Obama’s Undeniable Foreign Policy Successes

By Peter Galuszka

You can say what you want about embattled President Barack Obama, but the fact is that he’s had a number of foreign policy successes.

Here are a few:

  • After years of failure, Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was finally surrounded and killed by U.S. special forces — something the Bush Administration failed to do for seven years.
  • Despite Republican complaints, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed a thoughtful and patient course that supported insurgents in Libya and select NATO airstrikes. Now Muamar al-Gaddafi, a brutal dictator who has been a thorn in the side for four decades, is dead and Libya holds the promise of transforming into a modern democracy.
  • The U.S. did not stand in the way of the twitter movements in other countries such as Tunisia and Egypt.
  • The heavy-handed, arrogant policies and personalities of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney made Washington a pariah amongst its traditional allies. Obama and Clinton have changed that.
  • As announced today, Obama will return U.S. troops in Iraq home by the end of the year. Some 4,400 of them were killed along with 100,000 civilians in a war that was not necessary since no Weapons of Mass Destruction were ever found and the Bush Administration lied about evidence that they existed.
  • Greatly reducing U.S. presence in Iraq will greatly alleviate budget and spending pressure — something conservatives are loath to admit when it involves Bush’s wars.

To give credit where due, George W. Bush did turn things around in Iraq with “The Surge.” And Obama’s had a very rough time on the economic front in part because of his lack of experience and also because of the utter lack of cooperation from the likes of John Boehner and Eric Cantor. But his foreign policy successes cannot be denied no matter how hard the conservatives may try to twist facts and perceptions.

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62 responses to “Obama’s Undeniable Foreign Policy Successes”

  1. watching conservatives comment about this is hilarious. they sputter… they hem and haw and they say he still did not do it “good enough”…..

    could it be the neocons idiots are actually wrong and can’t even bring themselves to admitting that other approaches may work also …maybe even better than their warmongering / nation-building inclinations?

    What would John Bolton say?

    bite my tongue!

  2. I take my hat off to Obama for his recent foreign policy successes. But Peter, you are way off on blaming the GOP for Obama’s domestic policy failures. The Stimulus Bill has been a complete failure – the jobless rate is well above 8% even though Stimulus passed. Steve Jobs, no conservative, warned Obama that his war on business would not work. And many Democrats in the Senate are voting against Obama’s latest jobs bill. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/189067-defections-by-senate-dems-hamper-obamas-message-on-jobs Even Al Franken voted against “Bama Jobs.”
    With Solyndra and now Fiska (the electric car company building vehicles in Finland) is there any wonder? Obama is as arrogant and incompetent as Jimmy Carter and as crooked as Dick Nixon.

  3. I think when the economy is headed south and you don’t know by how much – that then blaming stimulus for not working is not really fair.

    Obama wanted to go “big” on the stimulus anyhow but could not get enough support to do it.

    It turns out that the stimulus did work but it was insufficient.

    what makes all of this so hilarious is that the folks on the right blame Obama for not doing what they wanted George Bush to do.

    I agree Obama and his team are on the arrogant side but he was dealt a hand unlike any except for Roosevelt and we judge him like he should have known what to do.

    What would George Bush or John McCain done? Do you really think they would have done it any better?

    so you judge Obama according to what standard?

    no Bush for sure….

    Bush ran the country into an economic ditch and because Obama did not fix it he’s like Carter (who had no such challenge) or Nixon ( who was a good President except for his character failings).

    so I ask – who would have done a better job given the depth of the damage done to the economy?

    Reagan? ha ha ha… remember the Savings & Loan scandal and the Iran-Contra fiasco… to name but two ….

    the problem here is that we have very serious issues and Obama has not fixed them….

    but name someone who would have done better. Bush? hahahahahah

    McCain? I don’t think so. listen to the man right now.. he’s professor NeoCon.

  4. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    I do say in the post that Obama is inexperienced.

  5. Groveton Avatar

    Remember “Mission Accomplished”?

    I’d be very careful about claiming success too early. Let’s run through the list …

    KIll Bin Laden – While any president would have ordered the man killed, Obama did take the risk of sending in the Seals without telling Pakistan first. Gotta give him some credit for the courage there.

    Iraq. The war was won before Obama came into office. Iraq is a civilized society. They had a terrible leader. Now, he’s gone. The war was terrible but the Iraqis are like the Germans after WWII – civilized people led badly astray. Obama didn’t do anything dumb and that, in itself, is good.

    Afghanistan. Still a disaster. Bush had no plan. Obama has no plan. Can’t blame Obama for that quagmire but can’t give him credit for solving it.

    Libya – We’ll see. I am not so optimistic. I’ve seen this pattern before – evil strongman holds together a “country”. Strongman dies, is killed or deposed. Country falls to pieces with sectarian fighting. Can you say Bosnia?

    Somalia – US troops are involved right now, don’t kid yourself. Another Afghanistan. This needs to be a completely covert war. Obama is pressing his luck.

