Monday, January 13, 2014

Robert Gates slams Obama and praises Bush

Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates has earned back his right-wing conservative bona fides.

After four years of collaborating with the evil one -- President Obama -- Gates has wormed his way back to his good ole boy world.

One memoir -- Duty -- attacking an active president's White House and voila his key to the country club's executive bathroom is returned.

Of course, I am being most facetious:

By many accounts, Bob Gates is a stand up guy. He is known as serious, non-partisan guy that has admirers on both sides of the aisle.  But what is one to make of Gates stating he prefers Bush war decision making over Obama?

Bush/Cheney's simplistic and jingoistic approach to complex war issues was reckless and dangerous. Who can forget:

  • We will punish the "evil doers"
  • Mission Accomplished
  • Bring it on
  • We will be greeted as liberators
  • Mushroom cloud
  • Wanted dead or alive
  • Cheney's Halliburton war profiting
  • Cheney: "The Iraq insurgency is in the last throes"
  • Bush: "I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.' And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did."
This is the style preferred by Gates? And the following Obama style he decried?

At a pivotal meeting in the situation room in March 2011, Mr. Gates said, Mr. Obama opened with a blast of frustration over his Afghan policy — expressing doubts about Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander he had chosen, and questioning whether he could do business with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.

“As I sat there, I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his,” Mr. Gates writes. “For him, it’s all about getting out.” 

Not to mention, Bush's shifting reasons for invading Iraq.

  1. Our national security: In the aftermath of 9/11 WMD in the hands of Saddam Hussein was too dangerous. Now if only we could find just one WMD.
  2. Saddam connections with Al Qaeda and 9/11. Well this lie didn't hold any water: in fact, Saddam hated Bin Laden; and Bin Laden hated Saddam.
  3. Fight Al Qaeda in Iraq. However, Al Qaeda didn't come to Iraq until Bush invades Iraq.
  4. Free Iraq from Saddam. As stated above, God told him to liberate Iraq.

And as reported by Washington Post's Greg Jaffe wrote:

Gates’s problem with the president is less about strategy or substance than about heart. “I myself, our commanders, and our troops had expected more commitment to the cause and more passion for it from him,” Gates writes. He compares Obama unfavorably with Bush, who “had no second thoughts about Iraq, including our decision to invade.”  source

Sorry, Gates, I prefer Obama's methodical style every day and twice on Sunday over Bush's, God told me to do it.  War is serious business: people are killed, maimed and injured; communities are gutted; institutions are dismantled; chaos ensues.

I want a president to enter into war asking all the important questions of the military brass. I don't want a flippant, sophomoric president that uses John Wayne or Clint Eastwood type phrases: This is war, not a movie.

To Mr. Gates: Thank you for reassuring my faith in President Obama's decision making process. And one rhetorical question: Who got Osama Bin Laden, Obama or Bush?

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