Oh boy, I wish Fred hadn’t gone here but the said truth is someone had to say it out loud…
From the Politico:
Former Sen. Fred Thompson today intensified his party’s criticism of President Obama’s long deliberation over policy in Afghanistan, announcing that Obama’s delay signals that “the war has been lost” and that nothing the president now does will “make any difference.”
“It really doesn’t matter how President Obama divides the Afghan baby, how he splits the difference between McChrystal and Biden. Because the war has been lost,” Thompson said on his radio show today. “I say this because of one sad and simple fact. The president does not have the will and determination to do what’s necessary to win it. His heart’s not in it, and never has been. The Taliban knows it. Al Qaeda knows it. Our allies know it. And the American people know it.
“Our enemies are now emboldened and our friends are discouraged. We cannot prevail if the American people are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary for an extended effort. The case has not been made to them to justify this effort. The case can only be made by the president. This president is unable or unwilling to make that case,” Thompson said.
Kathryn Jean Lopez has the audio here.
Ouch… Barack Obama made winning the war in Afghanistan a central part of his Presidential campaign and yet 10 months into his term in office he’s still formulating a policy… Unfortunately, I think Sen. Thompson is right, President Obama lacks the temerity to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and is instead voting ‘present’ just as he has done with everything else.
Jim Hanson laid it out months ago Mr. President, wars do not end, they are either won or lost:
The buck stops with you Mr. President, it’s time to make a decision… Do we give our war fighters the resources they need to fight and win or do we cut and run?
Update (5:15 p.m.): Pete Hegseth has a good post over at The Corner that takes Sen. Thompson to task for his remarks:
Let’s go back to an interview Senator Thompson gave on Hannity and Colmes on May 1, 2007:
HANNITY: The biggest battle we have is this war on terror, this battle in Iraq. We have a really deep divide in the country. Senator Reid the war is lost. We still have to finish the job there. Where do you stand in general on the war on terror and, more specifically, in Iraq, and on the divide surrounding Iraq?
THOMPSON: Well, let’s talk about Senator Reid for a moment. Right before I came over here, I was sitting outside, getting a bite to eat, before we did our interview. A young woman [former Army captain] came up and asked if she could sit down and talk to me a minute. . . . I asked her what she thought about this. She said, “How in the world can anyone, any one of our leaders, declare war, declare that the war has been lost when we’ve got troops in the field? My friends are over there in the field. I know what they think about this.”
And, of course, it’s just like all other Americans think. The very idea that they would do this and undercut our efforts over there is unprecedented. And it’s not only unprecedented; it’s awful politics.
We should not be fearful of these people politically. We just need to concentrate on what’s right. What is right? We need to take advantage of any opportunity we’ve got down there. I’ve got a lot of faith in Petraeus. I knew him when he was at Fort Campbell when I was in the Senate. He tells me we’ve got a shot? We’ve got to take that shot.
I’m sure Senator Thompson made many similar comments in 2007, and he was right. Sen. Harry Reid’s statement was unprecedented, and it was awful politics. And if Petraeus says we have a shot, then we’ve got to take that shot.
In light of the above, what is Senator Thompson doing undercutting the mission in Afghanistan? Is the mission less justified? Is it less achievable? Or is McChrystal less capable? No. Senator Thompson’s issue with the Afghanistan mission is President Obama. And while I share many of his frustrations — indecisiveness, lack of will, unwillingness to articulate the need to win — none of them give him, or anyone, grounds to declare the war lost.
I have a lot of respect for Fred Thompson but the more I think about his remarks the less comfortable I am with them… Pete Hegseth is right, regardless of our frustrations with the President Obama’s lack of action there are just some things that shouldn’t be said while men and women are in harms way.