Obama to Ignorant Press: Can You Hear Me Now?

Sen. Obama pens a clear as a crystal op-ed in the NyTimes today on his Iraq position–which has ludicrously be labeled as “unclear” and/or flip-flopping by right-wing nutters and their MSM lackeys.

He strikes a very shrewd and well thought out balance between praising the US troops for their efforts in the surge/reducing violence while simultaneously saying the following:

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.

As I said in this post from two days ago, Obama should use the public proclamation of a timetable by the Iraqis to hit McCain where it hurts: that his vision (as a continuation of Bush’s) is a strategic failure. Iraq was a mistake from day one, and to turn the tables on the cheerleader crowd, if the surge is such a success all the more reason to get out. [9 troops were killed in Afghanistan today. That is twice the number killed so far this month in Iraq].

Looks like we’re on the same page. The more he takes Iraq off the public debate the generally better he is served. This position makes him appear forward looking and McCain’s position increasingly untenable–based as it is on the premise that McCain can prove the PM of Iraq is just doing some political posturing. But even if he were, that already spells the doom of the occupation.

Not only that but Obama continues to score points I believe by clearly articulating that McCain is wrong–Iraq is not the front line in the (so-called) War on Terror and that McCain has no real interest in al-Qaeda/Afghanistan/Pakistan just like Bush.

Without Iraq, McCain is out of the mainstream on health care, taxes, the economy, and will continue to be beaten. His only option left will be to try to turn the debate into a personal biography contest.

The rest of Obama’s op-ed clearly articulates that he still holds to a 16 month draw down time frame but of course will take into account the opinions of commanders as to how best to execute that plan. Finally showing we have a person running for president (as opposed to the current office holder) who understands the President’s role as Chief of Armed Forces and civilian control of the military/setting the strategy.

So for the anti-war crowd he says that he is fundamentally committed to ending the war. For those who see the real enemy as al-Qaeda a renewed counter-terrorism focus (showing a withdraw from Iraq is not some slide into neo-isolationism). For those in the middle, clear signals that he is going to be deliberate about this draw down and with his emphasis on a diplomatic surge a call out to renewed American standing in the wake of the Iraq strategic blunder/disaster.

Published in: on July 13, 2008 at 11:37 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. “Obama should use the public proclamation of a timetable by the Iraqis to hit McCain where it hurts: that his vision (as a continuation of Bush’s) is a strategic failure.”

    exactly. and this recent mental block from Sanford would make drive the point even more.

    btw, have you watched Obama’s interview on Fareed Zakaria GPS? would love to hear your take on it. in case you missed it, the video is now up online. see transcript here:


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