    Uganda – US troops on the ground. Some chance for success here. The so-called Lord’s Resistance Army is more like an outlaw gang than a rebel force. Obama may do some good here so long as the US fighters don’t suffer casualties.

    So, I’ll give Obama a “B” with the chance for a “B+” or “A-” on tactical foreign affairs.

    On strategi foreign affairs – “D”.

    Iran – huge issue. No progress.
    Disengagement – bringing back US forces from places like Korea and Germany. No progress.
    Containing China. No progress.
    Israel. Serious degradation in relationship.

    A “B” and a “D” equal a “C”.

  6. Groveton Avatar

    On domestic policy, Obama is a disaster.

    As to who would have run the economy better than Obama?

    Mitt Romney.

    Herman Caine.

    Hillary Clinton.

    The list goes on.

  7. We could dig up the corpse of Millard Fillmore and have better leadership in the White House on economic matters. Here’s a story from Detroit showing Bama Bucks building sidewalks where people don’t live./ http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/the_edge/sidewalks-to-nowhere%3A-detroit's-brand-new-ramps-in-abandoned-neighborhoods
    A story from Oregon where Bama Bucks went to foreign workers. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/10/federal_stimulus_money_for_ore.html
    Obama is an absolute disaster on domestic economic matters.

  8. re: foreign policy “achievements” .

    agreed but what we’re doing now is better than serving up our young as cannon-fodder for futile neo-con nation-building.

    re: disaster on domestic policy

    I have yet to see a better plan from anyone.

    All I hear is less regulation… cut taxes… and little else.

    The Republicans are the disaster. They ran the economy into the ditch in their 8 years then have no plan at all other that supply-side idiocy.

  9. re: sidewalks to nowhere….

    more right wing blather…

    every President has bridges to nowhere and $600 toilets and billions of dollars wasted in Iraq/Afghanistan … etc…

    so what? Is this the only President that’s done that?

    I don’t think so.

  10. But Obama spent more money than anyone else on his massive domestic policy failures. As far as Iraq/Afghanistan is concerned, Obama could have declared victory and gone home. He stayed the course, taking advantage of the Iraq surge, and then expanded troop deployment to other nations.
    What if Obama would have put stimulus money into the top five highway projects in each of the 50 states? He spent money beyond what anyone else ever did and has nothing to show for it. Except debt.

  11. Obama did stimulus AS RECOMMENDED by the same folks advising Bush.

    When you have the real possibility of a liquidity trap – stimulus is the recommended treatment.

    what would you have Obama done instead? What would the Republicans have done?

    no way he could have brought the troops home right away – the neo-cons and Republicans would have gone apeshit….

    as it is… he did NOT go into Libya and he’s bringing troops home from Iraq and scheduling for Afghanistan and what are the Republicans saying?

    Here we had a SURPLUS in 2001 and Bush and the Republicans got into two wars …and refused to pay for them… and still do….

    Obama spent money – no question about it. He did it and so did a number of other countries in the world – all in an effort to keep the economy from going into a depression.

    you can Monday-morning quarterback it… but who knew when it was going on what the right thing to do was – much less be able precisely predict just how damaged the economy ultimately would prove to be?

    as I said.. I have yet to hear from the Obama haters what he should have done instead …. all they say is cut regulations and cut taxes and the economy will recover. What a bunch of blather.

    Republicans are basically political vandals these days.

  12. The jury is still out on the foreign success. If these Spring countries head in the direction that Egypt is, we may wish we kept troops abroad.

    1. Groveton Avatar

      Exactly. “Mission Accomplished” is a bit premature. It may all work out. In fact, I’d guess it will. But until it does …

  13. we really have little control over what happens. We have a long history of attempting to keep countries as allies and ending up with the opposite condition – Iran as in the Shah and Iran-Contra … examples of our incompetence at “nation-building”.

    keeping troops in those countries won’t change the longer-term course of events in those countries.

    How arrogant it is of us to think we can determine for other countries what we determined for our own country.

    the very best thing we can do – is to give humanitarian aid and to let that behavior be what they judge us by.

  14. floodguy Avatar

    Let’s be honest; whatever credit bloggers, historians or partisan supporters want to give the President past or present, it isn’t going to carry much weight, because (1) time will let history will weigh more as Darrell noted, and (2) everyone knew the policy in Libya was not very proactive and direct. It was good that it was a lighter approach, but since the U.S. took a backseat to NATO, France, Italy and the UK, how much credit can really fall back on our nation and this president?

    As far as OBL dying, I think the overall consensus is to give the military full credit and no one else. It seems like to me, neither Bush or Obama can claim credit. When Bush was president, it doesn’t appear his #1 or #2 priority wasn’t to cut the head off of the snake. After 1o years, it seems more and more this wasn’t the best strategy. The reason why Obama can’t claim credit, because him and his party they did everything in their political might, to make it difficult for the Bush admin, and the indirect affect from this squabbling, was damaging to the morale of the troops. There was so much political discourse back then, a time of difficult geopolitical diplomacy, the entire world saw this, and I think this helped contributed to a drop in the respect other nations have for us.

