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The Fat Lady Won’t Sing

September 7, 2010 by  

The Fat Lady Won’t Sing

It may not have packed the emotional punch of the last chopper off the roof of the embassy in Saigon, but the word has come down from on high: The last combat troops have left the building.

Actually, I’m going to amend that last remark. A Stryker Brigade crossed the Southern Frontier between Iraq and Kuwait, marking the departure from our Mesopotamian quagmire of the last troops we’re actually CALLING “combat troops.”

We still have plenty of guys with guns in Iraq—more than 50,000—but they’re not “combat troops,” they’re “advisors.” Not to accuse the President of militaristic duplicity, but so were about a quarter million of our boys and girls who visited fabulous downtown Saigon in the 1960s.

But we’re not supposed to be treating the anointed savior with the same scrutiny with which George W. Bush and Richard M. Nixon (but not Bill Clinton) dealt. Since Barack Obama ascended the people’s throne, the corporate media doesn’t use words like “quagmire” anymore, nor do they refer to the “Vietnam of the Middle East.” Obama promised a swift withdrawal from Iraq, and he has thusly delivered—more or less. All right, less.

Nonetheless, calling everyone in digital desert camo an “advisor” means Obama gets to claim victory. And while The Associated Press noted that Obama didn’t actually claim victory in his speech last week; given that he hasn’t come out ahead in so much as a game of checkers with Bo the First Dog since he took office, hanging the metaphorical “Mission Accomplished” banner off the White House balustrade is as close as he’s going to get anytime soon. Considering the corporate media’s continued adherence to the Obama-as-savior mantra, the irony of the situation is that this undeclared “victory” was planned and executed during the demonized Bush Administration.

Perhaps that’s why Obama noted in his recent televised remarks that he called Bush prior to the telecast, and why he offered him praise during the speech. And perhaps that’s why wingnut hacks like Rachel Maddow and Bill Press (yep, he’s still alive) launched anti-Bush invective from their MSNBC pulpits in the wake of Obama’s address. If you only saw Keith Olbermann’s failed television science experiment, you might not know that the decisive troop surge which Bush put into action had ever occurred.

As House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) pointed out in the wake of Obama’s performance:

“Over the past several months, we’ve often heard about ending the war in Iraq but not much about winning the war in Iraq,”

Boehner went on to point out that the same Democrats who fought Bush tooth and nail on every facet of the Iraq War (once they stopped supporting it) were now trying to portray themselves as latter-day Churchills, as opposed to modern-era Chamberlains.

Or perhaps Obama has finally realized what Bush knew all along. To put a fine point on it: This ain’t over. Iraq remains enough of a junkyard to make North Jersey look like the south of France. Their most recent elections are fading into memory and their government appears to be stretched to the limit catching stray dogs—and stray bullets.

Meanwhile, Obama is steeling himself to raise the proverbial roof in Afghanistan. He said during his speech that American troops could now “apply the resources necessary to go on offense” in Afghanistan, as if our troops currently engaged with al-Qaida and the vestiges of the Taliban were playing Wii and drag-racing their Bradleys before now.

No doubt our current Commander-in-Chief would love to spend the remaining time between now and Nov. 2 discussing America’s supposed Baghdad bon voyage. But as Bush knew, there’s no rest for the West Wing.

Obama must now convince a skeptical nation—and military—that not only is Iraq either in the bag or out of our shopping cart, but that the War Obama Wanted in Afghanistan is winnable under Democrat direction. Add to that the sorry state of our economy under his laughable lack of leadership and the sorry state of his party headed into what may well be an electoral Waterloo come November, and Obama may spend his fall wishing he’d saved up some sick days.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • s c

    “Victory” my aching asterisk. Ben, the fat lady can’t sing because we are NOT out of Afghanistan. The idea that we’re ‘officially out’ of Iraq is IRRELEVANT. Can any of our ‘advisors’ be killed or hurt? Can they be maimed for life? Is this prez so incredibly out-of-touch that he’s relying on semantics and statistics instead of REALITY?
    More and more, The Anointed One acts like a character in a Dirty Harry movie. First, he’s a living legend – in his own mind. Second, there’s THE LAW, and then there’s the law that he’ll enforce. Third, Mr. Obama dares to confuse promises with results. Fourth, he couldn’t win a pot in Las Vegas with a royal flush because the deck he’s playing with doesn’t have all its cards.
    In short, we’re wasting our time (and military LIVES) to believe that this anti-leader deserves any breaks. Anybody who mixes fantasy with reality and walks a fine line between Attila the Hun and Casper Milquetoast should be flipping burgers at a local choke-and-puke, NOT the White House.

