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Obama Straddles

The day after his speech at the Democratic convention catapulted him into the national spotlight, Barack Obama told a group of reporters in Boston that the United States had an "absolute obligation" to remain in Iraq long enough to make it a success.

"The failure of the Iraqi state would be a disaster," he said at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, according to an audiotape of the session.  "It would dishonor the 900-plus men and women who have already died. . . .  It would be a betrayal of the promise that we made to the Iraqi people, and it would be hugely destabilizing from a national security perspective."


In late winter, 2008, on the campaign trail, Obama says he wants to bring the troops home yesterday -- you decide -- was he lying then or is he lying now?

Immediately remove The Troops

From Obama's official campaign website: (video)

"Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq.  He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.  Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq.  He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

Yo, Obama, removing one to two combat brigades each month, and ... all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months, is a timetable.

Take Your Pick
The last frontier of flip-flops approaches for Barack Obama, and even his surrogates can’t seem to guess which way the wind blows on any given day.  In three different appearances over the last two days, David Axelrod, Susan Rice, and Claire McCaskill all offered competing visions of Obama’s policy on Iraq. (videos)
I Am Not Persuaded
John Hinderaker makes some observations about "Obama's Dishonest Op-Ed" in yesterday's  New York Times on Iraq that presumably previews his "major speech" on the subject today. Even by Obama's standards, the piece is breathtakingly dishonest.

Obama admits that he opposed the surge, and the attendant change in strategy and tactics, that have brought us close to victory.  But he somehow manages to twist his being wrong about the surge -- the major foreign policy issue that has arisen during his time in Congress -- into vindication:

"But the same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true.  The strain on our military has grown, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and we’ve spent nearly $200 billion more in Iraq than we had budgeted.  Iraq’s leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge."

Actually, however, Obama opposed the surge not because of those "factors" but because he thought it would fail.  He said, on January 10, 2007, on MSNBC:

"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Read the rest here . . .
The Surge Is Not Working
Barack Obama's campaign scrubbed his campaign Web site over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq, the Daily News has learned.

The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue web page, which had described the surge as a "problem" that had barely reduced violence.

"The surge is not working," Obama's old plan stated, citing a lack of Iraqi political cooperation but crediting Sunni sheiks -- not U.S. military muscle -- for quelling violence in Anbar Province.

The Daily News reported Sunday that insurgent attacks have fallen to the fewest since March 2004.

Obama's campaign posted a new Iraq plan Sunday night, which cites an "improved security situation" paid for with the blood of U.S. troops since the surge began in February 2007.

It praises G.I.s' "hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics and enormous sacrifice."

Campaign aide Wendy Morigi said Obama is "not softening his criticism of the surge.  We regularly update the Web site to reflect changes in current events."

GOP rival John McCain zinged Obama as a flip-flopper.  "The major point here is that Sen. Obama refuses to acknowledge that he was wrong," said McCain, adding that Obama "refuses to acknowledge that it [the surge] is succeeding."
Obama Claims U. S. Presence is Illegal
While campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the U. S. elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops -- and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."

"However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open."  Zebari says.

Though Obama claims the U. S. presence is "illegal," he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a U. N. mandate.  His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the "weakened Bush administration," Iraq should seek an extension of the U. N. mandate.


The amateur and the professional

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the U. S. commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date."  They declined.

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq.  His latest position is that U. S. combat troops should be out by 2010.  Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.

Something Of A Joke
The Power Line Blog notes that Obama's campaign is in trouble when even the Associated Press (AP) notices that it has become something of a joke.  Following up on the blogosphere, the AP noted today that Obama's web site has airbrushed his former opposition to the "surge" in Iraq.

An Obama spokeswoman explained that the changes in Obama's web site "were made to reflect current conditions."  Which is to say, Obama fought reality, and reality won.

• An updated Obama quote at the top of the page.  The previous quote stressed how Obama had the judgment to oppose the "rash war" from the start.  This was a popular message among Democratic voters and was meant to draw distinctions with primary rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, who initially supported the war.  The new quote focuses on how ending the war will make Americans safer (?)-- a message aimed at general election voters who are more likely to trust McCain on issues of national security, according to polling.

• A description of Obama's plan as "a responsible, phased withdrawal" that will be directed by military commanders (under the direction of the Obamamessiah, as he has stated) and done in consultation with the Iraqis.  Previously, the site had a sentence that has since been removed that flatly said, "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq."  Obama's spokeswoman said that his plan hasn't changed, (another Obama lie) but they wanted to expand the description.  "There's not an intent to shift language," (whoa Nelly, there's another whopper!) she said.

• A new sentence that says Obama "would reserve the right to intervene militarily, with our international partners, to suppress potential genocidal violence within Iraq." (Obama reserves the right to flip-flop!)

The AP closes with what appears to be an unprecedented outburst of sarcasm directed at  the Democrat:

Only one of his plan's subheads remains unchanged, the first one -- "Judgment You Can Trust."  That's a message the campaign wants Americans to embrace.

It's fair to say that Obama has now admitted that he was wrong about the most important national security issue that has arisen during his brief time in public life.
Any Position Will Do
More bamboozling, hoodwinking, and okie dokieing from the Obamamessiah (video -- 07:49)

A little long, but this important video demonstrates that Obama, leftist defeatist and political opportunist, will adopt any position on Iraq to suit the moment -- whatever the politics demand.

The New York Times, in a recent poll, asked, "Do you think Barack Obama says what he believes most of the time, or does he say what he thinks people want to hear?" -- fifty-one percent of respondents said Obama says "what he thinks people want to hear."

Fifty-Seven percent said Obama "has changed his position on important issues in order to get elected" -- something that 41% credited with lowering their opinion of Obama.

What's The Doctrine?
Tom Brokaw asked the candidates what their "doctrine" would be "in situations where there's a humanitarian crisis, but it does not affect our national security," such as "the Congo, where 4.5 million people have died since 1998," or Rwanda or Somalia.

In such cases, answered Obama, "we have moral issues at stake."  Of course the United States must act to stop genocide, he said.  "When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening . . . and we stand idly by, that diminishes us."

However, the AP reported on July 20, 2007, "Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep US forces there."

I just wonder what makes the Congo more deserving than Iraq?

I guess we can expect to see the 101st Airborne in the Congo in the near future.
Obama Will Fulfill His Campaign Promise
Avoiding any mention that his promise was made on March 16, 2003, almost six years ago, incoming White House senior adviser David Axelrod said this morning, that Obama will fulfill his campaign promise and begin on Wednesday the process of withdrawing America forces from Iraq within 16 months.

"He believes that that is a reasonable timetable.  We've moved a great distance from the time he started talking about that, and now we're in an area where everyone agrees that we should be on a path to withdrawing those troops.  And he is going to begin that process, as promised, on that day," Axelrod said in a "This Week" interview with George Stephanopoulos.

On Wednesday, Obama will call in his military commanders and ask them to come back with a plan for withdrawal, knowing full well that there are already several in place.

A military withdrawal usually occurs after a war is won -- Well done, Dubya.

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