Friday, January 13, 2012


Obama in Baghdad: “didn't want to take pictures with any more soldiers."

Michael Hastings' new book The Operators jabs at what could be a vulnerable spot for the Obama Administration, the president's relationship with the troops.

The book describes a visit to Baghdad:

After the talk, out of earshot from the soldiers and diplomats, he starts to complain. He starts to act very un-Obamalike, according to a U.S. embassy official who helped organize the trip in Baghdad.

He’s asked to go out to take a few more pictures with soldiers and embassy staffers. He’s asked to sign copies of his book. “He didn’t want to take pictures with any more soldiers; he was complaining about it,” a State Department official tells me. “Look, I was excited to meet him. I wanted to like him. Let’s just say the scales fell from my eyes after I did. These are people over here who’ve been fighting the war, or working every day for the war effort, and he didn’t want to take fucking pictures with them?"

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Is anybody really surprised that the ONLY budget cut made by the same Administration that ran up 6 trillion of debt, involves cutting loose 500,000 troops?




  1. TomR armed in TexasJanuary 13, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    I knew it. Besides Marxist philosophy I knew obama and Hillary had something in common. A disdain for the military.

  2. In the UK, the current lot were left such a mess in the administration of the military that they scrapped whole projects down to the point that Britain is effectively unarmed. You don't want to go that far ever.

    That said, wasn't the golden period of the USA the 19th century in which the standing army was a tiny but very professional 20,000 or so?

    It is not a bad idea in principle to have a strong naval/air force and sufficient land troops to garrison overseas territories and protected states.

    Nobody doubts that America has awesome industrial capacity and a massive reserve of trained riflemen to draw on in the event they are required, but given the mess that the current and previous C-in-Cs have made of the nation's finances, perhaps it's a wise thing to draw down a little and not get involved in such wide-scale conflicts in future?

    Perhaps I've misunderstood, though.

    (e.g. I have heard it said that the old Iraq could have been brought down in more subtle ways than full military invasion, such as by buying off the military governors and supplying/supporting insurgencies, such as we did in Afghanistan in October 2001)

  3. ****************************************

    ...OF COURSE:

    Obama in Baghdad: “didn't want to take pictures with any more soldiers."

    is utterly horrifying and he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. I couldn't imagine anything more demoralising than running a war with civil leaders who have no respect for their own military institutions or traditions. (I again refer you to the UK under Labour as a chilling example).


    My previous comment is made specifically with reference to your last sentence in your article.

    What would your ideal balance of forces/operations be, given the state of the public purse?