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Book blows 'cool' Obama's cover

Article appeared on timesofindia.indiatimes.

NEW YORK: A new book on US president Barack Obama has revealed that even though the Commander in Chief portrays a cool image, he does lose his temper at times.

The book, 'The Promise: President Obama, Year One', by Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, recounts a series of private blow-ups, including a particularly fiery one involving the nation's top military brass.

"A presidential dressing down unlike any in the US in more than half a century," the New York Daily News quoted Alter as describing the October 2009 eruption.

The outburst came after Gen. Stanley McChrystal gave a speech in London in which he publicly rejected proposals to turn the tide in Afghanistan with more drone missiles and special forces, a strategy backed mainly by vice-president Joe Biden.

Obama viewed McChrystal's comments as a bald attempt to back him into a Pentagon-backed plan more reliant on troop build-ups — and he soon ripped into top commanders for what he considered insubordination.

At the Oval Office, Obama told defense secretary Robert Gates and Gen David Petraeus that he was "exceedingly unhappy" with the Pentagon's conduct, adding that its leaks to the press were "disrespectful of the process".

"This was a cold and bracing meeting," an attendee said of the encounter, where Obama demanded to know "here and now" if the Pentagon would be onboard with any presidential strategy.

Petraeus later described himself as "chagrined", and both he and Gates "swore loyalty" to the President. Obama eventually supported a troop build-up.

1 comment:

Bob Andelman said...

You might also enjoy this Mr. Media radio interview with Jonathan Alter from May 19, 2010. He talks about his book, “The Promise,” President Obama, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, FDR, “The Colbert Report,” his wife and even does an imitation of Joe Biden imitating Arkansas Senator John McClellan. Classic stuff!