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Obama's national security comments: feel safer yet?

Well, the front-page of The Post was brimming with news today. Before even turning the page in The Post's revealing preview of Bob Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars," we learn that President Obama believes that "we can absorb a terrorist attack," even another one on the scale of 9/11 -- a shocking admission of complacency from the man who was elected to stop such an attack.

We then learn (still without turning the page) that Obama is deeply concerned about out of control government spending -- at least when it comes to national security. Obama declares unequivocally that when it comes to Afghanistan, "I'm not spending a trillion dollars." He even angrily waves an Office of Management and Budget report at his aides showing that the military's plans in Afghanistan will cost $880 billion over ten years. (Of course, his stimulus spending bill will cost $800 billion over 10 years, but who's counting?) So when it comes to Afghanistan, it turns out that Obama is a hawk -- unfortunately, of the spending kind.

Which might be fine if he was determined to defeat the enemy in Afghanistan -- but Woodward reveals that is not the case. After reading today's account, we now know exactly why Gen. David Petraeus is struggling to make the surge in Afghanistan work: The president's marching orders in Afghanistan are not to achieve victory; they are to get out as fast as possible. The Post reports:

According to Woodward's meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review, the president avoided talk of victory as he described his objectives.

"This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it on and get out of Afghanistan," Obama is quoted as telling White house aides…"Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint."

Imagine the reaction of the Taliban and al-Qaeda when they read those words -- not from the president's aides putting their spin on the Afghan strategy, but from the commander in chief himself -- revealing that "everything we are doing" is focused not on defeating them but on getting out as fast as we can. We now know that the president's ill-considered Afghan withdrawal deadline is not the result of some compromise between the hawks and doves in his circle of advisers -- it comes directly from the president himself.

Recently, the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Conway, said the withdrawal deadline was leading our enemies to believe that they "only have to hold out so long" and thus "giving our enemy sustenance."

They will get even greater sustenance from the revelations in Woodward's book. Our adversaries now know that the president is unwilling to pay the costs of fighting them, that his goal is to withdraw as quickly as he can, and that he is resigned to the prospect of "absorbing" another attack on the American homeland. Feel safer yet?

By Marc Thiessen  | September 22, 2010; 1:12 PM ET
Categories:  Thiessen  | Tags:  Marc Thiessen  
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Next: Absorbing unfair criticism of Obama on national security

Comments

This article seems to offer very little in terms of substance, and is mostly just the author trying to scare his readers.

What the President actually said was: “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever … we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

I suppose the entire quote took away from the point Mr. Theissen wanted to make, so he did not include it. I did not view the quote as some "shocking" admission of complacency, rather I saw it as a testament to the idea that should something horrible happen, we will be able to make it through without the country falling apart.

Posted by: mustangs79 | September 22, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

All of the Bush insiders...Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Bolton, Rumsfeld...lamented that their 100 year "Project for a new American Century" plans to wage war against middle east oil producing countries and install governments who would cooperate with US and British oil companies...would NOT be accepted by the American people unless some "Pearl Harbor type event" happened in the US. Three weeks before 9/11 Bush was handed a secret memo that "bin Ladin determined to use airplanes as weapons to stage a massive attack." Bush told the guy "OK, you covered your ass" and went back to his golf game. The 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabians...and bin Ladin family were Bush business partners...so Bush had the bin Ladins flown back to Arabia in unmarked military planes whille all other air traffic was suspended. Then Bush invaded Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11, killing 1/2 million innocent Iraqis and 5000 US soldiers. Bush tapped your phones, email, and called the constitution "just a God D-m piece of paper" The Bush regime was absolutely evil, but you people said nothing...but make up lies about everything Obama says or does....

Posted by: Provasek | September 22, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Good job, Marc! Stephen Colbert would be proud of you for 'keeping fear alive'. And I suppose every year that our forces were in Iraq you felt just that much safer? I know I did. Perhaps Obama just can't win with you, can he? Money spent prolonging the war in Afghanistan is okay, but God forbid we spend it on trying to help the recovery here in the States! Our best security is a strong economy. Now, realistically, if you had to be honest with yourself, where do you think we would be economically without the stimulus? Better off? I don't think so. I'll take economic recovery any day over more wars. I personally don't think Americans are expendable. Maybe if we had taken care of the job in Afghanistan first before expending thousands of American lives and trillions of American dollars in a WMD-less Iraq, we might not be debating this at all! But then again Obama was in favor of that approach right from the start, so I guess you'd have to disagree -- out of principle.

