In one of the defining moments of the last presidential election, John Kerry was boxed into saying that knowing what he knew in 2004, he still would have voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. It seems to me that Barack Obama was trying to avoid that mistake last night, in an interview with “Nightline.” The Web version of the interview reads:
“These kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult,” he said. “Hindsight is 20/20. But I think that what I am absolutely convinced of is, at that time, we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with, and one that I continue to disagree with — is to look narrowly at Iraq and not focus on these broader issues.”So basically, even though the surge has been a tremendous success that has actually made withdrawing troops under stable conditions a much better possibility, he still wouldn’t have supported it because he had a political disagreement with Bush. Obama would rather see failure in Iraq than take off his ideological blinders.
Obama goes on to say that Gen. Petraeus expressed “deep concerns” about a timetable, but that doesn’t seem to matter to Obama.
But the most startling statement in the interview was this:
However, Obama would not attribute the decreased violence entirely to the troop surge, which he opposed, instead saying that it was the result of “political factors inside Iraq that came right at the same time as terrific work by our troops. Had those political factors not occurred, my assessment would be correct. … The point I was making at the time was the political dynamic was the driving force in that sectarian violence.”Obama’s talking point about the surge up until now has always been that while violence decreased as a result of the sacrifice of the troops, we haven’t seen any political progress. The only way we’ll see political progress, Obama has argued, is to start withdrawing troops to force the hand of the Iraqis by showing them that our commitment isn’t open ended. Though it’s often difficult to decipher Obamaspeak, now he seems to saying that there was both a reduction in violence and political progress in Iraq over the past year and a half that correlated with the surge strategy, but somehow it’s a total coincidence and so he still would have opposed the surge all along.
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?