Robert Gates new book already causing a stir

Robert Gates new book has created a firestorm in Washington before it is even released. A new debate begins. Photo: Duty, by Robert Gates

CHARLOTTE, January 8, 2014 – A new book by former defense secretary and CIA director Robert Gates hasn’t hit the bookstores yet but already it has become a bombshell of unflattering insights into the Obama administration and how the president handles the military.

In comments about the book, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said there were no surprises in”DUTY…Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” but what Gates has done is to provide corroboration from a former senior administration official of what many outsiders have long suspected about the internal workings of the White House.

Discerning Americans have had little difficulty, especially in recent months, recognizing Barack Obama’s elitist disdain for the people he serves. From scandal to name calling to the verbal scolding of Americans, Obama’s ineptitude and lack of diplomacy has become a powerful drag on his administration.

Since the war in Vietnam in the 60s and 70s Americans have been consciously aware of thanking military personnel for their service to our country after nearly a decade where soldiers were frequently chastised upon their return from the battlefield. Though he has the title of commander in chief, and often makes token gestures of support, there is little doubt that Obama does not hold the military in high regard.

As former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton pointed out, “The real insight Gates provides is that President Obama simply is not concerned with American national security.”

Ralph Peters was even more vocal. “For the last five years Obama has allowed our soldiers, Marines and Navy corpsmen to be killed or maimed in a war the president doesn’t believe makes sense or he doesn’t believe he can win, that is as low as any president in our history has gone.”

Gates’ revelations have impact beyond the current administration because they are also damning of Hillary Clinton who is a potential presidential candidate and is, herself, a lightning rod of controversy wherever she goes. Peters emphasized that a Barack/Hillary continuation in the White House would be more of the same when he added, “Hillary and Obama opposed the surge in Iraq on purely political grounds.”

Add to the debate the fiasco of Benghazi, a Hillary Clinton extension of the Obama debacle would further weaken America’s already diminishing international standing.

In an excerpt from Gates book, he writes, “Most of my conflicts with the Obama administration during the first two years weren’t over policy initiatives from the White House but rather the NSS’s micromanagement and operational meddling which I positively resisted. For an NSS staff member to call a four-star combatant commander or field commander would have been unthinkable when I worked at the White House and probably a cause for dismissal.”

Gates was referring to an incident in which Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and later director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was angrily dressed down by President Obama in front of a number of administration officials during a National Security Council meeting.

Simply put, a double standard exists whereby Barack Obama demands respect for his presidency, but similar respect is not reciprocated toward others. It represents a frightening and revealing look at how small, petty and insecure the current leader of the free world is despite his power.

As Peters points out in reference to Obama and Samantha Power, who is the currently U.S. ambassador to the U.N., “(they) use military as a personal tool to rescue hostile populations. This is tragic. The use of our military. The abuse of our military.”

The pre-release hype of Gates’ book will certainly continue even after it becomes available next week. In the meantime, the White House will try to counter the accusations and a new, vocal and passionate, debate will ensue. George Bush will also be attacked in the process.

While no president is perfect, and Bush should also be analyzed in the context of history, it should be remembered that at the beginning of year six of Obama.s presidential tenure, the economy is only slightly better, unemployment remains at excessive levels., U.S. foreign policy is at best perilous, Obamacare is a fraud, the administration is surrounded by scandal (either real or imagined) and we have a president who is unable to open his mouth and tell the truth.

Ralph Peters is correct. This is a “tragedy.” Not so much because the American people were duped into electing Barack Obama president the first time, but because we were so blind that we eleced him again.

Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (  

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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