In a HIGHLY favorable piece from a far-left liberal newspaper (just consider the title: “Obama stance on Iraq Shows Evolving View“!!!), Barack Obama is nevertheless revealed to have simply been all over the place regarding Iraq. A much tougher – and much more substantial – piece shows just how way, way, WAAAAY all over the place Obama has been regarding Iraq:
But perhaps a different kind of consistency is to be discerned in this maze. When Obama opposed the war in 2002, it was clearly in his political interest to do so; according to Dan Shomon, his campaign manager at the time, the key to Obama’s chances in the Democratic race for the Senate nomination lay in his ability to rally the Left to his side.4 Then, in 2004, when the war was still supported by most Americans, he associated himself with the Bush occupation strategy. In 2005, as Iraq was becoming increasingly unpopular, he temporized by joining those saying we had to reduce but not withdraw our troop presence. By 2006, with the war’s unpopularity deepening, he embraced a policy of full-scale withdrawal.
Is that what a president does? Does he waffle this way, then that, depending on the frequent shifts of the political breezes? Or is a president – and anyone who wants to become president – forced to carefully decide what needs to be done, and then commit himself (just as he commits his troops)?
“Oh, things are going well, so I’m committed. Oh, we’re having a few setbacks, so I demand a withdrawal. Oh, things are better now, so I’ll “refine” my policy. Oh, my left-wing base is turning on me, so I’ll recommit myself to my previous withdrawal policy.”
Could a president send troops, change his mind and withdraw them, change his mind again and increase their number form when he withdrew them before, and then decide that he shouldn’t have sent them after all and withdrawn them again – all within the span of about 2 1/2 years?
Conservative critics have pounced all over Obama:
“There appears to be no issue that Barack Obama is not willing to reverse himself on for the sake of political expedience,” said Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “Obama’s Iraq problem undermines the central premise of his candidacy and shows him to be a typical politician.”
Mr. Obama said such criticism was misguided, saying: “My position has not changed, but keep in mind what that original position was. I’ve always said that I would listen to commanders on the ground.”
Well, if that’s true (and you’re not a rank, hypocritical liar without shame who plays politics even when men’s lives hang in the balance), then why did you announce your rigid commitment to a 16-month timetable for withdrawal BEFORE you went to Iraq and actually listened to those commanders? The reality is, you’re not going to listen to them at all – just as you’ve NEVER listened to them.
The Clinton campaign pointed out that Obama would renege on his Iraq policy – which is exactly what he tried to do until his liberal base erupted in outrage over the reversal.
The man is a veritable bastion of courage and integrity.
Barack Obama has been in favor of a timetable for withdraw since late 2005. What would have happened to Iraq had Barack Obama been our president? If we had pulled out of the country when Obama said we should (depending, of course, on how Obama felt about the war that day), a too-weak and too-unstable Iraq would have almost certainly descended into chaos, become a terrorist stronghold, and forced us to invade for yet a third time.
In January of 2007, John McCain proposed a troop surge in Iraq, and Barack Obama opposed it:
(CBS) Sen. John McCain supports President George Bush’s planned troop surge in Iraq, while his fellow Senator, and likely opponent in the 2008 race for the White House, Barack Obama would rather see a “surge in diplomacy.”
A showdown between Congress and the president looms after President Bush said he would send 21,000 more American troops to Iraq. Meanwhile, a new poll indicates that the public is overwhelmingly against the plan.
Obama pursued a plan of action that would have done NOTHING as Iraq began to stumble into chaos. John McCain – as the article acknowledges – took an “overwhelmingly” unpopular stance and supported a policy that WORKED. [And note the pessimistic stance liberal CBS took on the idea of the troop surge].
The result of this success is that Obama scrubbed his earlier positions regarding the surge from his website. That’s “change” for you: no major political candidate in American history has ever been so completely disingenuous regarding his positions.
As an Associate Press article by Nedra Pickler put it:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama’s aides have removed criticism of President Bush’s increase of troops to Iraq from the campaign Web site, part of an effort to update the Democrat’s written war plan to reflect changing conditions.
