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Reporters To Obama: War War War War War War Now War?

Reporters at today’s White House press conference opened their dialogue with the president on a familiar topic: War: When are we having it, and can we have it now. WAR. Also, why don’t you ever visit Israel you horrible anti-Semite? And what about war? Meanwhile, Fox News’ Ed Henry, who one time wrote the worst article in American history, wanted to know about war war war war war… perhaps you understand how the opening of this press conference went, yes? Well Obama simply “pivoted” to calling Mitt Romney a loser in response, so everything worked out.

The war talk already has been quite prominent this week, even more so than usual — usual being “100% chest-thumping war talk all the time.” Bibi Netanyahu essentially fired hundreds rockets out of his ass at Iran during his speech to AIPAC last night; Mitt Romney “wrote” some scary right-wing focus-grouped Iran hawk talk in the Washington Post today; John McCain already wants to bomb Syria, and will of course take an Iran war (and Russian war and Spanish war and really anything involving explosions) on the side.

And so Obama delivered these words to Romney and his fellow members of the 101st Chairborne (via TPM):

Now, what is said on the campaign trail, you know, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities. They are not commander-in-chief. And when I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war. I’m reminded that the decision that I have to make, in terms of sending our young men and women into battle, and the impact that has on their lives, the impact it has on our national security, the impact it has on our economy. This is not a game, and there is nothing casual about it. And, you know, when I see some of these folks who have a lot of bluster and a lot of big talk, but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we’ve been doing over the last three years. It indicates to me that that is more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem. Now, the one thing that we have not done is we haven’t launched a war. If some of these folks think that it’s time to launch a war they should say so, and they should explain to the American people exactly why they would do that and what the consequences would be.

He added, “Typically it’s not people who are popping off who pay the price [of constant war everywhere].” Excuse me, Mr. Obama President, but no one feels the pain of a typical soldier’s death more than Mitt Romney.

Ed Henry then asked how Obama could “have Israel’s back” when he hasn’t visited the country in three years, and Obama told him to shut up, the end. (Not really, there were other questions about Rush Limbaugh and vaginas and Mexicans, and he said “Lapalooza” at one point.) Enough.

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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131 comments

  1. nounverb911

    Barry should just let McCain crash his plane into (Insert country here) and be done with it. Then everyone's happy.

    1. actor212

      McCain has some experience crashing planes, it's true.

      I've often wondered how different things would have turned out after September 11 if we had just sent every old World War II, Korean and Nam pilot up in an F-15 over Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia after a two minute crash course in modern avionics.

      We would have saved all that war deficit AND cut the Social Security budget in one swell foop!

  2. Barb

    It's going to suck for Allen West to fill his Hummer when this war pushes gas prices up to $15.00 a gallon.

      1. memzilla

        Preznit Newtonium will declare War on Persia, and still keep his $2.50 gas pledge — $2.50 per quart.

      2. CommieLibunatic

        I thought he'd make all our cars run on moonlight mirrors and adulterous bile.

        1. redarmyzombie

          His market policy is to revitalize the economy by creating new jobs at Tiffany's.

  3. Gratuitous World

    1 thing i've learned as a wannabe adult – our media is really good at cheerleading for wars they're going to ignore in the years following the initial invasion. also, kardashians.

    1. SorosBot

      War is great for ratings. Also fuck our media for what they did in the run up to the invasion of Iraq.

    2. GeorgiaBurning

      One of the unintended consequences of a military draft is it forces a lot of people to notice a war.

    1. Maman

      I think it means that he is tired to writing condolences to next of kin and Mittens doesn't have to (and probably won't anyway, unless it is to inform them that their dead kin are now going to Mormon heaven)

      1. Swampgas_Man

        Hate to snark on Barry, but if History holds true, the more he says No no no then the more likely he is to cave and say O the hell w/ it, bomb the little bastards.

    1. memzilla

      Deficits don't matter — whether they're deficits of money, or deficits of human lives. Cheney said so, right?

    2. YasserArraFeck

      "Costs" per se, aren't necessarily a bad thing – as long as someone else is picking them up.

    3. terriblyfamous

      I'm pretty sure someone DID tell that to George Bush and Dick Cheney, only when they said "costs" they meant "profits."

