Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

Everybody’s Asking ‘Is Obama Mentally Present?’

M Catharine Evans

 


Conservatives aren’t the only ones befuddled
by the President’s Gridiron dinner antics, March madness picks and his strange
Saturday radio address focusing on the Paycheck Fairness Act when a government
shutdown has been looming for weeks.

Daily
Mail’s Max Hastings
calls Barack Obama “cool, cold, cerebral, and arrogant”
in a March 14 lament.

Hastings, like millions of Europeans, fell in lust
with the U.S President back in 2008 and now that the bloom is off the stem, he
wants to break up. Like most of Obama’s star-struck groupies he’s racking his
brain trying to understand what happened to the knight “mantled in a glittering
white cloak…the great speechmaker.”

On the Mideast, Afghanistan, the
debt, unemployment, and myriad domestic and international crises the One appears
“remote” displaying “a curious lack of interest.” Curiously, Hastings cites
Obama’s post-massacre Arizona speech when he “rose to extraordinary heights of
rhetoric” as the single exception to the president’s otherwise glaring
indifference in the face of so much turmoil.

Hastings contention that
Obama is “missing in action” makes us wonder whether the President was ever ‘in
the action’ to begin with. By now, those paying attention know the Chicago
trained community organizer did not come to lead but to act as a mouthpiece for
those who desire to change the founding fathers’ vision of America. And he needs
four more years to finish the job. Hastings all but admits this may be the
case:

While the world welcomed Obama as a transformational figure, he
shows no sign of wishing to fulfil any such grand role.

Indeed, the White
House is obsessed with a single issue: how to get its man re-elected in November
2012.

A Washingtonian who has studied the President at close quarters
said to me: ‘I think I understand him now. He’s a “pol” – a politico – who
learned his business in the Chicago machine.

In trying to
make sense of it all Hastings, being a good liberal Brit, scapegoats the
American people as “nutters” and dutifully bashes Sarah Palin as that “moose
hunting air-headed vice presidential candidate” whose “hick followers still
love” her, but “Lord, be thanked, the White House now seems safe from her.”

The reporter insists that the majority of Americans who live in the real
world reject the “Republican excesses,” and appreciate a “brilliant man” who
never says or acts “irrationally.”

Hastings refuses to speak ill of his
former idol, but by the end of the piece he expresses frustration at the
President’s refusal to man up and “fight tough fights.” But it can’t be the
President’s fault; he “was bound to succumb to the sordid demands of machine
politics.” Was that before 2008 or after?

The reporter can’t seem to
bring himself to admit he was powerless over the Obama machine, taken in by the
phony Axelrodian reality. Instead Hastings blames the “hicks” that did their
homework. Weren’t they the ones who  googled ‘Alinsky;’ were aghast when they
listened to Reverend Wright’s anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white speeches;
and who discovered the “brilliant man” voted ‘present’ 129 times in the Illinois
State Senate?

A “Washington admirer” urges Hastings to “not lose faith”
in Barack Obama, that he “may still lay claim to greatness.” What a twisted and
doomed love story this presidency is turning out to be.

Read
more M.Catharine Evans at www.potterwilliamsreport.com

Thoughts from a conservative in hiding (Not Me)

Thoughts from a conservative in hiding

Neil Braithwaite

I try my best to get my conservative friends to stand up for the cause; unfortunately, the one with the best writing skills lives among the liberals in the great Pacific Northwest and actually fears that being outed may cause him and his family irreparable harm.So, under his alias, Dave McGuire, I present to you his conservative words of wisdom:

“Since someone broached the subject of Obama’s recent comments about his Christianity I am compelled to offer the following comment on that subject.

Obama and his wife spent 20 plus years at the feet of a guy that is as hate filled as any man can be. The Rev. Wright vented his vile spirit every Sunday but our president thinks he can regale throngs of potential voters with lip service and half-truths about his desire to be a Christian. Don’t make me laugh – I’m not in the mood.

The United Church of Christ, of which Mr. Obama was a member, does not hold to any form of the traditional view of Jesus. The organization as a whole is nearly agnostic in terms of a belief in a higher power. Truth be known, the organization across America is merely a liberal political movement masquerading as a church – not unlike so many other progressive liberal and so called Christian churches in America. These are the type of spiritual groups that Lenin or Stalin, if they were alive, would hail as the perfect State Sanctioned Church; and the only church anyone would be allowed to attend.

