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The Armchair's Worth a Couple Stars

So, Obama says:

"You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon — supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq," Obama told CNN moderator Campbell Brown.

"And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough Humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief," he added.
And portions of the Right-o-sphere opens the spigots of ridicule:

Joshuapundit snarks: People get the kind of government they deserve. If we elect this charlatan, we'll deserve what we get.

NRO's The Corner: It's the kind of ludicrous claim one expects to hear from a caller on late night talk radio, not from a potential president of the US. Does Sen. Obama have ANYTHING to back this up?

Blackfive: Commander in Chief is a vital role and for his entire campaign staff to have missed the glaringly foolish errors in his sad vignette about starving, unarmed troops in Afghanistan.

Blogs 4 McCain: Does this sound like the man our armed forces deserve to have as Commander-in-Chief? While he attempts to attack the President here, he is in fact attacking commanders on the ground. He is using their service in a dangerous area as a political catchphrase, full rhetoric but not substance.

Now, ABC's Jake Tapper has already fact-checked this, and supports Obama's anecdote. But how's a chin-jutting chest-thumper gonna believe a mere member of the MSM? Come on, now.

Well, how about believing Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey:

"I have no reason to doubt what it is the captain said," Casey said. "This was 2003 and 2004, almost four and a half years ago. We acknowledge and all worked together to correct the deficiencies that we saw in that period, not only in Afghanistan but in Iraq. It was a period that we worked our way through."
Who you going to believe? An armchair general? Or a real one?

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“The Armchair's Worth a Couple Stars”

  1. Blogger Transplanted Lawyer Says:

    If I were going to criticize Obama -- which I'm not, since I think it's a patriot's duty to call the government on the carpet, especially when it leaves our soldiers out to dry like in a combat zone with no weapons -- I would criticize him for basing a contemporary argument on old data. How the war was fought in 2003 and 2004 is not as important as how the war is being fought now and what can be done now to win the war.

    Stipulated, by the way, that the war (in both Iraq and Afghanistan) was very poorly-run during the Pentagon tenure of the incompetent and arrogant Donald Rumsfeld. But it's one thing to say "Rumsfeld did a bad job as Secretary of Defense," it's something else to say "Gates is doing a bad job as Secretary of Defense." Gates is relevant to today's debate, not Rumsfeld.

  2. Blogger Dyre42 Says:

    I refuse to believe any armchair generals that are not me.