The War Nerd explains: Why Obama doesn't get any credit for being good at war

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I couldn't find the previous thread where the rightwingers were kvetching that Obama didn't deserve any credit for whacking bin Laden because LIBRUL, so, sorry, I'm starting a new one.

The War Nerd is a cynical bastard, but I can't bring myself to disagree.

Obama's Wars

War Nerd:

And boom, at last, Osama was dead. On Obama's watch. Whoo-hoo! Let the victory parades begin!

Except there weren't any. I remember real well the weird queasy hush after bin Laden died. Nobody ever tells the truth in this country, so nobody could talk about why Obama never got the cheers he expected, but we all know why. It's simple: There are two tribes in America and neither one was in a mood to cheer. Obama's liberal fans couldn't cheer because they have some taboo about parading around with your enemy's head on a stick. They think it's crude or something, "a regrettable necessity"-you know that NYT editorial jabber they use.

And the other tribe, the flyover state white glob I come from, would sooner comp bin Laden a suite in Vegas than give Obama any creds for taking him down. They sulked through it like a confused, hungover Pillsbury doughboy; the way they saw it, Obama got bin Laden on a technicality. There's always been a lot of Osama/Obama blur in the way they see things, and they might've been happier if it'd been Osama zapping that snotty Hawaiian instead of the other way around.

Some interesting stuff about drone warfare in there, too.

(Captcha says: "make it so". But we don't HAVE any photon torpedoes, Cap!)

Pretty much point on.
Half of the country does not want to celebrate killing, other half does not want to celebrate anything that Obama does.

Wait, what?

I don't know how things were where you live, but people WERE parading around in a gleeful mob when Bin Laden died, people have given Obama credit for it, and those of us who showed any tact at the time were in the vast minority.

So this war nerd is quite a bit wrong.

tstorm823:
Wait, what?

I don't know how things were where you live, but people WERE parading around in a gleeful mob when Bin Laden died, people have given Obama credit for it, and those of us who showed any tact at the time were in the vast minority.

So this war nerd is quite a bit wrong.

This pretty much. I don't live in America, but you know what? I distinctly remember, not only various TV personalities at the time making a big deal about it, but video of metric fuck tons of people parading about the streets and celebrating like it was WWII and we'd just killed Hitler.

What the hell kind of revisionist history do you need to subscribe to to not remember that?

Hmm, I was under the impression that people on both sides were being quiet because they didn't want to make a big deal out of how we found the bastard. To be perfectly frank, any idiot could and would have taken OBL down once found, it was the search itself that kept things interesting. And in this case we found our quarry partly because while Bush was still in office one of the torturees at Gitmo gave us intel on one of the couriers OBL was using to communicate with the rest of Al Qaeda, and partly because Obama succeeded in following up on that intel, tracing the network right back to OBL's hideout.

Rs didn't want to give Obama any credit as mentioned, and Ds didn't want to validate Bush's torture camp.

tstorm823:

So this war nerd is quite a bit wrong.

College students seizing an excuse to party? Clearly, this overturns all my theories.

Vivi22:

This pretty much. I don't live in America, but you know what? I distinctly remember, not only various TV personalities at the time making a big deal about it, but video of metric fuck tons of people parading about the streets and celebrating like it was WWII and we'd just killed Hitler.

I live in the USA, and I don't. But what do I know?

And you'll note how fast the hooplah died down. At this point, Bush would STILL be hauling around Bin Laden's skull as a conversation-starter.

arbane:
College students seizing an excuse to party? Clearly, this overturns all my theories.

Was it just college students? I don't seem to recall that ever being mentioned.

I live in the USA, and I don't. But what do I know?

Clearly I imagined all of the footage that was being aired of people celebrating at the time. Or maybe it was all faked by the news networks.

Vivi22:

arbane:
College students seizing an excuse to party? Clearly, this overturns all my theories.

Was it just college students? I don't seem to recall that ever being mentioned.

I live in the USA, and I don't. But what do I know?

Clearly I imagined all of the footage that was being aired of people celebrating at the time. Or maybe it was all faked by the news networks.

