guards and thrown into the dungeon.

The next morning, he was dragged before the Emperor's court. "How dare you," bellowed the Emperor, "lay hand on my royal steed! Jailor, put this thief to death!"

Immediately, the thief bowed deeply. "Your judgement is peerless and wise, O Emperor," he calmly replied, "but my life is of little value. I should offer you a gift before I depart. Your mount is quite a fine one, but if your eminence would spare my life for just a year and a day, I swear to you I can teach that horse to sing hymns!"

The court burst in to laughter at that, but the Emperor was intrigued. After all, you didn't get to his high position by turning down freely offered gifts, no matter how far-fetched they seem. To the surprise of all, the Emperor quickly accepted the offer.

As they were leaving the chambers, the jailor whispered to the thief, "You are a fool!"

"I am a fool?" replied the thief, smiling broadly. "Much can happen in a year and a day. The King may die. The horse may die. I may die... and maybe the horse will learn how to sing."
Obama's in the same position. All he can do, since he can't throw money at it, or pay someone else to deal with it, is hope the horse learns to sing.

PRESENT!... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

PRESENT!

James H - It's amazi... (Below threshold)
jim m:

James H -
It's amazing how Obama and his sycophants rush to point the finger at American failures as if the fact that America erred in the past were an excuse for incompetency today.

He has developed already a well deserved reputation for appeasement and inaction. He has demonstrated himself to be a weak leader. He naively believes that lofty speeches will move world leaders to alter their political policies. He is focused on appearances rather than actions. He has ignored Afghanistan and our military commanders there neglecting his responsibilities as commander in chief. He has been given specific recommendations and he drags his feet in making a decision creating the impression that he is more concerned with looking good than winning the war.

He has insulted our allies leaving us alone and exposed more than any president in our history. His recent insult to Germany, refusing to participate in the 20th anniversary celebration of the Berlin Wall coming down, creates the impression that he would have preferred it to stay up and that he regrets the fall of communism.

And no, he has not officially backed Castro yet. However, he fell dutifully in line with Castro, Chavez and friends in trying to return would be communist dictator Manuel Zelaya to power in Honduras. He has shown great affinity for Chavez, Ortega, Morales and their friends and policies.

If anyone hasn't noticed, d... (Below threshold)

If anyone hasn't noticed, dithering is the absolute only thing that they are good at.

I'm afraid I have to agree ... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

I'm afraid I have to agree with James H to a degree. Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and the like were helped into power by the United States. So it does make sense to be cautious about who our allies are going to be.

However,

This President has not shown any particular worry about who his allies are as long as he can apologize to them for the way America has acted in the past.

I believe at best that Obama is using elections as an excuse in the hopes that something will change and he can bring them home. At worst I hope he is not looking at the next government to see if they will fall in line with HIM properly or not before committing or pulling out. More and more I believe it is all designed to weaken the US and break it so it can be remade. Not a good thing.

The bottom line is the left... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The bottom line is the left wingnuts hate war and the military and Obama is beholding to them. So, he is willing for a soldier to die every 14 hours while he "dithers". Not unusual for a liberal.

Jim, we must take Obama at his word. He said Afghanistan is the good war we must win. His general on the ground recommended the strategy but Obama has now politicized it. Shameful. GW Bush would never direct the war for political points. To his falling polls numbers, he stood resolute. To me, that is leadership. ww

"At this point, nearly a... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"At this point, nearly a year later - what BUSH did or didn't do doesn't particularly matter, except as a springboard for Obama's high-flying excuses."

But what Cheney says does carry weight, and is of importance enough to warrant this story about Cheney's remarks - as if the past didn't happen?

Cheney and Bush sat on their hands....

Gibbs said Cheney's comments were curious because the vice president wasn't focused on Afghanistan for seven years while he was in office and "given the fact that an increase in troops sat on desks in this White House, including the vice president's, for more than eight months, a resource request filled by President Obama in March."

Cheney was the worst VP ever - and he seems determined to extend that further - to worst citizen ever - even after America kicked his ass out of Washington.

And now this loud-mouthed ass is rallying what's left of his rag tag army of sycophants to attack the Commander in Chief. If it wasn't so laughable it would be downright sick.

s green "Cheney was th... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s green "Cheney was the worst VP ever - and he seems determined to extend that further - to worst citizen ever - even after America kicked his ass out of Washington."

Sorry sg, jimmy carter has the lifetime achievement award as "worst citizen ever" pretty much wrapped up unless Beelzebub puts in a bid.

P.S. Why the fuck are you quoting spokes model Gibbs as if he's some type of authority?

jc hammer JL, you are ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jc hammer JL, you are correct on some points, but who first started the TARP bailouts?

Um, that would be Bush however, obama pleaded and begged for the second half of it to be released to the tune of 350 bil on Jan 12 this year.

