The Elephant in Obama’s Room

Barack Obama’s so called “policy” regarding Iraq is driven entirely by vote counting calculations. He is trying to appear willing to succeed in Iraq, while at the same time appealing to the elephant…er…donkey in the room that nobody’s talking about: his party’s left fringe base. He hopes that by not calling victory or success the goal, and by continuing to promote his preannounced, prescheduled withdrawal plan he can keep them quiet and count on their votes in his column.

The hard-core lefties are enraged by the emerging possibility of success in Iraq that could, eventually, reflect positively on President Bush. For years they have agitated for Congressional action that would result in abandoning the effort, leaving Iraq in chaos, and validating their position that “Bush’s War” was a catastrophe because Bush was evil and stupid.

Yesterday the Obamnia Summer Vanity Tour and Photo-Shoot paused for an interview with Katie Couric. Ms. Couric has apparently felt the jeers and sneers drawn by the media herd’s prostrate worship of Senator Obama, and actually tried to ask a few challenging questions.


“You talk about a residual force remaining in Iraq, but you’ve been hesitant to really give a number…some of your advisors have said it could be tens of thousands of troops. Why can’t you be more specific as to what you envision?”


Now, keep in mind that when I talk about timetables, people say that’s too specific, with respect to residual force, maybe not specific enough.

No Senator! Being specific is not the problem with a timetable that is announced to the enemies and pursued without regard to the consequences. The problem is that it’s a prescription for throwing away all the gains so far secured at great cost. It’s a plan to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Obama Continued:

My job as commander-in-chief would be to indicate to [Commanders on the ground] here’s our goal, here are the missions that we need to carry out. Now, you tell me what it is that we need in terms of boots on the ground, in terms of equipment, in terms of other capabilities that are gonna be required.

Fair enough. Then how about some detail on that mission? The current mission is to protect the gains that have been made, finish training Iraqi security forces and ensure that democracy ultimately prevails over terrorism. The Commanders on the ground say they can’t accomplish that mission with fewer troops, and that Obama’s withdrawal schedule would jepordize that mission.

So what would Obama’s new mission be? What parts of the current mission would he abandon? Obama has said his new mission would be “end the war.” Of course, the best way to really end the war is to stick with the current strategy and tactics. But Obama insists on abandoning the current strategy and tactics. So what does “end the war” mean? What are the commanders supposed to do, exactly?


“If General Petraeus or the chairman of the joint chiefs, Admiral Mullen, say … “you cannot take out the final complement of combat troops. You need them in the theater,” you would say?”


I will always listen to the commanders on the ground. And I will make an assessment based on the facts at that time. As I’ve said before … I am not interested in a false choice between either perfect inflexibility in which the next 16 months or the next two years I ignore anything that’s happening in Iraq. Or, alternatively, that I just have an open-ended, indefinite occupation of Iraq in which we’re not putting any pressure on the Iraqis to stand up and … take this burden on. What I’m gonna do is to set a vision of where we need to go, a clear and specific timeframe within which we’re gonna pull our combat forces out.

So the Senator rejects the “false choice” of inflexibility, but He is going to set “a clear and specific timeframe within which were gunna pull our combat forces out.” He was flexible before he was inflexibile?


“And base your decision still on conditions on the ground as well?”


Well, as I said before … I would not be doing my job if I’m not paying attention to the facts.

How cynically clever. He’ll “pay attention to the facts” – if that’s his job. BUT, he will pull combat forces out within his specific, predetermined timeframe.


“… you raised a lot of eyebrows on this trip saying even knowing what you know now, you still would not have supported the surge. People may be scratching their heads and saying, Why?”


Well … because … what I was referring to, and I’ve consistently referred to, is the need for a strategy that actually concludes our involvement in Iraq and moves Iraqis to take responsibility for the country.

Why can’t Obama admit that the current mission is to prepare the Iraqis to assume total, sovereign control of their country, so US troops can leave? The current strategies are designed to support that mission, and they are working. He can’t acknowledge the obvious because of the elephant in the room; He needs the votes of the Bush-hating, anti-war base that believe their own hype: Iraq is a lost cause, success is impossible and “Bush’s war” is a catastrophe.


“But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops … help the situation in Iraq?”

Katie oversimplifies because she apparently hasn’t made the effort to understand that adding troops was only one of several changes made eighteen months ago. those changes have resulted in what even obama finally, grudgingly admits is a dramatic improvement. The additional troops were needed to implement General Petreaus’ brilliant counter-insurgency and nation-rehabilitation strategies, that are still on-going.


Katie, as … you’ve asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There’s no doubt.


“But yet you’re saying … given what you know now, you still wouldn’t support it … so I’m just trying to understand this.”


Because … it’s pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that’s money that could have gone into Afghanistan….That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States.

So finally, after weeks of intense campaign debate over strategy and tactics in Iraq, after failing to make sense out of his contradictions, after failing to outwit even Kutsie Katie, Our Messiah and President-In-Waiting Barack Obama gives up and falls back on whining about…

The Money.

When President Bush ordered the surge strategies Senator Obama parroted the position of the leftist base. He said he was against the surge because it would make Iraq worse.

Now, he claims he was opposed, and is still opposed to the surge which he admits is a success because it costs too much money!

The bottom line, here at the bottom of the post, is voters are not informed by obama’s too-clever tap dance. All we really know about Obama is his skill at whipping up an emotional response from a crowd at a campaign event. If he becomes President will he ignore the virulent Bush-hating, Anti-Iraq fringe voters who get the credit for securing his nomination? Or, would he risk losing Iraq? The truth is we don’t know because he doesn’t know.

1 Comment so far

  1. aaa again on July 24th, 2008

    It turns out the man of a “new kind of politics” is in fact the quintessential old style politician: bobbing and weaving, never giving a straight answer, changing his answer depending on the audiance or the latest polls. Clinton on steroids.

    In a related Middle East matter, he committed the gaffe of the century claiming that Jerusalem must “always be the capital and stay as one.” Say what?

    “Stay as one?” The city that is chopped into pieces of Jewish and Palastinians???????? You gotta be kidding me. This caused even a fawning media to question him. His answer?

    “Well, I said Jerusalem IS the capital, that’s a fact.” (Well, duh, and 2 2=4. But what about the “one” thingy, Barry?) “Uh, bob, weave, obfuscate, blame the question asker…..”

    This guy is a mess. Dishonest, uninformed and unprincipled. And empty suit.

    Other than that, he’s great………maybe even The One. (snicker)