Monday, September 27, 2010

Bob Woodward's New Book

Bob Woodward's latest book is an expose of the infighting and discord in the West Wing over how to handle the Afghanistan war. There's an article at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government by Jeff Dunetz: "Why Bob Woodward's New Book Should Scare the Hell Out of All Americans."

The revelations about Obama’s naive views on terrorism and his lack of a firm commitment to the Afghan War  was nothing really new, they simply confirmed many of the worst fears about our President and the War on Terror. But Obama’s priorities, his desire to place politics before victory, was both surprising and upsetting.

The book details how Obama is not trying to win the war as much as he was desperately trying to placate his progressive base, regardless of the safety of American citizens. At one point the POTUS tells Woodward directly:

“We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

Dunetz says that one of the reasons for the snail-like pace last fall of the Obama administration for reviewing the Afghanistan strategy was because "Obama seemed more interested in mapping out an exit plan than winning the war." Read the article (and the book) and weep.

Another quote from the book that tells us all we need to know about Obama as commander-in-chief comes from an exchange he had with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Said Obama, "I can't let this be a war without end, and I can't lose the whole Democrat Party." And Afghanistan, as we remember from the endless campaign rhetoric, was Obama's "good war." So he's worried about losing his Democrat base; any indication he has even similar worries about losing American soldiers?

What's truly unbelievable is that the people surrounding Obama either believe, or think they can spin it to look as though they believe, that Obama comes across in this book as "thoughtful and reflective." This is how Steve Luxenberg of the Washington Post spins the "we can absorb another attack" quote: "It shows the reality of being the President of the United States, receiving a stream of intelligence and being responsible for the security of the country." Wow, that's really some mind jujitsu.

The other thing the Left will surely do is shoot the messenger, a la Kathleen Parker's article this morning: "Can a president lead with Woodward watching." She calls Woodward a "human tape recorder," one who "issues history's first draft even as history is still tying its shoes." Well, it seems pretty clear to me that with 16 books to his credit, the Obama administration should have pretty clearly known what they were going to get with Woodward when they gave him access to the "process" going on in the Oval Office.


Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to compare and contrast the credibility of Woodward in this book, as opposed to his book on Bush,etc.
There is a decidedly different attitude in the press in regards to protecting the image of Obama.

Labwriter said...

You're right--I think the media have already shown that they're willing to be critical of Woodward for this book in a way that they weren't when he was writing the books about Bush.

Another interesting comparison. Woodward's first book about Bush, Bush at War has NOT ONE note or reference for his "facts" and assertions. This book about Obama has pages of references and notes. I'm not quite sure what to make of that.