John on July 15, 2008 at 9:09 am
I’ve just listened to a portion of one of the most dishonest and dishonorable speeches I can recall. Obama, having gotten himself into a bind last week with his flip-flopping on an Iraq timetable, decided he needed to solve it with a “major foreign policy address.”
His address was framed with a look back on what might have been, a favorite game of liberals. And it turns out of course that if we’d simply not invaded Iraq we’d now be living in an earthly paradise where all of our energy and security problems would have been solved. If it weren’t for the “distraction” (his favorite word) of Iraq, we’d still be loved universally around the world.
Obama also managed to raise the ghost of General Marshall and his plan to rebuild Europe while simultaneously decrying the money being spent in Iraq, as if much of that money isn’t for rebuilding and establishing the security to allow rebuilding. In Obama’s mind, rebuilding former enemy Germany is an example of great American leadership in the world while rebuilding former enemy Iraq is a fatal distraction and failure.
Then we come to the most political and most strikingly dishonest portion of his talk. He emphasized his “judgment to lead” by pointing out that he was against the war in Iraq while McCain was for it. He then went on to gloss over the current success by saying that McCain only wants to “talk about tactics”, while he (Obama) is thinking about “strategy.” Tactics in this case is code for the surge. It’s not clear what his “strategy” is but it seems to have something to do with winning over Europe again. Of course the surge by all accounts (but those of the most ardent Bush-haters) has succeeded. So another way of putting this, a more honest way, would be to say that McCain only wants to talk about winning while Obama wants to talk about getting out to international applause.
Obama actually wants the rubes out there to believe that his call to evacuate Iraq in January 2007 is perfectly consistent and harmonious with his call to evacuate Iraq now. Of course the difference is that then we were on the ropes and losing to Iran and Al Quaeda. Now, Iran and Al Quaeda are on the ropes. The difference between what Obama said then and what he’s saying now is the difference between quitting a marathon at the halfway point and running to the end. It’s true that both involve stopping at a fixed point but the circumstances and the results are vastly different.
The bottom line, once again, is that Obama’s judgment was that we should abandon Iraq and leave it to terrorists, handing them not just a military but a massive PR victory. McCain supported the surge at a time when it was very decidedly unpopular. And the result is that McCain was right and Obama was wrong. This is very inconvenient for a man who is running his campaign on the “judgment to lead.” So now Obama wants us to see the last 18 months and the turn around in Iraq as an insignificant micro-management of events that are really beneath consideration. Just tactics. Well, Obama can claim that he’s too much of a big picture guy to worry about things like “tactics” but in this case tactics were the difference between defeat and success.
Update: Just saw this at Hot Air. Obama has now erased criticism of the surge on his website:
“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 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.”
There’s that T-word again. Obama is now spinning like a top. Forget about his opposition to the most important foreign policy move of the last two years. Down the memory hole. It never happened, America.
Category: Politics |