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>Defense Secretary Chicanery

>Olive Branch, My Foot!

WASHINGTON – The Announcement of Robert Gates as President Obama’s secretary of defense is perfect–at least as far as president-elect Obama is concerned.

It’s a no-lose proposition for the incoming administration. Obama can’t lose with Gates. If he is unable to get America’s involvement with Iraq stopped in 16 months–as campaigner Obama promised time after time he would do–then the voters can’t blame the democrats. It’s a republican in charge at the Pentagon and it will be a republican failure. Even the promised build-up of troops in Afghanistan will be completed by a republican secretary, and if it fails blame it on the Bushies too.

Isn’t it amazing how democrats always turn the tables on republicans, claiming all the credit for any successes and laying off the failures on the outgoing republicans? Clinton did it to George W.H. Bush and now Obama is making a fall guy out of George W. Bush and his republican friends whenever the opportunity arises.

Olive branch, my foot!

If our troops come home and Iraq gets embroiled in a civil war, wiping out all the gains of democratic government there, no one can say it was Obama’s fault. He was taking the advice of his defense secretary who just happened to be a republican speaking “Bushlish.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates signaled a willingness Tuesday to forge ahead with two key priorities for the incoming Obama administration: accelerating the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

With or without an Obama victory, military commanders have been long looking at ways to more quickly pull troops out of Iraq.

This writer thought it was a mistake in the 1970s during the Carter Administration when we caved in to Panama pressure, gifting them the American territory called the Panama Canal Zone. Now we’re prepared to close down both Gitmo and the Navy’s strategically important base on the Cuban Island. Our national security relied on those two properties and without those strategic locations America will become more vulnerable to infiltration and attack from without.

What–will Russia take over that base when we abandon it? They are already doing naval exercises with Chavez’s Venzuelan naval forces in waters very near our shores. If that had happened during the Kennedy and Nixon watches, we would have put a stop to it, but Obama and Bush seem helpless and unable to act or do anything but smile blithely on a deteriorating sign of weakness hoping for the best.

It takes years to build a military presence and only an election to topple it. And, mind you, it is by a president who has no military experience.

In a blunt and occasionally personal briefing, Gates acknowledged his unique position in the new Democratic administration — a job he said he did not want or seek but felt he could not turn down.

Since there is no time table for Gates leaving government, if things go badly Obama will look good again by firing Gates and replacing him with one of his own people. If Gates continued presence at Defense represents “Change” I have really missed something.

Defense Department: