Taking the Measure

January 23, 2014
Dan Keating

On January 9, the Wall Street Journal  ran two excellent articles  – one entitled “Obama the Management Failure” and the second “Gates on Obama.”

The first begins  with the admission that for a politician to run our country and its military, no executive experience is required.  It reports that “Barack Obama swept into office with the thinnest resume since JFK.  When Mr. Obama was in his 20s, he headed a staff of 13 as a community organizer in Chicago and later directed a staff of 10 in a six-month get out the vote campaign.”

It is little wonder with so little tangible experience the President’s foreign and domestic policies have been a disaster.

Mr. Obama  went to war without any policy conviction in 2007.  Senator Hillary Clinton and he both opposed the surge in Iraq.  The surge did work and defeated al Qaeda.  However, by abandoning hard fought and won areas, al Qaeda has returned since we have no boots on the ground.

As Yahoo news reported, “for American veterans of Fallujah seeing al Qaeda militants regain control of the Iraqi city is a painful sight.”  The U.S. Marine Corps fought two very costly battles there in 2004 and 2006.

For what?

Like Vietnam, when the American Congress withheld all aid, what were the lasting consequences?  Nearly 60,000 Americans died in Vietnam, the war was lost and 3 million South Vietnamese died in captivity for helping the United States.

Which modern day American ally wants to make that same mistake?

America went to war in Iraq to save the Bush Family’s face and reputation.  All this did was misdirect attention from Afghanistan where the fight with those responsible for 9/11 should have been made.  Now with this administration and its lack of resolve and experience, we are on the verge of turning the country back to the Taliban and al Qaeda.  All these enemies need to do is wait us out.  We have sacrificed our best and brightest in two 10-plus-year wars.  These are the same people President Obama wants to reduce their benefits and meager pensions.  The president even  proposed that wounded veterans cover parts of their medical bills.

In former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ book, he admits President Obama and Senator Clinton opposed the surge strictly on political grounds.  What kind of leadership is that?  He also admitted Vice President Joe Biden was a blowhard and had been on the “wrong side of nearly every foreign policy and national security” issue for forty years.

No wonder we are in trouble and Russian President Vladimir Putin can so easily make President Obama look like a stooge on the world stage.  Like Mr. Putin, our enemies didn’t need Gates’ memoirs to draw conclusions, but “they too have taken the measure of Mr. Obama and the lack of will behind his words.”

On the domestic front the President’s policies have yielded little.  Ninety million Americans are unemployed, 45 million on food stamps and there are no jobs for the young or old.  The president and the Democrats in Congress have added $7 trillion to the debt with only political considerations leading to any reductions.  The country is bent on allowing amnesty for 25 million illegal Mexicans who should simply get in line for citizenship.

As the Journal determines, it pays to elect a president with experience. Where there was none, America has paid dearly with fellow citizens lives and treasure.  This cannot go on forever.