Barack Obama has done quite a job in a very short time reversing the positions he claimed to hold while campaigning for the Democratic nomination. If you don’t believe me because I’m a conservative, just see for yourself what a lot of liberals are saying.
The New York Times recently ripped Obama on his character over all his dramatic reversals. The editors point out that,
“We are not shocked when a candidate moves to the center for the general election. But Mr. Obama’s shifts are striking because he was the candidate who proposed to change the face of politics, the man of passionate convictions who did not play old political games.”
And liberal blogs really tore Obama a new one over his announcement that he was now supporting the so-called “faith-based initiatives” that were first put into action by President Bush.
But none of Obama’s flip flops have been so significant as have been his reversals over Iraq. We are not just talking about theoretical campaign positions; we are talking about thousands of American lives, years of painstaking effort at high costs, and foreign policy that will define American prestige for decades to come.
When Obama announced that he would not use public financing, he broke his personal promise. But at least no one died trying to raise campaign contributions. A lot of Americans have dedicated their lives – and even laid their lives down – to secure freedom for Iraq. It is not just another issue over which “to play old political games” over.
Over and over again, Barack Obama has promised that he would bring the troops home in 2009. He pointedly did NOT emphasize when he made that promise at campaign event after campaign event that his pledge was dependent upon the situation in Iraq or upon the opinion of American military commanders. In point of fact, that was Hillary Clinton’s position – and Barack Obama won the liberal vote by positioning himself well to the left of her on Iraq.
A GOP press release titled “Obama’s Iraq Fact Check” clearly documents that Obama has massively reversed his position. Again and again, Obama has made crystal-clear statements such as the one he gave at the Democratic National Committee Annual Fall Meeting at Vienna, Virginia on 30 Nov 2007: “As president I will end this war in Iraq. We will have our troops home within 16 months.” They’ve got the sources, and even the YouTube videos of Obama making this vow.
The Clinton campaign pointed out in March that Barack Obama’s pledge to get out of Iraq was “an example of more empty words by Obama,” and that he had no intention of doing what he said he was going to do.
In other words, he was lying to the American people about his real intentions. He was using pandering, empty rhetoric to solidify his standing amongst the left-wing to beat his opponent. And he was using this deplorable tactic on an “issue” for which over 4,000 Americans have given their lives.
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS, Saturday, March 8th 2008
Even before the Harvard professor and Obama’s chief outside foreign policy adviser stepped down, the Clinton camp was gleefully circulating another interview where Power called Obama’s 16-month withdrawal plan “the best-case scenario.”
“[Obama] will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. senator,” Power told the BBC in what the Clinton campaign flagged as eyebrow-raising remarks.
“He will rely upon a plan – an operational plan – that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground to whom he doesn’t have daily access now, as a result of not being the President,” she said.
Aides to Hillary Clinton jumped all over those comments, charging in a hastily planned conference call that it was an example of more empty words by Obama.
“The impression that one thing is said for political purposes perhaps and another thing is what’s actually going to happen, is amateur hour on making foreign policy,” said Clinton foreign policy adviser Jamie Rubin, a State Department spokesman in the Clinton administration.
“On foreign affairs, in particular, words matter,” Rubin added. “He can’t seem to run a foreign policy team the way it’s supposed to run.”
Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark added that Power’s Iraq comments were “quite disturbing.”
Bomb-lobbing spokesman Howard Wolfson, who a day earlier compared Obama to Clinton nemesis Ken Starr, contended Power’s remarks fit a troubling pattern: “Again we are seeing the difference between talk and action.”
Obama’s team charged Clinton’s aides were distorting what Power had said for political advantage.
Obama responded himself in Wyoming, blasting Clinton for hurling mud to divert attention from her vote backing the war.
“Sen. Clinton used this to try to imply that I wasn’t serious about bringing this war to an end….Don’t be confused,” Obama said.
“Sen. Clinton is not even willing to acknowledge that she voted for war,” he added. “So I don’t want to play politics on this issue because she doesn’t have standing to question my position on this issue.”
These new dustups come as Wyoming holds caucuses today with 15 delegates up for grabs. A Clinton source conceded Obama will likely win easily, padding his overall lead in delegates slightly.
A blogger on Oprah.com had this to say:
The AP and ABC are reporting that Barry is already fudging on bringing the troops home….
Obama says that he is “refining” his plan to bring the troops home. He will wait to see what he see on the ground and will consult with Military Commanders.
