Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Solid Gold Coward: Obama Dithers on Afghanistan; Questions Linger About Uncooperative Iran

Earlier this month I reported on President Obama's "ultimatum" to Iran regarding their nuclear weapons. Of course, the very next day I was forced to write another article criticizing the administration's lack of resolve, backing off on their "ultimatum" after less than just 24 hours. And now, according the LA Times, Iran has completely blown off the essentials of the agreement altogether:
The proposal would have depleted Iran's stockpile of nuclear fuel below the threshold necessary for making a single nuclear bomb, possibly creating diplomatic breathing room for a broader agreement between Tehran and those worried about its atomic research program.

But according to the diplomat, Iran wants to send its uranium abroad in smaller batches over an undetermined stretch of time rather than the lump transfer by year's end outlined under the proposal offered by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

Such a change would allow Iran to quickly replenish its stock.
Why doesn't the LA Times (and, for that matter, the American diplomat who called Iran's response "inadequate") just come out say what really happened: Iran has essentially outright declined our offer, as their alternative proposal completely defeats the stated purpose of the original deal. The question remains, though, will Barack Obama finally concede that when it comes to Iran you gotta play hardball. Most likely not, especially if his reaction to this menace is anything like his complete incompetence when it comes to managing his "war of necessity", the war in Afghanistan.

On October 3, I wrote about Barry's inaction on the Afghanistan question. At that time, it had already been over a month since the president had received the recommendations from his generals on the ground. As of today, he still has not offered any direction, and now even the Europeans are growing impatient with his indecision. From the German news magazine der Spiegel :
For once, this hesitation cannot be attributed to widespread war fatigue in Europe. The mission in Afghanistan is seen as a toxic issue in all Western nations, and every government that has provided troops has come under sharp criticism at home. What the US’s NATO allies now find far more irritating is US President Barack Obama’s silence on the issue.

The world has been waiting for clear words from the White House for months. Obama has had government and military analysts studying the military and political situation in the embattled Hindu Kush region since early January. He appointed Richard Holbrooke, probably the US’s most effective diplomat in crisis situations, to be his special envoy to the “AfPak” region, he has replaced generals and he has deployed more troops. The answers Obama asked his experts to provide after taking office have been sitting on his desk for a long time. But the conclusions vary. Obama will have to make his own decision, one that will shape his political fate. …

Whether it means withdrawal or a troop buildup, NATO expects Obama to make a decision. So far, no one knows which direction he favors. Even experienced Washington insiders have encountered a wall of silence at the White House, leading Europeans to question whether Washington even believes in its war anymore.
Funny that the Europeans are demanding an answer--any answer--from Obama on the Afghanistan issue. In fact, what they are really wondering is why it is taking Obama so long to retreat after they were so nice to preemptively give him that shiny new Nobel Peace Prize.

It is simply an undeniable fact that our president is in over his head and has no idea - none - how to deal with this situation or a host of others. Confronted with a reality that is far different than his "hope" and "change" message, he is completely hopeless. The brave new leader the American people put their faith in has turned out to be a paper tiger, indeed. As the world grows more and more dangerous, and more and more troops die in the mountains of Afghanistan, our president is taking his good time in making any decision concerning their struggle, ignoring his generals' pleas for reinforcements while thinking of more "solutions" that only undermine our mission and needlessly cost us more American lives.

And so this is the price we pay for placing our trust in pretty words and lofty rhetoric. The One who was supposed to usher in a new era of international goodwill towards America is only earning us the confusion of our friends and the emboldening of our enemies.

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