Posted by: someone11 | September 22, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

This is a truly horrible article. Nothing the president said or did was particularly noteworthy, yet Thiessen tries to drum up fear and loathing with his hyperventilating. If there is opinion-malpractice, this is it.

Posted by: bertram2 | September 22, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Mustang79:

I agree the entire quote should have been included. “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever … we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

Yes, we did absorb it and we can absorb more. The real question is whether one should believe his statement: "We'll do everything we can to prevent it."

+++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | September 22, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen the Sissy

The moment President Obama was elected was the end of the back slide you Republican took the country.

'Thiessen the Sissy' there is still time for you to show our bravery and go fight in Afghanistan..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 22, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

This doughy torture-loving nitwit of a former speechwriter for the Worst President In History presumes to speak about national security, after his boss DISBANDED the CIA unit tasked with going after bin Laden, lied us into an unnecessary war in Iraq, and ignored the war in Afghanistan for seven years?

I feel a lot safer with President Obama at the helm. He brought to justice 500+ major Al Queda senior leaders in the past year (more than the Bush Administration brought in all eight years combined).

Posted by: losthorizon10 | September 22, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen the 'Sissy'

The whole world is safer..
and soon will gain its wealth back.
after
you stole it.

Maybe
Thiessen the Grinch is more appropriate??

But
Then everyone would think your were the Gingrinch from Georgia

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 22, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen
What school of journalism did you graduate from? Perhaps you should request your money back and use it on singing lessons. Clearly you don't get it and one of your editors should sit you down so that it's spoon fed to you. You're a hack.

Posted by: completely | September 22, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Actually, yes, I do. Thank you very much for asking. Imagine - a thoughtful CIC looking out for America's best interests.

Posted by: chicago11 | September 22, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen the 'Sissy'
REPOSTING a Great Response

Read this again!!
=======================
All of the Bush insiders...Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Bolton, Rumsfeld...lamented that their 100 year "Project for a new American Century" plans to wage war against middle east oil producing countries and install governments who would cooperate with US and British oil companies...would NOT be accepted by the American people unless some "Pearl Harbor type event" happened in the US. Three weeks before 9/11 Bush was handed a secret memo that "bin Ladin determined to use airplanes as weapons to stage a massive attack." Bush told the guy "OK, you covered your ass" and went back to his golf game. The 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabians...and bin Ladin family were Bush business partners...so Bush had the bin Ladins flown back to Arabia in unmarked military planes whille all other air traffic was suspended. Then Bush invaded Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11, killing 1/2 million innocent Iraqis and 5000 US soldiers. Bush tapped your phones, email, and called the constitution "just a God D-m piece of paper" The Bush regime was absolutely evil, but you people said nothing...but make up lies about everything Obama says or does....

Posted by: Provasek

Posted by: vettesport | September 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

how, exactly is a claim that we are strong enough as a nation to absorb another 9/11 an admission of complacency?

the rest of the article goes downhill from there twisting unremarkable quotes into ever more ludicrous characterizations.

I guess when you don't pretend to be a journalist, journalistic ethics don't apply.

Posted by: JoeT1 | September 22, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

First, Thiessen why aren't you in uniform in Afghanistan if you're unhappy with our defense. You're young, healthy, and another chickenhawk.

Second, "Do I feel safer". Yes, I feel safer than when you're former boss, Bush 43, decided to chop brush in Texas and ignore the August CIA warning about Al Qaeda.

Posted by: BBear1 | September 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I believe this article accurately captures how most Americans will react to the President's quotes. I also believe that the President's quotes will very much hurt the democratic party come November.

Posted by: stevevan1 | September 22, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

To quote Dr. Evil-------How about nooooo!

Posted by: kbarker302 | September 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Game -- Set -- Match. BHO is a one termer.

Posted by: BadNews | September 22, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

More propaganda from Mr Thiessen, taking offense at an imaginary interpretation of a partial quote from the President.

To anyone with half a brain, the President's statement clearly speaks of the bravery and resilience of real, thinking Americans, rather than the hand-wringing apologists of the Bush administration.

Posted by: jmb1918 | September 22, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I do feel safer now. Your article is not going to scare me. In fact, I felt much more threatened by the Bush/Cheney policies than Obama's. Those belicose, arrogant, nation building policies stirred up more hatred of America than there has ever been. BTW -- 9/11 happened on the Bush/Cheney watch (or non-watch?).

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | September 22, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

thiessen, along with his fellow chenyite torture supporters is a chickensh!t, his masters like to keep us scared unlike our President who knows how to lead and govern.

Posted by: calif-joe | September 22, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama is exactly right - we CAN absorb a terrorist attack. What we can't absorb is another 3 trillion dollar bloody neocon adventure in the middle east.

