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When a President Hates Being Commander in Chie
The American ^ | September 22, 2010 | Tom Donnelly

Posted on 09/23/2010 6:54:10 AM PDT by IbJensen

Among the tidbits and outrages revealed in the trailer for Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, Obama’s Wars, two patterns stood out. First, the president really hates being commander in chief in a time of war. Second, and perhaps related, the fight the White House most wants to win is the battle over who gets blamed for a defeat in Afghanistan.

Obama’s annoyance, amounting to anger, at the demands of wartime leadership are everywhere palpable in the piece. The strategy in Afghanistan is to get out: “There cannot be any wiggle room,” says the president. “I am not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars … In 2010, we will not be having a conversation about how to do more.” He does not think in terms of winning or losing: “I think about it more in terms of: ‘Do you successfully prosecute a strategy that results in the country being stronger rather than weaker in the end?’”

This is not just an attenuated, limited-war strategy; it is a reflection of the character of President Obama’s leadership. The Woodward book is advertised as reprinting in full a six-page “terms sheet” written by the president, an effort to precisely define what U.S. forces could and—perhaps more revealingly, we shall see—could not do in Afghanistan. When he cannot so closely control the horizontal and vertical, when people and events push back, Obama wonders “Why do we keep having these meetings?” I have made my decision—why isn’t reality following the plan?

The result is a strategy-making process that has ground down even Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus, two of the most publicly imperturbable and iron-disciplined figures imaginable. Anyone who has observed Gates in recent years or throughout his career will find it stunning to think, as Woodward relates, that he would be “tempted to walk out of an Oval Office meeting.” Equally remarkable is that Petraeus, who did not flinch through the darkest “General-Betray-Us” months of the Iraq surge, might mutter to his staff that “the administration was ‘[expletive] with the wrong guy.’”

That civil-military relations are headed toward a crisis is all but ensured by the second striking point in the Woodward revelations. In distributing the “terms sheet,” Obama summoned all his principal advisers and “went around the room, one by one, asking each participant whether he or she had any objections” and to “say so now.” The context is not consensus-building but threat.

One of the consistent themes of White House rhetoric has been that the generals have agreed in every particular with the president’s decision—and it’s not the president’s fault if things go badly. The most prominent proponent of this line has been Jonathan Alter, who elaborates on it at length in his book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, but it has been a constant refrain. The New York Times’ version of the Woodward preview includes yet another anecdote that makes this blame-battle clear:

The book recounts incidents in which Adm. Dennis C. Blair, then the national intelligence director, fought with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, and John O. Brennan, the counterterrorism adviser.

During a daily intelligence briefing in May 2009, Mr. Blair warned the president that radicals with American and European passports were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands. Mr. Emanuel afterward chastised him, saying, “You’re just trying to put this on us so it’s not your fault.” Mr. Blair also skirmished with Mr. Brennan about a report on the failed airliner terrorist attack on Dec. 25. Mr. Obama later forced Mr. Blair out.

At best, administration policy is a coerced consensus. But beyond providing a weak foundation for strategy, the process seems almost inexorably headed toward destroying the trust upon which healthy civil-military relations depend. Obama and his advisers have a chip on their shoulder, and appear to have been spoiling for a fight, paranoid about being “boxed into a corner” from the start of the Afghanistan strategy review. So, far from avoiding a replay of Vietnam, the president and his political team are living out a more exaggerated version of their own nightmare.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: antipresident; creepinchief; evilregime; partyofdeath
The Creep-In-Chief!
1 posted on 09/23/2010 6:54:12 AM PDT by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen
When a President Hates Being Commander in Chie

Is that a Thai Chie?

2 posted on 09/23/2010 6:56:19 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: IbJensen

his toolness

what an oaf


3 posted on 09/23/2010 6:58:25 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys)
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To: Izzy Dunne

Don’t know what happened to that ‘F.’

In Obozo’s case it stands for f-cking dummy!


4 posted on 09/23/2010 6:58:55 AM PDT by IbJensen (Our government is a disease masquerading as its own cure.)
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To: Izzy Dunne
I prefer 'Commander in Chia'. *chuckle*
5 posted on 09/23/2010 7:00:12 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Not under the influence of Hope-nosis.)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

I always thought of him as Commander in Che.