People celebrated, sure. But generally when a significant political event occurs, our "leaders" grandstand about it for months on end. They barely spoke about this at all.

arbane:

War Nerd:

And boom, at last, Osama was dead. On Obama's watch. Whoo-hoo! Let the victory parades begin!

Except there weren't any. I remember real well the weird queasy hush after bin Laden died.

I live in the UK and even I remember people crowding outside the white house, within hours of the news breaking, chanting "USA! USA! USA!" like it was a football crowd. Hardly nobody celebrating now is it?

Just so I'm understanding this correctly, Obama is bad at war because he didn't throw a huge celebration over killing someone?

Assassin Xaero:
Just so I'm understanding this correctly, Obama is bad at war because he didn't throw a huge celebration over killing someone?

No, there is a perception that he is not "strong" on various things because he tends to not make a huge deal of the things he does.

Heronblade:
People celebrated, sure. But generally when a significant political event occurs, our "leaders" grandstand about it for months on end. They barely spoke about this at all.

I feel like it's because even though they feel like most people are willing to accept whatever shit they throw at them, because this wasn't really a "political" event, any credit taken by a "political" person would quickly be seen through. While a number of people give Obama credit for "taking Osama down," most people realize Obama did not personally stroll into Pakistan and punch him in the face.

Plus, had the Democrats moved to give Obama credit, the Republicans would have quickly responded with, "Hey, look at that, Obama is trying to take credit for what our amazing military did! That smarmy bastard, he's never even served before!" And they would have been right, in a way. And had the Republicans made any big move to try and smear Obama for it, the Democrats would have responded with, "Hey, look at that, these people are using the actions of these brave men and women as a way to disparage their commander in chief! Those hateful gits will stop at nothing to find a way to smear the President!" And they would have been right as well. Any reaction from either side would have lead lead to a quick and clean victory for the other side.

What's weird is that not only is Obama continuing the policies of the Bush administration, he's actually been more aggressive (I'm going to guess not including 2003). Yet he's been called 'weak' because he doesn't treat Russia like an enemy, he postponed talking to the Israeli Prime Minister and..... I don't know. Meanwhile Iran's economy is going into the gutter because America refuses to lift economic sanctions, he's been deploying soldiers into Iranian soil to attack facilities etc. etc.

Heronblade:
Hmm, I was under the impression that people on both sides were being quiet because they didn't want to make a big deal out of how we found the bastard. To be perfectly frank, any idiot could and would have taken OBL down once found, it was the search itself that kept things interesting. And in this case we found our quarry partly because while Bush was still in office one of the torturees at Gitmo gave us intel on one of the couriers OBL was using to communicate with the rest of Al Qaeda, and partly because Obama succeeded in following up on that intel, tracing the network right back to OBL's hideout.

Rs didn't want to give Obama any credit as mentioned, and Ds didn't want to validate Bush's torture camp.

Whether we got the intell on the courier through water-boarding or through less heinous means is still up for debate. In one interview Leo Panetta suggested the intell did come from water-boarding, then he retracted. Fact is we will never know for sure. The guys who did the water-boarding destroyed a lot of evidence. We'll never know when and how we got which piece of information.

Second fact, Obama deserves a lot of credit. Soon after Leon Panetta was confirmed as Director of the CIA, Obama pulled him into the oval office and told him his top priority was to find Bin Laden. Panetta instituted a systematic analysis of all the available intelligence, including information gleaned from "enhanced interrogation techniques", and methodically followed every lead. They lead to a certain al Qaeda courier who lead them to Bin Laden.

Bush on the other hand, he just wasn't all that interested.

Obama did a good job of managing the wars if you ask me. Was he excellent? Maybe not, but he listened to his advisers and had a clear set of goals. Hes not military master mind but he knows what hes doing. His use of drones was/is an excellent move politically as it delivers a good punch to the enemy and it keeps people from dying which is always good to hear. Anyone who talks about how he doesn't know what hes doing when dealing with the military is talking our of their ass.

arbane:

College students seizing an excuse to party? Clearly, this overturns all my theories.

Old boring people didn't riot in the streets? Clearly, it wasn't a celebrated event.

