When the conversation became too academic, the President even began leafing through a book of mine that I had given him that ends with a chapter about America's victory over Iraq in Kuwait, a victory that left his father riding the crest of a wave--after which there was only a one-way option down.
The President listened far more than he spoke and when he did it was to make simple points that many critics dodge, such as: We had to do something after 19 young people blew up 3,000 Americans.
One might have thought that stabilizing Afghanistan under non-Taliban leadership and capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, and Ayman al-Zawahiri would have counted as "something."
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