And BTW, obama voted "yea" for TARP as a senator, so it is his baby as much as Bush's.

"P.S. Why the fuck are y... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

"P.S. Why the fuck are you quoting spokes model Gibbs as if he's some type of authority?"

The troop request sat on Cheney's desk for the last 8 months of his term, and this a**hole has the nerve to complain now, that's why.

I guess he thinks conservatives are stupid enough to buy that BS. I wonder where he got that idea?

Uh, Stevie:"...eve... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Uh, Stevie:

"...even after America kicked his ass out of Washington."

Care to elaborate since Cheney didn't run for RE-ELECTION?

s g "The troop request ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

s g "The troop request sat on Cheney's desk for the last 8 months of his term, and this a**hole has the nerve to complain now, that's why."

And the current asshole in chief received a request for more troops the last week of Sept, and didn't hold any meetings related to the request for over a week.

Pitiful. Not to mention his excuse, or some idiots excuse, is waiting for the outcome of the Afgan election.

Even more pitiful. As if that outcome changes anything.

Dick Cheney is mouthing of ... (Below threshold)
ED:

Dick Cheney is mouthing of criticisms of Obama's Afganistan policy. He and Bush had seven (7) years to concentrate their efforts on Afganistan and what did they do. Wage a war with Iraq to kill Sadam Hussein under the guise of Weapons of Mass Destructions. How can Dick Cheney justify the over 4,000 American lives lost and 30,000 more maimed or wounded for that war. How can he justify the billions of dollars spent in waging that war.

And here comes another Cheney......who claims to be a specialist in U.S. Middle East policy, my question for her is this...... were you in favor of invading Iraq under the guise of Saddam possessing weapons of mass destruction. Knowing that the enemy was Osama Bin Ladin and Al Queda not Saddam Hussein, can you justify the over 4,000 American lives lost and 30,000 more maimed or wounded for that war. Can you justify the billions of dollars spent in waging that war.

Cheney and Bush wasted so much time, effort and money in pursuing the wrong person. Those resources and time could have been used to pursue and kill or capture, the 9/11 culprit Osama Bin Ladin. At that time, Americans and world sentiment was very high and favorable to pursue and annihilate Bin Ladin and the Al Queda. Americans were volunteering in the armed forces and countries were lining up to support the US in that effort. What did Cheney and Bush do.....wage war with Iraq under the guise of weapons of mass destruction and for what?????????

And now here comes another Cheney ready to promulgate more ideas.....................

Former Vice President D... (Below threshold)
ED:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday night accused the White House of dithering over the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and urged President Barack Obama to "do what it takes to win."

"Make no mistake. Signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries," Cheney said while accepting an award from a conservative national security group, the Center for Security Policy.

Cheney disputed remarks by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel that the Bush administration had been adrift concerning the war in Afghanistan and that the Obama administration had to start from the beginning to develop a strategy for the 8-year-old war.

To the contrary, Cheney said, the Bush administration undertook its own review of the war before leaving office and presented its findings to Obama's transition team.

"They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt," Cheney said. The strategy Obama announced in March bore a "striking resemblance" to what the Bush administration review had found, the vice president said.

Emanuel told CNN on Sunday that the decision regarding what to do in Afghanistan is more complex than whether to send more troops. The U.S. commander there, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has reportedly asked for as many as 40,000 additional troops to combat the Taliban insurgency and al-Qaida fighters.

"When you go through all the analysis, it's clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that's adrift, that we're beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years," Emanuel said.

Cheney said the Obama administration seems to be pulling back and blaming others for its own failure to implement the strategy it had embraced earlier in the year.

"The White House must stop dithering while America's armed forces are in danger," the former vice president said. "It's time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity."

Wow! Steve Green, I truly b... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Wow! Steve Green, I truly believe you are a teenager and live in your mom's basement. It is obvious you have no life experiences. You also have no concept of how government works. (you didn't know that Bush and Cheney could not run again)

Cheney has MANY of years in government. As a representative, Sec. of Defence and so on. I will always take his calm reassured word over the inexperienced empty suit and his spokes clown anyday. Only liberals can actually say Cheney doesn't know anything yet Obama the clown really knows next to nothing. Only a liberal would say Palin lacked experience while she had more then the man running for the top spot. You libs are living in never never land.

Thank God the independents woke up. Obama and the congress is toast. ww

ED - "How can Dick Chen... (Below threshold)
Marc:

ED - "How can Dick Cheney justify the over 4,000 American lives lost and 30,000 more maimed or wounded for that war. How can he justify the billions of dollars spent in waging that war."

Better questions, how can a "peace prize" be called one or awarded to someone waging 2 hot wars, a clandestine one in the Philippines, and conduct Predator strikes on Somalia?

How can obama bar torture io the U.S. yet continue the Rendition program so detainees can be tortured by other nations at his behest?




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