Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dreher on Gates/Obama

Rod Dreher comments on Robert Gates' memoir in The American Conservative.

On Afghanistan:

Is it just me, or is this nuts? Obama’s judgment of the sleazy Karzai was correct, Obama knew the war was unwinnable, Gates thinks Obama made the right calls — but he faults the president for not being a True Believer? As if George W. Bush’s unwillingness to reassess American strategy in light of cold, hard experience is a sign of wisdom and character! I suppose Gates has a point if he’s faulting Obama for pursuing a military strategy that he (the president) didn’t believe in, but does Gates believe that an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan would have been the better strategy, even if it had been politically feasible (which it may not have been)?

On Iraq:

So, after all that money spent training the Iraqi military and setting the Iraqi government up, they can’t hold Fallujah — and Obama is the bad guy for not writing the Iraqis a blank check and keeping US soldiers deployed in an unwinnable war? No. Obama is wrong about many things, but he was right to oppose the war, and he was right to fully implement the withdrawal agreement reached by the outgoing President Bush. And you know what? In 2011, as that withdrawal was ending, three in four Americans supported the president’s decision. Because they were tired of spending American blood and American treasure on a lost cause. Thank God John McCain did not become president.

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