I think it's hard to get excited about 1 man being killed when your country is still involved in two foreign wars and the economy is in the dumps. Killing bin Laden might have been exciting a few years ago, but my life was way different back when he was relevant.

And the War Nerd is a fucking moron. Obama didn't get credit because he didn't deserve it. There's a reason Obama was in the bitch seat in the photo, and it wasn't because he knew what the fuck was going on.

It's not obvious to me how sending in a spec ops team to nail one guy constitutes a "war".

All a politician needs to do is pick a fight with an enemy his country can beat. It's the military that then needs to be good at war.

Got to wonder if this is accurate: http://savingcommonsense.blogspot.com/2011/05/contrasting-speeches-of-bush-on-saddam.html Sounds true.

Basically, that Bush credited our service people for capture of Saddam and Obama gave himself credit.

But TC has some good points:

1) The left should be wary of celebrating a war act. Were Obama a Republican, I'm sure they could have Drummed up some war crimes and demanded hearings.
2) The right did not, to my knowledge, try to drum up war demands, but they might have been more celebratory. I think they were tastefully respectful of the effort, but were quick to criticize the "I did this, that and such and so" of Obama.

Hell, I'm not even an American or really that threatened by Osama Bin Laden's existance, but even I had a bit of a cheer that day, poured myself a nice glass of red and everything.

Honestly, while it's good to avoid being tasteless and recreate Mission Accomplished by throwing a huge parade, I still think the Obama administration fairly earned some bragging rights and brandy.

But then again, as it has been pointed out, Obama wasn't exactly there himself. Maybe he's just being a smart cookie and avoiding to be called out for essentially a kill-steal. Sometimes, it's better to not make a big deal out of something on the off-chance that you're going to have to eat it up at some point.

Gorfias:
1) The left should be wary of celebrating a war act. Were Obama a Republican, I'm sure they could have Drummed up some war crimes and demanded hearings.

Don't be ridiculous. People get accused of war crimes, if they order war crimes. For instance Bush presiding over the kidnapping and torture of thousands of innocent people, rushing unprepared into a war that killed millions

Gorfias:
2) The right did not, to my knowledge, try to drum up war demands

Clinton got criticised over the missile strikes in Afghanistan as being insufficient:
http://www.snopes.com/rumors/clinton.asp

And that's not the right, that's the ultra-right, because you're talking about republicans or worse.

Gorfias:
Got to wonder if this is accurate: http://savingcommonsense.blogspot.com/2011/05/contrasting-speeches-of-bush-on-saddam.html Sounds true.

Basically, that Bush credited our service people for capture of Saddam and Obama gave himself credit.

You are right to wonder. It is what we should call selective quoting. Other excerpts from the very same speech of Obama:

Obama:
Over the last 10 years [i.e. much under GWB!], thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defence. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and Al-Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of Al-Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot

...

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Blablahb:

Gorfias:
1) The left should be wary of celebrating a war act. Were Obama a Republican, I'm sure they could have Drummed up some war crimes and demanded hearings.

Don't be ridiculous. People get accused of war crimes, if they order war crimes. For instance Bush presiding over the kidnapping and torture of thousands of innocent people, rushing unprepared into a war that killed millions

Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil? You really don't think anyone could do anything with that to at least suggest a crime was committed? I work with a guy that is disappointed with Obama and he's always screaming about that one.

As to the right, they have demands that we go to war, but not demands to charge people with war crimes for acting in the US interest. My bad in how I phrased that.

Agema:

Gorfias:
Got to wonder if this is accurate: http://savingcommonsense.blogspot.com/2011/05/contrasting-speeches-of-bush-on-saddam.html Sounds true.

Basically, that Bush credited our service people for capture of Saddam and Obama gave himself credit.

You are right to wonder. It is what we should call selective quoting. Other excerpts from the very same speech of Obama:

Obama:
Over the last 10 years [i.e. much under GWB!], thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defence. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and Al-Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of Al-Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot

...

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

After posting, I did get to see comments where what you've written is stated. I need to check the Bush speech ASAP if the word "I" is used often.

