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T can cause trauma to the brain Were it not for this armor he said the American dead in Ira would be closer to the number of those killed in Vietnam but for those who survive those wounds life can become a permanent and painful struggle Just being there for a few days showed me how the most pivotal moment of my life had led to moral wreckage and strategic disaster I moved to Washington in the spring of as the drumbeat for war in Ira was sounding louder I moved because I was a New Yorker and upended everything I had been thinking about what I was going to do with my life I had been teaching at a com munity college during the day getting a masters in fiction writing at night and working on a city council campaign On September I was handing out flyers at a polling site on a north Brooklyn street when I saw the second plane hit stared at plumes of black smoke billowing in the sky and then watched the first tower crumple to the ground Mobile phone service was down and I didnt know if lower Manhattan had been destroyed A man with some kind of European accent grabbed my arm and said over and over This is sabotage For days after the air had the acrid smell of seared metal melted wires and death I wanted to be a part of what happened next and I was repelled by the reflexive liberalism of my New York University surroundingsthe professor who suggested that we sing God Bless Afghanistan to the tune of God Bless America the preemptive protests against American military intervention the reflexive distrust of Bush I visited an Army recruiter under the ueensboro Bridge After leaving with a pile of materials and get ting a few follow up phone calls I decided that I couldnt see myself in uniform Instead I would move to Washington to write about the events reshaping my world I had never considered being a speechwriter and I had never heard of Lee Hamilton but one ref erence led to another and soon I found myself at the Wilson Center one small cog in the vast machinery of people who think talk and write about American foreign policy I was a liberal skeptical of military adventurism in our history and something seemed off about toppling Saddam Hussein because of something done by Osama bin Laden But when youre putting on a tie and riding the DC metro with a bunch of other twenty five year olds to a think tank a few blocks from the White House angry about and determined to be taken seriously you listen to what the olderexperienced people say The moment Colin Powell made his case for war to the United Nations I was on board Now here I was a few years later seeing what that war had wrought We began writing the Ira Study Group report by committee but after a few drafts Bakers staff guy called me and asked me to take the lead Id stay up all night agonizing over sentence structure and whether the group was going far enough in calling for an end to the war The first sentence of the report said the situation in Ira is grave and deteriorating and the report called for a phased withdrawal of US troops Instead Bush puttroops into the country To me the experience clarified two things First the people who were supposed to know better had gotten us into a moral and strategic disaster second you cant change things unless you change the people making the decisions I had a decent policy job but I wanted to get into politics And I wanted to work for Barack Obama Lippert and I walked into the conference room and I took a seat near the back end of the table farthest from Obama From the moment I saw his speech at the Democratic convention in I had wanted him to run for president He had been against the war when nearly everyone else went along with it He used language that sounded authentic and moral at a time when our politics was any thing but There was also something else something intangible The events of my twenties felt historic but the people involved did not I wanted a herosomeone who could make sense of what was happening around me and in some way redeem it I was seated next to Tony Lake whoalong with Susan Ricewas leading a network of foreign policy advisors for the campaign Lake was a soft spoken older guy with the smart but slightly scattered demeanor of a professor at a small liberal arts college which hed been for many years Hed also been Bill Clintons first national security advisor Rice had also worked for Clinton becoming the assistant secretary of state for Africa Since then shed been a leading Democratic voice on foreign policyunabashedly ambitious well spoken and prolificwho risked her relationship with the Clintons to work for Obama Still over the last few months Id come to suspect that the network led by Lake and Rice was mostly about giving people a way to feel connected to a candidate they were unlikely to ever meet Most of the work Id done that actually reached Obama was coordinated by Lippert and another campaign staffer Denis McDonough It was Lippert after all who had brought me into this room David Axelrod was the principal strategist and as I took my seat he was giving a long description of the political dilemma Democratic primary voters would want any vote on the Ira War to be a no but if Obama voted no a future Republican general election candidate would say that Obama failed to fund our troops in battle The ghosts of the election when Republicans painted John Kerry as soft on terrorism lingered in the room Im sure theyre having the same discussion in the Clinton campaign Axelrod said Hillary will vote however I vote Obama said I was struck by his confidence it could have seemed like arrogance except he was so casual in his tone The conversation meandered around the room Most everyone was neutraldescribing the dilemma as Axelrod did but offering no clear recommendation It felt as if the political advisors leaned no but didnt want to say so When it got to Susan she made the case for voting yes Compact permanently composed and the only African American in the room other than Obama she spoke in sharp declarative language This is about the bullets that go in the weapons that defend our tr.
