Small Wars Journal

Backstage Drama

Backstage Drama - Max Boot's review of Bob Woodwards latest book Obama's Wars at the Wall Street Journal. Key take-away: Who dissed whom? And who cares?


gian p gentile (not verified)

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 7:52pm


Sorry for not being clear.

I was simply trying to say that I dont remember either of the two being upset with the last Woodward book where he used the same story telling techniques but essentially conveyed the Surge success story and portrayed most generals in a positive light. But now in this book, again using the same techniques of interview based narrative construction, because it is critical of Afghanistan strategy they are in turn critical of it.

just an observation, that is all


So Gian (not verified)

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 4:12pm

P. Gentile,

You are telling us that Max Boot/Eliot Cohen believe that everything is and has been hunky dory in the white house? And that Woodward's "exposure" of discord in the white house some how challenges Max Boot/Eliot Cohen's "fundamental premises for an approach to this war in Afghanistan"? What does one thing have to do with the other? Please elaborate.

gian p gentile (not verified)

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 3:49pm

I wonder if Max Boot or even Elliot Cohen for that matter had such whiney, prickly comments a few years ago for Woodward and "The War Within" when in that book Woodward largely reinforced the Surge/Iraq Triumph Narrative. If so then it is interesting that in that previous Woodward book storytelling Woodward style was OK, but now, nope, not when it challenges fundamental premises for an approach to this war in Afghanistan of which they are both strong advocates.

So I guess the conclusion to draw from Max Boots blog post and Elliot Cohens WaPost oped of today is that storytelling is OK, as long as the correct story that they agree with is being told.