You don't scare me one little bit Theissen - and neither do the terrorists.

Posted by: kurthunt | September 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen
If I ever see your face in public, I will beat the living sh_t out of you.
I encourage all WAPO readers to do the same.

Posted by: strictly_liberal | September 22, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen must wake up every morning and piss his pant with fear at the thought of terrorists. What a coward.

Posted by: kurthunt | September 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow, nothing like slanting evdery quote from its intent in order to justify your point of view and vilify him. nice journalism.

Posted by: cadam72 | September 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

is Thiessen suggesting that we can't absorb a terrorist attack? that we shouldn't claim that we can? that Obama shouldn't even give the impression that he thinks we can for fear of making idiots like him afraid that he isn't trying to stop one?

if you try hard enough you can spin anything into anything. but it's wrong.

Posted by: JoeT1 | September 22, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I feel a hell of a lot safer than I did under the Republican President who allowed thousands of American citizens to die on 9/11

You're a retard Thiessen, and I really mean that.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 22, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What a POS this guy Thiessen is. Unamerican scum.

Simple question for you, Thiessen: Did we or did we not absorb the 9/11 attacks?

And oh by the way, who was president on 9/11?

Posted by: Observer691 | September 22, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

It's funny that a guy who hides under his desk when someone says "OMG LOOK IT'S A MUSLIM" is pretending to have a spine. Can the charade, Thiessen, we all know you're a spineless hack.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 22, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"He even angrily waves an Office of Management and Budget report at his aides showing that the military's plans in Afghanistan will cost $880 billion over ten years. (Of course, his stimulus spending bill will cost $800 billion over 10 years, but who's counting?)"

How much of the Afghanistan money helps the US citizens footing the bill? How much of the stimulus money does? Right, that's what I thought.

"If he was determined to defeat the enemy in Afghanistan"

What does that victory look like to you, Thiessen? To me, it means keeping al Qaeda's capabilities degraded without breaking the bank. Our best case "victory" in Afghanistan is going to look like our "victory" in Iraq.

"Resigned to the prospect of "absorbing" another attack on the American homeland."

Way to twist his words. The point is that America is incredibly strong and resilient even if the terrorists should successfully strike at us again. What is this, Red State.com?

Posted by: Nissl | September 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen should have taken a second thought before he wrote this nonsense. Even the Fox-paid Righty shills won't defend him.

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 22, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Vice-President Joe Biden was right about Obama ? "not ready to be commander-in-chief" ?

Giving a clear withdrawal signal to the Taliban and our "friends" the Pakistanis only prolongs the war and makes our eventual defeat and the loss of Afganistan more likely.

Bush never made such a mistake in Iraq.

Yes.. I miss him.

Posted by: pvilso24 | September 22, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the fear. I'm terrified now and will go vote Republican. Why do you have a job?

Posted by: Moskva81 | September 22, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The question should be how much more of BO and democrats can this country adsorb and survive. They certainly have done a great job destroying our prosperity and security brick by brick over the years.

Posted by: DCalle10411111 | September 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"...we learn that President Obama believes that "we can absorb a terrorist attack," even another one on the scale of 9/11 -- a shocking admission of complacency from the man who was elected to stop such an attack."
************************

The idiots are about to run the zoo again. Thiessen, if you can't manage even a modicum of honesty, you don't deserve your citizenship, much less a say in running this nation.

What absolute scoundrels these conservative clowns are.

Posted by: abqcleve | September 22, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"The question should be how much more of BO and democrats can this country adsorb and survive. They certainly have done a great job destroying our prosperity and security brick by brick over the years."

Uh, DCalle 10411111? When your party took over the Oval Office in 2001, the U.S. government was in surplus. Porky Thiessen's boss gave the money away to rich people.
Then, when Shrubbie was busy spelling, or practicing the alphabet, and was warned of bin Laden, he said "go away," angered because he had made it all the way to "q" with only one mistake and now had to start over again.
He then went crazy on the country's Chinese credit card, cut taxes some more, and relaxed regulations.
Hence, where we were when Obama took office. We have been in a weak recovery for the past nine months, and would have done much better had the most liberal big government voices been heeded when writing the stimulus bill(s).
Obama is the president this country needed and needs. It remains to be seen whether we as citizens will give him the support he deserves and has earned in order to enable him to continue to move forward.

Posted by: meuphys_rasbene | September 22, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen
If I ever see your face in public, I will beat the living sh_t out of you.
I encourage all WAPO readers to do the same.

Posted by: strictly_liberal
=========================

Thiessen the 'Sissy' won't come out of his sand filled cave...

