Allen B. West

Famous humiliating defeats in history – and Obamacare

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The early implementation stages of the Affordable Care Act remind me of America’s first humiliating defeat of World War II in the European theater of operations.

The first major engagement between US and German forces occurred at a place called the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, in February 1943. An untested American force was sent in to pinch the German Afrika Corps under the command of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the famed Desert Fox. Hopes were high after British Field Marshall Montgomery crushed Rommel’s forces at El Alamein in Egypt months before.

However, Rommel’s strategic genius and tactical brilliance proved overwhelming against the incompetence of US Army II Corps Commander Major General Lloyd Fredenhall. While complete disaster was averted, the Battle of Kasserine Pass was a humiliating defeat for US forces.

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Responding to the defeat, the US Army initiated several changes including the immediate removal of the incompetent Fredendall. Major General Omar Bradley was brought in, General Eisenhower enacted changes, gave command of II Corps to Lieutenant General George Patton — and the rest is history.

President Obama has run into his own version of the Kasserine Pass with the humiliating state of his signature healthcare program, Obamacare.

Both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post report initial sign ups for Obamacare are one tenth of what they should be, at approximately 50,000 against an objective of 500,000.

To be successful (i.e solvent), Obamacare needs 7 million Americans signed up by March 1st which would require 39,000 sign ups per day from October 1.

Instead, we have seen 5 million Americans lose their healthcare coverage already with estimates for that number to grow significantly.

A Commander who lies in the military would never be tolerated, yet here we are. In the face of strategic disaster and tactical ineptness, President Obama and delusional Democrats like DNC Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, continue to perpetrate a lie that everything is going fine.

It’s almost as if Obama has ordered a suicidal assault — at least Major General Fredenhall ordered a retreat. While Obama faces his own Kasserine Pass, the question is whether he will take heed, retreat, and reexamine his strategy, and replace the incompetence – although likely not his own.

His immediate concern must be resolving the issue of 5 million Americans who have lost their coverage. In addition, there should be an immediate effort to create high risk insurance pools for those with preexisting conditions and offer targeted subsidies to those deserving.

The objective of forcing Americans into this unworkable system by January1, 2014 is an untenable “bridge too far.” The unconscionable idea of taxing Americans for not complying with a failed mandate is something out of a dictatorship, not a constitutional Republic.

Progressive socialists seem to prefer revisionist history, but my recommendation is for them to heed the lesson of Kasserine Pass, or, as I often quote Santanaya, they will be doomed to repeat it. At a minimum, the American people should never again elect incompetence, but rather tough principled leaders who will bring victory for our country.

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