    • eddie47d

      All your comments come straight from Fantasy Island without the beautiful guys and gals. More like LOST on fantasy island!

      • eddie47d

        I think Ben Crystal knows the results before he hits his first computer key.Like SC above he loves stoking the fires and gets the animal house stirred up. You’re certainly no journalist (“pun dent”) of any credibility and I still look at you as Mr Livingstons’ class clown.

        • Pete

          You know a poster has no facts on their side when the best they can do is throw a couple insults out and ‘humorous’ jabs that aren’t funny nearly as much as they’re jabs.

        • Ben Crystal (Author)

          And yet, eddie47d – here you are, day after day, piece after piece, freely voicing your opinion in Bob Livingston’s free forum.

          Thank you for your punctual and continued participation and patronage. And….you’re welcome.

          • http://naver samurai

            Well said, Ben! Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Al Sieber

            Good one Ben, I was waiting for that. isn’t freedom of speech wonderful?

          • Claire

            samurai–This war is a waste just like Viet Nam. Why do the administrations keep soldiers in these countries after we have pulled out? Heck, bring them all home. To heck with these countries. I only care about our soldiers and their families.

          • eddie47d

            Thank you Ben for allowing me to poke fun at you and tell Pete above that a humorous jab is better than mean and nasty jabs.See you around the blog block.

          • http://naver samurai

            Claire, if we bring them home, can we put them on our southern border? I would like them to come home too, but I guess I always believe in getting the job done first. Sorry if this doesn’t agree with you, but I do want to see them come home. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Claire

            samurai—Sure, we all wanted to win the war-but like I said, it ended up being another Viet Nam. The only way to win any war is to drop the big ones and get it over with–like we did in WWII. And if we did that, what would happen then?

          • http://naver samurai

            Claire, to tell you the truth I don’t know. I don’t think I want to know either. Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

          • Meteorlady

            I’M WITHOUT WORDS! Well said.

          • Meteorlady

            Obama is in a catch 22 – he can’t bring them home because there are no jobs here. He can’t stop he war because too many jobs here in the US depend on defense spending and our economy is already in shambles. I agree the best solution would be to bring them home and put them on our southern border, but he won’t do that because his handlers want a crisis there so they can get their “immigration reform” (amnesty) passed.

            Best solution is to put them on our borders. Best solution is to secure our borders, round up all the illegals, fine businesses that hire them and stop giving them freebies for breaking our laws. This one single political football can save us from third world status. We would get millions of jobs back, it would be a worker’s market and wages would climb thus more tax dollars would be collected. With an increase in jobs, people will have more expendable income and the economy would grow. We would gain back the billions of dollars these people cost us each year ($133.6 BILLION) and our schools would not be over crowded and multi-lingual, we could get into a hospital emergency room for a true emergency, and best of all the gangs, guns and drugs would be substantially down in this country.

          • Meteorlady

            Claire – exactly what was the objective of this war? I’m not sure I know that anymore. We got rid of Saddam, we found 100,000 or so Kurds that were gassed (WMD anyone?), and they had a free election. We left the country in ruins and the “tribes” are still fighting among themselves? What was the objective of this war? If we wanted to win the hearts of the people, we needed to help them rebuild and be self supporting and strong and then get the heck out of their lives. That would have been a victory.

            I’m not against what happened totally. I just don’t understand what the objective was supposed to be in order to declare victory. GWB stood on the deck of a navy shipped and declared victory when they had elections? Why didn’t we have peace? Now Obama says it’s over but neither have said what it was we won. We still don’t see peace there and the place is destroyed.

          • Pamela

            Good Comeback! I just began reading your Posts, and really admire the fact that you take the time to read and respond to the comments section, as I have never seen another Author do that. I tried to send you an E-mail, but couldn’t get the link to work. Could you please list a E-mail add that we could send you messages to? I have personal questions about Savannah I would like to ask as I am considering a vacation there soon. I have lived in GA all of my life, but have never had the chance to see the City yet.