Oh yeah you can tell by the Duct Tape all over the entrance..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 22, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama only has to get a few thousand more Americans killed before he reaches Bush levels. Is this what you're after, Thiessen?

Posted by: TwoTermObama | September 22, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen is a nitwit.

Posted by: russellglee | September 22, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Marc, the country is better able to absorb a terrorist attack than you are able to absorb a Big Mac Attack. Fortunately, the probability of the United States having a terrorist attack in the next 24 hours is very small. The probability of you having a Big Mac Attack in the next 24 hours approaches 1.0.

Posted by: angelos_peter | September 22, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Answer me a question what does this man have to do to prove to you he is an idiot? IF Bush would have uttered these words you libs would have gone ballistic, but because it is the "chosen" one it is good??? Wake up and smell the coffee he is dangerous and needs his wings clipped in 2010 and sent packing in 2012.

Posted by: independent114 | September 22, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Quotes out of context . . .
Gee, there's a new one. Let's see, selective memory, revisionist history . . .

Marc's on a roll!

(WaPo PAYS this guy???)

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | September 22, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Seekers of reason, judgment and honesty: Consider Thiessen's words then look for truth in the opposite direction. Never waste time looking for truth from Thiessen or other of the Bush/Cheney scoundrels who lied us into war against Iraq -- at a cost of 4,000-plus American soldiers' violent deaths and who knows how many tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers' and civilians' deaths.
This guy, Thiessen, is beneath contempt. He's a blight on the Washington Post.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | September 22, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

you're a moron to the point where your own site is coming out to denounce your comments

you read "complacency" in what obama said? You're an idiot and long overdue for a little "self-censorship".

Posted by: tokenwhitemale | September 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I know and share the notion that freedom of speech is sacred in this country, but I don’t understand why the Washington Post gives publishing space to someone who writes half truths in the pursuit of a purely partisan goal. What makes things worse is that Thiessen is not the only right wing ideologue who is allowed to voice his (his parties’ bosses’) opinions and lies on this, for the most part, respectable newspaper. The far right already enjoys a massive media coverage of their rants and ridiculous inventions in several newspapers and news channels around the nation. I personally believe that the responsible thing for the Post to do is to make sure that its columnists stick to the facts.

Posted by: gardelito | September 22, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

During an interview with Woodward in July, President Obama said: “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever … we absorbed it and we are stronger.”

I'm having a hard time figuring out what Thiessen finds wrong with this statement. The Bush administration, post-9-11, constantly warned us that another terrorist attack was likely. Given the impossibility of preventing all terrorist attacks, should the President of the United States say that in such an eventuality, we are all doomed?
I really don't see how fear makes us stronger, or even better-equipped to deal with our enemies.
Best,
Ken

Posted by: commspkmn | September 22, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Thiessen, for showing us all that you think your readers are complete idiots. Your attempt to mis-characterize the President shows that you, along with every other right-wing shill who puts Party above Country, will not let honesty or dignity get in the way of a few cheap political points.

You're a total tool, Thiessen.

Posted by: Buddydog | September 22, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The right wing talks a lot about patriotism, however; ruthlessly attacking the US President and slandering him at every moment possible is no different than when Chavez said, he smelled the devil after taking podium after Bush, or when the Iranian president attacks us. The President may be a Democrat, but it does not give the Republicans at right to talk smack, that shows them unpatriotic. We have the freedom of speach (intellectual and honest speach), not the freedom to slander, lie or distort the truth. I don't think patriotic reveloutionary forefathers and american solders fight and die to protect the right of lieing, slandering, and distorting and manipulating the truth. I don't think Jesus prescribes that either.

Posted by: vidusa | September 22, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I certainly feel much safer now that Marc 'Torture Boy' Thiessen is no longer anywhere near the White House.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | September 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON POST-

FIRE THIS IDIOT! Seriously, at appears like you want to be faux news little boring brother.

You're just as bad as the State of Texas Education Board - wanting to give Intelligent Design equal time because facts must also be balanced with fear and myths.

SERIOUSLY, this moron makes Bill Kristol look like he actually has a brain!

Posted by: gene11 | September 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

What really is tireseome is the "feel safer yet" part of this headline. What's that suppose to mean? Were we living in fear? That must be a Republican thing.

What I would like Republicans to take notice of is the flippant way that Thiessen refers to the potential amount of money to be spent in Afghanistan (880B)and his comparrison to the Stimulus bill amount (800B). What Theissen does not realize is that the money spent in Afghanistan has little or no return for the average American. The stimulus bill does. Then again maybe Republicans respond better to war than people.

