Here we go again. Our resident expert on all things national security, Liz Cheney, has weighed in (soon to be followed, I'm sure, by Palin, O'Donnell, et al), on President Obama's comments made during several meetings at the White House to discuss the operation of the war in Afghanistan as reported in Bob Woodward's latest book "Obama's Wars" which will be released on Monday. Writing in The Washington Post, Steve Luxenburg reviews the book, written he says, "... through detailed accounts of two dozen closed-door secret strategy sessions and nearly 40 private conversations between Obama and Cabinet officers, key aides and intelligence officials." Woodward writes, apparently from a "..meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review..."
At one of these meetings, the President is quoted as saying that:
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."Liz responded immediately with the following: [emphasis added]
"Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack. We expect him to use every tool at his disposal to find, defeat, capture and kill terrorists. We expect him to deter attacks by making clear to our adversaries that an attack on the United States will carry devastating consequences. Instead, President Obama is reported to have said, ‘We can absorb a terrorist attack.’ This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation."Several points here. First is context. Republicans love to take words out of context and tell us only part of the story. Certainly the President said that we can absorb a terrorist attack. He also went on to say that 1) we'll do everything to prevent it and 2) even after the biggest attack ever (9/11), we absorbed it and 3) we are stronger for it. Republicans like to campaign through fear and appealing to emotion. When we make decisions based on emotions - whether good or bad, they are usually not good ones.
I would also like to add that 9/11 happened because of the Bush/Cheney administration, we gave up the chance to capture Osama Bin Laden because Bush/Cheney diverted assets from Afghanistan to a totally unnecessary war in Iraq, and because of torture programs created by Liz's father, terrorist groups have their number one recruiting tool. Just saying.
I would think that patriotic Americans would be proud that although we do everything we can to avert another attack, should one happen, we are strong enough to absorb the damage and carry on without destroying ourselves as a nation.
What we have in Liz Cheney is a woman who wants to be a figurehead in the Republican Party, who wants to run for office, and who wants to appear on all the talks. What we actually have is someone who is last choice for the talks because she hasn't learned good manners yet (has anyone ever heard her let someone else complete a sentence? Didn't think so.) Women like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and now Christine O'Donnell are the darlings of the party so get all the current attention.
While Liz is misguided and misled by her father, she is not truly a crazy wing-nut in the mold of the teabags. Does this make her less dangerous? No. More. She has a following and is developing a voice. Eventually, the party will realize that who they call teabags are just the extremist fringe that has always been with them and will actually bring them down. When that happens, they'll need the Liz's - those Republican women who are extreme in their own right, but not able to cater to the whackos in the way that Palin and O'Donnell do.
What a piece of work. Once again I would just like to say, Liz, go home.
Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon.
UPDATE: Great post at Truthdig on this topic. Ruth Marcus John Bolton's outrageous response to the President's comments:
"I think that may be the most outrageous thing that’s been reported about this book,” former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News. “How can an American president say that as if he’s a detached observer and doesn’t care about Americans dying. I think people have been worried about his qualifications to be commander in chief for a long time, and that ought to prove it.”And reported that Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute said of the quote:
“...a shocking insight into Obama’s thinking when it comes to the terrorist threat” and “... stunningly complacent words from the man responsible for stopping such a terrorist attack. ... He is effectively saying: An attack is inevitable, we’ll do our best to prevent it, but if we get hit again—even on the scale of 9/11—it’s really no big deal.”As noted by Marcus:
"If Obama is, as Thiessen asserts, “stunningly complacent” about the prospect of an attack, what does that make Dick Cheney, who said the question about another terrorist attack was “not a matter of if, but when”?"
"Or consider this “stunningly complacent” government official: “There will be another terrorist attack. We will not be able to stop it. It’s something we all live with.” That was FBI Director Robert Mueller—in 2002."
She then goes on to add:
"Woodward’s latest book, which details Obama’s desire to extricate American forces from Afghanistan as quickly as possible, may end up showing the president in an unflattering light—unflattering, at least, to those who believe that national security may require more time and resources than the president appears prepared to give."A veritable tempest in a teapot indeed.