President Obama highlighted U.S. accomplishments in Iraq: doing away
with Saddam Hussein’s regime, helping establish a sovereign government,
dealing al-Qaeda in Iraq “a serious blow,” and lifting Iraq out of
“tyranny and terror.” His plan for ending the war is designed to
preserve the value of these accomplishments. Rightly, his emphasis is
on securing U.S. success, not cutting losses.
His speech effectively repudiated the extreme antiwar rhetoric of
recent years. There was no mention of Iraq as a disaster, a fraud or
even a blunder. He presumably still thinks the war should not have been
fought, but Obama chose not to make this point, accentuating the
In setting aside the 16-month exit timetable that he had promised
while running for the White House, and on other issues, Obama
unapologetically demonstrates that, while campaigners can be simplistic
and rigid, responsible officials grapple with complexities and require
flexibility. So we should expect that, if necessary at the time, he
will extend his new 18-month timetable for ending the U.S. combat
mission. He has built substantial flexibility into his new plan: First,
he intends to keep a U.S. force of 35,000 to 50,000 troops in Iraq
beyond August 2010. And second, he says that U.S. forces will continue
to conduct “targeted counter-terrorism missions” even after our “combat
This Iraq speech was cautious. It neither represents nor promises
ultimate victory in Iraq. But it does flatly contradict those war
critics who damned the U.S. effort as an irredeemable failure. It
represents the defeat of the defeatists.
Wow. I think Dougie might have a little crush here on Obama As Excuse For Me To Once Again Blame Hippies For My War Sucking.
And you know, really, I don’t think anybody expects of the president of the United States the same phraseology used on the campaign trail. I don’t think that was the point. I think Obama’s a little past the “How about this shitty war, Cleveland, huh?” stage of his career. I think by virtue of the giant mandate given Obama he’s pretty much absolved himself of the need to prove that the war needs to end. There’s nothing more to be gained here. It’s over. Should we ever again be in the position to get argued into a war by a bunch of stupid bullies, then it’s time to pull out the flamethrower again, but for now, in Iraq? Continuing to whale on Doug and the people who fucked this all up is, for the president, inelegant.
For you and I, of course, it’s Tuesday. So I note that Doug’s employed:
Doug’s in someheady company over there.Robert Bork, Meyrav Wurmser, Norman Podhoretz … The whole wingnut welfare band got back together! You can tell it’s a quality place, too, by the way people’s bios cite their numerous appearances on Fox News and especially the O’Reilly Factor.
It’s like the Next Republican Administration Waiting Room. I gotta get me a fellowship.