Thursday 10 December 2009

Grand Old President Obama

So, he’s done it at last, Obama has ‘surged.’ Why am I reminded of a certain Grand old Duke of York? Is it because when he is up he is up; when he is down he is down; and when he is only half way up he is neither up nor down? So let’s hear it:

Grand old President Obama,
He had thirty thousand men;
He marched them in to Afghanistan,
And he marched them out again.

Well, that’s what he wants to do; that’s what he said he is going to do. The trouble is he is neither up nor down, in nor out. In his usual muddle-headed and decisively indecisive fashion he is trying to reconcile contradictory aims: he wants to win the war but he does not want to get bogged down in another Vietnam. He has to convince America, he has to convince his own party, largely made up of pacifists and peaceniks of various shades of pink, that his commitment is not ‘open-ended’, that the boys will be coming home not next year but the year after. He also has to convince the Taliban that America is in to win, no matter how long it takes. Do you see; do you see how this man ties himself in impossible knots?

Look at it from the Taliban point of view; just imagine what a boost they have received to their morale. They did not need spies and interceptors: they’ve been able to see inside this man’s mind for months. His inexcusable delay in making up his mind shows that he has no stomach for this fight and that he really does wish to depart. He’s now made a vague promise about departure, one he is almost bound to hold to in some fashion or other, because by 2011 America will already be looking towards the next presidential election. Without firing another shot, or exploding another bomb, the Taliban has already won an important tactical victory. All they have to do is hang on, an army of ants pursued by an elephant, waiting for Obama’s contradictions to mature.

Here is a President, possibly the worst ever, possibly just another James Buchanan, who does not speak and act like a commander-in-chief; he speaks like a politician, forever minding his back, forever looking over his shoulder; mid-terms in 2010, the big one in 2012. America is now in a kind of limbo, not knowing exactly where it is going, or even why it wants to be there. The war is either necessary or it is not. It is either vital to America’s security, to the security of the west, or it is not. Obama does not give a clear lead in one direction or the other.

As I have said now on a number of occasions he is still on the campaign trail, not an executive just a rather edgy candidate. Yes, he has been given the tools but he has not the stamina, he has not the will, he has not the energy to finish the job. Please do remember that you read this unhappy prediction here first. Oh, and if you don’t know who James Buchanan is he was another prevaricator, the one who saw America drift towards the Civil War.


  1. Ana,

    You are right, but I wonder what would other president do if they face similar situation.
    If they leave, the Talibans would almost surely take over sooner or late.

  2. Who would you say is the greatest recent US President and who is the greatest US President in history assuming they are not both the same. I'm quite curious.

  3. I, somewhat predictably, take a different view while agreeing he appears to be in a mess. In my viewpoint Obama is the typical not quite so far right of centre president that Americans have between the farther right of centre presidents they alternately vote into power. Both parties in America are as blue as you like and presidents always and above all else hold America's priorities as especially important in the world and these presidents, all of them, will kill and maim and dispossess anyone who stands in the way of America. There is little if any difference between George Bush and Obama outside America.

    Within America there will be some tax rises and a bit of social engineering and a shadow play with the environment that will actually favour the status quo and the setting up of a carbon energy market that will massively enrich Wall Street and Big Oil.

    Obama is right on Afhanistan from an American perspective. He will separate Al Queda, such as that organisation is and that is not much, from the Taliban in Pakistan and start negotiations with the Taliban for a deal that gives America the same kind of presence and control as in Iraq. That has always been the objective in my opinion and thereby whoever comes after Obama will do the same. From Iraq and Afghanistan the American military will administer through puppet regimes the oil and the access and shipment of oil via pipeline and threaten Iran and other middle eastern states from massive bases on foreign territory. Withdrawal will be to bases and will never be a complete exit anymore than they will leave South Korea or anywhere else they have set up shop.

  4. Mr Obama is the President of the United States of America; not of the "European's Utopia".He's at least a realistic American as they are...He rules the World for America and the higher good of the country!
    European nations are alone to believe the world as a kindergarden.
    I'm astonishing to see Britain sharing the dramatic and a stupid French's illusion and this "grotesque farce".

  5. It is necessary to keep terrorists at bay, if we were not fighting them we would be at their mercy.
    If the terrorist were man enough to fight in the open we could get it over with quicker with less loss of life but they are not, they would rather hide behind civilians, and try to blacken the name of our armed forces when some civilians suffer.
    We are deterring them from gaining access to nuclear weapons too which if they laid their hands on would mean the end.

  6. First of all thanks for all your comments, guys.

    Harry, it’s really a question of determination. If this war has to be fought it should be fought with far less equivocation.

    Oh, dear, SD, you are asking me to commit myself on a sensitive political point! Well, I have little doubt that the greatest of all the presidents was Abraham Lincoln, closely followed by Andrew Jackson. And the greatest recent president? Oh, Ronald Regan achieved much but I have some residual affection for the much misunderstood Richard Nixon. :-)

    John, lots of good points. Obama is still all over the place on this issue, though.

    Ortho, I agree; the whole thing is a farce. We Europeans face a danger far closer to home than Afghanistan.

    Yes, Donald, it is necessary to defeat terrorism; it’s just that Obama is going about it in the wrong way. His delay in committing those extra troops, the indecision shown, may, as I have suggested, prove to be fatal.

    That is what I used Imp. In a shout box it appears as 'Link' but if you click on that and then copy the address in the address bar it is the same thing. By the way you cannot paste into your comments boxes nor can you use 'end' or the 'arrows' keys. Bit strange. Is the Devil affectingthe Imp site? Do we have techno-demonisation occuring?