Friday, September 19, 2014

Dear President Obama; Don't Look Back. Noone Follows When You Lead From the Rear

When did “Hope and Change” and “Yes, we can” become “Lead from Behind?” Leading from the rear is not a strategy for no one is following. The President is still looking for a strategy, much less a coalition. President George H. W. Bush marshaled an army of half a million from a host of countries to drive Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. His coalition included Arab and non-Arab countries with boots on the ground. President George H. W. Bush went through the United Nations, the Arab League, and Congress. President George W. Bush assembled a “Coalition of the Willing” of 39 countries with 25,000 boots on the ground. He twice received Congressional approval for the Second Gulf War. President Obama has assembled a “Coalition of the Unwilling” with no boots on the grounds, refusals to campaign in Syria, and little air support, but “40” countries with facile support. England, our special relationship with England, ended with the return of the Churchill Bust, the cheap gift to Queen Elizabeth, and repudiation of the special relationship. Great Britain, which has stood with us for a century, will not bomb Syria and will put no boots on the ground. Turkey, which has stood with NATO and the West for seven decades, will not let us use Turkish airbases for an air campaign against ISIS. President Erdogan of Turkey will not even talk to President Obama. Turkey has a 560 mile frontier with Syria. It is indefensible for much of its distance and smugglers travel easily through the mountains. 1,000 young Turks have joined ISIS. France, which has been supporting its allies in Africa, will not release bombs in Syria. Germany has said no. Poland remembers President Obama pulled the ABM defense out of Poland. Saudi Arabia and other Mideast countries are deathly afraid of ISIS, but they are also scared that their soldiers will not fight the Islamicists, but could well defect to them. The Saudis and others will not risk an armed confrontation unless they are convinced the United States will carry the war through to victory. President Obama and his Administration cannot even agree if it is a war. They will not follow someone who leads from the rear, assuming he is leading at all. Who will be in the lead? Sunnis? Shia? The world looks at President Obama’s proclaimed strategy of 1) no boots on the ground, 2) a unilateral pullout from Iraq and soon Afghanistan, 3) targeted air strikes, which Andrew J. Bacevich in a Los Angeles Times op-ed referred to as “Whack-a-Mole,” and 4) now his command that he must approve each air strike. Even the military brass foresees a failed strategy. The world sees a failed strategy. The American public sees a failed strategy. We remember that President Johnson’s White House had to approve the air strikes in Vietnam. We know how badly that worked out. The proclaimed “Most Brilliant man” in America, who has succeeded so well in economics, history, and religion, (“ISIL is not Islamic”) will now test his expertise in military science. This Administration is even reaching out to Iran for assistance, compounding one failed strategy on another failed strategy. The world knows President Obama provides MRE's and blankets to the Ukrainians fighting Russian aggression, but not the heavy arms they need. No "Shock and Awe," Just "Ah Shucks." The President orates and pontificates while IS, ISIS, ISIL seizes more towns and territory. Following from the rear with no confidence is not a strategy! President Barack Hussein Obama still lacks a plan, and the World knows it.

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