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In respect to the Iraq War policy, this is what Obama says:
“Here is the truth: fighting a war without end will not force the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. And fighting in a war without end will not make the American people safer.”
“So when I am Commander-in-Chief, I will set a new goal on day one: I will end this war. Not because politics compels it. Not because our troops cannot bear the burden- as heavy as it is. But because it is the right thing to do for our national security, and it will ultimately make us safer.”
He further says:
“A New Strategy (is) Needed: The Iraq war has lasted longer than World War I, World War II, and the Civil War. More than 4,000 Americans have died. More than 60,000 have been injured and wounded. The United States may spend $2.7 trillion on this war and its aftermath, yet we are less safe around the globe and more divided at home. With determined ingenuity and at great personal cost, American troops have found the right tactics to contain the violence in Iraq, but we still have the wrong strategy to press Iraqis to take responsibility at home, and restore America’s security and standing in the world.”
But unfortunately, Obama’s words have no real content or plan. The Surge is working. Obama does not have a better plan, and any damage to the progress made by the Surge would be a dire mistake for the military and the United States. Obama has no clue how to address the problem. His strongest position is that he did not endorse the war in the first place, but that is not the point anymore.
Obama’s plan is just too simple minded using hyperbole to make the war sound vastly worse than it is. Comparing Iraq to the Civil War, in which up to 700,000 Americans died, is ludicrous. But Barack does have more to say, let’s listen… the following is from his website…
“Barack Obama believes we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq: ending the war. The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.”
“Under the Obama plan, a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq and to protect American diplomatic and civilian personnel. He will not build permanent bases in Iraq, but will continue efforts to train and support the Iraqi security forces as long as Iraqi leaders move toward political reconciliation and away from sectarianism.”
Nothing Obama said is contradictory to anything McCain has said other than being out by 2010 and his claim that “military experts” back his plan. They don’t and Obama does not drop the names of any such “military experts”. It won’t happen. It would be a disaster. Obama knows this or is delusional, but to not make a promise contradictory to reality would be death in the election. Americans want to believe there is an easy solution and a better way. Sorry, but there isn’t.
Obama seems to believe that more diplomacy will help. We would like to know if Obama expects that diplomacy to be with Al Qaeda or with Iran? What diplomacy has worked with the Muslim Nations and had any lasting impact? Ask Jimmy Carter about diplomacy when it comes to Iran.
The success of the Surge says Obama is wrong. Removing troops and abandoning Iraq will leave a huge vacuum in the Middle East, and someone will fill that vacuum. Those nations that are most likely to move in are America’s worst enemies in the Middle East. Retreat and troop reduction were losing the war in 2006, the Surge brought the US back in control.
McCain was likely wrong, along with many Democrats, in endorsing the initial move into Iraq. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were all likely wrong. But again, it is not where we are now. We cannot deal with this situation as though it never happened.
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