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The World as It Is A Memoir of the Obama White House[PDF / Epub] The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House By Ben Rhodes Citybreakscheap.co.uk Chapter IN THE BEGINNING The first time I met Barack Obama I didnt want to saya word It was a sleepy May afternoon in and I was sitting in my windowless office at the Woodrow Wilson International Cent Chapter IN THE BEGINNING The first as It PDF time I met Barack Obama I didnt want to saya word It was a sleepy May afternoon in and I was sitting in my windowless office at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars a DC think tank like dozens of others I was underemployed and debating moving back home to New York when I got a call from Mark Lippert who was Obamas top foreign policy aide in the Senate Lippert The World PDF/EPUB or was a young guy like me and I had come to expect phone calls from him every few days with random taskings he was working for the most exciting politician to come along in years and he clearly enjoyed the fact that anyone would take his call at any time Ben he said I was wondering if its not too much trouble for you to come over and do debate prep with Obama I gripped the phone a littletightly World as It PDF For the last few months Id been doing everything I could to work my way onto the Obama campaignwriting floor statements on Ira drafting an op ed on Ireland OBama editing speeches and debate memos I had never gotten near the man and I was starting to wonder if my volunteer work would ever turn into anything else When is it I asked Its right now The session was at a law firm a couple of blocks away and World as It Is: A Kindle I walked slowly gathering my thoughts Like all the work Id done for the campaign this felt like some sort of test only no grade was issued at the end and no one would tell me if Id passed When I got there I was directed to a set of glass doors that led into a large conference room I could see at least fifteen people around a long table strewn with binders stacks of paper and soda cans Obama was seated at the head of the table with his feet up Lippert met me at the door pulled me outside and told me they were debating whether Obama should vote for a spending bill in Congress that would fund the so called surge in Ira I thought why not call the Ira guy he said A few months earlier I had finished working for the Ira Study Group a collection of former officials and foreign policy experts who had been asked to come up with a strategy for the Ira War My boss at the time Lee Hamilton was cochair along with James Baker Hamilton was a throwbacka crew cut Democrat from southern Indiana who had served thirty four years in Congress He wasnt just a moderatehe was a pragmatist who approached government without a trace of ideology Baker was what the Re publican Party used to bea business friendly operator who took governing as seriously as making money Throughout our work in meetings with members of the Bush administration that hed helped put into power through his efforts on the Florida recount after the election Bakers understanding of the scale of the mess that had been made in Ira seemed to morph into a kind of paternal disappointmenthed given the keys to his kids and theyd crashed the car For me the project opened a window into a war that Id watched unfold with swelling anger As part of our work wed gone to Ira in the summer of flying into Baghdad in a cargo plane with a group of servicemembers starting their tour sitting in silence be cause the roar of the engine made it too difficult to be heard I looked closely at the faces of these men and women who would soon be threatened by car bombs and improvised explosive devicesbut they betrayed no emotion at alljust blank stares The plane dropped sharply into Baghdad International Airport making tight corkscrew turns to avoid antiaircraft fire We flew in helicopters to the Green Zone Down below I could smell burning sewage and see the faces of children looking up at us with vacant expressions For several days we stayed on the embassy compound in small trailers At night we went to a barthe Camels Backwhere con tractors got hammered and danced on tables There were two beds in each trailer and a shared bathroom A flak jacket was next to each bed in case of incoming mortar or rocket fire I had the place to myself except for one night when I came back to find a bearded guy perfectly fit and totally naked standing in the bathroom I noticed some neatly arranged Special Forces gear by his bed We didnt say a word to each other When I woke at dawn he was gone Years later I would become familiar with the work that people like him did as I learned about it thousands of miles away in the basement of the White House During our stay we were driven in ard vehicles to lavish compounds filled with gold plated furniture and thick curtains left behind by Saddam Hussein We met with Iras political leaders American military officers and a mix of diplomats journalists and clerics We heard about violence between Sunni and Shia sects that was killing Irais just beyond the walls of the Green Zonebodies in sewers family members assassinated nightmarish stories of group executions Wed recap at night in James Bakers trailer where hed drink straight vodka in a tracksuit and just shake his head at how screwed up things were The United States had nearly troops supporting the Irai Security Forces but everyone spoke of a series of militias as the main drivers of politics One American general told us that unless the different sects reconciled all the troops in the world could not bring security to Ira Each night helicopters brought wounded Americans to a temporary hospital When we visited Hamilton spoke to a medic who gave us an overview of the work they did My job he said is to keep these folks alive until we can get them up to surgery He explained that our troops wear armor that covers your upper body well what it does not cover is the lower extremities nor does it guard against the force of the blasts tha.