Decent link: http://minx.cc/?post=315865 Includes the Bush speech. Bush mentions himself twice, both times about a message he has, not what he had done with regard to Saddam.

Obama says I 7 times, and it is about what he did regarding Osama. He does also give credit where due;
The word we is used 57 times.
The word our is used 51 times.
American: 10
America: 14
God: 4
"I" is used 7 times

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil?

And?
Should the citizenship of USA be a magical shield against any actions taken against you that USA military might take on people of other nations in otherwise same situations?

nyysjan:

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil?

And?
Should the citizenship of USA be a magical shield against any actions taken against you that USA military might take on people of other nations in otherwise same situations?

That's a defensive statement. Play prosecutor. What do you think can be done with that?

Gorfias:

After posting, I did get to see comments where what you've written is stated. I need to check the Bush speech ASAP if the word "I" is used often.

Have to be a bit careful. Obama's speech is MUCH longer than Bush's, so adjusting for length might be appropriate. I don't think it's really worth the bother though. Both speeches seem to me gracious enough.

But then, Obama probably would want to emphasise his role. Obama has to think about the common criticism that Democrats are weak on defence, so it is politically useful him for stress he took a tough decision. No-one on the planet would need think Bush needed to prove the same, as he'd already invaded two countries.

Agema:

Gorfias:

After posting, I did get to see comments where what you've written is stated. I need to check the Bush speech ASAP if the word "I" is used often.

Have to be a bit careful. Obama's speech is MUCH longer than Bush's, so adjusting for length might be appropriate. I don't think it's really worth the bother though. Both speeches seem to me gracious enough.

But then, Obama probably would want to emphasise his role. Obama has to think about the common criticism that Democrats are weak on defence, so it is politically useful him for stress he took a tough decision. No-one on the planet would need think Bush needed to prove the same, as he'd already invaded two countries.

I think that need to interject himself was there. While the 1st clip I found mislead on Obama giving credit where due, the, "I did such and so" stuff strikes me as odd. I think it likely there for the reasons you state.

Gorfias:

nyysjan:

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil?

And?
Should the citizenship of USA be a magical shield against any actions taken against you that USA military might take on people of other nations in otherwise same situations?

That's a defensive statement. Play prosecutor. What do you think can be done with that?

No, that's a question, one that you did not answer.
Should it?
I think not, if he had been legitimate target for killing if he was a citizen of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait or Sweden, then he should have been equally legitimate target for killing if he was a citizen of USA.
Whether or not he was legitimate target of killing, i don't know, but the point was not that Obama had someone killed, but that he had a citizen of USA killed, and i think that the citizenship of the corpse should be irrelevant.

nyysjan:

Gorfias:

nyysjan:

And?
Should the citizenship of USA be a magical shield against any actions taken against you that USA military might take on people of other nations in otherwise same situations?

That's a defensive statement. Play prosecutor. What do you think can be done with that?

No, that's a question, one that you did not answer.

It was a debater's question. It was obvious you want to defend Obama's ordering this sort of thing. I do too.

Should it?
I think not, if he had been legitimate target for killing if he was a citizen of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait or Sweden, then he should have been equally legitimate target for killing if he was a citizen of USA.

Now you have me playing devil's advocate. For starters, liberal guy I know is very disappointed by Obama, and often calls this murder. He states the guy had the same due process rights as you and me, even on foreign soil. A cop can kill you if he has to do so, but if it is within his means to take you alive, he is supposed to do so. Even if he is wrong, I have to think, were Obama a Republican, the left would have signs reading about the same held high as they marched down main street.

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil? You really don't think anyone could do anything with that to at least suggest a crime was committed?

Without mentioning the circumstances and tactical considerations, ragging on about that is just plain dishonest.

Gorfias:
As to the right, they have demands that we go to war, but not demands to charge people with war crimes for acting in the US interest.

That's because their idea of 'US interest' is highly deluded. Kidnapping thousands of innocent people on a hunch, torturing them and disappearing them, while learning nothing new and making the US one of the most hated and pitied countries on the planet, is not in the interest of the US.

That's probably why Obama put a stop to the practise when he took office, and set about repairing the damage the republicans did to the image of the US.