Beyond that fact, the notion that Mr. Obama wants to be his sister’s and brother’s keeper is laughable and at the same time just a little concerning. You see, after Cain killed his brother God asked him where his brother Able was. Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now, I don’t care one way or the other how you feel about the veracity of the story, but taken in its context the answer Cain gave was conceived by a guilty conscience and smacked of insolence – or at best disingenuousness.

Now, consider that the concept of being your brother’s keeper is not mentioned again in either the Old or New Testament. That fact begs the question – just whose voice was calling out to Obama and whose precepts were ringing in his ears?

To make the point one more time: there are no other references to a command or inference to suggest that anyone need be another’s keeper. Think about it, why would there be and who would want to be kept if there were? I suppose Karl Marx might enjoin the idea given his view of life, after all, the governments his ideology spawned are all about keeping people, aren’t they?

As for doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, – this president has been heading off in the wrong direction and dragging the country along with him. If Obama really cared about our lives he would not be running the country into the ground – wasting our money doing it – and promising more of the same if we give him what he wants. Given the ground we’ve covered thus far, with our leader at the wheel, I am certain that given the opportunity Obama will continue to take us to the ultimate destination to a land of hopelessness and despair.

As he stands now, the best you can say about Obama is: he may not have provided the transparency in government he promised – but he certainly is a man that is easily seen through – if you have eyes to see that is.”

Excellent job Dave.


Neil Braithwaite writes political commentary and satire.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/thoughts_from_a_conservative_i.html at September 30, 2010 – 11:43:55 AM CDT

Obama’s Victim: The “Peace Process”

Obama’s Victim: The “Peace Process”

Posted By Alan M. Dershowitz On April 5, 2010 @ 12:07 am In FrontPage | 5 Comments

The apparently escalating conflict between the US and Israel did not have to occur. It must be resolved now, before it does irreparable harm to prospects for peace.

The conflict was largely contrived by people with agendas.  The initial impetus for the brouhaha was an ill-timed announcement that permits had been issued for building 1,600 additional residences in a part of Jerusalem that had been captured by Israel in the 1967 war.  The Netanyahu government had been praised by President Obama for agreeing to a freeze on building permits on the West Bank, despite the fact that the freeze did not extend to any part of Jerusalem.  Thus the announcement of new building permits did not violate any agreement by Israel.  Nonetheless, the timing of the announcement embarrassed Vice President Joe Biden who was in Israel at the time.  The timing was neither an accident nor was it purposely done by Prime Minister Netanyahu to embarrass Biden.  Many believe that the announcement was purposely timed by opponents of the peace process in order to embarrass Netanyahu.  Whatever the motivation, the announcement deserved a rebuke from Vice President Biden.  It also warranted an apology and explanation from the Israeli government, which immediately came from Netanyahu.  That should have ended the contretemps.

But some in the Obama Administration apparently decided that they too had an agenda beyond responding to the ill-timed announcement, and they decided to take advantage of Israel’s gaffe.  They began to pile on and on and on.  Instead of it being a one day story, the controversy continues to escalate and harden positions on all sides to this day and perhaps beyond.  The real victim is the peace process and the winners are those–like Iran, Hamas and extremist Israelis–who oppose the two-state solution.

The building permits themselves were for residences not in East Jerusalem, but rather in North Jerusalem, and not in an Arab section, but rather in an entirely Jewish neighborhood.  This neighborhood, Ramat Shlomo, is part of the area that everybody acknowledges should and will remain part of Israel even if an agreement for a two state solution and the division of Jerusalem is eventually reached.  In that respect, it is much like the ancient Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, which was illegally captured from the Jewish residents by the Jordanian army in the 1948 war.  The Jordanians then desecrated Jewish holy places during its illegal occupation, and the Israelis legally recaptured it during the defensive war of 1967.  No one in their right mind believes that Israel has any obligation to give up the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, the holiest Jewish site in the world, despite the fact that it was recaptured during the 1967 war.

Because the Palestinians understand and acknowledge that these entirely Jewish areas of Jerusalem will remain part of the Jewish state even after an agreement, the ill-timed announcement of building permits during the Biden visit generated a relatively mild and routine complaint, rather than a bellicose response, from the Palestinian Authority leadership.  The bellicose response came from the American leadership, which refused to let the issue go.  Once this piling on occurred, the Palestinian leadership had no choice but to join the chorus of condemnation, lest they be perceived as being less Palestinian than the Obama Administration.

