Friday, July 4, 2008

Obama, The Fast Change Bamboozler

Original Link:

By Larry Johnson

It is one thing to tout your slogan, “Change you can believe in.” But what happens when you change so much that no one knows for sure what the hell you believe in? For Christ’s sake Barack, read your own damn policy paper! You ran on the theme that we cannot win a militay victory in Iraq and promised to have all U.S. forces out of Iraq by December 2009. That’s not my interpretation, it is the policy you signed off on. Here’s the link. ( Of course, we’re trying to do a screen shot because we cannot guarantee the page will still be up tomorrow.

Barack promises to have all U.S. troops out in 11 months, not 16 months. Here is what is posted on his site as his policy:

Obama would immediately begin to pull out troops engaged in combat operations at a pace of one or two brigades every month, to be completed by the end of next year. He would call for a new constitutional convention in Iraq, convened with the United Nations, which would not adjourn until Iraq’s leaders reach a new accord on reconciliation. He would use presidential leadership to surge our diplomacy with all of the nations of the region on behalf of a new regional security compact. And he would take immediate steps to confront the humanitarian disaster in Iraq, and to hold accountable any perpetrators of potential war crimes.

Then you go on to state:


“Our troops have performed brilliantly. . . . The excellence of our military is unmatched. But as a result of this war, our forces are under pressure as never before…. our troop presence cannot be sustained without crippling our military’s ability to respond to other contingencies. ”

Military Stretched Thin: The military is being severely strained by repeated and lengthy deployments. 1.4 million servicemen and women have served in Iraq or Afghanistan; more than 420,000 troops have deployed more than once. Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey Jr. recently warned, “We’re consumed with meeting the current demands and we’re unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as we would like for other contingencies.” According to the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), 30 percent of the Marines’ equipment and 25 percent of Army vehicles are engaged abroad. In addition, the Army National Guard has just a third of its required equipment on hand today in non-deployed units due to war losses and wear and tear.


“There is no military solution in Iraq. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to begin immediately to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year–now.”

All Combat Troops Redeployed by 2009: Barack Obama would immediately begin redeploying American troops from Iraq. The withdrawal would be strategic and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Troops would be removed from secure areas first, with troops remaining longer in more volatile areas. The drawdown would begin immediately with one to two combat brigades redeploying each month and all troops engaged in combat operations out by the end of next year.

Residual Force to Remain: Under the Obama plan, American troops may remain in Iraq or the region. These American troops will protect American diplomatic and military personnel in Iraq, and continue striking at al Qaeda in Iraq. If Iraq makes political progress and their security forces are not sectarian, we would also continue training the Iraqi Security Forces. In the event of an outbreak of genocide, we would reserve the right to intervene, with the international community, if that intervention was needed to provide civilians with a safe-haven.

And now? For starters you have tacked on 5 months to your initial withdrawal timeline. And, after your next trip to Iraq, you will be told by the U.S. military commanders that the surge is working. Truth be told the decline in violence is not a consequence of the “surge.” Instead, U.S. commanders were finally given the authority and the resources to hire Iraqi insurgents and put them to work protecting their communities. In addition, the U.S. dramatically scaled back the number of intrusive operations (a raid on a house in search of an insurgent) and the number of people detained and incarcerated.

But this will not matter. You are committed by your own posted statement to effect an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. No matter how much you tap dance, you cannot erase what you have said. You may have impressed folks with your rhythm and dancing skills on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. But watching to dance around the issue of Iraq? You suck.

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