            Thank You,
            Pamela Tollett

    • EddieW

      The Great liar just moved em from Iraq to Afghanistan!! so it’s still the big lie!! I guess you noticed…eddie47d is just a troll!!! probably on Obummer’s payroll!!! You hit the nail on the head!! Nice piece of writing!!

      • eddie47d

        Dear brother eddie,Sorry I’m not on Obamas’ payroll, and I’ll leave the trolling to SC and i41. They work for Herr Himmler. Have a great evening.

  • Viktor Leben

    They are leaving because the Pentagon does not want to lose troops and equipment to the Iranians.

    I think Clinton did a similar move of Air Force bombers to Guam from South Korea a decade ago ? Because of a possible invasion of North Korea…Correct if I’m wrong on the specifics !

    Why would they leave 50,000 troops behind ? Maybe the Pentagon has done a study on prosecuting an Iranian war – Maybe the armor/mechanized divisions will be used to take the Iranian naval bases… A blitzkrieg sweep right thru Southern Iran. That’s the strategy in my opinion.

    Once Iran’s anti ship missiles are destroyed/captured/incapacitated you bring the Navy Flattops in for the kill. Greatly reduce the rest of their military with air strikes. Then secure the beachheads and reinforce the armored/mechanized units – and invade with the reserve troops you just took out of Iraq..

    Just speculation. The Pentagon doesn’t want to lose all those assets in an Iranian conflict . “Redeploy” your troops out of harms way so you will have a reserve – then tactically use them as needed.

    • Bob

      The only way we will go to war with Iran is if we can bribe China and Russia to stay out of it. We’d be taking a chance because we haven’t fought a real military since WWII.

      • http://naver samurai

        I don’t know about that. The Chinese, North Koreans, and Vietnamese seemed pretty tough and well trained to me. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

    • slickporsche

      Well General, that is mighty good speculation, but you forgot one thing. There is no leader in the WhiteHouse at the moment, only a cleaning “boy” and his family.

    • Al Sieber

      Viktor, sounds simple enough, but a lot of our soldiers are gonna get killed, it’s not our war, but if you read The “Project For A New American Century” (PNAC) it’s been planned for 12 years now. this includes the whole Middle East, or read the Grand Chess Board by Zbiew Brezenski, he talks about the great mineral wealth and other natural resources we need to get. we’re considered the “vassals” or serfs to that guy. how about good ole Henry Kissinger the Nazi, there’s countries that have warrants for his arrest. it’s gonna be interesting to see how this plays out, we are now a empire and not a constitutional republic any more, haven’t been for quite a while. Hail Caesar!!!

      • Al Sieber

        What needs to be done here is to secure the damn borders, but that seems too much to ask, what will finally happen is the people will end up doing the job the Govt. won’t do and it won’t be good.

  • FreedomFighter

    Only fools think the fanatic leadership of Iran will ever give up stated goals.

    Death to Jews
    Death to America
    IslamoFacist domination of the world.

    We even just think about burning a few copies of the fake holy book called karan (yes, i am a terrible speeler), and these islamo-fanatic-nutcase 11th century illiterates become even more dangerous–how?

    They have allready sworn to murder all Americans and jews and take over the world, burning us in islamic fire. Islamo-nutjobs cut the heads off our troops and defecate on the dead body. They stone women to death for no good reason. Hang gays from trees till dead. It goes on and on, and we worry about burning a few crap books pissing them off?

    Tell the General P. — kill them all.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • slickporsche

      Personally I think we need to stop pissing around and give them all the firepower we have and to hell with collateral damage. Are we at war, yes or no. If it is a yes, then it needs to be fought like a war.We have alot more firepower than we are using there and should use it. I truly believe we should start using tactical nukes. The other thing that should be done is to have the Russians fly some bear bombers in there with there new super bomb and let them have it right in the face. Exterminate all the primitive bastards. Then we start on the next Islamic country. Soon we will need to go into France to save them from Islam. Its a damn mess and needs to be cleaned up. Is Islam the enemy or isn’t it? You cannot have it both ways like most are trying to do not by calling them terrorists or whatever. All of Islam is a huge world problem. They are all extremists, even the ones that get victimized by their own. I no longer feel sorry for any of them.
      BURN all the KORAN you can find and no more MOSQUES in America and no more should we allow more Muslims into this country. However, we need Canada,Great Britain, Germany, Russia, CHina, France,and all other non Islamic countries to help in this problem. We all need to stand united against Islam, once and for all.

