Robert Gates smacked down Republicans who are using his book to criticize President Obama by saying,’I agreed with all the president’s decisions on Afghanistan.’
RITA BRAVER: I think what people are troubled by is that you criticize President Obama on actions, particularly on his commitment to the war in Afghanistan, while it’s still going on, and people are saying, ‘Look, that’s just not right.’
ROBERT GATES: I make very explicit in the book that I agreed with all the president’s decisions on Afghanistan, the ones that he made in 2009 and subsequently. My one concern was that over the course of 2010 and early 2011, the president began to have reservations about whether it would all work. That didn’t seem like an unfair thing to say.
This is something that I noticed while reading excerpts of the book. Gates does criticize some aspects of Obama’s presidency, but he is also evenhanded. He offered plenty of praise for the president too. The media and Republicans jumped on the negative, and left out the positive. If Gates had disagreed with President Obama and thought his leadership was so poor, he would have resigned or taken his concerns public.
Gates did neither. I think his book will be an instructive and interesting read, but the media narrative about the book was wrong. The Republican narrative that Gates’ book proves that Obama is a president who is jeopardizing our national security is equally wrong. The gossipy mainstream press isn’t interested in an evenhanded account of what Robert Gates experienced. They would rather seize on the juicy gossip, and polarize everything through their hyperpartisan lens.
Robert Gates is a Republican, but he is another Republican like Colin Powell who doesn’t seem to fit the direction that the current Republican Party is moving in. Gates is so fed up with Washington that he moved the whole way across the country to get away from DC. Robert Gates has set the record straight, and he is not going to let the purpose and meaning of his book be warped for partisan political gain.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association