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Thread: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Apparently, Gates has written a book- and, according to the LA Times, he doesn't have much nice to say about Obama....

    Gates writes that, unlike Bush, Obama lacked "passion, especially when it came to the two wars."

    "I worked for Obama longer than Bush and I never saw his eyes well up," Gates writes. "The only military matter, apart from leaks, about which I ever sensed deep passion on his part was 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' " the law prohibiting gays from serving openly in the military that Obama successfully pushed to repeal.

    Gates is less critical of Bush overall, saying they were "in lockstep on strategy with respect to Iraq, Iran and other important issues" after Bush named him to replace Donald H. Rumsfeld as Pentagon chief in late 2006.

    Bush was willing to disagree with his military advisors but he did not question their motives or mistrust them, Gates writes. Obama was "respectful" of senior officers but often disagreed with them and was "deeply suspicious of their actions and their recommendations."
    Here's a snippet I couldn't agree with more:
    Gates takes special aim at some of Obama’s top advisors, including Vice President Joe Biden. Biden, he charges, "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issues over the past four decades."
    Biden is a complete buffoon- and the notion that he ever brought any foreign policy chops to the administration was laughable.

    Based on this article, Gates must have been very good at towing the official line when he was in office. I don't recall ever suspecting he had such tension with Obama. This is, however, another of many accusations of the self-assured close-mindedness of the Obama administration overall and in foreign policy in particular.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 01-08-2014 at 16:47.
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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Once you realize that the president actually has little or no say in politics, understanding USA become much easier.

    Once you also accept that USAnians still believe they live in a democracy, it gets even more understandable.

    Both factors would make any free thinking man hateful though, for very good reasons.

    Tell me again how Obama closed Guantanamo after he won? Honestly, what does it matters what nice words they use while campaigning, when you get the exact same **** when they take office?

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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    So if my eyes well up, can I commit more troops to places around the world?

    Listen, I'm no fan of the president but the whole "OMG BUSH WAS JUST A BRO" schtick is tiresome
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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    Banned Kadagar_AV's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    So if my eyes well up, can I commit more troops to places around the world?

    Listen, I'm no fan of the president but the whole "OMG BUSH WAS JUST A BRO" schtick is tiresome
    SFTS making a standpoint... Not ridiculing others...

    What happened, out of alcohol much, are we?
    Last edited by Kadagar_AV; 01-08-2014 at 04:04.

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadagar_AV View Post
    SFTS making a standpoint... Not ridiculing others...

    What happened, out of alcohol much, are we?
    And when you post without sniping about the USA, I tend to just reply rather than toss kudos your way. Hmmmmmm......
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Why is this causing such a furor?

    Obama was elected, twice, on an agenda that was more or less openly articulated:

    Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan as rapidly as practical; minimize US military involvement in foreign affairs efforts (especially ground forces); disengage from a "we are the world's leader" stance into a "we are, perhaps, the primus inter pares but no more;" increase American participation in multinational efforts; shift tone in the Middle East from pro-Israel/anti-jihad to Israel needs to cut a deal/cut the funding legs out from under the Jihad and let it wither.

    When did he ever say "I wanna be the world's cop" or "we need to take point, even at the cost of casualties, to make the world better." Never heard that sentiment from him and didn't expect to do so. He has never been particularly focused on foreign policy and he's been consistent in his limited efforts with foreign policy to place the US in more of a "support" role than a lead role.

    So why is this book, saying essentially that I disagree with that foreign policy stance and "Oh My Gosh, Obama doesn't think the military is -- pardon the pun -- "da bomb" a surprise? Why are we shocked that the man and his administration are doing -- as much as they can within the constraints of US politics and international affairs -- EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO?
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Actual link to story.

    -edit-

    Regarding that link: note that Bob Woodward has a history antipathy for Obama, and appears to have harshed-up some of Gates' statements. A little bit of push-back from others who have seen Gates' manuscript is here.
    Last edited by Lemur; 01-08-2014 at 16:39.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Ah, I forgot the link. But that wasn't the right one, Lemur- I referenced the LA Times.

    It's linked above and been added to the OP.
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Why is this causing such a furor?

    Obama was elected, twice, on an agenda that was more or less openly articulated:

    Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan as rapidly as practical; minimize US military involvement in foreign affairs efforts (especially ground forces); disengage from a "we are the world's leader" stance into a "we are, perhaps, the primus inter pares but no more;" increase American participation in multinational efforts; shift tone in the Middle East from pro-Israel/anti-jihad to Israel needs to cut a deal/cut the funding legs out from under the Jihad and let it wither.

    When did he ever say "I wanna be the world's cop" or "we need to take point, even at the cost of casualties, to make the world better." Never heard that sentiment from him and didn't expect to do so. He has never been particularly focused on foreign policy and he's been consistent in his limited efforts with foreign policy to place the US in more of a "support" role than a lead role.

    So why is this book, saying essentially that I disagree with that foreign policy stance and "Oh My Gosh, Obama doesn't think the military is -- pardon the pun -- "da bomb" a surprise? Why are we shocked that the man and his administration are doing -- as much as they can within the constraints of US politics and international affairs -- EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID THEY WOULD DO?

    No.

    The 2008 Obama campaigned on the Afghanistan surge- claiming that we had ignored the real fight with Al Qaeda by concentrating on Iraq. Some of us may have doubted his sincerity- but it is what he campaigned on.
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
    -Abraham Lincoln

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatinous Cube View Post
    Afghanistan was never winnable, and anyone with a brain knows Obama was all about getting out. If he gave a false impression of wanting to ramp up the war, it was to woo some gullible hawks into voting blue.

    Gates is mad because he was in charge of an unwinnable war. His beef is with Bush, so his ire at Obama is kind of shortsighted.
    If you would alter that to say "unwinnable at any price we were/are even vaguely willing to pay" then I would have to agree.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Back to the old It's-better-to-be-decisive-and-wrong thing I see. That's just one thing I do not get about Bush/Iraq fan boys. We had to hear about Jimmy Effing Carters failed hostage rescue for 25 effing years every time a Republican opened their mouth, but lets just brush Iraq under the rug and pretend it was an honest mistake, golly gee
    Baby Quit Your Cryin' Put Your Clown Britches On!!!

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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    No, no, no, no

    First it was about terrorism
    Then Freedom
    Now it's about the stability of the near east, which is like terrorism, but sounds better at dinner parties

    lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies.
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

    Member thankful for this post:



  13. #13
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    Default Re: Former Secretary Robert Gates' harsh words for Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiahou View Post

    No.

    The 2008 Obama campaigned on the Afghanistan surge- claiming that we had ignored the real fight with Al Qaeda by concentrating on Iraq. Some of us may have doubted his sincerity- but it is what he campaigned on.
    You are correct. That was his rhetorical position during the campaign. Following the death of Bin Ladin, however, the whole thing has been closer to a sauve qui peut withdrawal (Okay, yes I am exaggerating a tad).
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

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