Sunday, March 1, 2009


Barack Obama, in a speech this week: "We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein's regime -- and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government -- and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life -- that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible."
The question is, were these comments spoken to give justification of his Iraq withdrawal date of August 2010, or was he declaring at least one of the Bush policies a success in Iraq? These comments were especially infuriating to the liberal base of his party, because it showed he was right and they wrong. Many in Washington have not yet admitted that, even to themselves. Mr. Obama seems to have. We know he has because he has elected to keep Mr. Bush's secretary of defense -- not something you do with a failure.
Not to mention, it brings those pesky campaign quotes to the forefront, which were the only true issue that separated himself from his opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton. Arguably, without this issue, the election may have, indeed would have, turned out much, much different.
Barack Obama, speaking of the Bush "surge," said he was "not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq are going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." Three months after that, before the surge had even started, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pronounced the war in Iraq "lost."
No matter how President Obama feels about the war ("a war that never should have been waged, and never authorized"), he seems to be taking the tact that for whatever his mistakes in Iraq were, George W. Bush's "surge" was a lonely call that has proven to be right; especially worrisome for some on the left, who believe the Bush era must be repudiated with prosecutions and a return to the pre-9/11 status quo. For those democratic leaders, the only solace was, at least Obama did not utter the words on a battle carrier, in front of a "mission accomplished" banner.
Of course the GOP came out of their shorts in praise for the Obama Iraqi reduction strategy, with his promise to leave 50,000 residual forces as well. And why not? Not only has he moved right on his Iraqi strategies, he has given Boehner and the rest quite a few sound bites to repeat over and over in 2012.


Papa Giorgio said...


50,000 troops. This is almost the same plan exactly as McCain had... his 100-year war. Where are the lefties yelling about this?!


Kim said...

And, at the end of the day, all Obama is going to do is accelerate the withdrawal by five month from the Bush plan.