When the Commander-in-Chief is a narcissist
No wonder the media are pushing the Chris Christie bridge story so hard; the revelations about President Obama's conduct in office in Robert Gates's new book are frightening. America's national security is in the hands of a flat-out self-obsessed narcissist. Via Moe Lane and Ace of Spades, we learn what happened when Admiral Mullen and General McChrystal asked for 5000 more troops for Afghanistan early in Obama's first term, to arrest a deteriorating situation:
[JCS Chairman Admiral Michael] Mullen and I repeatedly discussed with the infuriated president what he regarded as military pressure on him. "Is it a lack of respect for me?" Obama asked us. "Are [Petraeus, McChrystal and Mullen] trying to box me in? I've tried to create an environment where all points of view can be expressed and have a robust debate. I'm prepared to devote any amount of time to it-however many hours or days. What is wrong? Is it the process? Are they suspicious of my politics? Do they resent that I never served in the military? Do they think because I'm young that I don't see what they're doing?"
It is all about him and his political fortunes, you see. Maetenloch of Ace of Spades comments: "The possibility that Mullen and McChrystal really thought the 5,000 enablers were necessary doesn't seem to have occurred to him."
So unfamiliar are Obama and his vice president with military culture that they think they need to give "orders" so that their policies will be carried out. Gates writes:
That Sunday meeting was unlike any I ever attended in the Oval Office. Obama said he had gathered the group principally to go through his decisions one more time to determine whether Mullen and Petraeus were fully on board. The commanders said what he wanted to hear, and I was pleased to hear my proposal being adopted.
Then came an exchange that is seared into my memory. Biden said he was ready to move forward, but the military "should consider the president's decision as an order."
"I am giving an order," Obama quickly said.
I was shocked. I had never heard a president explicitly frame a decision as a direct order. With the U.S. military, it is completely unnecessary. As secretary of defense, I had never issued an "order" to get something done; nor had I heard any commander do so. Obama's "order," at Biden's urging, demonstrated the complete unfamiliarity of both men with the American military culture.
God save the United States. We have three more years of these clowns in charge.