GWoRIT vs. OCO: Which has made/is making America Safer?

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The shadow of the head of U.S. President Barack Obama falls upon a copy of the U.S. Constitution as he makes a speech on America’s national security at the National Archives in Washington, May 21, 2009.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Coming on the heels of Cheney’s FOX News Sunday interview, in which the former Vice President leveled criticism toward the current President that he is increasing America’s vulnerability to terrorism, is an interview by Jake Tapper with the president’s National Security Adviser, Gen. Jim Jones (Ret.). Jones claims that under the Obama Administration, we have been more successful in putting terrorists out of business and in improving international relations:

“This type of radical fundamentalism or terrorism is a threat not only to the United States but to the global community,” Jones said. “The world is coming together on this matter now that President Obama has taken the leadership on it and is approaching it in a slightly different way – actually a radically different way – to discuss things with other rulers to enhance the working relationships with law enforcement agencies – both national and international.”

Jones said that “we are seeing results that indicate more captures, more deaths of radical leaders and a kind of a global coming-together by the fact that this is a threat to not only the United States but to the world at-large and the world is moving toward doing something about it.”

The former Marine General didn’t provide any specific numbers to back up his claim, but he said “there is an increasing trend and I think we seen that in different parts of the world over the last few months for sure.” He added that he was not “making a tally sheet saying we are killing more people, capturing more people than they did — that is not the issue.”

But the numbers are going up, he said. “The numbers of high value targets that we are successfully reaching out to or identifying through good intelligence” from both the CIA and intelligence agencies from US allies has made the difference, he said. “We have better human intelligence; we know where the terrorists are moving. Because of the dialogue and the tone of the dialogue between us and our friends and allies…the trend line against terrorism is positive, and that’s what we want. If we have a positive trend line we have a safer country.”

All this was going on under the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration is an inheritor of those successes, including cooperation amongst foreign nations in the GWoRIT.

Many of the tools and policies put in place in waging the Overseas Contingency Operations are Bush era creations, which President Obama has kept in place in his continuation of “Bush’s War(s)”.

Steve Schippert writes:

Someone is going to point to Pakistan to help him out here, where Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was finally introduced to the working end of a Hellfire missile.

That’s a load of garbage the instant anyone attempts to take that easy way out. The cooperation within Pakistan has got jack to do with President Obama’s suddenly deft foreign policy prowess nor his wild popularity with global media and resulting coverage – which is to be astutely distinguished from wild popularity among world leaders. Pakistan’s cooperation was being lined up mostly by the Taliban itself, which made its insurgency against the government of Pakistan so bold that the Pakistanis could push it off no longer. They simply had to deal, and have been for the better part of the year.

Predator drone attacks? Those began under President Bush and continue on under President Obama. Under Musharraf and during the Bush tenure, Pakistani authorities handed over to us, Abu Zubaydah and KSM. How have relations improved under Obama’s watch?

The GWoRIT has not been waged ONLY militarily and ONLY in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s been waged globally, with kills and captures of leaders and operatives happening all the time, in 102 different countries, in cooperation with our CIA and FBI and our military. This all happened under President Bush.

Cowboy diplomacy and “go-it-alone” unilateralism? “You’re either with us, or with the terrorists”? America’s standing harmed; we’re hated all over the world….spin and the stuff of talking point mantra myth-perceptions.

“There is no military solution.”

So sick of this strawman! When had the Bush Administration ever claimed its solution to fighting terrorism was strictly a military one? When was its approach to Iraq and Afghanistan ever strictly a military solution?!

Reaching out to the Muslim community? Not exclusively unique to President Obama.

Closing Gitmo? Really?!? Please wake me when it actually happens.

The War in Iraq? President Obama rode in on the coattails of the surge success he opposed and is merely surfing the waves of SOFA, signed under President Bush.

The War in Afghanistan? He’s acting more like Bush, than not.

NSA warrantless wiretaps much criticized under Bush continue under Obama (partial list of plots averted under Bush)….Rendition programs begun under Clinton, leaked under Bush (which did harm our relations by embarrassing allies implicated in cooperation with the Bush Administration on the GWoRIT- but that’s thanks to the NYTimes, USAToday, and WaPo. We just can’t be trusted with keeping secrets), continue under Obama….