    Too many folks on both ends of the political spectrum, wants to cite credit for their guy with all these wars. But I believe all of this is premature. With the amount of division that exists today, nothing but time will clear the political smog created since the 2000 election controversy, before this nation can clearly see the results of current and recent events.

  15. floodguy Avatar

    Left-leaners should also consider, as Tea Partyers and Occupiers would suggest, while Obama didn’t screw up foreign policy as he has done with this domestic policymaking, he can credit the assistance of Hilliary Clinton as Peter has cited. Perhaps, this is the only reason why this administration’s foreign policymaking didn’t actualy fail, as it did with its domestic efforts? We all know more and more Democratic voters and politicans are wondering out loud, if they actually nominated the wrong candidate. With this notion brought forward well before Gaddafi’s death, one has to really question how much success in foreign policy is Obama’s and how much is actually all Clinton’s?

  16. I’m pretty sure that Obama had to explicitly approve the mission to go after OBL and probably the drone missions subsequent.

    If you think the military made these decisions… I think you’re badly mistaken.

    Bush clearly was not interested in going after OBL.

    It’s also clear that the military could not go after him without the President approving it.

    We’re not looking for “credit”.

    We’re saying that the Republican narrative about Obama’s foreign policy incompetence is… more propaganda than truth.

    can’t have it both ways.

    Can’t say he’s no good at this kind of thing and then claim he didn’t do it..the military did it…

  17. do you really think the military and the CIA do whatever they think is best without approval from the President?


  18. floodguy Avatar

    When it comes down to military action, the President will weigh what his military advisors tell him. Bush was of course, interested but it was clear it wasn’t his top priority. You are eluding I’m suggesting something I’m not. The actions & benefits gained from foreign policymaking during this adminstration thus far, doesn’t carry as much credit as other administations. The headline of this blog is “success” for Obama’s foreign policy. Similarly, how much credit will historians give to Reagan for invading Grenada to his overall foreign policy record? Will history books suggest the British Navy is mighty once again for its victory in the Falklands ? I think you have been suffering from a political beatdown, and now are making more hay out of this then reality suggests.

  19. Groveton Avatar

    I nominate this absurd comment for “All Time Most Absurd” on Bacon’s Rebellion…

    “Bush clearly was not interested in going after OBL.”

    Until another, more absurd comment (hard to imagine) is written, this idiocy reigns supreme.

  20. floodguy Avatar

    Larry, don’t misperceive my sentiments here. I’m all for this nation succeeding so much, I indeed hope Obama succeeds. But no, I’m not happy with how Obama has handled things, nor was I with Bush. Things aren’t right and to me, it appears most of the reason for the problem was borne from the political discourse which has ramped up full bore since the 2000 Presidential elections. With the advanced age of communication via internet, blogs, Youtube, CATV news, cell phones, tweets, I think all of this is really fouling the air so badly, for whatever reason, it has fuel the fire which is generating so much hate b/n the left and the right, that this alone is the sole reason for America decline. It starts with blogs and voters to correct. Its starts at this level ground level. If we can’t be civil and keep our emotions in check, and keep our verbal bombs in our heads and not our mouth,then we’ll get the government we deserve – Bush and Obama and whatever nut the GOP is going to nominate.

  21. Groveton Avatar

    floodguy –

    Your writing is clear. Your thoughts are concise. I just wish I could agree with you. America’s problems may be highlighted in the rhetoric between the left and right. However, the problems are fundamentally deeper than mere rhetoric.

    Illegal immigration, the wealth gap, persistant unemployment, failing educational efforts, disaffected youth, a hopelessly complicated tax system, and on and on …

    Our problems may include angry communications but the problems are far deeper than simple communications issues.

    My humble opinion.

  22. floodguy Avatar

    Yes there are many structural and legal problems as you mention; but isn’t it the discourse which is keeping Congress from fixing them?

    The Dems and Repubs are in a very bad marriage. There are so many things wrong in their household and with their checkbook, they can’t seem to make any headway whatsoever towards fixing them. And its all because they hate the livin’ bejesus out of eachother. They can’t communicate and they surely will not give any compromise to the other. And to boot, there is close to 5o million bystanders egging them.

    Somehow, I think we need to find a strong enough President, who sole focus is to unselfishly make the U.S. Congress, the most powerful branch of government is has been in a very very long time. By design, the legislative branch is the most powerful of all three branches of our gov’t, but it should be very troubling to all, that even with all its power, our Congress is struggling to acomplish anything.

