previous post next post  

Compare and contrast...

Bob Woodward, quoting the Law-Prof-Turned-President from the forthcoming book "Obama's Wars:"

Privately, he told Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to push his alternative strategy opposing a big troop buildup in meetings, and while Mr. Obama ultimately rejected it, he set a withdrawal timetable because, "I can't lose the whole Democratic Party."

Mind you, Woodward writes well, and I suppose he see's his job as the first draft of history, so to speak - but his methodology leaves much to be desired, as the anonymity he affords his sources enable his sources to say pretty much what they want without gainsay - that and you have to leave aside Woodward's apparent psychic mind-reading ability, as he provides the players inner dialogue, but I digress.

Let us quote another professorial type, Dr. Sean Maloney, a historian working with Her Majesty's Canuckistani Forces, just back from one of several long trips to Afghanistan observing the war there first-hand, and first published here at Castle Argghhh September 7th of this year:

I am extremely concerned that the counterinsurgency effort may be being artificially jammed into an American domestic political time-frame.

Good call, Doc.  Unfortunately. 

The estimable Greyhawk weighs in as well, channeling Winston Churchill:

"Dynamite in the hands of a child is not more dangerous than a strong policy weakly carried out."

Indeed. 

7 Comments

Let's forget quoting extensively a man, who was deeply religious and loved his wife and children, extensively while he was in a deep coma and didn't respond to his beloved family but miraculous woke up to tell Woodward all.  The man was Bill Casey former CIA Director.  Woodward seemingly has a habit of making up dialog to fit his hypothesis.
 
Fake but accurrate, as Dan Blather would say.  LOL
 
OOPS.. I am hoist on my own petard.  John Feinstein earlier today, on the radio, puts the lie to my recollection of the Casey story.  Apparently on Nightline, back in the Ted Koppel days, with Mrs. Casey after her saying Bill would never have spoken to Woodward about this stuff. Woodward then basically said words to effect of, "Now Mrs. Casey don't you remember all those Saturday visits I made to your house to visit with your husband?  Remember the sandwiches you served us for lunch?" 
 
 JimC
You were probably right, because the cite in Woodward's book was set during Mr Casey's final illness, and not during visits to the Casey estate. And the cite was about publishing Mr Woodward's various Casey revelations.

Cheers

 

In this case, I see a very strong parallel between Obama & LBJ, in that both were focused on significant social change (The Great Society, Obamacare), but were forced to deal with an unwanted war.

I doubt either Johnson or Obama would/will ever grasp the military mentality; both are/were far too rationalistic.

It is sad to say that the strongest level of connection is that both are/were more concerned with local political success at home than military success in the field.

 
LBJ at least served a short time on active duty in WW II as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and was awarded a Silver Star by the Army for time with the Air Corps in the Pacific.  LBJ remained in the reserves after FDR ordered all serving Congressmen released from active duty and returned them to Congress in 1942.  He actually culminated as a Commander. 

BHO on the other hand ...
 
Um, yeah, Jim, except that Johnson was 200% staff, all the way. He was no more a warrior than Al Gore was in Vietnam.

The closest LBJ ever got to danger was when the B-17 he was in got lost in Australia and ran out of gas...