Posted by: justonevoice | September 22, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe obama should do some explaining to the family's of the over 500 service members killed this year in afganistan so obama's base doesnt leave him in 2012. Disgusting traitor at 1600 .....

Posted by: j751 | September 22, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Thiessen > President Obama believes that "we can absorb a terrorist attack," even another one on the scale of 9/11 -- a shocking admission of complacency from the man who was elected to stop such an attack.
...
Our adversaries now know that the president is unwilling to pay the costs of fighting them, that his goal is to withdraw as quickly as he can, and that he is resigned to the prospect of "absorbing" another attack on the American homeland. Feel safer yet?
----------------------
A lot of us thought President Obama was elected to repeal that stuff and get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, not 'make us feel safer'.
I never felt unsafe in the first place, and 'our adversaries' in Afghanistan always believed that they could out wait us. It's almost an article of cultural faith, as it worked against the British and the Russians. Few people remember that Bush the lesser campaigned _against_ nation building attempts the first time around. Fundamentally we can't succeed without making Afghanistan and Pakistan colonies for the next couple of generations.
Horrors that President Obama should voicean un-panicked assessment! We _did_ absorb the 9/11 attack without significant effect (~5K deaths out of some 300M) and can do so again. Homeland Security and TSA have never stopped a credible attempt. Any security expert will tell you a determined assassin can't be stopped and there is no way on the practical level to screen all the possible modes of entry and attack. We cheerfully tolerate ~40K deaths from traffic accidents every year. The major impacts of 9/11 were self inflicted - TSA, Patriot act, Homeland Security, more and more armed guards running around, public facilities blocked with ubiquitous metal detectors, Bush FUD campaign, etc. ad nauseum.

Posted by: pcgeorge | September 22, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a remarkably unrealistic characterization of the situation. First of all, I am reassured that the President believes we can handle another attack if one happens. Second, I want to know if we wouldn't be able to so the situation could be fixed.

I think the question I have is what does victory look like for the author? Or even an acceptable outcome for all that matter?

This piece lacks a balanced perspective that the author could have.

Posted by: Nymous | September 22, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Note to Marc Thiessen: Please define your terms. You complain that Mr. Obama is not determined to defeat the enemy in Afghanistan. However, neither you nor any other public figure in the Bush or Obama administration has yet made a simple, coherent statement defining "victory" in Afghanistan. One would think that defining our goals is the first step towards achieving those goals.

Nevertheless, you insist that we spend many (more) billions of dollars and untold lives to achieve this vague, nebulous, and undefined goal. Define your terms, or stop arguing for something that even you cannot define and understand.

Otherwise, we will all be forced to assume (as the evidence seems to confirm) that the dollars you want to spend are all being funneled to mysterious black holes where no-bid contractors, friends of the Cheney family, and other private pockets end up with the money. To date, we have no evidence whatsoever that the money and lost lives have achieved anything other than destruction and chaos.

Posted by: audiophileguy | September 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that poor Mr. Thiessen and his ill-conceived op-ed have been thoroughly discredited and debunked (post partisan - what?). However, I would recommend that we avoid personal insults and attacks (as stated in the discussion rules); they only weaken the arguments of the otherwise sane and reasonable folks among us.

Posted by: someone11 | September 22, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, since Obama has largely kept the Bush Jr/Cheney Administration's "national security" policies, Thiessen obviously feels that those policies are not effective in preventing or disrupting actual terrorist plots or attacks.

And I would have felt safer if the Bush Jr/Cheney Administration hadn't let bin Laden and al-Qaeda off with a free pass for the 9-11 atrocity when we invaded and occupied Iraq.

But please, Marc, do explain how letting bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban off the hook by invading Iraq somehow actually did make us safer.

Oh wait, Thiessen's too much of a coward to actually read the responses his easily-debunked drivel generates, let alone respond to.

Marc, since you wet yourself in terror on a constant basis, I'd suggest some strong, super-absorbent diapers for the incontinence caused by your clear mental deficiency and lack of logic.

Posted by: kingcranky | September 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I feel safer than I did on 9/11. I feel safer knowing we no longer have Bush, who failed to heed warnings that we would be attacked by Osama bin Laden.
I feel safer knowing that people like Thiessen no longer hold power with the White House.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | September 22, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I feel a lot safer having an adult like President Obama in charge, thank you. And since I know the probability of my dying in a terrorist attack is considerably less than that of being struck by lightning, I wasn't fearful to begin with. If there's a terrorist on my plane, I know the other passengers and I will beat the cr#p out of him - look at the last two (Underwear Bomber and Shoe Bomber), brought off the plane with faces so swollen they hardly looked human.

