For some reason, Obama can never resist throwing in an unfair dig at the previous administration in every speech he gives, no matter the subject matter. Doesn’t he realize how small that makes him look? It’s almost become a waiting game – waiting for that special moment in each speech when he has to cast blame on his predecessor, just to prop himself up. Former Sec. of State Donald Rumsfeld, like Dick Cheney many times before him, wasn’t going to let Obama’s slander go unchallenged:
“In his speech to the nation last night, President Obama claimed that ‘Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.’ Such a bald misstatement, at least as it pertains to the period I served as Secretary of Defense, deserves a response.”
“I am not aware of a single request of that nature between 2001 and 2006. If any such requests occurred, ‘repeated’ or not, the White House should promptly make them public. The President’s assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.”
“In the interest of better understanding the President’s announcement last night, I suggest that the Congress review the President’s assertion in the forthcoming debate and determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.”
That conforms with what Steven Hayes reported in THE WEEKLY STANDARD in October, who went on to say that Bush sent 7000 more troops in 2008, before he left office.
Gibbs that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops. It’s nonsense, they say. McKiernan wanted more troops–he asked for three additional brigades in the summer of 2008–but he understood that he could have them only when they became available. “McKiernan was making requests down the line,” says a Pentagon official, “and late in 2008 we did have the ability to commit more forces. So we did.” Indeed, Bush sent nearly 7,000 additional troops to Afghanistan before he left office, including one brigade that had been repurposed from Iraq.
I’m still waiting to hear “ankle-biter”, Dick Cheney’s thoughts on the speech.
More reactions from the left and right, (almost all negative), here.
Hat tip: Gateway Pundit
Steven Hayes also notes that before Obama had eloquently decried the “rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse” in his speech at his West Point speech, last night, Biden had sent out this mass email to liberal supporters touting Obama’s speech:
“It’s a clean break from the failed Afghanistan policy of the Bush administration, and a new, focused strategy that can succeed’.