Robert Gates “opened his kimono” at West Point

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)


Speaking at West Point, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates casually suggested that the US of A is “sick in the head,” and needs to see a shrink.  After ten years into the Afghanistan war, eight years into the second Iraq war, with multiple ongoing “low-intensity” conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia and constant drumbeats for war against Iran,  all while American warships are currently bearing down on Libya, Gates stepped aside the lectern, nonchalantly “opened his kimono” and said, “Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it.”

Gates briefly leant his pudgy frame upon the lectern with expert familiarity and self-possession before closing his kimono and returning to his otherwise disinterested cardboard platitudes about the future of American Exceptionalism abroad.

Standing in the wings quietly pounding a baseball bat in his palm, ever ready to burst an Arab bubble, blow three trillion bucks, kill a million innocent people, and crash the global economy “because we could,” was Tom “Tony Soprano” Friedman, wondering to his own goddamned self:

When one looks across the Arab world today at the stunning spontaneous democracy uprisings, it is impossible to not ask: What are we doing spending $110 billion this year supporting corrupt and unpopular regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are almost identical to the governments we’re applauding the Arab people for overthrowing?

Wow, America, you’re not nearly as fucked in the head as we thought.  


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  1. unusually revealing, and tries his best to make sense of it all, referring to Gates, the Iraq Study Group, and the surge as a “plausible fig leaf” for withdrawal from the “indifferently pursued pacification of Iraq.”

    He also refers to a machiavellian W as “dragooning” Gates into cross-purposes in Iraq.

    That’s the best spin these scrambled wingnut brains have.  

    • Edger on March 7, 2011 at 3:42 am

    What a cute little thing you have in that kimono, [b]ob.

    • banger on March 7, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    He came to power in the semi-coup against the neocons after the 2006 election. He is and has been clearly opposed to the neocons and their extreme view of the world. He’s a pragmatist who represents a strong faction within the intelligence community that is often misunderstood by the left. The CIA is not merely a right-wing organization; rather, it has many factions that are roughly divided betweeen people like Dick Cheney and Robert Gates.

    Gates statement is very, very important. He doesn’t want increased military involvement and rule by the far-right faction within the military and intel community. He believes these forces are highly destructive to the U.S. government and the people of the U.S. That does not mean that Gates has much sympathy for the left–he’s a realist and a pragmatist who has manged to carve out considerable power for himself and his friends. He’s imperial lite and we’re lucky to have him–remember the last guy in his job was named Rumsfeld.

    BTW, this isn’t speculation on my part–I know that these factions are real.

  2. Ray McGovern’s take on Gates.  Gates’ is looking out for NO. 1 and trying to reinvent himself, consummate social climber that he is.


  3. Strange mission patches of NRO.

  4. He felt comfortable quoting MacArthur. Big deal.

    IMHO, his statement means absolutely nothing.  

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