You Republicans are all sissy cowards, it's disgusting.

Posted by: clampson | September 22, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually, President Clinton ignored the threat of bin Laden and his gang of thugs so I think there is enough blame to go around for both parties and administrations in terms of failure to prevent 9/11. The scenario of a plane being used as a weapon has been around since WWII but neither Republicans or Democrats wanted to address that because it would have cost too much money and effort (as we see in all of our airports today) to draw the support of a complacent public.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | September 22, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"The real question is whether one should believe his statement: "We'll do everything we can to prevent it."

****

In the days of our forefathers (Tea Partiers enjoy those good old days, right?) it was "Give me liberty, or give me death!" For 21st century Tea Partiers, it's turned into "Take my liberty, just please let me live!"

Posted by: ojordan3 | September 22, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes I do thank you very much. We have ended our direct involvment in the terrorist recruiting poster war in Iraq. However, looking at Iraq we spent thousand of lives and hundred of billions of dollars to make their nation arguably worse for the citizens than it was under a dictator.

We are targeting the actual terrorist organization in the more difficult war- a war that republicons ingnored or it would have ended 8 years ago.

But most importantly I feel safer because we have a Commander in CHief who is not, as Tony Blaire pointed out so diplomatically "simplistic" in his conceptualization of the world. We have a Commander in CHeif who does not surround himself with sycophants and partisan hacks, but with many learned people of various points of view who make their case using real evidence,m and from which this amazingly intelligent and capable leader makes decisions. SO yes, I feel much safer. We don't have a moron and his henchmen at the controls, sleepiong at the switch and running around in a bubble of delusion. We have a real leader of real world leadership caliber, in fact the best we have seen at least since Kennedy or Truman, if not since FDR.

Posted by: John1263 | September 22, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What a great day! Obama says something stupid, again. And, the Lefties want to beat people up, call people names like "sissy," while reminding everyone how educated they are...all the while alienating as many independents as possible.

Can you guys keep this up for another six weeks, please?

Posted by: PS7900 | September 22, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"Can you guys keep this up for another six weeks, please?"

****

That probably depends on just how long the righties go on, not only being uneducated and perpetually fearful, but taking pride in doing so. I am not afraid of some Islamic boogeyman coming to blow me up, and I'm certainly not afraid of my comments causing Puritans and Libertarians to overtake Congress.

Posted by: ojordan3 | September 22, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The Israeli lobby is doing everything they can to go after Obama, just like they did with the first Bush and Carter (both of whom dared to pressure Israel to give up land in exchange for peace, just like Obama).

Posted by: stillaliberal | September 22, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I feel a LOT safer with Barack Obama than I did or would with that addled idiot for whom Mr. Thiessen spent several years as a resident hero-worshiper. Perhaps Mr. Thiessen forgets that Ari Fleischer warned about what we say in a time of war. There's a war on, Mr. Thiessen. Why are you so unpatriotic, if not treasonous, as to criticize the commander-in-chief at a time like this?

Posted by: TruthtoPower4 | September 22, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Umm, it's historical fact. We've absorbed a number of terrorist attacks, and survived.

It would be traitorous to ignore the threat, sure. But that would describe George W Bush, who dismissed in August of 2001 the intelligence that Al Qaeda was determined to attack with airplanes. Obama clearly stated that he is not ignoring the threat. You've mis-identified the traitor.

Obama's point is that we are stronger than the terrorists. We have a military establishment with millions of personnel and the world's most advanced technology. You want us to believe that we can be defeated by a few hundred terrorists?

Military pleading for an indefinite timeline is a tacit admission that they don't know how to win this one or how long it will take. Obama is telling them they don't have forever. He's not telling them that we're going to give the Taliban or any terror groups a green light - that's your own distrust of the president speaking.

You lack courage. Buck up, be brave, be strong.

Posted by: j3hess | September 22, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

So you think the Taliban and al Qaeda thinks we can defeat them?

Are all conservatives as stupid as you are, Mr. Thiessen?

And dear J751, Mr. Obama campaigned that Afghanistan was the "right" war. Because you didn't pay attention doesn't mean the rest of us didn't. You conservatives throw the word "traitor" around so casually. Unless you served next to me at some point in my 24 years in the military, you can suck it.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 22, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"President" Obama doesn't much care if more infidels die. After all, they're only Americans who most likely didn't vote for him. Thank GOD (not Allah) that Imam Obama will be a one-termer.