  4. mavenmaven

    War is good for journalists. They like war. Without war, they have to write about Jennifer Aniston all day or have to find actual jobs.

    1. Texan_Bulldog

      Yeah, and they get to wear those khaki vests, look all windblown & get neat nicknames like "The Scud Stud'. It's like the Superbowl for geeky journalists.

    2. terriblyfamous

      Or they could find a nice hurricane-force wind to stand in and shout about how "you can see the debris is actually flying all around me."

    3. OneDollarJuana

      War is also good for military officers wanting "real" promotions. Street cred, so to speak.

    4. LiveToServeYa

      Ah, well, I thought they sometimes got killed in war reporting. Silly me, though I suppose covering Jennifer Aniston is just as dangerous.

    5. ttommyunger

      Iss the moneez, the moneez! War is good for bidness, and the nooze is now just a bidness, my friend.

  5. DrunkIrishman

    Ed Henry is going to have to start paying Obama tuition because the Prez is constantly schooling him.

      1. Texan_Bulldog

        That's Ed Helms–who is pretty damn funny.

        Ed Henry conjures up a whiny baby who got his hand put in a bowl of water every year at summer camp.

  6. SolitaireRose

    Hey, the economy's all better now, don't we need a new war to make sure they have something to talk about on the TeeVee?

  7. veritass

    Dear Campaign Obama: can you talk to Regular Obama and tell him to talk like this a LOT more often? Please?

  8. Baconzgood

    Can we go to war with Iran? I mean they were never our allies like Iraq and Afghanistan so it's not keeping with our traditional modus operandi.

    1. HistoriCat

      As Herman Cain can tell you – you can't bomb West Virginia, it's too mountainous.

  9. EatsBabyDingos

    "ED" is also an abbreviation for erectile disfunction. This is not a coincidence.

  10. BaldarTFlagass

    And then, in keeping with recent behavior, the Prez broke into a stirring rendition of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On?".

  11. JustPixelz

    Iraq cost us thousands dead, tens of thousands wounded, a trillion dollars and (truly) nothing to show for it. Care of those wounded veterans will be our obligation for most of the next one hundred years. It was Dubya's decision, for which history (and those families) will forever be his judge.

    Iran will be harder.

    1. fuflans

      and the whole reason bibi's here is because we're the only ones who can do even short term damage in iran.

      i don't want that bill too.

  12. cheetojeebus

    This will be an exciting turn for the Fox network's 3rd season of The Bored Republican Hawks Crave Gore and Vicarious Machismo Show.

  13. Doktor Zoom

    OT, and blessedly not about war: Ta-Nehisi Coates has written a hell of a good piece about Andrew Breitbart. An excerpt:

    Sherrod…lived as the exact opposite of the racist Breitbart portrayed. Thus Breitbart did not simply get the facts of an incident wrong, he got the broad facts of an entire human life wrong. Confronted with such a deed, the person who lives in empathy, who sees an aggrieved party as human, must necessarily embrace a firm and full-throated contrition. Instead Breitbart chose, to look for ways to make himself right. …

    When I heard that Andrew Breitbart had died, I was saddened. It is natural to think of the damage Breitbart did to people like Sherrod by embracing lying as a weapon. But I found myself thinking of the great injury he must have ultimately done himself, for by the end of the Sherrod affair, he was a man lying only to himself and other liars.

    By embracing that deception, by neglecting to research Sherrod before putting up a clip of her talking, by electing to see her as little more than a shiv against the hated liberals, he deprived himself of knowledge, of experience, of insight, of enlightenment. That he might learn something from Sherrod, that he might access some power from her life, and pass that on to loved ones and friends, never occurred to him. Publicly, he lived to make himself right — a tradition that is fully empowered in our politics. Breitbart didn't invent the art of making yourself right. But he embraced it, and then advanced it.

    1. BlueStateLibel

      Great read. I loved this, "he was a man lying only to himself and other liars" – sounds exactly like each and every GOP primary candidate.

      1. Callyson

        Thanks, this link worked fine. Usually I don't speak ill of the dead, but I'm willing to make an exception in Frightfart's case…

    2. prommie

      Mobutu Sesi-Seko just rogered Breitbart with a damning, savage, fearless "he's dead, fuck him, go to hell" article at Gawker.

