“The fierce urgency of now.” One of Barack Obama’s favorite lines. But used only when convenient.
As in, “we need to pass the stimulus bill immediately, or there will be a financial disaster. Forget reading the bill, just pass it so I can sign it immediately to save the economy from catastrophe. Thanks for passing it, I’ll wait a few days before signing it anyway, and most of the money will not be spent for years.”
As in, “we need to pass legislation restructuring the entire health care sector by the August recess or the sky will fall. No time to read the legislation, just pass it, and I’ll sign it. Oh, since you didn’t pass it, now that it’s September, I’ll give a speech to Congress proposing my own plan even though I would have signed a different plan had Congress passed it in August.”
But no hurry on Afghanistan. Obama’s selected commander requested reinforcements last August. Three months later, Obama still deliberates, even though Obama supposedly went through the strategic analysis process prior to announcing the March 2009 revised strategic plan. And even though Obama has had plenty of time to devote to his legislative priorities, the Chicago Olympic bid, and everything else but making a decision on Afghanistan.
The unions and local politicians couldn’t wait to get their hands on stimulus money, so that was urgent. We also needed to try to rush through a Trojan Horse health care bill in a hurry to satisfy the fierceness of the left-wing “one nation, one plan” types.
But with troops in the field and the Taliban resurgent, Obama will take his sweet time, without regard to any due speed of deliberation.
Typically, anyone who takes Obama to task for his dawdling and dithering and blathering on Afghanistan is criticized as placing speed over correctness. But dawdling and dithering and blathering will not make the decision more correct, merely more costly to our troops.
Everything must be done in a hurry in the age of Obama, except when it comes to Afghanistan. As for the troops in the field, their urgency is not fierce. At least not now. At least not to this administration.