    Back in colonial days, many Virginians seems to be the most adapt at relating to political forces in the north as well as the south. Hence, these favorite sons were all very successful presidents. Its seems to me, an honest elected official would always stay within himself and continually strive to become a “statesman”, and never a successful politican. I truly thought this blog resembled this sort of attitude more than any I have come across, until I read this entry tonight. This sort of bomb throwing can be found all over the internet, but tell me, what exactly has that done for any of us? Nothing. I’ve read have this blog from time to time over the years and for the most part, all of its contributors are far more thoughtful and intelligent than those elsewhere. Perhaps I’m too much of a dreamer to think different, but I believe there is a far better approach to blogging, then constantly seeking to inflame the opposite end of the political spectrum.

  23. I side with floodguy. This sort of bomb throwing does nothing, for either side, and less for solving the problems we have.

    I would give Obama neither credit nor blame for any of the topics mentioned.

  24. re: ” I nominate this absurd comment for “All Time Most Absurd” on Bacon’s Rebellion…

    “Bush clearly was not interested in going after OBL.”

    He expressed such sentiment AND how long did OBL live in that compound?

  25. ” The actions & benefits gained from foreign policymaking during this adminstration thus far, doesn’t carry as much credit as other administations”

    Reagan and Bush were never accused of being “soft” on national defense and foreign policy.

    that’s what the headline on the blog says.

  26. ” However, the problems are fundamentally deeper than mere rhetoric.

    Illegal immigration, the wealth gap, persistant unemployment, failing educational efforts, disaffected youth, a hopelessly complicated tax system, and on and on …”

    and they have been there BEFORE this man became President and yet NOW… he gets blamed them.. even though his predecessor had the same issues and did nothing about them.

    it’s a double standard being used as an excuse.

    if you want to condemn this guy – find something unique to his Presidency that he has failed at ….. and no it’s not a failure when you are handed the most damaged economy since the depression and you have to figure out how deep it is and you guess wrong.. that’s not a failure that any other President might have also made.

    What would Bush or McCain have done? Bush wanted the TARP AND the stimulus because thats also what his own economic advisers were also recommending.

    A large number of private and public economists in the US and worldwide support the stimulus. The problem is that the economy was much more severely damaged than though when the stimulus was initially designed.

  27. floodguy says that we “need a leader that…..”

    The Republicans had several years where they held the Presidency, the Senate and the House and they did not fix healthcare, fix the tax code, use PAYGO for homeland security and DOD, took a surplus and turned it into a 1.5 trillion deficit by refusing to pay for the two wars they wanted…. doubled debt… looked the other way when Fannie/Freddie enabled credit defaults…

    When Obama got elected the big hit against him … seems to be that he did not fulfill the stated Republican agenda that was not accomplished under Bush.

    The Republicans did not do a dang thing about health care even though in 1993 they supported the same individual mandate that they turned around 180 degrees on and opposed under Obama.

    oh wait.. I forgot -… the further damaged the budget by passing taxpayer-subsidized prescription drug program while refusing to do what every other industrialized country does and own own VA does – negotiate for bulk prices.

    No where is it more apparent just how far to the right the Republican party has swerved than watching the debates and the lineup of candidates.

    there is a snowball chance in hell that who the Republicans most want can win the independent vote.

    why? because they say they will not “compromise” their “principles”

    TRANSLATION: ” you do it our way or else”.

    Finally – the bomb throwing rhetoric did not start from the Dems.

    just look at the number of right-wing bomb throwing right wing websites these days…. talk radio.. FAUX news, etc….

    for the most part the Dems have not resorted to bomb-throwing rhetoric except to return fire…..

    the Republican party has gone bizarroo … it is now ruled by zealots… like Grover Norquest and company.

    there is no Republican now days who could maintain a working relationship with the Dems without alienating his own party for trying to maintain such a relationship.

    The Republicans are, in fact, modern day bomb-throwing political vandals for the most part.

    Virtually ever moderate Republican in the party has been run out of dodge.

  28. Heh. Heh. Peter has discovered his inner hawk.

    To me, Obama’s aggressive actions in the war on terror have been one of the few pleasant surprises of his presidency. I give the president credit for his successes. Insofar as Obama has been successful in the war on terror, though, it has been by pursuing the strategies established by Bush — or acting even more aggressively than Bush.

    Instead of pulling out of Iraq within a year as he promised, Obama drew down forces slowly and responsibly (as Bush was planning to do, given the progress there). Instead of abandoning Afghanistan, Obama launched his own mini-surge. Instead of closing down Guantamo Bay and trying suspected terrorist prisoners in civilian U.S., court, he’s kept Guantanamo open and stuck with military tribunals.