Wait a minute isn’t that what Clinton said???
He said that “I am going to do a thorough assessment…I’m sure I’ll have more information to refine my policy.”
Isn’t that what McCAin has been asking him to do???
But there is more to say about this politician who cynically deliberately misrepresented his position on a sacred policy issue that over 4,000 Americans died to implement.
He now says he will consult with military commanders.
Does he mean the ones in Iraq? The commanders he has not bothered to visit for going on 912 days now? Their opinions didn’t seem to matter very much when he was making all his earlier promises. Why should they now?
Does he mean General David Petraeus, the man who – as the architect of “the surge” strategy which Obama has repeatedly opposed – and who has used that strategy to accomplish the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq?
If you watch this, you may have noticed that Obama doesn’t ever bother to ask Gen. Petraeus a single question. Rather, he spends 10 minutes lecturing and pontificating.
Barack Obama didn’t seem to give a damn about consulting with Gen. Petraeus then. To make it even worse, Barack Obama could have arranged to meet privately with the General – as John McCain and other members of Congress did – but this pandering, demagoguing hypocrite couldn’t be bothered to do so while he was deliberately and knowingly misrepresenting his position on Iraq.
A Huffingtonpost blogger named JanetE – after watching the videos of the Petraeus hearing – observed this pathetic fact about Obama’s disregard for the General:
Senator Clinton and John McCain chose to sit and listen intently to the hearings with General Patreus today. I guess Obama is too fidgety for that. He’ll waltz in later. This does not forbode well for what might be his presidency. What’s the problem? Is he too good for this? Clinton, no matter how tired she was, sat there and did her duty as a concerned, patriotic citizen and asked thoughtful, intelligent, informed questions of the general. So maybe Obama went out for a smoke, maybe listened to what Clinton and McCain had to say, and then figured out how, nice and well-rested, he could out-do them. This should be interesting.
Personally, I don’t think that the quintessentially arrogant Barack Obama will give the opinions of military commanders one iota more respect than he’s already demonstrated.
I am not an eager supporter of John McCain (rather, I am an avid opponent of Barack Obama), but this country desperately needs the wisdom, courage, and steadfastness that this war hero has displayed both in his life and in his policy on Iraq.
John McCain – practically as a lone voice – went against his own party and criticized his own president’s strategy and called for more troops at a time when the war in Iraq was not going well. His view was wildly unpopular with Democrats, with the media, and even with many in his own party. But John McCain bravely called for what his experience told him the country needed – even if it was harmful to his career. Hindsight demonstrates how right he was. The surge has worked. Iraq has now met 15 of the 18 political “benchmarks” even as the Iraqi military has now become tough enough to take on al Qaeda and other insurgents on its own.
Had we listened to Barack Obama – who has consistently opposed the surge, and who even voted to cut off troop funding – we would have slunk away from Iraq in failure, leaving the struggling and vulnerable country exposed to sinking into bloody civil war and becoming a haven for terrorists which would have undoubtedly threatened the United States yet again.
Instead, we listened to John McCain, and now we we have an Iraq that is reaching the point where it will be capable of standing up on its own two feet. Rather than a meaningless war that resulted in empty defeat, we are on the verge of having what few dared to dream of – a democratic republic in the heart of the Arab world, and a valuable future ally of the United States. At great cost, we have achieved something great, and forged an ally from a former implacable enemy.
RNC Chairman Robert M. Duncan recently released the following statement:
“Barack Obama opposed the surge when it was proposed, neglected to witness
it first-hand, and refuses to acknowledge the progress now. Obama once
demanded a ‘surge in honesty’ in the debate about the Iraq war. A ‘surge in
honesty’ would require Obama to acknowledge the courage and success of our
troops in Iraq. Despite Obama’s attempts to cut off funding and prematurely
withdraw our forces, the surge has successfully put the terrorists in Iraq on
the run, making the country a more stable and safe place. Of course, much work
remains, which is precisely why we must continue to build on the gains made by
our troops and the Iraqi government, and reject calls for premature withdrawal
from the ill-informed. Senators Obama and McCain each made an important
decision about how to proceed in Iraq, and Obama chose to strongly oppose the
surge. Shouldn’t Barack Obama admit it was weak judgment?”
We have a choice between two candidates: one has demonstrated courage, integrity, and leadership; the other has demonstrated cynicism, political posturing, and opportunism.
The choice should be clear.