  14. Goonemeritus

    If our nation is going to be respected one day we might have to give up this pacifist peacenik image we have been so carefully cultivating.

  15. SayItWithWookies

    But if we don't bomb somebody, how are we supposed to tell everyone we just stopped the next Hitler?

  16. DaRooster

    "It indicates to me that that is more about politics than actually trying to solve a difficult problem."

    The GOP would never use dirty tricks in their politicking.

  17. imissopus

    No snark, this is one of the things I like about Barry: you're not going to goad him into proving his manhood by bombing another country the way you could goad damn near every president going back to at least JFK. (I know, I know – Drone Strikes! I'm not saying he's a perfect pacifist, and I never thought he would be.) The GOP and AIPAC and all the others can beat that war drum until the end of time and he'll just keep giving them that icy stare and saying "When you're the ones who have to write the condolence letters and watch the bodies carried off the planes at Dover, then you can give the orders."

    1. OneDollarJuana

      I'll believe that if he winds up not bombing Iran, and really gets us out of Afghanistan. BTW, we're still pretty heavily in Iraq, even though the war has "ended".

    2. BlueStateLibel

      "When you're the ones who have to write the condolence letters and watch the bodies carried off the planes at Dover, then you can give the orders." But they won't – maybe Dubya and Cheney had a staffer auto-sign a few letters, but neither went to Dover to greet the planes carrying fallen U.S. troops. As with Vietnam, both had more "important things to do" (I don't of course put down those who avoided Vietnam, just chickenhawks like Dubya and Cheney).

      1. reliefsinn

        Yes, the chickenhawks totally got out of the deal. Some people went to Vietnam, some went to Canada, some to jail, some people were murdered for merely protesting the war.
        But Dubya and Cheney sailed right through the Vietnam era, totally unconcerned with 70,000+ dead Americans, millions of Southeast Asians, and the accompanying cultural and political upheavals.

    3. Negropolis

      I've yet to be convinced that they will not be able to goad him into a war. He's currently talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  18. hagajim

    When we go to war can we just send all the White House press corps assclowns in as the modern day equivalent of cannon fodder #maketheworldabetterplace.

  19. poncho_pilot

    i'd love to see the GOP try to finance yet another war with tax cuts. mostly because i'm fascinated with the post-apocalyptic stuff.

    Murdoch and the Kochs and all of those assholes are rich enough to fund their own armies. that would be a very supervillain thing to do. why annoy us with the pretense?

  20. OneDollarJuana

    Our American Empire is ending, and pretty quickly, it seems. However, all other empires killed themselves off, too, but maybe didn't wind up so badly. After all, if we look at the failed empires that our culture hails from in large part, their populations have many of the very things that we can't seem to vote for ourselves: national health care, long vacations, great national mass transportation, good food, longer lives, less stress. Could be that once we have failed and our pride and bravado dashed in the dust, we might wake up and vote ourselves some real quality of life.

    Doubt it.

  21. WiscDad

    So the working title of today's Stupid Tuesday speech was 'War…huh…good God y'all…who is it good for'. But he figured we all knew the answer to THAT hypothetical (hypocritical?) question.

  22. SayItWithWookies

    Wow — I just read that Mitt editorial cited above, and what a piece of absolute shoddy thinking and strategy it is. Check out his take on the perils of Iran:

    For three decades now, the ayatollahs running Iran have sponsored terrorism around the world. If we’ve learned anything from Sept. 11, 2001, it is that terrorism in the nuclear age holds nightmarish possibilities for horror on a mass scale.

    Right — who can possibly forget those 19 hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center with a nuclear weapon? Meanwhile, Mitt — you know who else has nukes and also finances terrorists? Pakistan.

    This shit is so fucking like the clone of Dubya in its myopia and blustery rhetoric and utter strategic bankruptcy that everyone should read it so they can get a chill up their spine like I did. You know how Mitt's gonna solve the world's problems? By increasing our naval production from nine ships a year to fifteen. Because if there's any goddamn thing that people are always talking about when the subject of the military comes up, it's the paucity of our navy.

    Oh, and he's also going to make his first visit as president to Jerusalem. Which is great, because he'll only be a stone's throw away from Israel's capital, Tel Aviv. It's been soooooo nice having an actual adult in the Wizzle Hizzle for the last three years — this is really a throwback to the awful shit.

