And Lo, Thusly Was Obama Angered

Legendary journalist Bob Woodard wrote the relatively new book Obama’s Wars.  I can sum it up in two sentences.  “Obama was angered.” And, “this was another what the fuck moment.” Woodward includes variations of those two sentences several times each chapter.

So much goes on outside the periphery of Obama’s ability to manage that these two things kept happening.  The generals would make vice president Joe (bamadin) Biden say ‘What the fuck’, as is his nature.  Then Obama was angered.

For a long time it seemed like Obama and the Hillaryite – yes, because it sounds more like Hitlerite – Generals constantly conflict over battle plans.  The level of intrigue, leaking stories, undermining the president, going over heads, and backroom deals is both disappointing and invigorating.  Woodward makes it clear the Obama is fighting for a shorter war, one completely different in approach than Bush’s.

In the beginning, and probably still, General Petraus and Admiral Mullen treated Obama like Bush.  Ye ask and you shall recieve.  The first time Obama asked for justification, they literally just said ‘because’ and said the same number.  Like, he said, why do we need 40,000 for the surge in Afghanistan?  And the general’s response was ’cause we do’.  Note: literally stopped meaning the denotative literally in about 1983.

Much of the book covers Biden and Obama hammering the generals for explanations on troop numbers.  First they say a number, get asked why and then the generals go away for a while, come back and offer the same number or a lower number, but with a floating percentage that would give them the higher number anyways.  Seriously, Obama compromised on 22,000 when the generals wanted 40k.  They said the lowest they could take was 30k and Obama said well its 22k.  They went away for a while, came back with their official plan and Obama was like, what’s this floating 15% and additional 3,000 noncombat logistics and support troops?  That’s fucking the 30,000 proposal.  Apparently, completely unabashed, the generals just shrugged at being caught.

The whole of it comes down to complete miltary egoism versus intellectual aloofness.  The brass has gotten what they want for decades.  Ever since Eisenhower stepped off the stage after his famous speech, they’ve had the reins.  At the same time, Obama underestimated the persistence and complete irrationality of their behavior.  He expected them to have a “why”.  They don’t.  General’s fight and ask for more troops.  No general would say, no thanks sir, we have too many troops already, please don’t give me more.  And with that in mind, we have the conflict between Hillary Clinton with the Generals against Joe Biden more-or-less with Obama.

In the end, the generals did not want Obama to set an end date.  Somewhere around July 2011 currently.  The counter-insurgency handbook says a minimum of 400,000 trained personnel must be set up before withdrawal can start.  The gens are just going by the book.  All boy scouts and boson’s knots.  There’s no way they’ll have 400,000 trained by 2011, thus, every time you hear on the news a pushback on the start-to-withdraw date, you now know the name of the ghost in the machine.  General Petraus and Admiral Mullen.

To wit, this fucking story from last week.  Since I’ve read Obama’s Wars, I immediately knew it for what it was.  The general’s trying to cut Obama’s legs from under him again.  Forcing him to back down and go by their plan for an endless war in the Middle East.  Permanent bases.  Forever war.


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