Now positions have hardened on both sides, due largely to the public and persistent nature of the American condemnation.  This rebuke culminated in the very public dissing of Prime Minister Netanyahu by President Obama during their recent White House meeting.  Obama treated Netanyahu far worse than he treated Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who is corrupt to the core and who had invited Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver an anti-American tirade inside Afghanistan’s presidential palace.  According to a high ranking Afghan source, Karzai “invited Ahmadinejad to spite the Americans.”  Nonetheless, President Obama flew to Afghanistan and had a very public dinner with Karzai, according him the red carpet treatment, thus granting him legitimacy following his fraudulent re-election.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, on the other hand, has been treated with disrespect in what many Israelis see as an effort to delegitimize him in the eyes of Israeli voters who know how important the US-Israeli relationship is in the Jewish state.

The shabby treatment accorded Israel’s duly elected leader has also stimulated an ugly campaign by some of Israel’s enemies to delegitimize the US-Israeli strategic relationship, and indeed the Jewish nation itself, in the eyes of American voters.  The newest, and most dangerous, argument being offered by those who seek to damage the US-Israel alliance is that Israeli actions, such as issuing building permits in Jerusalem, endanger the lives of American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This phony argument–originally attributed to Vice President Biden and General David Petraeus but categorically denied by both of them–has now taken on a life of its own in the media.  A CNN headline on the Rick Sanchez Show blared “Israel a danger to US Troops.”  Other headlines conveyed a similar message:  “US Tells Israel: ‘You’re undermining America, endangering troops.’”  Variations on this dangerous and false argument have been picked up by commentators such as Joe Klein in Time Magazine, Roger Cohen in The New York Times, DeWayne Wickham in USA Today and not surprisingly, Patrick Buchanan and Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer.

It is a dangerous and false argument.  It is dangerous because its goal is to reduce support for Israel among mainstream Americans who understandably worry about our troops fighting abroad.  This is ironic since the major pillar of Israel’s policy with regard to US troops is that Israel never wants to endanger our troops.  That’s why it has never asked US soldiers to fight for Israel, as other allies have asked our soldiers to fight for them.  By seeking to scapegoat Israel for the death of American troops at the hands of Islamic terrorists, this argument blames those who love America for deaths caused by those who hate America.

Most of all, it is an entirely false argument.  There is absolutely no correlation between Israeli actions and the safety of American troops–none.

No one has ever shown any relationship between what Israel does and the rate of American casualties, because there is no such relationship–none

Consider two significant time periods.  The first is the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, when Israel offered the Palestinians virtually everything they could have wanted:  a state on 100% of the Gaza and 97% of the West Bank, a capital in a divided Jerusalem and a $35 billion reparation package for refugees.  Virtually the entire Arab world urged Arafat to accept this generous offer, but he declined it.  During the very months that Israel was doing everything possible to promote peace with the Palestinians, Al Queda was planning its devastating attack on the World Trade Center.  No correlation between Israeli actions and American casualties.

Then consider the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when Israel was engaged in Operation Cast Lead, which caused significant Palestinian casualties.  During that difficult period, there was no increase in American casualties.  Again, no correlation.

Those offering up this phony empirical argument have an obligation to present evidence in support of this fallacious correlation, or else to stop making this bigoted argument.

The reason there is no correlation is because extremist Muslims who kill American troops are not outraged at what Israel does, but rather at what Israel is–a secular Jewish, democratic state.  As long as Israel exists, there will be Islamic extremists who regard that fact as a provocation.  The same is true of the United States:  as long we continue to exist as a secular democracy with equal rights for women, Christians and Jews, the Osama Bin Laden’s of the world will seek our destruction.  Certainly as long as American troops remain in any part of the Arab world–whether it be Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Afghanistan–Muslim fanatics will try to kill our soldiers.  Blame for the murder of American troops should be placed on those who kill them, rather than on those who stand for the same values of democracy and equality as America does.

