Obama needs a lesson in military history

If he hopes to accomplish more than Bush, Obama needs better advisers

Politicians rely heavily, on almost every subject, on advisors to get them educated and keep them current. And nobody really expects Obama or Clinton or even McCain, who was a Navy aviator, to know anything about ground combat. But one does expect the candidate to employ advisors who know what they are talking about and to prevent their candidate from embarrassment.

The criticism is directed at the recent remarks about seized Taliban weapons and lack of ammunition, but they could apply to a wide range of military issues, including Obama’s claim that after withdrawing all the troops from Iraq, he’d send some back “if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq.” As John McCain pointed out, al Qaida is in Iraq, operating under the name “al-Qaida in Iraq.”

Then, instead of debating the issue, Obama tries to shift the debate to one about whether Iraq should have been invaded or not. Instapundit posts a letter from a reader which includes

This has been a rhetorical trick that Obama has used a lot when he gets hit for saying something stupid. He never admits being caught and he changes the subject to a different talking point as fast as he can, claiming that he wants to be about the “future.” Given his tendency to make bizarre and naive statements about foreign policy, I have to wonder how long he can get away with it.

Obama is a decent speaker, fairly charismatic, and probably preferable to Hillary. But he is not ready for the big office. Not by a long shot. His apparent total ignorance of anything related to the military other than “invasion of Iraq = B-A-D” should trouble anyone. But I know that it doesn’t, and that’s even more troubling.


  1. He’ll get away with saying stupid stuff, then shifting to another subject for a long time. When you’re dealing with a cult of presonality like Obamania………..substance or accuracy tend to fade into the background. Not that the guy doesn’t say ‘anything’ that makes sense or is true, because he does, it’s just he’s so famous for being famous, he can say moronic stuff and his crew will still pee themselves because ‘he’ said it. Reminds me of a comment from Jimi Hendrix (obviously a couple of weeks ago, LOL!). Jimi said something to the effect he’d become such guitar hero it didn’t make any difference if he played great or not, people still fell all over themselves telling how great his crappy playing was.

  2. Really, look at our military after 8 years of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. F-15s falling out of the sky. KC-135s and C-130s ready to fall out of the sky. F-22 is finally operational after 25 years of development (whoo hoo). F-35 costs skyrocketing. FCS. Brand new or newly refurbished ships that are structurally not seaworthy. The cost of ships in general has skyrocketed. Less than a 300 ship Navy. Our main line fighters getting their asses kicked by Russian aircraft. I have a quotable friend who likes to say that no matter how bad things get, they can always get infinitely worse (he’s a real ‘silver lining’ sort), but really, how much worse do you think things will get under whoever the next prez is? On the up side, Obama has come out against NAFTA and against allowing Mexican trucks on our roads. I expect he’ll probably cave on that stuff the way politicians do when facing big money corporations, but as long as he holds those positions, I’m going to vote for him. I saw an article linked from Drudge that called those ‘liberal’ positions. Ha. Like Buchanan or Paul are liberals? Right.

  3. It’s not just ignorance of military history – he, and many other Democrats, is openly hostile to the military and the idea of victory. He isn’t suggesting we negotiate an end to an unpopular war, he has promised to lose a war we have already won and deliver Iraq to our enemies. (Al la Vietnam in 1975) It would be a most foul and disgusting betrayal of everyone in that area of the world who ever cooperated with the U.S. Our allies in Iraq would be tortured and executed before our eyes – followed by genocide. All to win a few votes.

  4. As I recall, we left Vietnam victorious due to the policies of our Republican president, which mainly consisted of fighting a real war in Vietnam, not just a stupid police action like the Democrats before him had done. The problem was not that we left in defeat, it was that we were not willing to go back and show our resolve when the enemy did not hold to their signed agreements. I lay the blame for that on the Democrats who controlled congress who were more interested in destroying that president than in the fate of the Vietnamese people for that loss. If there are parallels to be made here, we should make the correct parallels.