Posted by: oldno7 | September 22, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

he has to use authors to get his message out because everyone is leaving his sinking raft of a government - this ghettobomics government strategy has to go. historically most marxist/socialist governments turn there respective economies into ghetto's.

Posted by: corp21 | September 22, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm not afraid of terrorists. They will plan attack after attack. Some of them will succeed. Most will not. The entire purpose of terrorism is to make people so afraid they act irrationally and abandon their values. I don't play that game.

Similarly, I don't care what Al Qaeda thinks every time we make a move. Their plans don't change. Tomorrow, they're going to make more IEDs, just like they did today. And they're going to do so regardless of what we do on the other side of the world.

I'm also smart enough to understand that any guarantee of complete protection from terrorist attacks is a lie, no matter who it comes from. It makes us all feel good, but it's not realistic.

So when you say that we elected President Obama to keep us safe, I say shame on us for believing such a goal were attainable. We don't elect a local Sheriff and expect murders to go away. Why does anybody expect that we can elect a President who can make terrorist attacks go away? The last President couldn't do it. Neither could the one before him.

I anxiously await the day we return to rational thought.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | September 22, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually I do feel safer as will the soldier when they are brought home. The Marine commandant had over 8 years to do something positive with Afghanistan. Did not happen. And likely won't happen regardless of whether we spend another $ Trillion there or not. Thiessen never considers what security we might have had we used the vast sum spent on Iraq and Afghanistan on actually defending ourselves. Why we could afford air marshalls on every flight, port security (neglected), double the Coast Guard, give some real help to Mexico and their stability, etc and best of all we would not be the best recruitment tool the radical Muslims ever had.

Posted by: chucko2 | September 22, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

We didn't need the book to come out and tell us what we already knew. Look how Obama stands up to North Korea and Iran. Terrorist attacks are now man made disasters and the language keeps changing so Obama won't have to fact facts. We can absorb a terrorist attack. That alone should tell the American people where Obama's head is at. If it was Christians attacking this country and if it was Christians we were fighting against in Afghanistan the country would be a parking lot by now.

Posted by: houstonian | September 22, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

"The real question is whether one should believe his statement: "We'll do everything we can to prevent it.""

Of course they aren't. As it stands, terrorists can come and go from the US with ZERO inspection/detection. Obama knows this and REFUSES to do anything about it. FACT

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 22, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Obama. Why stay in Afghanistan when our troops are just in the middle of primitive tribal wars?

Al Qaeda isn't even there anymore, so what's the point?

It's time to get out.

Posted by: MadamDeb | September 22, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama has weakened our national defense and his statements only further prove that. He does not understand his comments cause as much harm as his obvious disdain for the military. If American anger continue.s Obama will be a one termer

Posted by: topgun97365 | September 22, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Useless, negative, fear-mongering garbage from Thiessen, designed exclusively to appeal to the fearful, cowardly, and lesser educated -- which makes up his largest glad-handing audience -- the only group which awards him any sort of esteem or credibility.

Thiessen purposefully misreads and then gleefully misrepresents the president's comments in his cynical, shallow article, the only purpose of which is to discredit a black, democratic president, regardless of the facts.

It's amazing that, in this 21st century, this country can still produce such juvenile, bent-minded ideologues.

Posted by: Frank57 | September 22, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Useless, negative, fear-mongering garbage from Thiessen, designed exclusively to appeal to the fearful, cowardly, and lesser educated -- which makes up his largest glad-handing audience -- the only group which awards him any sort of esteem or credibility.

Thiessen purposefully misreads and then gleefully misrepresents the president's comments in his cynical, shallow article, the only purpose of which is to discredit a black, democratic president, regardless of the facts.

It's amazing that, in this 21st century, this country can still produce such juvenile, bent-minded ideologues.

Posted by: Frank57 | September 22, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

"I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party."

He doesn't mind losing the war or the country, however.

Posted by: prosecutor1 | September 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, Marcipoo, Obama wasn't the one on a five week vacation after 7 mos of doing aboslutely nothing and ignoring a PDB warning of a plot to take down this country by Obama bin Laden (part of a family that the Bushes had financial dealings with) and his pals. Yes, we can absorb and attack -- we learned that on September 11, 2001 thanks to the horrible job George W Bush and DICK Cheney did in protecting us. Liz Cheney needs to shut the H up once in a while.

Posted by: Sandydayl | September 22, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

How did we ever let this elitist collect professor get in charge of our country and military???? I'm just shaking my head over his moves.

Posted by: steven7753 | September 22, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that, in this 21st century, this country can still produce such juvenile, bent-minded ideologues.

