Chutzpah Incarnate: Obama Criticizes McCain on Iraq Even As He Scrubs Own Website

Barack Obama has been running as the guy who opposed the war in Iraq.

Well, if opposing the war is the personification of wisdom, then don’t vote for Barack Obama – who has hedged on the Iraq War at times – vote for Cindy Sheehan. She opposes the war WAY more than Obama.

Shoot, vote for some six-year old liberal’s kid who has opposed the war since he was born!

Obama said today:

WASHINGTON and ALBUQUERQUE – Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday that overall U.S. interests have been hurt rather than helped by the Bush administration’s decision to increase troop strength in Iraq 18 months ago, and vowed to stick to his plan to withdraw combat troops within 16 months of becoming president.

Obama said his White House rival, Sen. John McCain, “has argued that the gains of the surge mean that I should change my commitment to end the war. But this argument misconstrues what is necessary to succeed in Iraq, and stubbornly ignores the facts of the broader strategic picture that we face.”

If John McCain “ignores the facts,” Barack Obama changes them altogether.

The absolutely crazy and hypocritical thing is that – even as Barack Obama criticized John McCain for his commitment to the war in Iraq via the “Surge” strategy, Barack Obama had the massive chutzpah to scrub his website of past comments regarding that very strategy.

My opponent is completely wrong! Oops. Pardon me while I scrub my website to hide what I USED to say.”

It’s simply amazing.

Politico writes about it with the hammer-smashing-the-nail title of “Surge Meets Purge“:

The McCain camaign is poking fun at Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for a report in today’s New York Daily News that he had cleansed BarackObama.com of past criticism of the surge strategy in Iraq.

“BARACK OBAMA “REFINING” IRAQ POSITION ON OWN WEBSITE,” blares the McCain release, which helpfully links to the former versions of the site.

The Daily News report by James Gordon Meek says: “Barack Obama’s campaign scrubbed his presidential Web site over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop ‘surge’ in Iraq, the Daily News has learned. The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue Web page, which had described the surge as a ‘problem’ that had barely reduced violence. ‘The surge is not working,’ Obama’s old plan stated, citing a lack of Iraqi political cooperation but crediting Sunni sheiks – not U.S. military muscle – for quelling violence in Anbar Province.

Sean Hackbarth in an American Mind piece calls it, “Obama’s Surge Stance Goes Down Memory Hole“:

Edit a Presidential candidate’s view on the Iraq surge? “Yes we can!” At least that’s what Sen. Barack Obama’s web team did over the weekend. Instead of simply saying he was wrong about the surge Obama and his campaign pretends we won’t notice his alterations in emphasis. Events on the ground in Iraq have changed yet Obama is still adamant to pull U.S. troops out in 16 months. This causes Jim Geraghty to write,

That suggests the candidate is wedded to ideology and oblivious to the consequences of policy changes. And a candidate who has the… well, audacity to claim that he always said the surge would result in an “improvement in the security situation and a reduction of violence” when he said the opposite many times thinks that A) voters are gullible and B) the media have the attention span of an over-caffeinated ferret.

Gateway Pundit has a side-by-side before-and-after of Obama’s Iraq page.

Rick Moran goes for the jugular. Just like Obama thinks he’s better on Iraq because he possesses superior judgment it’s been wrong about the surge.

The most devastating article of the bunch is found on Powerline under the title “Obama’s Dishonest Op-ed.” The piece – after damning Obama regarding Iraq with his own words – proceeds to show that Obama has been as dishonest about Afghanistan as he has been wrong about Iraq.

Charles Krauthammer didn’t mention Obama’s reversing position on the surge, or the website purging that preceded the flip flopping. But he very clearly understands the Weasel who is Barack Obama:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: What impresses me is his audacity. Everybody moves to the center after securing the nomination. There’s nothing new under the sun there.

