Over at Drudge I learned that I have something in common with President Obama: we were both married on the same day–October 3rd, 1992.
Something else I saw over at Drudge was that ten American Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on our anniversary. If you’re the President of the United States enjoying a fancy dinner with your wife the same day that ten of your countrymen lay down their lives for others, you should probably ask yourself: What the hell am I doing?
Since General McChrystal rendered his report to the White House, no less than 50 American servicemen have died in Afghanistan. How many more will die while the President decides what to do?
It sounds like he and Michelle had an enjoyable evening as they celebrated their anniversary together. Cookie and I, however, got only as close as a Skype phone call. That’s because I’m deployed again in Iraq, less than a year after leaving there last fall. No, I’m not asking for any sympathy; I volunteered for both assignments. But so too did President Obama volunteer for his current assignment. And part of that assignment includes making a prompt decision once his senior commander on the ground tells him that he cannot complete his mission without additional resources.
There are legitimate arguments on both sides of the Afghanistan question: scale back the goals, or send more soldiers to accomplish the current mission. What is illegitimate, however, is deciding not to decide. For while the President dithers, Americans die. Are they dying in vain for a cause that’s about to be cancelled? Or are they going to be followed by tens of thousands of reinforcements who are committed in a display of force that shows the President’s long-term commitment? No one knows. Not General McChrystal, not the soldiers in battle, not the widows at home. Least of all, the President.
I don’t mean to suggest that the President must wear a hair shirt while American men and women die in battle. He deserves and needs breaks from what is undoubtedly a stressful job. But while he’s running off to Copenhagen in a disastrous attempt to bring home the Olympic gold, and while he pushed hard for Cap & Trade (now jettisoned at least until next year), and while he’s expended the summer (and his political capital) in an equally disastrous attempt to reform one-sixth of the American economy, Soldiers are dying and the American economy is failing.
So here’s my simple message: Mr. President, stop playing around and get to work on the assignment you volunteered for.