Monday, June 28, 2010

The Community Organizer and The General

[Sorry this is late, but Life intervened.]

How big is the General McChrystal story? (Click the link at memeorandum to see) It was so big, that I came out of hiding (thanks to an email) to write about it.

I have never been a Soldier or a Spy (nor Tinker or Tailor), but those who fight on the far reaches away from Civilization have some of the hardest jobs. Those who work in Executive branch must know the factors (historical and current) and the players, before any decision is made.

General McChrystal supported Senator Obama in 08, he was sold on the rhetoric of Obama doing better then Bush too. Allow me to quote Lex Luthor one more time: WRONG!

What was Obama's experience? He was a community Organizer who became a State Senator who lucked into a US Senate seat. His only competition in 08 came from Hillary! not from McCain (which is why he deserves to lose his primary in AZ).

What does a Community Organizer do?
"Community organizing is a long-term approach where the people affected by an issue are supported in identifying problems and taking action to achieve solutions. The organizer challenges those he or she works with to change the way things are—it is a means of achieving social change through collective action by changing the balance of power. The tactics and strategies employed by the organizer are similar to the processes of leadership including timing the issue, deliberate planning, getting the attention of the populace, framing the issue in terms of the desired solution, and shaping the terms of the decision-making process,"
(h/t Marin Instititute)

In other words, someone who builds a short coalition to get something for a poor neighborhood, then leaves the neighborhood as is.And here are "qualities," of a good community Organizer:

Community organizers think strategically about their work while always keeping the final goal in mind and continually making contributions to the goal. This is especially important in community organizing campaigns to enact or change policies. Qualities include:
Imagination Sense of Humor
Blurred vision of a better worldAn organized personality
Strong ego/sense of oneself A free, open mind, and political relativity
Ability to create the new out of the old ( Saul Alinsky, 1971)

Nothing there about putting together long term goals or helping people to help themselves. Time to focus on General McChrystal does in Afghanistan. (according to the Rolling Stone article)First, Afghanistan. Throughout the Bush years, the Democrats yelled that Afghanistan was the "Good war," now that Democrats run everything, the Truth will out: They Lied.

President Obama is called by the chattering class as a "Political genius," but he got played by McCrystal. The quotes in the Rolling Stone article did not get there by accident:

"One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given. "Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force," the laminated card reads. For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that's like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won't have to make arrests. "Does that make any fucking sense?" asks Pfc. Jared Pautsch. "We should just drop a fucking bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself: What are we doing here?"

"The rules handed out here are not what McChrystal intended – they've been distorted as they passed through the chain of command – but knowing that does nothing to lessen the anger of troops on the ground. "Fuck, when I came over here and heard that McChrystal was in charge, I thought we would get our fucking gun on," says Hicks, who has served three tours of combat. "I get COIN. I get all that. McChrystal comes here, explains it, it makes sense. But then he goes away on his bird, and by the time his directives get passed down to us through Big Army, they're all fucked up – either because somebody is trying to cover their ass, or because they just don't understand it themselves. But we're fucking losing this thing."

This comes back to the idea that half-term Senators with no Executive experience should ever be President. Afghanistan is a place where chaos has ruled for over 25 years. And President Obama with his Ivy education thinks he can tame the ground?

Community Organizers make small areas better; Generals work on larger grounds. I speak as one who knows, Sun Tzu beats Alinsky every time.

When President Obama handed the reigns of Afghanistan to General Petreaus, President Bush's Iraq strategy (Wilsonianism defeats Terrorism) willed out. And I now send a question to my Liberal readers, What is President Obama's long term strategy for Afghanistan?

President Obama cannot even fix an Oil spill, how does he think he can negotiate with tribes?

My question: What would be your Long Term strategy for Afghanistan? Timelines until November 2012.

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