      • tboneruss603-613

        hopefully their is alot left,maybe they can actually fight without theyre hands tied,, we need someone who can shoot back without getting court marshalled….

      • Bob

        It’s easy to beat the war drums when you don’t have to go.

  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    Barry is indeed a legend in his own mind. His world as he knows it will change in November.

  • Bob L

    Our remaining troops over there may be classified as “non-combat” but you can bet your sweet bippy they will still be fighting and dying because to Islamist, they are still infidel invaders regardless of the job designation they are assigned. The smart thing to do would be to bring all of our people home from over there and let the Sunnis and Shiites continue to fight one another as they have for the last 1,300 years.

    The world would be better off if we could build a wall around the entire Muslim region and keep those throwbacks to the dark ages imprisoned until they either see the light of civilization and progress into modern times or become extinct.

    • slickporsche

      They will never progress into modern times for sure. They are growing rapidly and something serious needs to be done soon. They never have, nor will they ever stop their agenda of world dominance.Islam is not a religion, it is a murderous CULT and the sooner we all treat it as such, the better off we will be.

  • jm

    It’s now or later. Not if but when.

  • Proud to be a Christian

    Just to let people know, they maybe leaving 50,000 there but they are deploying more in November to Baghdad.(one of our family who is in the reserves has to go) They only let the teleprompter writers know what possibly could be going on as the anointed one doesn’t have a clue. Only thing he knows is how to spend other peoples money and enslave!!!!!

    • slickporsche

      HAHAHAHAHAHHA LMAO. How true it is.

  • Agitated

    No one ever many mercenaries there are in Iraq. Last I heard, before they pulled out all the “combat troops” and left only “advisors”, there were more hired mercenaries than troops. So Bob, please write an article on how many mercenaries are left in Irag.

    • slickporsche

      Apparently no body gives a rip about the mercenaries. Why should they?

  • eddie47d

    For the most part Afghanistan is no more winnable than Iraq. We keep choosing these types of wars and expect different results. We pay billions in bribes to the Afghan leaders and the Taliban which has made the war doomed from the start. If you have to pay massive bribes to any nation to want or desire Freedom then they don’t deserve it. Pakistan is more troublesome and dangerous than Afghanistan and they do hold some of the cards. In Afghanistan the Taliban (citizens) won’t roll over and play dead. They only want us out and no amount of our money will satisfy them.

    • Bob

      The Taliban told General Petraeus to take the poppies with him.

    • Al Sieber

      Yup, and Pakistan already has “Nukes”, even attached to missiles ready to go.

    • s c

      Eduardo, if you understand what’s so stupid about being bogged down in Afghanistan, then how can you think so little of yourself to constantly apologize for The Anointed One and defend everything he says and does? Like most progressives, you’re taking too many drugs or not enough.
      If you get paid for submitting feedback, your ‘boss’ is wasting his money on you. If you don’t get paid for your indefensible rants, you need to get a life and get acquainted with reality.
      You have all the credibility of a 5th grade brat in a university debate class. You’re in over your head, and still you think your routine should be “appreciated.”
      Your friends may slap you on the back for trying to pound square pegs into round holes, but all you’ve done is prove that Darwin awards are given only to deserving moonbats. You must have quite a collection of ‘awards’ by now.

      • Meteorlady

        I’m hating to say this – but think Eduardo has made a few pretty good points. Ask Russia what happened in Afghanistan? Or better yet, study up on it and what it did to their economy. We are doomed there because there are not enough people there who would defend their liberties by fighting. They hide in their homes or go to work and hope they aren’t bombed, shot or involved in some assault action from either side. If we really wanted to get rid of terrorists, we would specifically hunt them, even across borders. Why would you send military might, when you can apply stealth, infiltration and high tech solutions?

