Monday, November 16, 2009

Would Obama have saved General Custer at Little Bighorn?

Written by Harold Witkov

Weeks have slipped into months since General McChrystal, NATO commander in Afghanistan, told President Obama that the situation was getting perilous and that he needed more troops. As our President gallivants on yet another world tour while he "struggles" to make the right decision, the following thought occurred to me: "If President Obama had been given the opportunity, would he have saved General Custer at Little Bighorn?"

Many people are not aware that General Crook and more than 1,000 soldiers were only thirty miles away from Little Bighorn at the time of Custer's Last Stand. There are those who say that even General Crook's troops would not have been enough to save Custer and it is a moot point anyway because in 1876 thirty miles distance may as well have been three hundred miles. For the sake of argument, though, let us suppose General Crook had fifty thousand men, dozens of cannons, and an array of Gatling guns - and the Battle of Little Bighorn had begun right before his very eyes. What would Crook have done? Crook, no doubt, would have committed his overwhelming forces and equipment to rescue Custer and secure a military victory.

But what would President Obama have done if he were General Crook in the same situation? In my opinion, President Obama would have taken his time. He would have pretended to weigh his options. While watching the onslaught, he would have thought to himself the following:

1. Custer and his troops have no business being there. They are getting what they deserve.

2. A commitment of more troops would prove too expensive.

3. Native Americans mean more to me than American soldiers do.

4. I do not believe in the word victory.

5. I have to think about the bigger picture. I am not happy just being General Crook. Someday, I want to be President Crook.

6. I hear General Custer is thinking about running for President. This will take care of that idea.

To be sure, Afghanistan is not Little Bighorn, and our brave fighting men and women there are not on the brink of annihilation. The American military is the best in the world. They take care of themselves very well, thank you.

At the same time, however, our President knows that the situation in Afghanistan is getting more dangerous by the day. As things stand, our troops are becoming more vulnerable. Many believe we need more troops to provide a safety net for our own people. Many believe that Afghanistan needs a military surge similar to the Iraq surge. Both ideas call for more troops and equipment. Then there are those who believe it is time to cut and run.

I am not the leader of the free world and it is not for me to say what President Obama should or should not do. I just want him to know that, while he ponders, America's finest are being lost.
Written by Harold Witkov
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