Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Obama on Vacation – Summer 2009

After nearly eight intense months Obama decided to go on vacation. In this time frame, like a rolling stone, he gathered no moss. He crisscrossed the USA countlessly, went to Mexico, did Europe twice and visited the Middle East. If Air Force One provided frequent flyer miles, he would have accumulated enough of them to catapult him to moon.

There is no question he exhibited great energy and conscientiousness, but whether he solved problems or is on the road to do so is an open issue. In all fairness, it may be too early to be conclusive about the man's service or leadership. His trend lines however, are not encouraging.

The right wing crackpots have to be ignored in any calculus; their narrow policies are limited to tax cuts, strapping on more guns, donating to evangelical mega churches and singing DIXIE. There is a pathetic paranoiac, emotional component that keeps them in a fact-less world, out of the mainstream. Heard Glenn Beck is composing a Broadway musical, SARAH GET YOUR GUN... These strange, hot house elements are down about to 20% of voters and led hopelessly by Chairman of the RNC Michael Steele. To their consternation, if black Obama does not get them sociopolitically, the black Mr. Steele shall... that must be why they keep singing DIXIE at the top of their lungs.

Despite the weakness of the Republican right wing, Obama has his share of deadly political issues that could easily wreck his administration. He signaled problems early on with the baloney concept of TEAM OF RIVALS. It is a simple fact that key to successful leadership is to pick smart loyal subordinates. Obama picked Clintonistas and retreads from the GW Bush administration. All brought with them the baggage of trying to justify their previous missteps or worst yet, keep them covered up.

His economic team is composed of Summers, Geithner, Bernarke, Orszag; all were part of the current economic collapse. Most were associated Goldman Sachs, a Wall Street financial house. At this writing the stock market is up, but unemployment figures are sky rocketing and the banks are still choking on toxic assets. The stimulus package is sputtering and the impact of the TARP is questioned. Bank, Insurance and Wall Street firms continue to reward executives handsomely with bailout funds. The deficit is off the charts.

Obama's foreign policy at this stage is incoherent. Hillary's foray into the dark continent was a disaster. She lectured the Africans on corruption and violence while she dropped millions in aid. The prime minister of Kenya pushed back hard and told her essentially to mind her own business.

She lost her diplomatic aplomb twice; once, reminding the world that she was SECSTATE and not her husband Bill and the second time, was when she tried to walk back some harshness of her criticism of Africa by discussing America’s political problems. It was apparent she was bitten by critters in Africa based on her public discomfort while there. She however, still remains an empty pants suit despite her self-sacrifice to fierce African gnats, flys and no-see-ems.

Obama has circumvented Hillary by using special envoys that report to the White House directly. He even sent Bill privately on the lusty Bada Bing aircraft to rescue ladies in distress in North Korea; somebody had to pick up the estimated $400,000 cost of the trip. He has sent Mitchell to the Mid East. So far on the situation there we are dealing with self-serving unofficial leaks which is typical of the way the Israel lobby operates, and have nothing official on the status from Obama.

Now it appears Obama has added Senator Jim Webb as special envoy to Myanmar.

The president also appointed Richard Holbrooke as his Afghanistan/Pakistan envoy. He is the opposite of Mitchell since Holbrooke is an envoy who loves the Klieg lights. His response to the recent disastrous Afghan election was the US has problems in their elections too. Oh yeah? Twenty six Afghan murdered and some voters' purple finger chopped off in the process. Richard, you should have worked for GW Bush! Your character is just right.

Panetta and SECDEF Gates are political retreads. Panetta is now CIA Director and busy defending employees on torture who were just following orders. This is the same thing LT Calley said about the My Lai Massacre. Delusional SECDEF Gates wants to to keep two wars going, despite the fact his ever changing missions and concepts of victory keep slipping away. He is a Republican, so what do you expect? There had to be better and fresher leadership choices who are more competent.

After eight years of pointless war, it is apparent the US ground forces have lost its mojo. It can kill the enemy at will, but not win the wars. Remember TET in RVN? We killed over 50,000 of the enemy in quick time, but lost the war. It is now clear that US ground force generals keep fighting the last wars over again. What happened to General Saveus Petraeus since his trained Iraqi troops began to unravel?

US ground force general officer corps should be retired. Promote the smart young colonels who have energy to brevet generals; if they are successful, make their rank permanent. Since most future wars will be counter insurgency against Islamic elements, the profile of the new generals should be secular; especially avoid those with blind, born-again crusader backgrounds. We have had over 8 years of that counter productive messianic idiocy.

If there is an area of incompetency that Obama owns 100%: it is the health care fiasco. His key man Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is responsible for keeping congress in concert with the White House policy. He is another Clintonista appointment who was part of the former health care failures. So we can wonder whether he wants Obama to succeed where Clinton failed. When Emanuel was Democratic Whip with a House majority for two years, he was unable to curtail funds for the war in Iraq; he still cannot, not even from his White House perch.

Mr. President, enjoy your vacation. If you believe health care was a barn burning issue, wait until you try to force changes to, DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL. Colonial Robert E Bartos USA Ret.


Blogger Bob said...

Why do you keep associating most of flyover America with a small fringe of rightwing loonies?

Arrogance of the over-educated? East coast elitism? Incurable beltline fever?

Ot pehaps it's just a general feeling of disdain for those many Americans who are not politically astute, or not privy to so many national secrets as you once were.

Whatever it is, it's starting to sound very ugly.


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