  • cerebus23

    no army in the history of the world has won a war in afghanistan, it is not a country that lends itself to conventional warfare never ever has been.

    iraq well if bush 1 had gone in in the first gulf war things would have been very different. we truely would have been liberators and not invaders. we burnt that liberator bridge when we left the iraquis that rose up out to hang in the desert sun under saddams chemical weapons and troops that slaughtered those people viciously.

    maybe if back in the day when we helped ubl and the fighters more after the soviets bailed, we could have helped that country out more and gotten less problems down the line but that is very long shot in the dark and nothing is sure in that instance. tho also we were in the cold war then and we were not supposed to be there period, tho i am reasonably sure the soviets had a idea that our guys were there training and supplying the insurgents fighting their army for us.

    hindsight is really 20/20 more or less and we should have done things much differently in the middle east in decades past and maybe we could have headed off lest some of these fires that plague us today.

    far as us winning a war anymore, the general public has the attention span of a crack addict. noone has patience to fight a long drawn out war in this day and age, noone is really read to sacrafice like people did during world war 2, and our leaders certainly do not have the backbone or the brains to stick these things out and let the generals win the wars they are told to fight.

    can you imagine todays politicians and press and public during world war 2? we would have been dragged down into the court of public opinion with the countless deaths the incessant dragging on of the war in this day and age hitler may have actually won.

    if we are going to fight and win a war give the generals the power and the funding they need to do it period and get the hell out of their way, if we need to drop some tactical nukes in afghanistan so be it, if we have to train and fund 50,000 special forces to fight the kind of war that country specializes in so be it. fight to win wars not fight to make the public and politicians feel good, and if we fought to really win there wars more than likely would be ended in half the time they drag out these days.

    • Meteorlady

      Thanks I enjoyed what you wrote. It’s a good assessment and pretty true.

  • Warrior

    You need to think “Entitlements” on a global scale.

  • http://gmail i41

    If the afferiative action smuck JB Powell was the wimpy dink that would let Swartkraft go after the diaper heads and stomp some sand crab goat rangers. But the UN might have a wet dress. Again you listen to smucks, you get more deaths and trouble down the road. Patton could have kept Russia at bay. Common problem pusified wimps and the patty cake boys. This as he calls himself a dog, well for once he is telling the truth. Fact everyone knows he had a generational marxist family and his dam was a marxist slut from the word go, plan and simple. But that is a big badge of honor along with hitting a pile of rocks, if a snake is down there. The scummy they are the further they climb in the party, even a few dead misteriously placed bodies, and tax cheating is enterance point.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      actually Patton said he could take his men and tanks go in and defeat the russians and make it look like they started it! I think very strongly that he would have done it, too!!!

    • Meteorlady

      Gads – sort of sick of you rambling, name calling and insults….. even if you have a point, I don’t finish your comment when I get to the first name calling or insult.

  • NormP

    The taliban and their islamic buddies were right all they had to do was wait, be patient and stay alive…they win.

  • http://gmail i41

    The Taliban and the muslim goat rangers pretty much knew what was going to happen, when the pusified socialist democrats got in. In 2009, they knew their marxist muslim moron bro and the socialist pee brains of his party, would vote for anything he wanted them too. Socialist democrats are wimps and think every person in the world, are afraid to get a paper cut. The only damn thing the stone aged mental midgets under stand is a shoot first and call St. Peter. Ideological idoits like to die on the run, I would be happy to oblige to send them down to see Allah, the clay figurine, found and elevated by the head pervert Mohammed, the barbaric sich perv.

  • libra


  • Antoinette L. Knowles

    Recent events, including the deaths of two American spliders, have proved that the advisors must carry guns, not pens. Too bad we can’t speed up time to 2011 presidential campagne so that we could wave good=bye to this, president.prince, and take back our country.

  • Rose

    Received email from Irag soldier – they were a combat troop but Obama okayed their name change so they are not long “a combat troop” and are NOT leaving Iraq. Just another Obama lie! Our soldiers continue to die protecting people who do not want to become modern but continue their ridiculous primitive religious arguments, and Afghanistan is worse because they are primitive tribes that have NEVER gotten along and never will. Let’s get the hell out of both and let them survive or die, their choice. If they don’t want to become modern peoples, then so be it. We need our soldiers here to protect us against Obama and cabal!

    • s c

      Rose, try to convince Herr Obummer’s #1 apologist on this website. He calls himself “eddie47d.” In his fantasy world, Obummer is above reproach. He thinks Obummer can do no wrong. He thinks people like Obummer can “save” America.
      ‘Eduardo’ needs to volunteer to go to Afghanistan. Then and ONLY then will his eyes be opened. He’s all mouth and no substance.
      Let him put himself to the test. I’m betting he wants nothing to do with Afghanistan (just like he wants nothing to do with common sense, reason or living in the real world).


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