You read that right! Blaska's Blog salutes our commander in chief and wishes him all success in his plan to defeat the forces of evil once and for all - up to a point, of course.
After all, if Barack the Obama can time-limit a war, so can the squire of Stately Blaska Manor. Yes, like whipping cream, my admiration has a built-in expiration date. A sell-by date before it turns rancid.
We'll give this surge thing a try and, by golly, if it don't do the trick by - oh, say, 18 months then we'll be out the door before it hits us in the ass.
This has to be a first: the leader of a nation announces a time-limited offensive? Is this the military equivalent of the two-minute drill? Not in the history of warfare - go all the way back to the Peloponnesian War - can you find a precedent for simultaneously escalating and de-escalating.
I can image King Edward III of England and Phil VI of France announcing to their people, at the start of the 100 Years War in the late middle ages - I promise you this war will last only 100 years - and not one day more!" Although it actually lasted from 1337 to 1453, with several intervals. (One of which was the Black Death from plague.)
Hello, I must be going
Has Robert Gibbs been replaced as spokesman for the Obama White House? Is the new press secretary Groucho Marx? Want a summary of Obama's speech at West Point Tuesday night calling for the temporary surge of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan? How about: Hello, I must be going.
Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay,
I came to say
I must be going.
I'm glad I came
but just the same
I must be going.
Although he took pains to blame his predecessor for everything, President Obama did not credit the Bush-Petraeus surge for pacifying Iraq - the same strategy he now hopes will produce similar results in Afghanistan. In fact, the rationale and the strategy are very Bushlike, as The Daily Beast notes:
"It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat," Obama said. "In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror."
Or, as Bush described the consequences of failure in Iraq in his January 2007 address announcing a "surge" of forces:
"Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq." [The Daily Beast: Borrowing from Bush's Playbook]
*In fact, the term George W. Obama dates back at least to this prescient Foreign Policy essay from January 7, 2009.
Obama's foreign policy likely won't depart radically from Bush's. [Foreign Policy: The Making of George W. Obama]
'Back to Reality'
A round-up of opinions, led by the spurning of Obama's Left wing:
Make no mistake, this war plan is a big defeat for the anti-war left. The president largely ignored Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann and the scores of lawmakers who wanted fewer troops and a quicker exit. Politico
I am sad today, Mr. President. The light was bright but it faded quickly. - Ed Garvey
Politico also quotes MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who chided Obama on setting an benchmark for starting withdrawal.
"If I were with the Taliban right now, I'd put a little Post-it up on that month in 2011, and say: 'This is when we do OUR surge.'"
And CBS's Bob Schieffer:
"This is not a football game, where the time runs out. To win this war, you have to defeat the enemy."
Is this the John Kerry policy?
According to his speech, Obama is escalating while retreating. - John Dickerson at Slate.
Neither shaken nor stirred
Here is the New York Times link to Obama's West Point speech on Afghanistan.
Seems to me you want to do two things in a war speech:
- Throw the fear of God into folks if we don't take up arms and prevail
- Inspire the troops and the home team that they will prevail.
Barack Obama's speech was sober and well reasoned. And hooray for putting down the canard that the U.S. is "an occupying force." We seek no territory. But has there ever been a more reluctant warrior?
It sounded like a doctor telling his patient he had a serious disease and here is how we are going to treat it without the "We can beat this thing" pep talk at the end.
Every time I appear with him on WHA radio's Week in Review program, Bill Lueders waxes rhapsodic over the One's mellifluous oratory. I challenge him to quote from me one line from memory. Where is the "Tear down this wall" or the "blood, sweat and tears." Here is Sir Winston on May 13, 1940:
You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
Here at Stately Blaska Manor, the Lovely Lisa actually fell asleep during Obama's address. Maybe, in its own way, that is a vote of confidence in his serene stewardship. The man does have a reassuring cool in a way that the hot-blooded John McCain could not project.
What's good for the goose …
It was some time after Jimmy Carter fended off the waterborn rabbit that "attacked" his rowboat that cartoonists began depicting that unfortunate president as a man too small for the job.
