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Nat Journal: ANALYSIS: Obama's success in finding bin Laden is due to his break with George W. Bush.

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:54 AM
Original message
Nat Journal: ANALYSIS: Obama's success in finding bin Laden is due to his break with George W. Bush.
Edited on Fri May-06-11 09:50 AM by Pirate Smile
Obamas War
The secret behind the bin Laden takedown is the presidents new conception of terrorism.


by Michael Hirsh

Ever so gingerly, even as they praised President Obamas success against Osama bin Laden, some former senior Bush administration officials have sought to take a little credit for the mission themselves. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation a good story for continuity across two presidencies.

That assessment couldnt be further from the truth. Behind Obamas takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrationsa major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists. From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a dumb war, Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a global war on terror that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn.

This reorientation was part of Obamas reset of Americas relations with the world. Bush, having gradually expanded his definition of the war to include all Islamic extremists, had condemned the United States to a kind of permanent war, one that Americans had to fight all but alone because no one else agreed on such a broadly defined enemy. (Hezbollah and Hamas, for example, arguably had legitimate political aims that al-Qaida did not, which is one reason they distanced themselves from bin Laden.) In Obamas view, only by focusing narrowly on true transnational terrorism, and winning back all of the natural allies that the United States had lost over the previous decade, could he achieve Americas goal of uniting the world around the goal of extinguishing al-Qaida.

-snip-
The lack of clarity in strategic conception led directly to the imbroglio in Afghanistan and Pakistan today. There is no longer any question that the diversion of U.S. troops and, in particular, intelligence assets and special forces to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 produced a Taliban and Qaida resurgence in South Asia. It also made the Pakistaniswho even in the best of times were playing a double gamehedge about their own strategic shift away from support for jihadis as a counterweight to India. In 2007, Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistans ambassador to the United States at the time, suggested that this was when Washington began to lose some of his countrys support. After 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi in March 2003just as Bush was invading Iraqal-Qaida was almost destroyed in an operational sense, Durrani told me. But then al-Qaida got a vacuum in Afghanistan. And they got a motivational area in Iraq. Al-Qaida rejuvenated.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/vantage-point/obama-s-war-against-al-qaida-20110505
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Tarheel_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
:kick:
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. If Bush wasn't an entire idiot and a weak reed
by listening to Cheney whispering in his ear about Iraq, and instead had kept the focus on Afghanistan, most of the current mess would have all been avoided.

A weak man, an even weaker president...easily swayed by emotional arguments bereft of fact or logic.

Instead we get a war in Iraq for no good reason other than the greed of Big Oil and the MIC, and a ten-year war in Afghanistan that could have been over two months after getting OBL at Tora Bora.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Bush was never more than a puppet...
...in which all of the neocons regularly inserted their hands.

Bush was 'electable'--the guy who everyone wanted to have a beer with and a decent-looking
campaigner who could get the impressionable idiots to the polls. No way in hell could any
of the neocon thugs have been elected.

I seriouly believing that Junior could care less about politics, the world or what happens
beyond the end of his own nose. I can just hear the conversation between Bush Sr., James
Baker and George Schultz--when they told Junior he was running:

"But I don't wanna daddy! I like ranchin and fixin. Presidentin is hard werk and God knows
Laura's on so much valium...who will prop her up for the fo-tos?"

"Now, now Georgie. Be a good boy. Just give some campaign speeches, wear this Members Only
jacket and do us proud. You get into office, and we'll handle it from there."
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. W himself stated that he wanted to be the commissioner of baseball.
I think that fell through after the rumors then evidence of previous cocaine abuse surfaced.

As to being president, he was the "aw, shucks" face with the right name and pedigree to put in front of the camera and parrot the neocon talking points, with no real political philosophy of his own, except to keep his family and friends in money.

Good example as to why hereditary rulers suck the world over.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Commissioner of exploding frogs, something Bush actually know about, would be more apt.
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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. No
Your post couldn't be more wrong!

Laura wasn't using valium. Her behavior strongly suggested heavy daily doses of Xanax.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
17. No individual president can compare to the second Bush.
Glib, contemptuous, ignorant, incurious, a dupe of anyone who humors his deluded belief in his heroic self, he bankrupted the country with his disastrous war and his tax breaks for the rich, trampled on the Bill of Rights, appointed foxes in every henhouse, compounded the terrorist threat, turned a blind eye to torture and corruption and a looming ecological disaster, and squandered the rest of the worlds goodwill. In short, no other presidents faults have had so deleterious an effect on not only the country but the world at large.

http://hnn.us/articles/48916.html
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dotymed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Honestly, Afghanistan and Iraq? They are
two of the most impoverished countries in the world. It should have been a quick "in and out" op in Afghanistan and, at the most, covert ops to help Iraq citizens overthrow Iraq. We previously did the covert thing in Iraq, but when push came to shove, we always refused to help the citizens after they were ready.
Just like Osama, Sadam knew way too much to allow him to have a fair trial anywhere, especially America.
If we had some actual transparency in our government this would not have necessarily been the case.

Who here thinks that our Presidents are allowed to make the big decisions? I think there is a "ruling junta" in America that calls the shots. or else...
Reminiscent of the Hoover days.
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ieoeja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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Kdillard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
4. k and r.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. Bookmarked and will send out to my entire address book w/ a message to make it go viral!
I'm sick of Republicans trying to take credit for President Obama's brilliant leadership on this victory.
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I started a Fact Check folder under my Favorites and put articles to counter the bullshit in it.
Here is another one I assumed we would need to use a lot during the '12 campaign:

'Obama's 'Apology Tour'

The Fact Checker senses a campaign theme emerging: Obama the apologizer.

As the above quotes illustrate, it is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place.

-snip (lots of details calling bullshit on the Republican's meme) -
The Pinocchio Test

The claim that Obama repeatedly has apologized for the United States is not borne out by the facts, especially if his full quotes are viewed in context.

Obama often was trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush, a common practice when the presidency changes parties. The shift in policies, in fact, might have been more dramatic from Clinton to Bush than from Bush to Obama, given how Obama has largely maintained Bush's approach to fighting terrorism.

In other cases, Obama's quotes have been selectively trimmed for political purposes. Or they were not much different than sentiments expressed by Bush or his secretary of state. Republicans may certainly disagree with Obama's handling of foreign policy or particular policies he has pursued, but they should not invent a storyline that does not appear to exist.

Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers: The apology tour never happened.

Four Pinocchios



http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2011/02/obamas_apology_tour.html
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Beartracks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Republicans always claim that disagreeing with them...
... is disagreeing with America itself. Remember when it was supposed to be unpatriotic, even treasonous, to disagree with Bush's policy decisions? :eyes:

-----------------------
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:50 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Support the troops.
They were really saying 'support Bush's policies' and if you didn't you hated the troops.
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Cognitive_Resonance Donating Member (733 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. K & R nt
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. kick
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Beartracks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R. n/t
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jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R. We need to get facts like this into the mainstream. Maybe find a way to
make ads out of it...
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KT2000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
15. this should be the
discussion in the media. It is easier to focus on minute issues such as the photos but how a president perceives the issues and acts upon that is so much more important. This shows intelligence.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
18. so why are we still pissing away hundreds of billions on Iraq? n/t
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Why are we?? I wish it was easy...but In My Mind...we should ASAP and take whatever heat
the $$ saved can be used to address real probs...
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