19 Responses to “GWoRIT vs. OCO: Which has made/is making America Safer?”

  1. 1


    I think the National Security Adviser has opened a can of worms here.

    So if Mr. Jones is correct in his assessment that more terrorist leadership his being arrested/captured, then where are they being imprisoned? I gather they won’t go to Guantanamo, but if not, then what is their final disposition? Who will be responsible for interrogating these captured terrorist leaders and who is responsible for their incarceration?

    If more terrorist leadership is being captured and killed globally, then who were they leading? Are the ranks of Islamic jihaddists growing so that increased numbers of leadership positions are evident?

    If international cooperation is improved, as Gen. Jones claims, please explain the lackluster response from NATO countries for increased involvement in Afghanistan. Please explain how the release of the Lockerbie Bomber demonstrates improved cooperation.

    I’m not buying his spin and it saddens me that the administration has sent this man out on a PR campaign.

  2. 3


    I seem to recall a very promising program initiated by the Bush administration which involved tracking terrorist networks through the international financial markets that the New York Times saw fit to expose.

  3. 4


    I think that Obama has taken the war in Afghanistan to a level that Bush would not have. It seems that Obama may repeat the Russian scenario. Bush didn’t neglect Afghanistan. I think he thought that some money, some support of the government, some military and special forces and lots of unmanned predator drones with missiles was the way to go. He tried to kill those who were pointed out and kept others on the run. From the beginning he knew that Afghanistan was an uneducated, hopeless, drive through country, driven by loyalties to tribes, and not likely to change in the next hundred years. Bush knew that getting supplies to a big foot print would be next to impossible, and keeping Pakistan on board for long would be a problem as well.

    Obama’s miss understanding of the situation was always a political statement, just like closing Gitmo. Got lots of votes but was really stupid and now he has to live with it. And our guys have to die for it.

  4. 6


    Kathie – I couldn’t agree more. Mr. Looking for my b*lls has misjudged not only the former administration, but also the patriotic citizens he is trying to silence. March on soldiers of truth!

  5. 8


    You mean only NOW do other countries realize that terorrists are a threat to others besides the USA?

    You mean other countries (or, rather, their leaders) only came to realize this because of OBAMA?

    “we are seeing results that indicate more captures, more deaths of radical leaders and a kind of a global coming-together by the fact that this is a threat to not only the United States but to the world at-large and the world is moving toward doing something about it.” — Gen. Jim Jones

    So we aren’t seeing more caputures (which, ahem, would be easy enough to verify, wouldn’t it?) but, instead, we’re seeing more results that indicate more captures (can you say “nuanced”?).

    So we aren’t seeing more deaths of radical leaders nor a kind of coming-together at all. What we’re seeing are indicators of such activity. Okay, okay, Gen. Jones, tell me what this indicator is. The indicator, he tells us, is “the fact that this is a threat to not only the United States but to the world-at-large and the world is moving toward doing something about it.”

    That’s a curious justification for his claim. It has two parts: (1) this is a threat to not only the USA but to others and (2) the world is moving toward doing something about it. Funny, he doesn’t even say the world is doing something about it (but, instead, it’s ‘moving toward doing something about it’), which you would think he’d have to say given all the results he’s claiming. A Marine who does nuance. I can’t believe it.

    What an remarkable justification. We wanted to know the indicator for why Gen. Jones thinks there are (1) more captures, (2) more deaths, and (3) a coming together, which he attributes to Obama, and part of that answer is that THE WORLD IS COMING TOGETHER?

    UFO Skeptic: “So, tell me why I should believe that UFO’s have landed?”
    UFO Believer: “Because there are indicators that make this belief plausible.”
    UFO Skeptic: “What indicators?”
    UFO Believer: “All the UFO’s that have landed.”

    Convincing, very convincing stuff.

    Oh wait, there’s the other part of the justification — you know, terrorism is a global threat. Damn! If only terrorism had been a global threat when Bush was in office, Bush could have cited this fact to support his claim that there is an indicator that more captures and deaths of terrorists, and a kind of coming-together was happening because of him.

    Oh well, President Bush was never very good at nuance.

