Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama on Iraq

Pregame show:
If Obama's speech is 90 percent "hooray for our troops" then it'll be a success. If the other 10 percent are split between honoring the Iraqi troops and police who've braved murderous attacks while acknowledging the political stupidity back in Washington, then it'll be an epic success.

But chances are he's too proud to admit being wrong about the surge, just as Bush was too proud to admit being wrong about initial troop levels and misjudging the Saddamist insurgency and other blunders, so they'll likely steer away from politics in all but the most subtlest form. That said, Obama is CIC now so if he does any of the following:

1. Proclaims victory for fulfilling a campaign promise everyone knew was phony-baloney from the beginning;

2. Alludes to Bush's "mission accomplished" (it wasn't 'we win') speech without mentioning his own plan to evacuate regardless of consequence by 2008;

3. Mentions his 2002 speech in which he called the potential Iraq war 'dumb';

4. Uses the phrase "let me be clear" or anything about ditches or gear shifts;

5. Or says anything about the lack of a relationship between Saddam's regime and international terrorism..

He should be run out of town on a rail. We await the excitement.


Faint praise for Bush, no chest thumping--under that framework it was a hit. A good speech. His appeal to come together on the domestic front was quite statesman-like, and necessary if we're to win the overall war against these head-chopping madmen. That said, it was a bit flat at times, too professorial in spots, and didn't hit enough on the persistence needed to get to this point.


In reading the transcript it's evident we missed some of the speech while watching it. Must have been during some of those flat, professorial spots. And, on second look the economy tie-in was inappropriate to the max. But it was still a good speech for Obama in what he didn't say too much--"I" and "my".


By saying we were turning the page that of course doesn't mean 'winning', it means we are just leaving to tackle the central challenge--the stupid economy. Evidently there will be new borrowed money freed up for more stimulus programs. Which will not be read by our various enemies as expanding American leadership, but trying to remain clear of bankruptcy.

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