It's almost possible while reading this new insider scoopage to forget that Obama is the same guy who campaigned about Afghanistan being the central front in the war on terror, a place George W. Dimwit had underfunded and under soldiered but something he would fix. Yet here he is behind Woodward's curtain worried about the political impact of troop levels:
"Six years out from now, we're just back to where we are now?" said Obama in mild disgust. "I'm not going to sign on for that."Do our leaders even discuss winning anymore? Here's another gem:
The military did not understand, he said. "It'd be a lot easier for me to go out and give a speech saying, 'You know what? The American people are sick of this war, and we're going to put in 10,000 trainers because that's how we're going to get out of there.' "Yes, while many people might understand such a speech and agree with the sentiment they would also instantly understand that the president was BS'ing when he said getting bin Laden and not letting the place turn back into Talibanistan was job one. Worse, if Woodward has this framed correctly the notion O was playing political games with the lives of US troops is unavoidable. And yes, other presidents have probably done it, they just haven't been caught.
So that begs the question again--why let Hollywood Bob rummage around the White House digging up dirt on top secret national security meetings? Well, perhaps the reason is that banning him would have resulted in not only a more critical book but would have washed out any notion of transparent sunniness for good. They know none of this will shock anyone on the right, so perhaps the point was to show his restless core base (who contribute and stage fake rallies and such) he's actually a stalwart against warmongering generals and quagmires. After all, most of them probably knew he was just winking about Afghanistan all along as a way to beat Bush and McCain.