    1. MosesInvests

      Israel's capital has been Jerusalem since 1948. The US embassy is in Tel Aviv (probably to avoid hurting the fee-fees of those great humanitarians, the Saudis).

        1. imissopus

          That might be true officially and spiritually, but Tel Aviv is home to all the organs of Israel's government (the Knesset, the Supreme Court, and so on), and all foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv as well, so in terms of visiting Israel's real capital, you're right that Mitt's visit would be worthless. It's sort of a wingnut meme that America should move its embassy to Jerusalem (the Newtster was pushing that one a couple of months ago), and the reasoning is mostly that it would be a symbolic commitment to our greatest partner in the Middle East, yadda yadda. In truth it would be a giant Fuck You to the Palestinians and anyone else who has a sincere interest in a two-state solution. So like every other Mitt promise, it's a pander to the right.

          1. MosesInvests

            Sorry, but that's not correct. ALL organs of government-Knesset, Supreme Court, ministries, etc. are in Jerusalem. That's been the case since Israel became independent. The only major thing that's in Tel Aviv is IDF headquarters (the equivalent of the Pentagon), which is on the site of an old British Army base from the colonial (sorry, Mandate) period, and it was just convenient to keep it there. True, Tel Aviv is the cultural capital of Israel, but that's like saying that Broadway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center mean that New York is the real capital of the US. I understand why the US keeps its embassy in TA-I don't like it, but I understand it. But Jerusalem is, and always has been, the capital of Israel (except in 1948, when Jerusalem was under siege).

    2. prommie

      Yes, Saudi Arabia's low-tech, non-nuclear attack on America teaches us that we must attack Afghanistan and Iraq, and now it teaches us we must attack Iran before it gets nukes like the ones that make it necessary to eat Pakistan's shit. Yes, we must attack and destroy ALL of Saudi Arabia's enemies, in order to avenge ourself for the Saudi attack on America.

  23. luckismine

    Obama should just do what I do when my kids pester me for candy candy candy candy candy soda candy. "If you ask one more time, I'm going to have it all to myself and you won't get any!"

  24. chascates

    "Hey journos, how did that emancipation of Iraq turn out? And now we should liberate Iran and Syria?"

  25. anniegetyerfun

    Not only are chickenhawk Republicans like Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum unconcerned with the IDEA of shipping American men and women off to die or be horrifically maimed in war, they see the war dead and wounded as symbols of fantastic heroism that should be admired. When they see a vet whose legs were blown off by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, they don't weep for his lost mobility or the emotional/financial cost of losing nearly half of one's body in a senseless attack – they see only the opportunity to make an all-American, rootin'-tootin' political point about "sacrifice" and "freedom" – concepts that none of these assweeds are TRULY familiar with.

    And that's just how they look at Americans affected by war – nevermind the millions of children in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been senselessly slaughtered, murder, burned alive, or seriously injured – THOSE people aren't even worth scoring political points over.

  26. MosesInvests

    I'll say this for Netanyahu-and I have very little to say about him that's good-he's not a chicken hawk. He served in an elite unit in the IDF. If he sends anyone to war, he knows the cost. He's still a right-wing blowhard, but not a chicken hawk. That being said, I don't think he's planning an attack. If the Israeli government was planning an attack, they'd keep their mouths shut about it. This is saber-rattling, to placate the Likud base and maybe to convince the US and Europe to ramp up sanctions against Iran.

      1. MosesInvests

        Bibi is sort of the Dubya of Israel-not very accomplished, but got where he is on the strength of his family name (his older brother Yonatan was the hero of the Entebbe rescue in 1976, and his father is a well-known professor and powerhouse in the Likud). As I said, he's not a chicken hawk-he did serve honorably in the IDF, and in an elite unit to boot-and he has a better command of the English language than Dubya. In fact, that's one big source of his strength-he can charm the pants off of rich, right wing Jews in America (like Sheldon Adelson). Otherwise, though, he's a lying, corrupt sack of sh*t, and I wish Israel had absentee voting so I could vote against him. A lot of Israelis feel the same way, but he was able to put together a coalition after the last election, so he's PM. Unfortunately.

  27. 40 or 50 % McShineys

    Shit, these guys' war boners have easily lasted more than four hours. Will someone please call a doctor?

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