On January 16, 2014, more than a thousand people lined up in the Pentagon food court.
They weren’t lining up for chow.
As reported by Luis Martinez for ABCNews, the line was to have former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, for two hours, personally sign a copy of his memoir Duty — a book that’s “making waves in Washington.”
Michael Goodwin writes for the New York Post, Jan. 12, 2014, that Gates’ “shockingly scathing” book “offers the most devastating critique to come from an Obama insider. He paints the president as estranged from the very Afghan military surge he ordered and suspicious of and hostile toward top leaders of the armed forces.“
Here are some of the “shockingly scathing” critiques by the former defense secretary:
- Obama and VPOS Joe Biden are suspicious and distrustful of senior military officers.
- Hillary Rodham Clinton is a craven politician. Gates witnessed Clinton confessing to Obama that she had opposed the 2007 Iraq surge because she thought it would help her 2008 presidential campaign.
The book carries extra sting because Gates is a widely respected team player who served presidents from both parties. The former head of the CIA, he led the Pentagon under George W. Bush and Obama.
His status as a kind of one-man blue-ribbon panel makes it impossible to refute his charges. The result is that the existing image of Obama as incompetent on domestic policies is now twinned with one of incompetence abroad. And those views are rapidly hardening into fixed conventional wisdom.
GOP consultant Ed Rollins said the implications are enormous for the three years left in Obama’s second term. “It makes him even more of a lame duck.” With his approval number is stuck at about 40%, Obama won’t be welcome to campaign for most Democrats during this year’s midterm election. Most will say, ‘Thanks but no thanks, just send the money.’”
And Obama’s lack of commitment to the war on terror is something America’s enemies already figured out and are exploiting.
Longtime al Qaeda expert Peter Bergen pulls together disturbing developments previously reported only in piecemeal fashion. “From around Aleppo in western Syria to small areas of Falluja in central Iraq, al Qaeda now controls territory that stretches more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East,” Bergen writes for CNN, and adds, “Al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.”
Others note that borders are being erased as terror groups carve out safe havens in several countries. Even The New York Times took a rare break from its propaganda approach to Obama, seeing a “power vacuum” and “a post-American Middle East in which no broker has the power, or the will, to contain the region’s sectarian hatreds.” Worse still, intelligence officials say Syrian Islamists are trying to recruit Americans to carry out terror attacks here. This “parade of horribles” largely reflects a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia for Muslim supremacy that is spreading because Obama has abdicated global leadership. Adding a nuclear-armed Iran to the dangerous mix is a terrifying prospect to many in the region.
But not to worry.
Obama returned from his 17-day, $4 million vacation in Hawaii and promptly denounced income inequality. On Friday, the Justice Department said it would recognize gay marriage in Utah, even though the state doesn’t.
Such are Obama’s priorities.
Meanwhile, CBS’s Bob Schieffer continues the mainstream media’s slavish devotion to The One. On Face The Nation of Jan. 19, 2014, instead of analyzing the implications of Gates’ portrait of an incompetent and disengaged president, Schieffer accused Gates of disloyalty to Obama.
Such are Bob Schieffer’s priorities.
- “FBI: Americans joining Syria’s jihadists,” Dec. 21, 2013.
- “Insanity: Obama admin considering closer ties with Syrian jihadists,” Dec. 17, 2013.
- “Pulitzer-award journalist says Obama admin made up intelligence for war on Syria,” Dec. 9, 2013.
- “New rules of engagement hamstring U.S. troops in Afghan war,” Nov. 30, 2013.