Obama says he will listen to generals about the warCandidate Obama was quoted as saying:
"There were generals at the beginning of the conflict that said this is going to require many more troops, will cost us much more ... those generals were pushed aside," Obama said.I can find only two pictures of President Obama and General Stanley McChrystal together. There is an odd symmetry between the two even though they were taken months apart. The first was from May, 2009, when McChrystal was being appointed by Obama as Commander of the Afghan theatre. Note who is talking and who is listening!
The second photo below is from a month ago, September.
In both pictures Obama seems to be trying to explain something, not McChrystal, who is listening. I am not an expert on body language but we've all seen that look and those imploring hand gestures from President Obama, used when he tries to pawn off some bit of nonsense he himself is unsure of! He uses that 'look down' with the hands out posture several times in this interview with Bill O'Reilly, every time when he was speaking nonsense, e.g, when he claims Iran is not a part of our terrorist enemies like the Sunnis and Shia in Iraq even though Iran was supplying IEDs to both to kill our troops! Or when he says that there was no connection between Al Qaeda and Hussein Iraq, contrary to the 911 Commission Report findings. No warn fuzzies in this.
So, how comfortable or empathetic is Obama with the military and what can be called military personalities? Is he comfortable with how military people think and behave? Even with reduced numbers of Americans who have worn the uniform since the all volunteer military as compared to previous decades and the draft, many and possibly most Americans still have some relationship with someone who served and get from that a sense of the military. Obama's history and background does not seem to provide for much of any relationship to anything or anyone military! Two more pictures. The first is Obama and General Petraeus in conversation, but in this one it is the General who is speaking. Who looks uncomfortable? Notice the hands, seeming to want to get into the act as in the previous two pics.
But the more telling picture is of Senator Obama during General Petraeus testimony to Congress during the Surge in Iraq.
I don't think Obama gets these military types! He and they don't speak the same language, and when uncomfortable, Obama goes to his default - he talks, he doesn't listen.
No warm fuzzies here regarding Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Obama White House falsely downplaying risks of retreat in Afghanistan: Military, intel sources