In considering the relationship between the United states and Israel, several points must be kept in mind.  First and foremost, the US and Israel are on the same side in the continuing struggle against Islamic extremists who endanger the lives of American troops and American civilians.  Second, Israel is one of America’s most important strategic allies, providing us with essential intelligence, research and developments and other important assets.  Third, there is nothing that Israel or the United States can do that will turn these extremist enemies into friends.  It is what we are, rather than what we do, that enrages those who wish to turn the entire world into an Islamic caliphate and subject us all to Islamic Sharia law.  Fourth, any weakening of the alliance between the United States and Israel will make it far less likely that Israelis–who get to vote on these matters–will take significant risks for peace.  Fifth, the Obama Administration’s public attacks on Israel will harden Palestinian demand and make it less likely that they will accept a compromise peace.  Sixth, if Israel’s enemies were to lay down their arms and stop terrorist and rocket attacks against Israel, there would be peace.  Seventh, if Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be genocide.  And eighth, when the Palestinian leadership and population want their own state more than they want there not to be a Jewish state, there will be a two-state solution.

It is in the best interest of the United States, of the peace process and of Israel for disagreements between allies to be resolved quietly and constructively, so that progress can be made toward achieving a two-state solution that assures Israel’s security and Palestinian statehood.

Obama’s Israel Crisis

Obama’s Israel Crisis

Posted By P. David Hornik On March 16, 2010 @ 12:05 am In FrontPage | 27 Comments

 

 

Israel Apartheid Week hadn’t yet run its course when Israel came in for a barrage of hostile characterizations also from the Obama administration. In the same brief time span there was also Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [1]—“The Zionist regime is the most hated regime in the world…. with Allah’s help, this regime will be annihilated.” All this came hard on the heels of a wave of international outrage [2], and violent attacks by Palestinians, over Israel adding shrines in Hebron and Bethlehem to a list of national heritage sites.

If it seems like a lot of negative attention for one small, constantly pressured country, it is. Reacting to an announcement by the Israeli Interior Ministry on plans to build 1600 housing units—for Jews (if they had been for Arabs, no one would have protested)—in Jerusalem, Vice-President Joe Biden, who was in Israel for a visit, reportedly [3] told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace.”

Netanyahu apologized and, by Thursday last week when Biden’s visit ended, apparently thought the matter had been handled. But on Friday,  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu and gave him a 45-minute harangue in which she told him, as State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley put it [4], that “the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship,” that “this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America’s interests,” and that “she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security.”

Further harsh remarks came from Obama adviser David Axelrod, who called [5] the announcement about the residential units for Jews an “affront” and an “insult” and said it “seemed calculated to undermine” indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks—this after Biden had accepted Netanyahu’s explanation that the announcement was bureaucratic happenstance. And Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren received “the same message of American disapproval and outrage” [6] from Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg—it being clear by now that the anger was being “managed” from the top, that is, by President Obama himself.

The totally unwarranted nature of this anger was well summarized in a Wall Street Journal editorial [7], which noted that “this particular housing project… falls within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and can only be described as a ‘settlement’ in the maximalist terms defined by the Palestinians.” Indeed, when in November Netanyahu announced a ten-month construction freeze in the West Bank that did not include any part of Jerusalem, Clinton praised the move as “unprecedented.” As the Journal concluded: “this episode does fit Mr. Obama’s foreign policy pattern to date: Our enemies get courted; our friends get the squeeze. It has happened to Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Colombia. Now it’s Israel’s turn.”

Still, whatever slights and betrayals those countries have suffered, Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman was more on the mark when he stated [8], “We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.” The United States could, for instance, well blame other NATO countries for sending only tiny, token forces to Afghanistan; or Germany for its ongoing thriving commerce with Iran. Yet such a public dressing-down of these allies as Israel gets for apartments in Jerusalem would be, of course, inconceivable.

What motivated the administration’s outburst? Speculations have focused on attempts to intimidate Israel out of attacking Iran; or to force Netanyahu to choose between his right-wing coalition partners and going along with the administration’s notion of a “peace process”—or even pressuring his government into a collapse. Neither aim would be logical: making Israel feel isolated and abandoned by the U.S. would increase the chances of a move against Iran; and the right to build in Jerusalem is not a “right-wing” but, rather, a consensus position in Israel that has a unifying rather than fragmenting effect.

