If You Thought Washington Is Dysfunctional – Wait ‘til You Read Gates!
By Shlomo Maital
I prefer to write blogs about books I’ve read. And it’s super-easy today to acquire any book – it takes 30 seconds to download an Amazon e-book. But today I want to write about a book I haven’t yet read, but will soon – based on a review. Because the content is so terribly disturbing. America is still the leader of the Free World – and it is rudderless, incompetent, cynical, according to the consummate insider Robert Gates, former Defense Secretary.
Gates’ book is called Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. Gates served for many years in the CIA, headed the CIA for two years, then was Defense Secretary under both Bush and Obama (December 18, 2006 – July 1, 2011). In reviewing his book, national security expert Thomas E. Ricks calls it “probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever.” Ricks doubts Gates can ever again hold a Federal govt. job, or even want to.
Here are a few juicy tidbits: “VP Joe Biden is a ‘comical motormouth’…who “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades”. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel: “hell on wheels…a whirling dervish with attention-deficit disorder”. Tom Donilon (Obama’s 2nd national security advisor): “suspicious and distrustful of the uniformed military leadership”; Congress: “truly ugly”…parochial, self-interested, rude and bullying. Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader: “small-time hack who phones Gates to lobby for Defense Dept. funding for research on irritable bowel syndrome”. (didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, Gates says). Senator Nancy Pelosi, “said she wasn’t interested” when Gates tried to state the facts on the ground in Iraq. Senator Patty Murray, Washington, “read from prepared notes…no one had bothered to remove the Boeing letterhead from her talking points”. On Afghanistan and Obama: “the president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand (Afghan Pres.) Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his.” The Obama White House: “still stuck in campaign mode a year into the presidency”.
And this is just a start.
I guess most of us knew or suspected all this. But it is still disturbing to read it. No wonder “cold-blooded killers” (Gates’ description) like Russia’s Putin and Syria’s Assad are eating Obama for lunch daily.