    But Obama has gone further than the cowboy Bush. He nailed OBL by invading Pakistan and taking him out with commandos, even at the risk of dangerously destabilizing relations with that strategically critical country. He ramped up drone strikes, effectively extending the war to Pakistan on another front. He’s targeted American citizens (Awlaki) for drone strikes, something Bush never did, extending the war to Yemen in the process. And he prosecuted a war against Libya without ever getting permission from Congress, in contrast to Bush who *did* obtain Congress’ permission for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    With a few exceptions, conservatives and Republicans have supported Obama in these actions, or at least stayed quiet. What really tickles me, though, is the way liberals and lefties have done an extraordinary about-face. Commentators like ed Schulz and Rachel Maddow are reveling in Obama’s machismo. But can you imagine their reaction if the evil chimp-Hitler Bush had invaded a country like Libya without congressional assent, or if he had ramped up the drone war? All we’d be hearing about is the shredding of the constitution, the loss of innocent civilian life , the execution of an American citizen without trial and the imminent decline of U.S. democracy into fascism.

    So, yes, I do give Obama considerable credit. But I have no respect for the slavish toadying of his acolytes and water carriers who hated Bush’s policies but love Obama’s. Their reveling in the deaths of OBL and Muammar Gadhafi, and their praise for the means by which Obama achieved those victories, has revealed their opposition to Bush’s policies to be motivated mainly by partisan hackery.

  29. floodguy Avatar

    Hey Larry i said it seemed apparent Bush’s #1 or #2 priority wasn’t to cut the head of the snake. You said Bush ckearly wasn’t interested in going after OBL. The war’s objectives probably didnt channge throughout the years but the military’s ability to reach them surely did. I give credit to them and to neither political side.

    It appears apparent u have a great deal of emotional investment on your “side”. Of course you are going feel and say those things about Bush and other Republicans. But i can do that too and I can also do the same about Obama and the Democrats. My question is, can you and do you? With that said, if you can fairly see the problems with both sides, i think its more prudent to discuss how we might explain to each side the problems and understandings of the other.

  30. floodguy – OBL was in the same location he was found it – during Bush’s term.

    are you saying that the military was incompetent at finding him or someone failed to order the mission?

    I have ZERO emotional investment on “my side” as I have voted Republican in National, State and local elections multiple times in the past but the Republican party has morphed into a party of reactionary right-wing ideologues.

    despite Groveton’s labeling of “libtard”, I am much more fiscally conservative that most posters on this blog.

    but I’m not socially conservative and I’m opposed to neo-con/warmongering/nation building.

    in terms of “both sides”.

    When Republicans in the past supported an individual mandate, payroll tax reductions, a progressive tax system, regulation, and most important fiscally responsible balanced budgets and now have abandoned them to oppose the current administrations support of them – is clear in it’s intent.

    They cannot stand the fact that and old white man neocon is not in charge and they are committed to getting him tossed no matter how damaged or economy is … they’re not going to lift a finger…

    and the “credit” for OBL and Libya is done like this:

    He did it way different than the Republicans wanted to do their normal neo-con approach and it so got caught in their craw that they now cannot give credit but instead say that any credit is “premature” because things could still go to hell in a handbasket.


    Like our past efforts in that region have not?

    You’ve got these neo-con idiots like McCain and Graham and company acting like adolescents getting “even”.

  31. Here’s something liberals would run from – go back to Bill Clinton’s proposal to limit the tax deductibility of any compensation to any person to $1 million each year. Since Clinton proposed that in the early 90s, raise the threshold to $2.5 million. Apply this to the film, TV, sports, music, etc. industries as well as business.
    Bacon is right tool about the Democrats opposing Bush foreign policies, but supporting the same ones from Obama. And the silence of the Democrats on the recent killing of an American citizen, al-Awalki, is deafening. If Bush would have done this, we would hear from the Democrats forever. But then, this is a Party that believes it is racist to support Cain and racist to oppose Obama.

  32. Groveton Avatar

    “floodguy – OBL was in the same location he was found it – during Bush’s term.”.

    So, why did it take Obama 2.5 years to get him?

    Something is wrong with this analysis.

  33. actually I think people do support the killing of those actively engaged in organized terrorism- batter than torture.

    I’m not that concerned with what Bush did except that Obama is judged by not doing what they expected Bush to do which is totally bizarro.

    re: Obama tax policies verses Republican tax policies.

    How can you possibly justify the Republicans policies of fighting two wars and refusing to pay for them?

    how can anyone call themselves a fiscal conservative and then make excuses about willingly incurred debt?

    re; OBL location?

    so you blame Obama for taking 2.5 years and Bush gets a free ride for doing nothing even though he knew he was there?

    this is the kind of blame Obama first logic, we are seeing.

    It’s not good enough that Obama did what Bush did not/would not do – it’s that it took “too long”.

    the only thing “wrong” with the “analysis” is the convoluted logic of those who blame Obama for taking too long to do what Bush never would do.

    …. AND… these folks VOTE… a really scary prospect.

    Looks like most anti-Obama folks actually sign on to the Neo-Con approach to foreign “diplomacy” eh?

  34. Groveton Avatar

    The worse Obama does, the more desperate his supporters become. Now, LarryG claims that Bin Laden’s location was known during the Bush administration. According to LarryG, Bush simply refused to do anything about it. So, I ask why Obama took two and a half years to act. It was a trick question. Let’s look at the real timing …


    The same people who tell and retell the fairy tale of Tea Party protesters spitting on Congressmen after the Obamacare vote must now be concocting the odd story of how Bush knew where Bin Laden was hiding but did nothing.

