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In Case You Missed It: Obama In Iraq's Quicksand


Guest ALWAYS RED
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Guest ALWAYS RED

To listen to Barack Obama attempt to explain his views on Iraq and the so-called surge is becoming, for those of us who have followed his responses over the last 18 months, something of a spectacle. With every effort, it seems, he is compounding his mistakes in judgment with intellectually dishonest answers, ones which melt away under even minimal scrutiny.

 

The latest example is Obama's appearance yesterday on Meet the Press. During the interview, host Tom Brokaw played portions of an interview with Obama on January 10, 2007 - the day President Bush's so-called surge strategy was announced - when Obama said this:

 

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

 

When asked by Brokaw about this quote and whether the surge has made it possible to withdraw American troops within 16 months, Obama answered:

 

I mean, I know that there's that little snippet that you ran, but there were also statements made during the course of this debate in which I said there's no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence.

 

The problem with this response is several-fold. First, Brokaw could have played many additional "snippets," all of which were of Obama opposing the surge and indicating that it would fail. ...

 

In July 2007, long after the surge was announced, Obama claimed, "My assessment is that the surge has not worked." And in November 2007, two months after General David Petraeus testified before Congress about the considerable progress we had made because of the surge, Obama argued it was making the situation in Iraq potentially worse...

 

So Obama's anti-surge "snippet" was in fact an accurate representation of what he said and believed at the time, and for a long while after that.

 

As for Obama's statement that "during the course of this debate" he has maintained that "there's no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence:" What Obama doesn't say is that he made that claim in a debate in 2008, a year after the surge was announced and well after it was clearly succeeding.

 

In fact, Obama made his "quelling the violence" statement in an attempt to deny his initial prediction that the surge would cause sectarian violence to worsen. What Obama did in yesterday's Meet the Press interview, then, is to provide a misleading answer to a previously dishonest answer, in an effort to cover up his spectacularly wrong prediction. ...

 

[L]ater in the Meet the Press interview, Obama states

 

John McCain's essential focus has been on the tactical issue of sending more troops

 

This demonstrates Obama's confusion about the scope and nature of the surge. It was not a tactical adjustment; in fact, it was a profound, and much needed, change in strategy.

 

What Obama doesn't seem to grasp is that what made the surge successful is not merely, or even primarily, an increase in the number of troops; it was a fundamentally new counterinsurgency strategy, one that concentrated on securing the population and, over time, winning their confidence and support. ...

 

It would be useful if the man who hopes to be our next commander-in-chief understood the difference between a tactical adjustment and a strategic shift. ...

 

As for Obama's statement that it's "not a hard thing to acknowledge" that violence has gone down more than anyone anticipated: Why, then, is it so hard for Obama to acknowledge that his opposition to the surge was wrong? Why does he insist, as recently as a week ago, that his opposition to the surge was right and wise? ...

 

There are at least three conclusions to draw from Obama's appearance on Meet the Press. The first is that when it comes to his stand on Iraq, Obama is like a man trapped in quicksand. ...

 

The second, and related, conclusion we can reach is that the more Obama talks about the surge, the more his claim that he has the "judgment to lead" is subverted. ...

 

The third conclusion is that Obama has completely obliterated the core early promise of his candidacy: that he would turn the page on American politics and offer us something new and better; that he would speak honestly and candidly, in a way free of ideology and in a manner than demonstrated an open mind, and eschew "spin."

 

Obama has not only turned out to be a practitioner of the "old politics;" he has, as a young, first-term senator, come to embody it. He has fallen into seemingly every trap he said he would avoid. All the hype, all the promise, all the high-minded words have turned out to be a mirage. ...

 

To View The Entire Article, Please Visit:

 

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarti...quicksand-11869

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Guest Human_*

The message that he has sent to the World Leaders out there is?

That he is weak. He has no grasp of the current situation.

 

<It will be like a dog/s "World Leaders" playing with a cat "Barack obama". No games people, this is the world that I swim in.>

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To listen to Barack Obama attempt to explain his views on Iraq and the so-called surge is becoming, for those of us who have followed his responses over the last 18 months, something of a spectacle. With every effort, it seems, he is compounding his mistakes in judgment with intellectually dishonest answers, ones which melt away under even minimal scrutiny.

 

The latest example is Obama's appearance yesterday on Meet the Press. During the interview, host Tom Brokaw played portions of an interview with Obama on January 10, 2007 - the day President Bush's so-called surge strategy was announced - when Obama said this:

 

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

 

When asked by Brokaw about this quote and whether the surge has made it possible to withdraw American troops within 16 months, Obama answered:

 

I mean, I know that there's that little snippet that you ran, but there were also statements made during the course of this debate in which I said there's no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence.

 

The problem with this response is several-fold. First, Brokaw could have played many additional "snippets," all of which were of Obama opposing the surge and indicating that it would fail. ...

 

In July 2007, long after the surge was announced, Obama claimed, "My assessment is that the surge has not worked." And in November 2007, two months after General David Petraeus testified before Congress about the considerable progress we had made because of the surge, Obama argued it was making the situation in Iraq potentially worse...

 

So Obama's anti-surge "snippet" was in fact an accurate representation of what he said and believed at the time, and for a long while after that.

 

As for Obama's statement that "during the course of this debate" he has maintained that "there's no doubt that additional U.S. troops could temporarily quell the violence:" What Obama doesn't say is that he made that claim in a debate in 2008, a year after the surge was announced and well after it was clearly succeeding.

 

In fact, Obama made his "quelling the violence" statement in an attempt to deny his initial prediction that the surge would cause sectarian violence to worsen. What Obama did in yesterday's Meet the Press interview, then, is to provide a misleading answer to a previously dishonest answer, in an effort to cover up his spectacularly wrong prediction. ...

 

[L]ater in the Meet the Press interview, Obama states

 

John McCain's essential focus has been on the tactical issue of sending more troops

 

This demonstrates Obama's confusion about the scope and nature of the surge. It was not a tactical adjustment; in fact, it was a profound, and much needed, change in strategy.

 

What Obama doesn't seem to grasp is that what made the surge successful is not merely, or even primarily, an increase in the number of troops; it was a fundamentally new counterinsurgency strategy, one that concentrated on securing the population and, over time, winning their confidence and support. ...

 

It would be useful if the man who hopes to be our next commander-in-chief understood the difference between a tactical adjustment and a strategic shift. ...

 

As for Obama's statement that it's "not a hard thing to acknowledge" that violence has gone down more than anyone anticipated: Why, then, is it so hard for Obama to acknowledge that his opposition to the surge was wrong? Why does he insist, as recently as a week ago, that his opposition to the surge was right and wise? ...

 

There are at least three conclusions to draw from Obama's appearance on Meet the Press. The first is that when it comes to his stand on Iraq, Obama is like a man trapped in quicksand. ...

 

The second, and related, conclusion we can reach is that the more Obama talks about the surge, the more his claim that he has the "judgment to lead" is subverted. ...

 

The third conclusion is that Obama has completely obliterated the core early promise of his candidacy: that he would turn the page on American politics and offer us something new and better; that he would speak honestly and candidly, in a way free of ideology and in a manner than demonstrated an open mind, and eschew "spin."

 

Obama has not only turned out to be a practitioner of the "old politics;" he has, as a young, first-term senator, come to embody it. He has fallen into seemingly every trap he said he would avoid. All the hype, all the promise, all the high-minded words have turned out to be a mirage. ...

 

To View The Entire Article, Please Visit:

 

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarti...quicksand-11869

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