Who calls the shots, and how are major decisions made in Washington?
How many of these decisions are based on what is best for the country as opposed to what will win the most votes and elections?
It is assumed the president, as this country’s commander in chief, who won the vote of the public to move into the Oval Office, makes the final call. However, considering all possibilities relative to major, dangerous issues, are members of his support staff given the opportunity to freely express opinions that may differ with the president’s? And, if there are such situations, do these military and intelligence leaders back down and support the president’s decisions or do they go public and tell why they resigned or were fired? This doesn’t happen.
The current situation in Iraq offers a case study as to what has gone wrong and why the situation has turned so sour so quickly and so dangerously.
Iraq is thousands of miles away. The fighting caused the deaths of approximately 4,000 American troops and left 32,000 wounded.
Again, who makes the decisions? The game of finger-pointing is going wild these days, but, as the late President Harry Truman said, the buck stops on the president’s desk.
Those in the White House either were blind to the current situation in Iraq or didn’t think it could blow up into such a dangerous situation. Vice President Joe Biden went so far several years ago to say the manner in which the Iraq war was brought to a close, the peaceful climate and the likelihood of Iraq transforming into a reliable, stable nation was one of the successful hallmarks of the Obama administration. What does he have to say today?
Did our military leaders mislead the president? Did they support his plans to pull out all troops, or did they differ with Obama? Did the president go against the advice of those who are supposed to be the most knowledgeable about war and the consequences of war?
What happened to our intelligence community? It appears Obama and his inner circle have been caught flat-footed by the sudden organization and deployment of the radical and ruthless “insurgents.” In a matter of days, they have taken over the nation’s largest city and now are only a few miles from Baghdad.
This situation alone verifies the concern of many in the intelligence community that it is essential to have boots on the ground, individuals who have extensive, up-do-date knowledge and training relative to the history, religion, government, language, politics and culture of a country and can keep Washington officials alert to the potential problems. Obviously, this is lacking in Iraq, or the White House and maybe military advisers ignored this information or didn’t give it any credence. Spy satellites cannot get the job done.
Friday, Obama made a brief statement about the Iraq situation saying no U.S. troops would be sent to Iraq. He also said it would be several days before any decision would be made about what actions may be taken to help the Iraqi government. This offers proof the president and his advisers were blind to what is going on in Iraq. It also suggests they don’t realize just how fast the insurgents are moving and that a delay of several days could make a critical and fatal difference.
Perhaps the president has been so focused on the upcoming and 2016 elections and raising millions of dollars for those races that Iraq was not at the top of his agenda.
The same can be said about this nation’s media. Aside from the Fox Network, the major networks — ABC, NBC and CBS — and major newspapers have been blind to the situation, apparently buying into the White House contention that everything is good and safe.
The fact is, Uncle Sam, the Obama administration and the major media have been sucker-punched by the insurgent forces in Iraq.
This should make Americans wonder about the wisdom and thinking of Obama’s decision to free five terrorists from Guantanamo. In doing so, the president, the secretary of state and other senior Obama advisers have said their release would not endanger the U.S. Rather, they said, they will be a danger to the countries in the area. Who is to say they will not be active in planning future actions that could be deadly to Americans?
Will the U.S. make as many mistakes in ending its presence in Afghanistan as it obviously did in Iraq? We’ve disclosed specific dates when the majority of U.S. troops will leave Afghanistan, giving radical insurgents a timetable to prepare their assault.
Those who served in Iraq, relatives of those who were wounded or killed and growing numbers of Americans must be mystified and angered by what is happening in Iraq.
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Just as the Iraq situation is a tragedy, so is the situation along this nation’s southern border, where tens of thousands of youngsters, without their parents, are being allowed to come into the U.S., actually welcomed and promised shelter, health care, food and education. Already the federal government has called for $2 billion to be directed to helping these children. Consider how many potential terrorists may be planted in these numbers, as well as representatives of drug cartels.
This situation, although not grabbing the headlines or Obama’s concern, is, in its way, just as serious as the humanitarian crisis. It’s evidence of a misguided policy by the White House, a severe fiscal challenge for the states where these young people are being dumped and a method for bad people and bad operations to have a clear, safe path into the United States.