Hurry Up and Wait

Casualty Return Afghanistan

Issuing urgent petitions for change even before the election–crisis, urgency and fear mongering have become a predictable repertoire for Barack Obama.  In an interview with Daniel Schorn of 60 Minutes, candidate Obama expressed his sense of urgency for the country when asked why he was anxious to run, “You know the truth is I’m not…[but] We have a narrow window to solve some of the problems that we face…And so I feel a sense of urgency for the country.” Thus, Obama’s persuasive pleas won him the election.

Gearing up to implement his liberal agenda, and even before his inauguration, Obama warned of the pressing importance for “urgent action” in order to address an economic recovery plan saying, “…now is the time to respond with urgent resolve to put people back to work and get our economy moving again.”

Immediately following the inauguration, Obama feverishly stoked the flames of fear by reminding America that, “We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.”  The President’s message of necessity was palpable.  He warned, “If we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse.”  And, so the stimulus package was passed.

In addition to warning the world of a global threat from climate change as “serious, urgent and growing,” Obama urgently addressed the need for banking and auto industry bailouts.  Proceeding along the trajectory to health care reform, which Obama stressed as “urgent” and “indisputable.” Obama weighted his health care initiative as being a policy, “We cannot wait any longer” to enact.

Three months prior to the 2008 election, in an attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan 200 insurgents stormed an American outpost in Wanat killing 48 American and 24 Afghan soldiers. Obama responded, calling the situation in Afghanistan “perilous and urgent.”  Underscoring what he believed was the Bush Administration’s failure in that war, Obama issued an imperative, “We must act now to reverse a deteriorating situation.”

Now a little over a year later, in a bloody, “bold daylight strike on two bases on the Pakistani border,” eight Americans and four Afghan security officers were killed.   Curiously, as American soldier’s bodies are being zipped into body bags Obama’s stance on Afghanistan lost the sense of urgency that has become his predictable style.  Instead, while violent insurgents attack our soldiers on the border of Pakistan, Obama has shifted into measured, unhurried contemplation about what to do, void of the usual crisis mode he exhibits when addressing pressing issues like melting ice caps.

Three days following the death of eight American military personnel Obama, dragging his feet on fulfilling General Stanley McChrystal’s request for more boots on the ground in Afghanistan, in his Weekly Address urged Health Reform [as] Urgent for the Economy.  The same Obama, who dropped everything to rush off to Copenhagen, now feels waiting is a noble option as American soldiers die.

Most appointees of the Administration tow the line and preach crisis in support of the President’s agenda. Barack Obama’s war policy was clearly revealed, two days prior to the Pakistani border massacre, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the decision to deploy additional US troops to Afghanistan should not be spur-of-the-moment.  He said, “The decision process should not be rushed…we need to take our time and get this right.” In response, the question Americans should be asking is, not when but where is the sense of “urgency and determination” that Obama expressed for stimulus, banking, autos and jobs and now expresses over health care?

Or, where is the sense of urgency Obama articulated toward Afghanistan when he was not in a position to act upon his words? Wasn’t he the one who said, “We need urgency because the threat from the Taliban and al Qaeda is growing and we must act?”  Why is there no frenetic, hyper urgency apparent when a relaxed, tieless President mugs for the paparazzi after dining with the First Lady two days subsequent to the brutal Wanat ambush?

Shouldn’t someone address the obvious change from instancy to halting contemplation when Robert Gibbs advocates for the President saying, “The president wants to get the policy right…If the policy takes time to get right, then that’s what the president intends to do.”

Rushing through a health care bill he hasn’t read, suddenly Obama wants to take time to ruminate over sending military aid to Afghanistan? It is unsettling to realize that Obama views moving swiftly and with urgency by accepting General McChrystal’s recommendation for an additional 40,000 troops would be a hasty decision.

President Obama pushed back, “… against pressure to make a decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan, saying he will resist any attempt to rush him until he has ‘absolute clarity’ about what the strategy is going to be.” Obama’s new propensity for brooding and contemplative policy decisions does not impress.  Moreover, his postponement of a decision serves to expose blatant contempt for the military, their safety and their efforts to protect this nation. Obama has been dismissive about securing a “victory” in Afghanistan, hence his lack of urgency as the body count climbs.

As a result, his recurring urgency campaigns for things that have little impact, as compared to the security of our soldiers, are being exposed as manipulative exercises in securing a left wing, socialist style agenda.

Obama’s priorities are duly noted not by what he says, but by his uncharacteristic refusal to rush. In turn, a truly urgent message needs to be sent, not from Obama, but from the American people to Obama.   It is imperative for us to let this parvenu president know that as he leisurely sits sipping Cabernet Sauvignon, in the Blue Duck Tavern, a true crisis lies ahead of epic proportions for his political future every time a flag draped coffin is shipped home for burial.

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