While television interviews and speeches are good opportunities to deliver a message, they have the downside of being illusory — you’re on, then you’re gone, and if you’re lucky you might have actually said something worthwhile. With an op-ed, you have a space in which to air your views in a cohesive unopposed manner. But yesterday’s New York Times op-ed by Senator Obama showed him at his most incoherent. The op-ed is telling, though, because it provides a window into how Al Qaeda, Iraq, and Afghanistan provide a headache for liberal Democrats who don’t quite know how to deal with foreign threats.p>The senator alludes to McCain’s supposed Infinite War fantasy in the second paragraph: br> /p>
Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president.br> Remove that middle clause and you have a silly (and typical) political slander. John McCain as warmonger is hardly novel at this point, and even Obama has already distanced himself from such statements. Yet here he brings it up again. br>
“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.br> Obama admits that the threat from Al Qaeda has grown, but falls short of suggesting that it’s a result of our involvement in Iraq. I’d be willing to hear his argument about blowback and unintended consequences — perhaps I might even agree with him, depending on the rationale and the conclusions one could draw from it. But then this: br>
New tactics have protected the Iraqi population, and the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda — greatly weakening its effectiveness.br> Here he refers to “new tactics.” That’s really code for the surge. If he mentions the surge, though, he then has to admit that an effort he opposed is working. It’s difficult to parse even were he to concede the surge’s success. He opposed the war in the first place because it was a distraction from Al Qaeda. Then he acknowledges that Al Qaeda is not only in Iraq, but attempting to wreak havoc there. Doesn’t that mean that while he opposed the Iraqi invasion in the first place, if he was truly concerned about Al Qaeda, he would have decided to push harder on winning in Iraq? p>Yet he defends his anti-surge position on some fairly counter-intuitive grounds:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?