He did it in a particularly spectacular way with the flips that you talked about. There are a couple of others on NAFTA and flag pins, and he does it all within about three weeks. It’s sort of unprecedented.

But he goes way beyond that. On each of these he pretends that he has never changed. He says, yes, I said the gun bill was constitutional and I supported it. And now he supports the Supreme Court decision that rules it unconstitutional, and pretends it is the same decision.

But then he goes beyond that, reaching an almost acrobatic level of cynicism here, in which he says, as you indicated, Fred, anybody who believes otherwise, anybody who believes he is not actually a flipper and he hasn’t actually changed, is himself cynical, or, as he puts it, “steeped in the old politics,” and so cynical that they can’t even believe that a politician like him would act on principle.

What non-political no-self-interested reason explains his change on campaign finance other than the fact that he has a lot of money and he would lose it otherwise if he had stuck to his principles?

What non-self-interested reason explains his flip on guns, on FISA, on the flag pins, on everything? But he thinks he–what impresses me is his intellectual arrogance. He thinks everyone is either a fool who would believe all this, or a knave who is somehow distorting his words [Italics mine].

I personally believe that Barack Obama is counting on a very supportive media to help him sanitize his previously held positions by simply refusing to give them the continued coverage that would truly hurt him. Flip flops, reversals, and website purges only hurt him if the American people know about it. And the media seems to develop a convenient pattern of amnesia where Barack Obama is concerned. A recent New York Times piece about Obama’s spirituality, for instance, didn’t even mention the name “Jeremiah Wright.”

John McCain responded to Obama’s criticisms in part with the following:

Over the last year, Senator Obama and I were part of a great debate about the war in Iraq. Both of us agreed the Bush administration had pursued a failed strategy there and that we had to change course. Where Senator Obama and I disagreed, fundamentally, was what course we should take. I called for a comprehensive new strategy – a surge of troops and counterinsurgency to win the war. Senator Obama disagreed. He opposed the surge, predicted it would increase sectarian violence, and called for our troops to retreat as quickly as possible.

Today we know Senator Obama was wrong. The surge has succeeded. And because of its success, the next President will inherit a situation in Iraq in which America’s enemies are on the run, and our soldiers are beginning to come home. Senator Obama is departing soon on a trip abroad that will include a fact-finding mission to Iraq and Afghanistan. And I note that he is speaking today about his plans for Iraq and Afghanistan before he has even left, before he has talked to General Petraeus, before he has seen the progress in Iraq, and before he has set foot in Afghanistan for the first time. In my experience, fact-finding missions usually work best the other way around: first you assess the facts on the ground, then you present a new strategy.

Although the situation in Iraq is much improved, another test awaits whoever wins this election: the war in Afghanistan. The status quo is not acceptable. Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated, and our enemies are on the offensive. From the moment the next President walks into the Oval Office, he will face critical decisions about Afghanistan.

Senator Obama will tell you we can’t win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq. In fact, he has it exactly backwards. It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan. It is by applying the tried and true principles of counter-insurgency used in the surge – which Senator Obama opposed — that we will win in Afghanistan. With the right strategy and the right forces, we can succeed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I know how to win wars. And if I’m elected President, I will turn around the war in Afghanistan, just as we have turned around the war in Iraq, with a comprehensive strategy for victory.

As for Obama’s Iraq “plan” – if you can call it that – ABC’s Martha Raddatz wrote a July 11 article titled “Obama’s Iraq Withdrawal Plan May Prove Difficult: U.S. Commanders in Iraq Warn of Security Dangers, See Logistical Nightmare.” She notes that:

Whatever nuance Barack Obama is now adding to his Iraq withdrawal strategy, the core plan on his Web site is as plain as day: Obama would “immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”

It is a plan that, no doubt, helped Obama get his party’s nomination, but one that may prove difficult if he is elected president.

Of course, liberals don’t let little things like facts get in the way.

And of course, we now know that Obama’s “core plans” – just like his website itself – are both subject to change without notice.

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