Here is an eye-catcher from the WaPo:
Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "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."
We are stronger? Huh? Surely he isn't talking about the overall US outlook, since we are stuck in a ditch with the Republicans sucking down Slurpees. Does he mean that our military, after the grim effort in Iraq and the multiple rotations through Iraq and under-resourced Afghanistan, is stronger than ever? Could he mean that our international alliances our stronger than ever, even as NATO flees Afghanistan? Is Obama admitting that the Bush years weren't so disastrous, or is he claiming to have undone the imagined damage so swiftly? Well, maybe closing Guantanamo turned everything around.
Ann Althouse picks up on this from the Times:
IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian writes:
"I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."
He doesn't mind losing the war or the country, however.
ADDED: My response to that quote — "I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party" — is: The President is saying — can it be true? — that there isn't even a small fragment of the party that would support fighting the war with a serious commitment to victory. How damning!
The goal is victory! Oh,what am I saying? Back to the WaPo:
According to Woodward's meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review, the president avoided talk of victory as he described his objectives.
"This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan," Obama is quoted as telling White House aides as he laid out his reasons for adding 30,000 troops in a short-term escalation. "Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint. It's in our national security interest. There cannot be any wiggle room."
How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for wiggle room?
SCARIEST MOMENT: The floor is open for suggestions, but IMHO this is either the scariest scene or the funniest. Maybe we will see it when "Scary Movie - The White House" is made:
Frustrated with his military commanders for consistently offering only options that required significantly more troops, Obama finally crafted his own strategy, dictating a classified six-page "terms sheet" that sought to limit U.S. involvement, Woodward reports in "Obama's Wars," to be released on Monday.
Well, Obama got a lot of the asbestos out of Altgeld Gardens, so I guess he is ready to make his own Afghan strategy. I assume we are talking about the "Surge and retreat", which Obama announced and then retreated from.