    Desperate people in desperate hope of supporting a desperately bad president do desperate things, I guess.

  35. Groveton Avatar

    If you want to give Obama credit for something, give him credit for this …

    President Obama said: “We shared our intelligence on this compound with no other country, including Pakistan.”

    That took some gumption.

  36. Groveton Avatar

    LarryG: Since I know you only read liberal rags, here is the New York Times article:


    “Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

    American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated.”.

    Four years of intelligence work ultimately ended with Bin Laden’s death. The effort started under the Bush Administration and ended under the Obama Administration.

    I wonder what “discussion techniques” were used to get the courier’s name? Refusal to provide clotted cream with afternoon scones?

  37. re: Obama’s middle ground approach between what Bush did and what Obama promised as a candidate.

    the point here is that he does not like torture or renditions or Gitmo or the reasons for war in Iraq or Afghanistan and what he promised was a “responsible” pull back – understanding that he could not instantly undo even things that were clearly wrong.

    re: the “liberals” response…

    nope. the liberals are FINE with the un-cowboy …more intelligent approach to these issues,.

    it’s the conservatives who say that liberals are aghast at Obama’s approach.

    they’re not… let me assure you.. the goal was to undo the wrongs… and if the schedule for doing so was longer than anticipated but still concluded then the promise was fulfilled.

    Anyone who thinks that killing OBL or folks allied with him is worse than scooping up people in foreign countries who have nothing to do with him and holding them indefinitely without a trial is not working with a full deck – logically speaking.

    Listen to the Republicans and Neo-Cons right now with respect to getting out of Iraq… criticism… warnings of disastrous consequences – coming no less from the same folks who wanted to put boots on the ground in Libya (and occupy that nation) and invade Iran….

    Is Obama achieving the stated goals of his administration? Yes.

    Is he getting any credit from the Republicans? Not really. They credited the killing of Obama to the military (like floodguy does) and at the same time question the killing of OBL.


    how can you be opposed at the same time you are in favor?

    but this perfectly describes the Republicans who have within their ranks – totally conflicting voices on how to carry out foreign policy. The only thing they can agree on is that they don’t like Obama.

    this is not a party we want in charge guys.

    these folks are total flakes who are infested with neo-con warmongers as well as self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives who have no problem running running huge deficits for the warmongering as they continue to yammer about “spending”.

  38. Groveton Avatar

    “these folks are total flakes…”.

    The only person who claimed that Bush knew where Bin Laden was and didn’t act was you.

    The only person who claimed, “Bush clearly was not interested in going after OBL.” was you.

    Who is the flake?

  39. thanks Groveton for continuing the lie….

    ” But then the AP updated the story yet again, adding this crucial detail.

    Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation, they said, leaving it once again up for debate as to whether the harsh technique was a valuable tool or an unnecessarily violent tactic.”

    again – the point here is that Obama succeeded and instead of giving him credit for his success – they say that he didn’t really do it – the military did …and the military did it as a result of info gained from torture than Obama opposed.

    no credit… just more right wing revisionist history willingly regurgitated by Groveton who last week had flipped from an Obama hater to a Obama supporter ..only now to reverse course again…

    as I said – the Obama haters will NEVER admit that the man is MORE of a man, than that little sawed off neo-con Bush ever was.

    and the Republicans continue to litigate the past on a revisionist basis even as they lambaste Obama for not fixing what Bush broke.

    truth be known.. I would have voted for Romney over Obama and will be on the bubble again if that turns out to be the choice but listen to the Republicans.. the same folks who just could not stand the idea that someone other than neocon John McCain might end up President… even if they claimed to be a Republican… not their “kind”.

  40. The main difference between Bush and Obama in the conduct of the war on terror is that the Bush administration, in three or four hard cases, permitted water boarding, and Obama has forbidden the practice. Otherwise, as far as I can tell, interrogation techniques remain the same. So, while Obama deserves kudos from the civil libertarian’s perspective on that one, what about launching a new war without congressional authorization? How about the killing of American citizens in foreign countries by drone attack without judicial sanction?

    (I don’t have a real problem with either one. But, then, I didn’t excoriate Bush.)

  41. Groveton Avatar

    I don’t flip from Obama hater to Obama supporter. I oppose him on some things and support him on others.

    Since he was inaugurated I find myself opposing him on more things and supporting him on fewer things.

    I felt the same way about Bush.

    Would McCain have dome was well with foreign policy? Probably.

    Would McCain have done better with domestic policy? Probably not.

  42. Groveton Avatar

    For example, I think this is a pretty good idea…


    Since the Clown Show can’t / won’t raise taxes for roads, I guess it’s good that the Feds will.

  43. I was watching CNN today. I learned that Obama is only carrying out Bush’s plan for a December 2011 withdrawal from Iraq.