6 posted on 09/23/2010 7:11:04 AM PDT by HerrBlucher (In the White House the mighty White House the Liar sleeps tonight.............)
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To: HerrBlucher

LOL! That’s even better.


7 posted on 09/23/2010 7:16:35 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Not under the influence of Hope-nosis.)
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To: IbJensen
I think the headline makes more sense as When a President Likes Being Commander in Che...
8 posted on 09/23/2010 7:17:50 AM PDT by ReleaseTheHounds ("The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." M. Thatcher)
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To: IbJensen

I hate the people who voted for this Marxist rubbish who is defiling the Whitehouse and will never forgive them.


9 posted on 09/23/2010 7:18:10 AM PDT by Cheetahcat (Zero the Wright kind of Racist! We are in a state of War with Democrats)
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To: IbJensen
Sadly, a built-in weakness in our form of government.

The Presidency is based on the results of a popularity contest.

Unfortunately a popularity contests is a crappy way to pick the leader of your armed forces.

10 posted on 09/23/2010 7:19:19 AM PDT by I cannot think of a name
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear
I prefer 'Commander in Chia'. *chuckle*

--------------------------

CLUELESS-224sm

11 posted on 09/23/2010 7:22:30 AM PDT by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: IbJensen

Maybe he just needs more vacation time?


12 posted on 09/23/2010 7:24:06 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: IbJensen

It sucks being President when you thought you were elected King.


13 posted on 09/23/2010 7:24:22 AM PDT by Never on my watch (Why does the Left think Muslims are going to behave as Christians?)
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To: IbJensen
“I am not doing long-term nation-building.

While I am engaged in short term nation destroying"

14 posted on 09/23/2010 7:24:45 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannolis. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: IbJensen
When a President Hates Being Commander in Chie

I, too, would hate to be a commander in Chile.

15 posted on 09/23/2010 7:25:27 AM PDT by Lazamataz (The battle lines are drawn: On one side, are Dems and Repubs. On the other, the Tea Party (us).)
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To: BobP

LOL!


16 posted on 09/23/2010 7:32:36 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Not under the influence of Hope-nosis.)
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To: IbJensen

Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Henry The Fourth, Part 2 Act 3, scene 1, 26–31


17 posted on 09/23/2010 7:40:16 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: IbJensen

He hates being CiC and his marxist wife hates being first lady. It’s a pretty fair assumption that they hate America & Americans.

Kind of makes you want to go throttle an Obama voter doesn’t it?


18 posted on 09/23/2010 7:53:22 AM PDT by Outlaw Woman (Extremism in defense of Liberty is sometimes necessary...)
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To: Outlaw Woman

“Go throttle an Obama voter”!

Good one—except for the fact that it’s my “brother and a wonderful older cousin”...It’s hard to say much to adults in your family when you love them. We do live in separate States so we’ve more or less agreed to just NOT talk about it when we email! At this point, I don’t have to open my mouth because they are both SMART men who are seeing what a mess Obama is making out of every thing he touches. It must have felt like this during the “War of Northern Aggression” when the South was so divided! Guess some things never change!


19 posted on 09/23/2010 12:59:20 PM PDT by Patsygirl
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To: Never on my watch

that deserves a notice

good one.


20 posted on 09/23/2010 1:02:05 PM PDT by Rightly Biased (Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?)
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To: BobP

0bama is straining to keep his eyes open in that picture

His eyes have a hooded look, like he’s smoking something.

This is not the only time he has appeared like this in a photo; I’m convinced that he is on drugs.


21 posted on 09/23/2010 1:23:23 PM PDT by happygrl (Continuing to predict that Obama will resign)
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To: Patsygirl
That's a shame. My family is completely aware so we have no disagreements but I will tell you that I've severed ties with many friends and acquaintances. I cannot look at them knowing that they help cause this disaster. It's a matter of self control and controlling my mouth and I'm not good at the latter.

The thing is, this is all or nothing. If we don't get a handle on it this election cycle well, I don't even think I can type out the scenario.

Once Liberty is gone, it is virtually impossible to restore. Your brothers would be well to hear that.

Good Luck

22 posted on 09/23/2010 1:25:09 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman (Extremism in defense of Liberty is sometimes necessary...)
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