On Friday morning I was enjoying my daily ritual, getting my world and national news fix over a cup of coffee on my patio. I came upon two statements that caused me to choke on a gulp of coffee. Mentally I asked myself, "What did he just say?" I read the two statements again, then a third time. There was no mistaking what the man said. I was thoroughly shocked and angered. I said to no one in particular - I was alone on the patio - I told you so ...I told you so!
I was in for an even greater shock in the days that followed. It is now Tuesday as I pen this article. Despite the shocking nature of the statements, there has been no follow-up, no reaction. My morning paper, the original culprit, had no further information on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or this morning. Of course, the worthless MSN did not even mention the statements, let alone a follow-up. Most surprising, my usually reliable news sources on the Internet, including OEN, did not mention the statements, thus no follow-up. Trying desperately to maintain a sense of equilibrium I reached out to my networks of friends that span the entire country, from the East Coast to Hawaii. That, too, ended in failure. Some had read the original article, but, no, they had not heard anything since, no reaction to the astounding statements from Congress nor the White House nor the Pentagon. In fact there has been no coverage whatsoever since the original article on the 28th.
Did I dream this up? Is my imagination playing tricks on my aged brain cells. No, I still have the article from my Friday morning paper, and the article can be found on the Internet, but only the original article. Despite intensive searching, the Internet also failed to provide me with follow-up information. But the Internet can only find what is out there. There was no follow-up, no reaction to the shocking statements from anyone... period.
Before continuing, let's go back a couple of weeks. The Obama administration had launched, perhaps, the most popular program yet of his so far short regime. It's popular name was the "Cars for Clunkers" program and it was a rousing success. While having some detractors, the program had three beneficial results. Courtesy of the federal government, John Q. Public was able to get a new car as opposed to other federal programs that financed some of the largest corporations in America. By getting the "clunkers" off the street, the environment gets a breather. It put people to work to restore inventories on car lots. It ended prematurely on Aug. 16th. The announcement came from the Department of Transportation without an explanation. I went through the steps mentioned above searching for some sort of an explanation from a government official with same results as mentioned above. No federal official ever explained why the popular program was cut short. I speculated with others that this may be the new communications policy of the Obama administration. If it is bad news, don't say a word. Let the media sort it all out. The media did, concluding the program ran out of money. Is that the media's new job, explaining government actions? Maybe I am just old school, but I always thought it was the government's job to explain the government's actions.
Or in this case the words of a very prominent government official, a general actually. Unfortunately, the media in this case simply ignored the issue as did our federal government. But, as they say in this business, you can't un-ring a bell.
So what did this general say that caused the entire news media, including the ever reliable Internet news media, and our political and military leaders to simply clam up, hoping the words will just go away, be forgotten. By the way, this wasn't just any general, not some retired type spouting off his expertise after the fact. The general's name is Stanley McChrystal. He is currently the general commanding, Afghan theater of operations. The words will not go away for a very simple reason. Gen. McChrystal spoke the truth, an unspoken truth known for years by many. The general spoke reality, a harsh reality that Americans must understand, more importantly, a harsh reality that our political and military leaders must understand.
On a placid Friday morning I read these statements from an A.P. article.
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan released his new counterinsurgency strategy Thursday, telling troops that the supply of militants is "effectively endless" and that U.S. and NATO forces need to see the country through the eyes of its villagers [emphasis is mine].
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
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