  44. Groveton Avatar

    “as I said – the Obama haters will NEVER admit that the man is MORE of a man, than that little sawed off neo-con Bush ever was.”.

    “little sawed off”? Are you referring to his height? Really? Bush is 5’11” tall.

    And Obama is more of a man because he ordered the Seals to kill Bin Laden and provided back up drones to the French in Libya? Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. US soldiers hunted down Hussein and turned him over to the Iraqis.

    I am not sure how ordering others to fight and die makes you more or less of a man but I really don’t see why Obama is more (or less) of a man than Obama. That’s a very strange comment.

    This is a pretty good article:


  45. Groveton Avatar

    Here’s a real man for you LarryG:

    Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Bush decided to join the US Navy,[1] so after graduating from Phillips Academy earlier in 1942,[3] he became a naval aviator at the age of 18. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve at Corpus Christi, Texas on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him the youngest naval aviator to that date.[1]
    He was assigned to Torpedo Squadron (VT-51) as the photographic officer in September 1943.[1] The following year, his squadron was based on the USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname ‘Skin’.[4] During this time, the task force was victorious in one of the largest air battles of World War II: the Battle of the Philippine Sea.[1]
    After Bush’s promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, the San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. Bush piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima.[5] His crew for the mission, which occurred on September 2, 1944, included Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White.[1] During their attack, the Avengers encountered intense anti-aircraft fire; Bush’s aircraft was hit by flak[6] and his engine caught on fire.[1] Despite his plane being on fire, Bush completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits.[1] With his engine afire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft;[6] the other man’s parachute did not open.[1] It has not been determined which man bailed out with Bush[1] as both Delaney and White were killed as a result of the battle.[6] Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine USS Finback.[1] For the next month he remained on the Finback, and participated in the rescue of other pilots.

    Bush subsequently returned to San Jacinto in November 1944 and participated in operations in the Philippines[1] until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. Through 1944, he flew 58 combat missions[6] for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to San Jacinto.[1]

  46. so the military is the reason that OBL was found not Obama but then Obama was guilty of killing him without a trial?

    Obama got us into a war in Libya but did not use our young people for cannon fodder.. spend billions of dollars and attempted to nation build so that makes him equal to Bush’s follies?

  47. so Obama has refrained from kidnapping people who have no connection to terrorism …wrong place, wrong time and holding them incognito in Gitmo without a trial while telling the SCOTUS that they have no jurisdiction over habeas corpus issues.

    Obama fights terrorism successfully without torture, nation building and having our young people sliced and diced….

    and this is the part that is important – he’s “soft” on terrorism, national defense and foreign policy but at the same time he’s killed the enemy without the “due process” rendition and torture that Bush relied on.

    Bush’s daddy was a man. Bush was an idiot led around by the nose by the likes of Cheney and Rumsfield and all of them so dedicated to parading around swinging their maleness while Wall Street and Fannie Mae made sure what Bush himself did not screw up…they’d finish the job.

    and so now… Obama is bad… because he was not as good as Bush?

    right…. snicker..snicker…SNORT!

    re: ” “little sawed off”? Are you referring to his height? Really? Bush is 5’11″ tall.”

    mental height Groveton – mental height.

    Bush is going to be the modern version of Filmore wearing a cowboy outfit.
    no wonder the Republican party is in trouble. Look how you guys think. NOT!

  48. I’m not defending Obama. He’s made mistakes. His team is arrogant. He is (like most first term Presidents) – not a “veteran” President.

    But the man if being held to an unfair – double standard.

    No matter what he does with respect to foreign policy – it won’t be what Republicans want. Of course the Republicans are heavily infested with neo-cons and people who believe that we need to have a military that spends more than the next 10 countries combined (but we we pay for it by cutting entitlements).

    So when he has a success… precious little in the way of credit comes from the Republicans… mostly back-handed swipes and outright criticism for his non-neo-con approach.

    On Domestic policy, he was handed an economy literally on life support – a circumstance that virtually no other President other than Roosevelt was handed.

    So he basically carried forward what was recommended to Bush – by Bernanke and others – TARP and Stimulus in an effort to keep the country from falling into a liquidity trap.

    so he get’s blamed for not precisely predicting the width and depth of the recession.

    apparently he was supposed to accurately predict it and do not too large and not too small a stimulus.

    he can certainly be criticized for his performance but I ask… what was/is the supposed to do instead?

    Listen to the Republicans. Get rid of regulations (even though Obama did not create hardly any of them)… cut taxes – Obama has cut taxes to the point where they are the lowest they have been in 50 years….

    He gets blamed for ObamaCare – perhaps not without some justification but what should he have done instead? stay out of health care all together?

    I mean even the Republicans thought SOMETHING had to be done and they disliked HillaryCare…but they said they supported the individual mandate (in 1993) but since Clinton – they did virtually nothing about health care other than creating yet another subsidized program.

    so my question is – what was Obama SUPPOSED to have done that he has not done or tried to do?