Such a shame they never caught any of the CIA operatives responsible for that. Italy convicted 22 of them, but the US refuses to extradite the criminals. That's something I do hold against Obama's administration. Although I harbour no illusions that a republican administration would serve justice.

nyysjan:

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil?

And?
Should the citizenship of USA be a magical shield against any actions taken against you that USA military might take on people of other nations in otherwise same situations?

Its unconstitutional and with Obama being an expert in constitutional law(i think he was offered to become a professor at some university in said field, maybe Harvard) that would seem to be even more of a U turn.

I remember quite a lot of celebrating, actually, liberals and conservatives both. All the "We can't celebrate because someone is dead" sentiment seemed to come from pretentious internet liberals or spiteful internet conservatives. I was going to say "So if he stays mostly on the internet, I'm not surprised he came to this conclusion," but even if he does, the celebrating, and subsequent fighting over the appropriateness of celebrating a death, was still on the internet. It devolved into a shitstorm, as anything on the internet is wont to do, and was anything but quiet.

Gorfias:

Now you have me playing devil's advocate. For starters, liberal guy I know is very disappointed by Obama, and often calls this murder. He states the guy had the same due process rights as you and me, even on foreign soil. A cop can kill you if he has to do so, but if it is within his means to take you alive, he is supposed to do so. Even if he is wrong, I have to think, were Obama a Republican, the left would have signs reading about the same held high as they marched down main street.

So, how come 'the right' DIDN'T?

Gorfias:

Agema:

Gorfias:

After posting, I did get to see comments where what you've written is stated. I need to check the Bush speech ASAP if the word "I" is used often.

Have to be a bit careful. Obama's speech is MUCH longer than Bush's, so adjusting for length might be appropriate. I don't think it's really worth the bother though. Both speeches seem to me gracious enough.

But then, Obama probably would want to emphasise his role. Obama has to think about the common criticism that Democrats are weak on defence, so it is politically useful him for stress he took a tough decision. No-one on the planet would need think Bush needed to prove the same, as he'd already invaded two countries.

I think that need to interject himself was there. While the 1st clip I found mislead on Obama giving credit where due, the, "I did such and so" stuff strikes me as odd. I think it likely there for the reasons you state.

Obama said "I" a whooole buncha times.

Bush said "Mission Accomplished".

So, yeah.

arbane:

Gorfias:

Now you have me playing devil's advocate. For starters, liberal guy I know is very disappointed by Obama, and often calls this murder. He states the guy had the same due process rights as you and me, even on foreign soil. A cop can kill you if he has to do so, but if it is within his means to take you alive, he is supposed to do so. Even if he is wrong, I have to think, were Obama a Republican, the left would have signs reading about the same held high as they marched down main street.

So, how come 'the right' DIDN'T?

Not in their interest. They want to go to war.

Gorfias:

Agema:

Gorfias:

After posting, I did get to see comments where what you've written is stated. I need to check the Bush speech ASAP if the word "I" is used often.

Have to be a bit careful. Obama's speech is MUCH longer than Bush's, so adjusting for length might be appropriate. I don't think it's really worth the bother though. Both speeches seem to me gracious enough.

But then, Obama probably would want to emphasise his role. Obama has to think about the common criticism that Democrats are weak on defence, so it is politically useful him for stress he took a tough decision. No-one on the planet would need think Bush needed to prove the same, as he'd already invaded two countries.

I think that need to interject himself was there. While the 1st clip I found mislead on Obama giving credit where due, the, "I did such and so" stuff strikes me as odd. I think it likely there for the reasons you state.

Obama said "I" a whooole buncha times.

Bush said "Mission Accomplished".

So, yeah.[/quote]

Loved the Bush speech. Saddam's regime was destroyed. Obama was likely accurate, but the "I" stuff was very odd. Like I wrote.

Blablahb:

Gorfias:
Didn't the US target and kill a US citizen under Obama, on foreign soil? You really don't think anyone could do anything with that to at least suggest a crime was committed?

Without mentioning the circumstances and tactical considerations, ragging on about that is just plain dishonest.

You think that of the Zimmerman prosecution?

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