Ben Rhodes ✓ 9 summary
The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House review ï E-book, or Kindle E-pub ð [PDF / Epub] ☄ The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House By Ben Rhodes – Citybreakscheap.co.uk Chapter IN THE BEGINNING The first time I met Barack Obama I didnt want to saya word It Oops she said This is a commander in chief moment As she spoke I felt panic welling up inside me I didnt want to be called on At the time I had a profound fear of public speaking If a group was familiar to me I didnt have a problem But here I wouldnt be able to conceal my nerves I imagined myself staring blankly then choking on my words There at the head of the table was Barack Obama What would he think if I couldnt get through a paragraph of advice To avoid having to speak in front of the group I figured Id give Lake my views I leaned over and began to tell him why I thought Obama should vote no Obama a former law professor has a trait that I would witness thousands of times in the years to come He likes to call on just about everyone in a room And he doesnt like it when people have side conversationsTony he called out from the other end of the table You have a view you want to share Why dont we ask Ben Tony said Whos Ben Obama asked He helped write the Ira Study Group report Lippert said Well what do you think Obama looked at me Nerves in my stomach became tightness in my chest dryness in my throat There was no way I could speak in paragraphs So I had to do something different that would break up my speaking Well I said You oppose the surge right Sure Obama said I took a deep breath And youve introduced legislation to draw down our troops in Ira and imposeconditions on the Irais to reconcile right I asked Yes Obama said And this legislation funds the surge and rejects your plan right Yes Obama seemed to be getting irritated so I got to the point Well why would you vote to fund a policy that you oppose that you dont think will resolve the situation in Ira and that contra dicts the legislation that youve introduced You should vote no The room was uiet for a moment Obama leaned forward and tapped the table with his hand Okay I think weve talked aboutthis enough he said Ill make a decision when I go up to the Hill When the meeting ended people started to break into groups and Obama got up to leave After he reached the door he stopped turned around and waded through a few people to come over to me He extended a hand Hey Im Barack he said Glad youre with us I muttered something like Thanks as he turned away Lippert asked me to walk with him to the Metro and told me something that he hadnt shared widelyas a Navy Reservist hed been called up to serve in Ira Hed be leaving in a little over a month instead of going to Chicago to work in the campaign office as planned and he was going to recommend they hire meNo one out there knows anything about foreign policy he said as he descended the escalator I stood at the entrance to a Metro station that Id come in and out of for the last five years Something had changed in my life but I had no way of knowing the scale of that change A couple of hours later Obamawho valuedthan I knew advice that draws on common sense to reject conventionwalked onto the floor of the Senate He voted noBen Rhodes who served Barack Obama as a foreign policy adviser and speechwriter from beginning to end has written a book that reflects the president he servedintelligent amiable compelling and principled And there is somethingThe World as It Is isa classic coming of age story about the journey from idealism to realism told with candor and immediacy It is not a heavy policy book There are anecdotes galore but they illuminate rather than scandalize Even Donald Trumpa politician who seems the omega to Obamas alphais treated with horrified amazement rather than vitriol Ben Rhodes is a charming and humble guide through an unprecedented presidency He never uite loses his idealism in a crass political era he impressively avoids becoming a cynic His achievement is rare for a political memoir He has written a humane and honorable bookJoe Klein The New York Times Book Review In The World as It Is Rhodes shows no trace of the disillusionment that gave George Stephanopouloss tale of Bill Clinton its bitter gossipy flavor or of the light irony that came to inflect Peggy Noonans adoration of Ronald Reagan More than any other White House memoirist Rhodes is a creature of the man he served This is the closest view of Obama were likely to get until he publishes his own memoirGeorge Packer The New Yorker The World as It Isoffers a peek into Mr Obamas tightly sealed inner sanctum from the perspective of one of the few people who saw him up close through all eight years of his presidencyFew moments shook Mr Obamathan the decision by voters to replace him with a candidate who had uestioned his very birthPeter Baker The New York Times The World As It Isopens and closes with Obamas reaction to the election of Donald Trump In betweenit recounts world events in a newsy intimate chronologyKarl Vick Time For insight on that Obama playbook it makes sense to consult Ben Rhodess fine new memoir of the Obama years Rhodes was in the room for almost every foreign policy decision of significance that Obama made during his eight years in office and in a privileged position to chronicle how the idealism of the early Obama administration faded as it confronted the realities of an often Hobbesian worldPeter Bergen CNNBen Rhodes is one of the most brilliant minds and powerful storytellers Ive ever known In The World as It Is he doesnt just bring you inside the room for the key moments of Obamas presidency he captivates you with the journey of an idealistic young staffer who becomes the presidents close friend and advisora journey that both cynics and believers will find riveting and hopefulJon Favreau The World as It Is is a page turning unfiltered altogether human look at Barack Obamas presidency Ben Rhodesone of Obamas closest and most important advisorsopens up the defining issues of the presidency from the role of race and the rise of conspiracy theories to the hunt for bin Laden the Syria red line debate and the secret negotiations Ben himself led to normalize ties with Cuba Insightful funny and moving this is a beautifully observed essential record of what it was like to be thereSamantha Power..