    What have the Republicans proposed as an alternative?

    no tax increases … and Obama is supposed to figure out how to cut spending because the Republicans won’t.

    You can legitimately question Obamas leadership on domestic policy (and apparently foreign policy) but I keep asking – what is the loyal oppositions alternative approach?

    so far their alternative approach is wait and see what they do after they retake the Presidency but in the mean time – the main plan is to block Obama.

    and this is the problem I have…. not that Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread (he’s not) but what should he be doing instead?

  49. re: clown show and transportation.

    We have two projects that total well over 60 million dollars that were canceled and then resuscitated with stimulus money.

    The Republicans do have a point on non-stimulus funding. We should only be funding transportation from the gas tax instead of what we are doing now which is supplementing it from general revenues.
    that’s not good and it lets the folks who think we don’t need higher taxes and/or tolls off the hook.If the money went away – as it should – those folks would be forced to rethink their no gas tax stand (including the no tax Republicans).

  50. re: the Bush Plan for a 2011 withdrawal….that’s right Obama is carrying out the original schedule but the neo-cons are having a kitten.

    The “Iran will take over Iraq” narrative is in full flower… already.

    but I wonder what happens if Obama proposes a “jobs” program for the returning heroes…?

    sounds like the Republicans would be put in the position of being opposed to jobs for the returning vets.

    they couldn’t complain about the deficit cuz they were fine with the deficit as long as it payed for soldiers… eh?

  51. re: ” I am not sure how ordering others to fight and die makes you more or less of a man but I really don’t see why Obama is more (or less) of a man than Obama. That’s a very strange comment.”

    how many fought and died in taking down OBL and Ghadaffi and terrorists in Yemen and Somalia?

    Bush’s approach was renditions, kidnapping, torture and send young Americans to be eviscerated by IEDs.

    which approach is better? You can’t make that easy choice?

    that pretty much explains the Republican/neo-con mindset.

    nothing short of us “owning” the country will do.

  52. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    I really don’t see the point of bringing up the wartime record of Bush No. 1 Lots of people fought bravely. Two who did were my father, a Navy doctor and ex-Marine who fought with a Marine Corps amphibious tank unit that was among the first ashore at Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. Another was my uncle, his brother, who was an Army doctor who fought with Patton’s tankers from France to Czechoslovakia.


  53. Peter, what Marine Corps unit was your father in? My Uncle Jim was also at Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He was in the 24 Marines, 4th Marine Division. He is the only one of my Dad and his siblings still alive.

  54. Peter, which Marine unit did your Father serve in? My Uncle Jim was also at Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. He was in the 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division and was wounded three times during WWII. He still has a calcified Japanese bullet near his spine.

  55. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    He was with the 2nd armored amphibian tractor battalion under col. Reed Fawell. They used LVTAs which were amtracs with a 75mm. howitzer and machine guns. These were used to swim ashore, blow up Japanese pillboxes and cover other amtracs carrying infantry.

  56. Saipan still has many of those blown out pillboxes, tanks, and other stuff just lying around in the water or on land. I spent some time there back in 2002.

  57. Not everyone gets the opportunity to put their bravery on display, and those that do, often don’t think there is anything particularly brave about what they do. To them, it is a job.

    Afterwards, the fact of a couple of purple hearts and a bronze star does not necessarily make them any more competent at their next job. I have met plenty of brave people who are still screw-ups.

  58. Andrea Epps Avatar
    Andrea Epps

    So, I was watching the Sunday morning news discussions, and here is this man from Louisiana. He was a Governor and in Congress. He is a small bank owner.
    He is a Republican, running for President, but he doesn’t take PAC money so he has not been able to “qualify” to participate in any of the debates.
    I will admit I don’t know the first thing about this man other than what I could glean from the conversation. He says the corruption in Washington needs to end, and we need to tell China to get stuffed and remember what “Made in America” means.
    I didn’t even know the guy was running, and he may turn out to be a disaster. But shouldn’t he be given a chance to fall apart like everyone else, on National TV?

  59. well I don’t think the Republicans could do any worse that the current group which reminds me of the characters in the bar scene from Star Wars.

    this election will not be decided by either base. The independents in the middle will decide it and whoever can influence them with the best, most plausible propaganda will win.

  60. Larry, I agree the 2012 election will be decided by independents. While it will be key for both parties to get high turnout from their respective bases, the media myth covering Obama is long gone for most people, especially independents. People want results and better ones than they have seen in the last 7 to 8 years. The questions are: who will the Republicans nominate? Who will the independents believe can turn the U.S. in the right direction (i.e., where the vast majority of people benefit from their efforts)?

  61. ” Who will the independents believe can turn the U.S. in the right direction (i.e., where the vast majority of people benefit from their efforts)?”

    well I’m not convinced that people really know what they want.

    they think they know what they don’t want and they don’t like the way things are right now but after that – ……

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