Posted by: Frank57 | September 22, 2010 10:54 PM
____________________________________
I agree with your take on the Republican flack, Thiessen but I am not amazed that this country can still produce guys like him, what I am amazed about is how the WaPo has stooped to such a low level that they would publish crap like this.

Posted by: army164 | September 22, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

This column is absurd. Of course we can endure another terror attack. Would Mr. Thiessen prefer that the President say we couldn't? That we'd be devastated and defeated?

We'll prevail in the struggle against extremism by being calm, strong and resilient. Obviously, we don't want another attack and obviously, the government will do everything they can to prevent it. Can we be assured they'll always be 100% successful. Of course not. Only a fool would think so.

That isn't complacency, it's honesty. Mr. Thiessen should try it.

Posted by: peterTF | September 22, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I would ask folks to read Conway's FULL quote

http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4676

Go down about 2/3 of the page and read the full answer. You will see the gist of the quote is a bit different from Mr Theissen wants you to believe.

Posted by: ablum1 | September 22, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

If it's true what you say, the Prez' is right.
By the way citizen Thiessen. Do you feel personally threatened when you go shopping or say to a ball game?
I don't. I don't know anyone who does either.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | September 23, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

This President has proved devious enough, that this is not an absurd consideration!

In President Obama's book he stated,"We can absorb a terrorist attack". Leaves the question, would he do this in effort to save his Presidency, thinking citizens would draw closer to him?

In my particular case however, I have seen him pull off so many incidents that have hurt America and heard so many lies and false promises from this man – that if a PSYOP happened I would instinctively know that he is behind it!

I believe at least 30% of Americans would know it as well and instead of pull him closer to the people, it would have the opposite affect, to Barry’s surprise!

With this President even in time of war I would campaign to have him removed from office, as he is so service minded to the CFR and Bilderberg Group, that he is a security threat to the “United States”!
Re:
http://www.truthit.net/trained_to_rule.html

Trained To Rule The CFR

‘The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all powerful, One World Government.’

- Admiral Chester Ward, former CFR member and Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) conspiracy has infiltrated all elements of American society. It’s agents are in the school system, media, and government. The CFR began in 1921 and has been working ever since at destroying the minds, morals, and liberty of the American people.

In order to rise to the office of President today, a person must be picked by the elite banking cabal. He (or she) must be approved and trained by a CFR ‘adviser’. Once proven that this person will do the bidding of the elite, that person is propped up as the next savior (president). This person is nothing but a puppet, not a ‘leader of the People’.

Who the heck was Obama before being taken under the wing of the CFR? How do you think Bill Clinton became president?

‘The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the American Branch of a society which originated in England… (and)…believes national boundaries should be obliterated and One-World rule established.’

- Carroll Quigley, member of Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), mentor to Bill Clinton. Check out who the members of the CFR are presently, there are quite a few who are in the running in the Congressionals Nov.2 and in the 2012 Presidential election – use Search Engines!

TRAINED TO RULE DOES YOUR VOTE COUNT AT ALL?
Planning to vote for one of these people? Great. just understand that they’re all members of the CFR, which is telling them to work toward weakening your freedom in the name of a New World Order. Your vote really means zippo (unless you vote for someone other than a Republican or Democrat).

Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jim Gilmore, Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson - All in CFR

Posted by: PaulRevere4 | September 23, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less that Obama qualified his statement about America being able to "absorb" a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 with a gratuitous "We'll do everything we can to prevent it". It's consistent with his dry comment that "Unemployment is a lagging indicator." It's consistent with his sociopathic personality that is combined with his resentment of the West and traditionalist America.

The biggest question right now is whether America can absorb the willfully destructive actions of this skinny, smoking, thin-skinned, narcissistic, lying punk between now and Nov 2010 and his narcissistic rage that likely will be on display as he flails about as a lame duck until 2012.

Posted by: RedderThanEver | September 23, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

If this were football I would say our Quarterback is preoccupied, doesnt have his head in the game, and doesnt know the score.

Posted by: almorganiv | September 23, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I see the girly men are out in force today wringing out the wet panties over Thiessen stating what most of us already know about "the stupid one". Lets face it, you lib's sold us a bill of goods on your boy and now you piss your pants every time someone disagrees with your "boy". Grow some balls or take them out of your wife's purse, time to admit your "boy" doesn't have the nads to do the job. Based on all the high level jobs he's held, oh , that's right, he's never held a real job. How's that Community Organ grinder working out? I can see November from my house.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | September 23, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

If it is not clear yet that this prince of ego is a complete idiot, then you liberal loons need to keep you heads in the sand and pray we don't get over run by kooks. However, it may be too late.

Posted by: rustynailx | September 23, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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