It was a simple incident that had resonance and seemed to symbolize all that was wrong with his presidency. How about the fact that the Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care bill would not apply to, well, Obama, Pelosi, or Reid?
The U.S. Senate bill being debated this week would create health care exchanges in which millions of Americans would have to choose from various private insurance plans and possibly a public option. It's only fair for members of Congress to participate in the same exchanges as ordinary citizens. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, served up this delicious idea, which is included in the Senate health bill, though not the House version. [Wisconsin State Journal: Congress should chew on this]
Quote of the day: In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -John Adams.
Hucka-bye-baby in the tree top
Mike, we love you but compassion is a dinner best served cold. Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do is let the guy rot in prison. Would but that The Kathleen could learn that.
At least the liberals are not trying to make it a racial thing ... as they did with Dukakis and Willie Horton. Remember how George Bush Sr. was a "racist" for pointing out that the governor of Massachusetts had furloughed a convicted murderer who went on to commit capital crimes during his furlough?
Greg Humphrey/Deke Rivers has got it right in his Caffeine-crazed blog.
At least, conservatives are not being two-faced. Conservatives Hammer Huckabee over shooting. "How many Willie Hortons can one man have?"
Platinum Subscriber bonus material:
- Some feminist Babs Lawton turned out to be. She is blaming lack of political respect for her gender for dropping out of the governor's face despite ample evidence that women do very well on statewide tickets here in Wisconsin. [James Wigderson takes Babs' measure in The Education of Barbara Lawton.]
- Excuse me? The Landmarks Commission - the Landmarks Commission? Has the power to deep six a major commercial project, the Edgewater Hotel expansion? (Unless the Common Council musters a two-thirds vote.) A bunch of unelected appointees? This is not good government. We elect people to make decisions, face the music, smell the coffee, whatever. The Landmarks Commission????
- Did you know? The Milwaukee area has its own regional transit authority. Is this a harbinger? Milwaukee Magazine editor Bruce Murphy writes.
"Wow, these are good times for PR maven H. Carl Mueller. His firm has so far pocketed $1.2 million of the $2.7 million raised by the car rental fee to pay (someday maybe) for commuter rail in southeast Wisconsin. You'll find the information at the bottom of this story."
- Hey Kids! Catch my high wire balancing act on Miss Vicky's show on WIBA 1310 AM from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, December 4 - a day that will LIVE … in infamy!
- Remember to bookmark your BlaskaBlogger's home page, the gracious and historic Stately Blaska Manor, where the liquor cabinet is always under siege. Send the link to family and friends. As Cousin Eddy would say, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Should have used a driver!
Or done a better job of hiding his cell phone, since the damn things record calls in and out. (Note to self …)
It's fitting, isn't it, that wronged wife Elin took after Tiger with a golf club? Reminds me of this joke:
Police detective looks down upon body of wife, asks husband if he killed her with the bent golf club nearby.
Yes, I did, the man admits.
How many times did you hit her?
Oh, five or six times, the husband answers.
Well, which is it, five or six?
Put me down for a five, he answers.
What really happened with Tiger Woods and Elin? As Tommy Lee Jones said in the movie Men in Black, once in awhile the N.Y. Times will stumble on the truth but leave it to the tabloids to consistently get the story.
What do I mean by the subhead over this item? It's what you say after you come up short from the tee box. Read further, Blaska'sBlog-aholics:
Celebrity golf terminology:
- 'Princess Grace' - should have used a driver
- 'Princess Di' - shouldn't have used the driver
- 'Rock Hudson' - a putt that looked straight, but wasn't
- 'Saddam Hussein' - from one bunker into another
- 'Yasser Arafat' - butt ugly and in the sand
- 'John Kennedy Jr.' - didn't quite make it over the water
- 'Rodney King' - over-clubbed
- An 'O.J.'- got away with one
- 'Condom' - safe, but didn't feel very good
- 'Rush Limbaugh' - little to the right
- 'Nancy Pelosi' - Way to the left and out of bounds
- 'James Joyce' - a putt that's impossible to read
- 'Ted Kennedy' - goes in the water and jumps out
- 'Pee Wee Herman' - too much wrist
- 'Sonny Bono' - straight into the trees
- 'Mickey Mantle' - a dead yank