Is this a flop? Or a flip?Posted: July 14, 2008
Is this op-ed, laying out Obama’s position on Iraq, perfect? No. Is it better than McCain? Absolutely. Will things end up working out exactly like what Obama proposes? Probably not.
But it is nice that Obama clearly lays out his position on an important issue clearly. The contrast between (100 Years) McCain can not be clearer.
I think that best positive (i.e. more than McCain is a crazy old man) selling point of Obama is his foreign policy vision. I believe it marks a pretty big break from the Bush years.
The best stuff from the op-ed:
The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep. Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president. I believed it was a grave mistake to allow ourselves to be distracted from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban by invading a country that posed no imminent threat and had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Since then, more than 4,000 Americans have died and we have spent nearly $1 trillion. Our military is overstretched. Nearly every threat we face — from Afghanistan to Al Qaeda to Iran — has grown.
As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal….
In this campaign, there are honest differences over Iraq, and we should discuss them with the thoroughness they deserve. Unlike Senator McCain, I would make it absolutely clear that we seek no presence in Iraq similar to our permanent bases in South Korea, and would redeploy our troops out of Iraq and focus on the broader security challenges that we face. But for far too long, those responsible for the greatest strategic blunder in the recent history of American foreign policy have ignored useful debate in favor of making false charges about flip-flops and surrender.
But remember, children, Obama can’t possibly be serious because he wasn’t in the US Senate (like the rest of us) when the vote for the war was up. This makes his “anti-war” stance so deeply unserious.