While promising a 16-month timetable for getting all U.S. fighting forces out, Obama repeatedly insisted on what he calls a "responsible" withdrawal. Pulling nearly all U.S. troops and equipment out of Iraq in 16 months is "physically impossible," says a top officer involved in briefing the President-elect on U.S. operations in Iraq.For anyone paying close attention this should be a yawner. Too bad Tim Russert didn't live long enough to follow up on his 2006 MTP conversation with Obama regards Iraq:
MR. RUSSERT: The question is, here at home what are the politics, and you said this according to the Chicago Tribune. “It is arguable that the best politics going into ’06 would be a clear, succinct message, ‘Let’s bring our troops home.’...It’s certainly easier to communicate and I think would probably have some pretty strong resonance with the American people right now.” Why do you think that’s the best political message?With Obama there's always a "...however", yet the underlying message on the trail seemingly went something like this: "pssst--Bush was an idiot for getting us into Iraq, Hillary was an idiot for voting for it, McCain was an idiot for believing the promises, and I'm the only one who can get us out of this mess because I was never in favor of getting us into it..". The devil was in the details but the details were just concise enough to sway an electorate hoping for change, who mainly voted on the overall premise. Here are some snippets of those "details":
SEN. OBAMA:"Well, you know, one of the things that I think in politics you’re always looking for is contrast, and obviously that gives a sharp, clearly-defined contrast to administration’s policy. Keep in mind, though, that that quote was presented in me explaining that that’s actually not the approach that I’m pursuing. My position has been that it would not be responsible for us to unilaterally and precipitously draw troops down regardless of the politics, because I think that all of us have a stake in seeing Iraq succeed. We need to get the policy right, and it’s inappropriate, I think, to have politics intrude at this point in such a critical stage in the development of the Middle East.
Pretty forceful, but his only specific was "2009". Here's another that illustrates how just words can be used to achieve desired results..
And here's a good summary..
"Let me be as clear as I can be...I intend to end this war." Well yes, surely president Bush intended to end the war several years ago as well but as McCain said in the debates it all comes down to our national security interests moving forward. Obama scored a victory in the first debate by diverting McCain's attention away from his wrong-headed opposition to the surge and reminding everyone of McCain's previous comments about us being greeted as liberators and so forth, yet Barack's only official action regarding the issue to date has turned out fairly wrong and he will not admit it.
Let's see what his new 'change.gov' transition website says about Iraq (screen-capping for safety):
Quick sidebar--can we get someone to confirm whether this an officially sanctioned taxpayer-funded government website or just a personal site? If it's an official site our tax dollars are essentially paying for the government to condemn the government's official positions. If not how did he get a .gov extension? Can anyone?
Alright, if you've followed this far thank you. Here's a recap: Obama has been consistently against the war since 2002 but he's been rather cleverly confusing regarding specifics. He has now received a top level intelligence briefing--perhaps we can expect more change but any wind shifts can be covered with his oft-used rhetoric "we have to be just as careful getting out as we were careless getting in".
Just words. Here are a few more words in closing. The 2006 Russert interview contained the following exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: But there seems to be an evolution in your thinking. This is what you told the Chicago Tribune last month: “Have you ruled out running for another office before your term is up?” Obama answer: “It’s not something I anticipate doing.” But when we talked back in November of ‘04 after your election I said, “There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?” Obama: “Absolutely.”But ahh, they covered that one nicely as well. He had no choice. The Republic was at stake.
SEN. OBAMA: I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.
MR. RUSSERT: So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?
SEN. OBAMA: I will not.