Why didn’t Obama sell his message on Afghanistan?

The night of December 2, 2009 I really wanted to hear what Obama had to say about his Afghanistan “strategy”, but instead I found myself racing to return a rented car and get my own car out of the repair shop before they closed.

Not that I didn’t want to be inspired by flowery rhetoric, and reassured that my friends over there now would be reinforced, finally, as our Commander-in-Chief said they would earlier this year.

I actually did hear bits and pieces of it, interspersed with the comments of Mark Levin, but to find out what really went on, I had to turn to the interwebz.

After some searching, I found that not many seemed to be convinced that Obama did a very good job of selling his “strategy”;

Ed Morrissey writes;

Obama has decided to fight the war with the proper resourcing, or close to it.  But what exactly is the purpose of the escalation?  There was no sense of purpose in the speech, no grand sense of mission, save one: getting out.  Obama never once mentioned “victory” in the address, nor attempt to define (or even re-define) what he wanted for an outcome.  He talked about human rights, but never mentioned “democracy” except its symbols in Washington and our attempt to bolster it … in Pakistan.  In fact, he mentioned “Vietnam” four times.

Even Chrissy Matthews’ leg lost some tingle;

“Where’s the hope? . . . It sounds more Rube Goldberg than ‘Remember the Alamo,'” was the reaction of MSNBC host Chris Matthews last night. “If I were with the Taliban right now, I’d put a little Post-it up on that month in 2011, and say: ‘This is when we do OUR surge.'”

The left, would summarize it thus;

…if Obama keeps his word (despite all the whining from McCain and the Republicans) and begins withdrawing our forces by 2011, then he will get the full out support of progressives in the 2012 campaign. Then, hopefully, in his second term he can really begin to address the military industrial complex and its chokehold on our treasury.

It is for the left much as we thought it would be; as usual, about “Big Military™” and how most spending on beans and bullets is meritless. Win in 2012 and Obama can really slash the military they was they think it needs to be. Since we really have no enemies in the world but ourselves, I suppose.

Bob Schieffer said, believe it or not;

“How do you on the one hand say, ‘we need to send these troops over there, it’s critical, this is in our national security interest to do this'” Schieffer said, “but then say, ‘but we’re only going to keep ’em there for 18 months.'”

One thing I’m asking myself at this point; is merely increasing the numbers of troops even a viable strategy? Does giving the enemy in that area more targets to choose from get us closer to Afghan independence and freeing up troops for other possible “Overseas Contingencies”? I’m thinking there should be something more winning in his “strategy” than simply sitting in the larger cities and hoping somehow the local tribes will believe in “Hope and Change” enough to turn the bad guys over to us despite Obama’s stated promise that “we’re outta here in 18 months, baby”.

Jeff Emanuel noted something quite familiar about the whole “Obama Strategy” unveiled that night; it was tried in Iraq and it failed. The Iraq surge wasn’t just an increase in troop levels, it was a complete package that included going after the enemy with a vengeance and destroying his infrastructure, cutting off his tentacles one by one until his reach was so limited he became a non-entity. But that wasn’t Obama’s message.

We know Obama can be inspiring, eh “52“?

So why didn’t that Obama show up to speak? Couldn’t he at least try to convince his majority party that this war is necessary and needs to be gotten behind?

It must be this; it’s hard to sell a product or idea that you yourself don’t believe in;

I really don’t want to be commander-in-chief, but I’ll do it if I have to — at least for a little while, and then we’ll see. Just so long as it doesn’t cost too much, or take too long, or interfere with my plans to nationalize healthcare and fundamentally change America.

As we said before November 2008; the Presidency isn’t the place for “on the job training”, nor is it a place for one who’s heart’s not in it. Lives are really on the line and are being lost here, as is our credibility as a world power. Did he really think he would always get a pass on national security from the drones in the MSM?

If Obama’s intent last night was to convince his base, he may have failed even in that.