  6. 9


    1 I think the National Security Adviser has opened a can of worms here.

    So if Mr. Jones is correct in his assessment that more terrorist leadership his being arrested/captured, then where are they being imprisoned? I gather they won’t go to Guantanamo, but if not, then what is their final disposition? Who will be responsible for interrogating these captured terrorist leaders and who is responsible for their incarceration?

    I think Code Pink, ANSWER, Cindy Sheehan and every other thumbsucker peacenik group should be asking St. Barry some really pointed questions on this pressing issue.

    Oh, right. Obama is a Democrat.

    There will be no tough questions for the President on this issue.

  7. 10



    An Obama “shadow” on the “Constitution”…. couldn’t get more appropriate a description than that. Classic photo, in an appalling sort of way. Don’t think the caption writer realized the irony of his words.

  8. 12

    Indigo Red

    A commenter at ABC on Jake Tapper’s story asked how anyone could know the dead people were terrorists. I answered, “Because they’re dead… DUH!” Sure, it was a flip answer. But, maybe closer to true.

    Bush was very hesitant to order strikes against high value targets when women and children were near. Under Obama, women and children are frequently killed along with the target. Could it be that Obama is rolling up his score because he doesn’t have the pesky morals problem? Killing everyone who’s home eliminates anyone who can say, ‘No, that wasn’t the guy. He only looked liked the guy from 25,000ft.’ So, that leaves Obama’s people free to say everyone killed in the attack was a terrorist because they are dead because we only kill terrorists and those people are dead becau…. well, you get the picture. Frankly, I have seen no definitive sign Obama has morals, scuples, or ethics.

    OTH, in this _____ War, that may not be a bad thing.

  9. 13

    American Voter

    Save this picture everyone — it may disappear like other pictures, articles, biographical facts.

    Would be a good 2010 – vote the libs/marxists-out-of-office campaign poster — no caption necessary!

  10. 15



    Lol…everyone loves the photo.

    I have another photo, taken at a different angle, by an AP photographer of Obama’s shadow cast over the copy of the Constitution.

  11. 16

    Fit fit

    @ Fit fit – wherever he/she is: Told ya so.


    I don’t think so. You haven’t been around FA as long as I have so I’ll forgive your ignorance. I’ve said Obama is wrong that the Iraq war was unjustifed. My problem was always with a commander-in-chief who rushed into a war without a proper occupation and/or exit strategy (or strategery). The greatest military accomplishment in history turned into such a clusterflack, that by the time things did get turned around, nobody cared.

    What most commentors here were saying was that Obama was planning a disastrous cut and run. I said there was no way I would vote for Obama if that were true and pointed out Obama’s consistant caveat of being “as careful as we were careless” in the past. I was right, they were wrong: “Told ya so…”

  12. 17


    @ Fit fit

    I think you misinterpreted my “Told ya so…” I’ve stated before, that for good or for ill, going into Iraq was a better choice than going into Afghanistan. Anyone that has ever read history knows the place is easy to invade, impossible to occupy. Going into Iraq and bringing the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters to us was strategic genius. The best we’ll ever do in the Stan is bomb them back into the hills. Actually, the best we could do is push them into the mountains and drop 10 to 15 Fuel Air Bombs, but neither Bush nor Obama has the nads to pull that off. Ronnie would have done it though. They would suck the oxygen out of the area and kill everything.
    Obama has decided to put all his cards as CinC on Afghanistan. Bad idea, really bad idea. I fully support him on this though, because I will support the CinC while he leads our troops. I truly wish he had better advisors on this though. There is a better way to handle Afghanistan and his current advisors obviously don’t know what they are doing.

    Oh, and btw…sometimes the best exit strategy is no exit strategy. You know what the exit strategy was for the beaches on D-Day? There wasn’t one. Fight for the hills or die. There were no evacuation boats, no retreat, no exit strategy.

  13. 18



    Good catch at catching Gen. Jones speculating away, I can do that too:

    After Obama and company gets done micky mousing around with the CIA one wonders how fast the intel will dry up leaving less captures and what we do capture, how much information will we get out of them after they get their rights read?

    So, my thinking is yep, out of frustration, our military may be killing more at this point, what else are they going to do with them? Create another Club Gitmo with prayer mats, proper diets, rights to mail, phone calls and Red Cross visitors while their cronies are plotting and planning, setting up IEDs and attacking our troops?

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