One would think it was Christmas in January for conservatives with their reaction to the forthcoming book by former defense secretary Robert Gates. My conservative friends on Facebook are falling all over themselves as is the rest of Bubble Land over Gates' criticism of the president and, in particular, Vice President Biden. As is usually the case, they are only telling part of the story if even that at all.
In a new memoir, Mr. Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration who served for two years under Mr. Obama, praises the president as a rigorous thinker who frequently made decisions “opposed by his political advisers or that would be unpopular with his fellow Democrats.”
That doesn't really sound like criticism. Neither does this.
Mr. Gates acknowledges that he initially opposed sending Special Operations forces to attack a housing compound in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was believed to be hiding. Mr. Gates writes that Mr. Obama’s approval for the Navy SEAL mission, despite strong doubts that Bin Laden was even there, was “one of the most courageous decisions I had ever witnessed in the White House.”
Yes, it was.
What does he say about the president in the last chapter?
In his final chapter, Mr. Gates makes clear his verdict on the president’s overall Afghan strategy: “I believe Obama was right in each of these decisions.”
Huh. So wtf are they talking about?