Democratic lawmakers and their allies are receiving more in the press than they bargained for this week with the release of the memoir of former Secretary of Defense James Matisse, The Chaos of Invitation .
White House critics for weeks over the possibility of a retired naval general's book being made public by the White House overflowing with delicious gossip from anti-President Trump. The book does not provide as much juicy treats for #Resistance, according to Washington Examiner Kelly Jane Torrance.
The memoir, however, includes a terribly unflinching look at Obama-era foreign policy and the former president's (or lack thereof) strategy for defeating the Islamic State.
Those who still adore former President Barack Obama will probably consider Matisse's new book a deeply unwelcome surprise. And those who have given up their hopes of seizing former Vice President Joe Biden's White House, well, they won't like this book at all.
Former Secretary of Defense says of Biden (via Torrance):
Biden reassured Matisse that Maliki would not expel all US troops from the country.
"Maliki wants us to stick because he doesn't see the future in Iraq any other way," Biden said. "I'll bet you my Vice President."
Mathis does not say whether he tried to collect this bet. As he writes: "In October 2011, Prime Minister Maliki and President Obama agreed that all US forces would leave at the end of the year."
Matisse's warnings turned out to be ancient, as Maliki, free from American influence, continued after Sunni politicians and regions, alienating a third of the country. "Iraq has returned in escalating violence. It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion, "Mathis writes. The Sunni uprising and a weak Iraqi army allowed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists to return in 2014, calling themselves the Islamic State.
Then there is a memory of Matisse's work with Obama himself. Unlike the former Minister of Defense's largely friendly assessment of Biden, the memoir has no such kind words for the former president. As Mattis puts it, Obama is personally responsible for the violence, chaos, destruction, rape and robbery that took place in Iraq following the abrupt withdrawal of the United States. In the way that Mathis puts it, the former president is a man consumed entirely with arrogance and pride, whose stubborn refusal to listen to those who have understood the situation on the ground in Iraq has condemned thousands of civilians to die.
The White House "dealt with Iraq as a" one-off ", as if the launch of our troops there would have no regional implications, heightening the fears of our allies that we were abandoning them. I firmly assert that any vacuum left behind will be filled by Sunni terrorists and Iran. "
Matisse believes he has been convicted of events. Obama declared war, but "Iraq has returned in escalating violence. It was like watching a car wreck in slow motion, "says Matisse. "All this was foreseen – and preventable."
Obama made "catastrophic decisions" in Iraq, Mathis concludes. And he did this because he ignored the advice coming from many military and civilian advisers, thinking he knew better than all of them.
“At the top, then as now, there was an aura of omniscience. The assessments of the intelligence community, our diplomats and our military have been excluded from the decision-making circle, ”writes Matisse.
It was this constant tension between Matisse and the Obama White House that led to the sudden dismissal of the latter, the retired general wrote. Recalling how he was "fired" by the White House, Mathis directly accused Obama of being a fearless coward:
I was leaving the region on fire and in anxiety. The lack of an integrated regional strategy left us on our feet and our friends confused. We did not offer any guidance or direction. I left my post deeply alarmed that we were shaking the trust of our friends and creating vacuums that our adversaries would exploit.
As Ed Morrissey points out in Hot Air Mathis's book has obvious implications for 2020. Namely, it underlines the story that Biden knows what he is doing when it comes to foreign policy.
history, but at the moment Biden is arguing for the future. Matisse's assessment makes this argument much more complex, especially since Biden's foreign policy and strategy must be Biden's strong point, "Morrissey notes.
He adds: "Matisse is already the second former Secretary of Defense to claim that Biden is the emperor without clothing when it comes to his alleged specialty."
Biden, reminds Morrissey, was Robert Gates, who wrote to the then Vice President in 2014: "I think he has been wrong about almost every major foreign policy and national security issue in the last four decades."
Team Biden and its allies s the Democratic National Committee will have to face these criticisms and achieve faster. If the Gates / Matisse story gets under control, the former Vice President will lose one of his main claims to fame. he himself will be ruined for him in 2020.
But they combine criticism with the fact that the Trump administration can rightly point to its record of successfully dumping ISIS back to hell, and all this could be a complete disaster for Lunch "Field" Joe.