Since the anti-Israeli rancor stems from Obama himself, speculation could also focus on his personal motives: an ongoing identification with Palestinian positions; poor personal chemistry with Netanyahu and an inclination to blame him; or, on a less personal basis, animosity toward Netanyahu as an Israeli leader who is perceived as “hard-line” and obstructing peace no matter how many concessions he makes; adherence to a mistaken belief that Middle East-wide instability stems from Israeli-Palestinian tensions; all or some of the above mixed with frustration at the difficulty of the “peace process” that Obama adopted so resolutely as a goal at the start of his term; or he could be motivated by whatever it is that makes the Jewish state the target of so much special malice and denigration.

Whatever stands behind this crisis, which Ambassador Oren has called [9] “the worst with the U.S. in 35 years,” Netanyahu appears to be reacting at this point by holding his ground, having stated [10] on Monday that “Construction in Jerusalem will continue in any part of the city as it has during the last 42 years…. In [that period], there was no [Israeli] government that limited construction in any Jerusalem area or neighborhood. Establishing Jewish neighborhoods did not hurt Jerusalem’s Arab residents and was not at their expense.”

Although Biden, in his speech [11] in Tel Aviv on Thursday, spoke of “an ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” for this administration that does not include refraining from further vilifying Israel at a time of obsessive worldwide opprobrium and existential danger. As Washington pushes Israel to the brink of losing its autonomy as a state, Netanyahu knows there is a limit, a point at which Israel will have to stand up for itself and look out for itself.


Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2010/03/16/obamas-israel-crisis/

URLs in this post:

[1] Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: http://matzav.com/ahmadinejad-israel-is-worlds-most-hated-state

[2] international outrage: http://frontpagemag.com../2010/03/01/israel%E2%80%99s-latest-sin%E2%80%94honoring-its-heritage/

[3] reportedly: http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0310/What_Biden_told_Netanyahu_behind_closed_doors_This_is_starting_to_get_dangerous_for_us.html#comments

[4] put it: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35838282/ns/politics/

[5] called: http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/week-transcript-wh-senior-advisor-david-axelrod-sen/story?id=10085253&page=4

[6] “the same message of American disapproval and outrage”: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=170999&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

[7] Wall Street Journal editorial: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704416904575121710380216280.html

[8] stated: http://www.adl.org/PresRele/IslME_62/5717_62.htm

[9] called: http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=171036

[10] stated: http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=171050

[11] speech: http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2010/03/11/1011046/bidens-speech

Election ’08 Backgrounder

  

Financial Crisis | Iraq | Defense | Background & Character | Judges & Courts | Energy

 

FINANCIAL CRISIS

Quick Facts:

  • Democrats created the mortgage crisis by forcing banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
  • In 2006, McCain sponsored a bill to fix the problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank and other Democrats successfully opposed it.
  • Obama was one of the highest recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac donations in Congress.

Related Editorials

 

IRAQ


Quick Facts:

  • When the U.S. was on the verge of losing in Iraq, McCain chose to stand and fight.  Obama chose retreat.
  • Even after the surge succeeded, Obama told ABC’s Terry Moran he would still oppose it if he had the chance to do it all over again.

Related Editorials

 

DEFENSE

Quick Facts:

  • Obama has promised to significantly cut defense spending, including saying “I will slow our development of future combat systems.”
  • John McCain has vowed: “We must continue to deploy a safe and reliable nuclear deterrent, robust missile defenses and superior conventional forces that are capable of defending the United States and our allies.”

Related Editorials

Obama Video: Watch Now

 

 

BACKGROUND & CHARACTER

Quick Facts:

  • Obama voted “present” 135 times as a state senator, and according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, “gained a reputation for skipping tough votes.”
  • McCain has taken stances unpopular with his own party and/or the public on controversial issues, including immigration, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, the Iraq War and more.

Related Editorials

 

 

JUDGES & COURTS


Quick Facts:

  • In a 2001 interview, Obama said he regretted that the Supreme Court “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.”
  • In the same interview, Obama criticized the Supreme Court because it “never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
  • Obama has focused on empathy, rather than legal reasoning and restraint, as his basis for appointing judges, saying, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy…to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old.”
  • McCain opposes judicial activism, saying, “my nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power.”

Related Editorials

Obama 2001 Interview: Listen Now

 

ENERGY


Quick Facts:

  • McCain has proposed building 45 new nuclear plants by 2030 and is in favor of drilling in sectors of the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Obama has refused to take a stand, saying only “we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix” and he will “look at” drilling offshore.