Debate over the impact of President Bush’s troop “surge” has been at the center of exchanges this week between Obama and Republican presidential rival John McCain. Obama opposed the war and the surge from the start, while McCain supported both the invasion and the troop increase.
A year and a half after Bush announced he was sending reinforcements to Iraq, it is widely credited with reducing violence there. With most Americans ready to end the war, McCain is using the surge debate to argue he has better judgment and the troops should stay to win the fight. Obama argues the troop increase has not achieved its other goal of fostering a political reconciliation among Iraqi factions.
After Bush delivered a nationally televised address on Jan. 10, 2007, announcing his plan, Obama argued it could make the situation worse by taking pressure off Iraqis to find a political solution to the fighting.
“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”
Obama continued to argue throughout 2007 that the troop increase was a mistake. By the early part of this year, he was acknowledging that it had improved security and reduced violence, but he has stuck by his opposition to the move.
By the time Obama staffers got through editing Obama’s previous positions:
Only one of his plan’s subheads remains unchanged, the first one — “Judgment You Can Trust.” That’s a message the campaign wants Americans to embrace.
That’s right: “judgment you can trust.” You can trust a man who takes every position under the sun depending on his political expediency, plays politics when soldiers’ lives are on the line, scrubs his own website of his previous erroneous positions, and then blithely pretends he’s had the same position all along.
As Barack Obama launches his foreign visit accompanied by the in-the-tank anchors from the in-the-tank networks and all the media fanfare they can produce, the narrative will be that Obama is right about the timetable for withdrawal.
But the only reason we can reasonably talk about a timetable for an American withdrawal from Iraq is because better and more courageous men were in charge – and Barack Obama was not.
As you listen to the in-the-tank media hype for Obama, don’t forget that.
Obama has repeatedly cut and run from his own positions: from dismissing the wearing of flag pins to wearing them constantly; from publicly vowing that he could never denounce Rev. Jeremiah Wright any more than he could denounce his own grandmother to publicly denouncing Jeremiah Wright; from filling out questionnaires to denying that he filled out the answers on the questionnaires; from being an opponent of free trade to being a supporter of free trade; from telling a Jewish audience that he supported Jerusalem as the eternal capital of a Jewish state to telling a group of Palestinians that he was open to negotiating the status of Jerusalem; from claiming that Iran was not a serious threat to claiming that Iran represents a serious threat; from vowing to accept public financing to refusing to accept public financing; from supporting the Washington D.C. ban on handguns to supporting the Supreme Court decision overturning the Washington D.C. ban on handguns; from swearing he would filibuster any FISA bill that did not allow lawsuits against telecoms to voting for a FISA bill that didn’t include any provisions to punish telecoms; from vowing to end the Iraq war in 2009 to saying he would refine his position to listen to military commanders to saying he would end the war in Iraq irregardless of the commanders.
The liberal editorial board of the New York Times has recognized that Barack Obama seemed to lack a functioning moral compass. Last week New York Times columnist Bob Herbert pointed out that Barack Obama has no moral compass whatsoever. He ended his piece by saying:
There’s even concern that he’s doing the Obama two-step on the issue that has been the cornerstone of his campaign: his opposition to the war in Iraq. But the senator denied that any significant change should be inferred from his comment that he would “continue to refine” his policy on the war.
Mr. Obama is betting that in the long run none of this will matter, that the most important thing is winning the White House, that his staunchest supporters (horrified at the very idea of a President McCain) will be there when he needs them.
He seems to believe that his shifts and twists and clever panders — as opposed to bold, principled leadership on important matters — will entice large numbers of independent and conservative voters to climb off the fence and run into his yard.
Maybe. But that’s a very dangerous game for a man who first turned voters on by presenting himself as someone who was different, who wouldn’t engage in the terminal emptiness of politics as usual.
Don’t forget that Barack Obama is a pandering, waffling, flip flopping liberal who doesn’t have the courage of his own convictions.
Increasingly even liberals are recognizing that Barack Obama is simply not fit to lead.