Related Editorials

»
McCain: The Energy Candidate

» McCain On Nukes: Yes We Can
» Breaking The Back Of High Oil

 

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Media’s War Lies

Media’s War Lies

By Ralph Peters
New York Post | 4/18/2008

LIKE many Americans, I get angry at biased “reporting” about Iraq and the spin from dishonest pundits. Usually, I get over it quickly, since my expectations of the media are pretty low. But sometimes a Big Lie just won’t let go. And the lefty lie that the Iraqi military is a hopeless failure must be answered.

Yes, we all know that left-wing media outlets, such as the dying New York Times, need Iraq to fail to redeem their credibility. They’ll do all they can to dismiss any sign of progress.

But the perverted gloating over recent Iraqi military operations in Basra combines willful ignorance of military affairs with a shameless manipulation of the facts. Yes, some local Iraqi police and new military recruits ran away. But that was all that the media reported.

Where was the coverage of the 95 percent of the Iraqi security forces who did their duty? Some fought superbly. The Iranian-backed gangs and militias took a beating.

Muqtada al Sadr – not the central government – asked for a cease-fire. The Iraqi military remains in Basra, still pushing (and freeing the occasional kidnapped journalist). The government now has a presence where lawlessness prevailed – and it took control of Basra’s vital port facilities, the country’s economic lifeline.

But all we continue to hear about is the one Iraqi cop or soldier in 20 who ran away.

OK, consider our own military history – which isn’t short of ultimate victories:

* During the American Revolution, George Washington repeatedly had trouble with troops fleeing the battlefield and with desertions. Militias remained unreliable all through the war. Yet, we defeated the British – a global power – in the end.

* In the War of 1812, American troops broke again – and more than once. Yet, at the war’s conclusion, it was redcoats seasoned in the Napoleonic Wars who fled from the US Army’s “Cottonbalers” at New Orleans.

* In the Mexican-American War, Gen. Winfield Scott’s march on Mexico City was the most brilliant campaign ever fought by American troops – yet, earlier in the conflict, an entire troop of US Cavalry (new immigrants) deserted to the Mexican side. That’s why there’s never a J or Juliet troop in a US Cavalry regiment.

* After a few hours of fierce fighting, the Union Army broke at Bull Run, fleeing in panic at the start of our Civil War. Even two years later, when the Army of the Potomac was well on its way to becoming the first great industrial-age force, the XI Corps – more than 10,000 men – disintegrated when surprised by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. Guess who won the Civil War, anyway?

* As other writers have noted in regard to Basra, the green US forces in North Africa in WWII fell apart when struck by Rommel’s Afrika Korps at Kasserine Pass. At Vossenack Ridge, two years later, US troops cracked under heavy shelling and ran again. Guess who won that war, too?

* At the outset of the Korean War, the US Army’s Task Force Smith collapsed as it was overwhelmed by North Koreans. But we came back with a vengeance. Should we have just quit?

And should we demand more of the Iraqis, who have so many internal obstacles to overcome, than we ourselves could deliver in the past?

Few battles have perfect outcomes. No wars do. Not all soldiers will measure up. And no human endeavor is more complex than warfare.

Soldiers break and run in three basic circumstances: when they’re new and are asked to do too much too soon; when they’re surprised; or when they’re ground down to the breaking point by overwhelming odds.

Show me one country whose troops have never fled a battlefield – I can’t find any.

In the past, when we still honored military service, even the literary set understood that wars are fought by fallible human beings. Stephen Crane’s American classic, “The Red Badge of Courage,” is about a young soldier who runs away in terror from his first taste of combat – yet returns to fight bravely later on.

The Iraqi military, which now has 190,000 troops in uniform, is getting along pretty well by historical standards. These troops are taking responsibility for their own country, allowing us to do less and less of the fighting and dying. Yes, they’ll need our help for a while yet – but we needed the “technologically superior” French to help us get to Yorktown.

Meanwhile, why don’t the noisiest critics of the situation in Iraq, from the Times’ silly Frank Rich to Sen. Barack Obama, go to Iraq to see things for themselves?

Are they afraid?

If so, they really shouldn’t question the courage of others or mock their sacrifices.

I’ve always admitted that Iraq could fail. Despite real, measurable progress, that remains the case. I only wish that those on the left would have the integrity to acknowledge that Iraq also has a chance to succeed.

 

Michelle Obama’s America–and mine By Michelle Malkin • February 20, 2008 08:04 AM