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July 19, 2008

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PaulL

The simplified version of the difference between the candidates is that Obama would have lost the war, while McCain won it.

Obama couldn't vote for the war or against the war in the beginning because he wasn't a Senator. But there was a couple-year period when Obama essentially said that we should carry on doing what we were doing. It was only when things went bad with the insurgency that Obama became particularly negative.

Ranger

Hopefully this is part of a longer range campaign plan to solidify victory in the minds of the electorate, then run spots after Labor Day about Obama with the tag line "Obama: Judgement to Lead or Judgement that Failed?"

hit and run

McCain, "I would rather lose an election than lose a war".

Obama, in McCain's telling anyway, "would rather lose a war that we are winning than lose an election by alienating his base".

The success, not just the actual success which has been steadily building for months, but the recognition of it back here in the US which has been building much more slowly in the media and the minds of the voters, sharpens those lines to the point that voters should care.

McCain took whatever position he felt would help win the war, election be damned.

Obama took whatever position he felt would help win the nomination, war be damned.

Will voters care? I don't know.

But they should.

kim

This is not the Dubya that I knew.
=====================

SD

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/7/18/173744/732

http://www.one.org/blog/category/countries/rwanda/


http://www.one.org/blog/category/countries/rwanda/

This all happened yesterday. Obama looks a little bad because he's really Tony Blair(ONE) and legislating a global tax, which is why london had the Live8G8 thing.

The insurgency went bad because Obama's pals at Harvard had their money cut off. Obama is all Kennedyu, Harvard and PC. That is where he hides because that is how he made his money.

SD

http://allafrica.com/stories/200807181012.html

rkroof

You expect war to be free of mistakes? Perhaps you could inform us of a President who ran a war (deferring to his commanders in the field) who was able to prosecute a war error-free.

I have a lot of criticisms of Bush, but the war is not one of them. Remember, he had to engineer a whole new set of General officers in Iraq to get ones who supported the Surge.

clarice

All right--assume Iraq's off the table--that leaves as No 1 the US economy. The NY Sun just informed its readers that under O's plan they'd pay 60% of their incomes in taxes.
When was the last time a Dem ran for Pres on the promise to raise our taxes? What happened to him?

Don

Guess who said this:

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

Cecil Turner

But maybe in ten years I will always have been a Bush stalwart.

I don't care for the partisan politicization of ongoing wars, regardless of direction. Speaking from a former front-line combat perspective, nothing matters more than the perception that the citizens at home are committed to the cause for which they sent troops into harm's way. Once we decide as a nation to send troops into war, we all have a duty to support them (unless and until we actually decide to pull the plug). The moral dimension of war is the most important one; it's far more important than minor winges about less-than-optimal operational decisions.

AS for the specific claims . . . "too few troops" (as a pure numbers game) is nonsensical. Troop numbers support missions, and the surge mission change is what drove troop requirements. To argue that it was past due seems supportable to me . . . but few on the side of the defeatists make that argument. They were mostly looking for a way out (with ignomy). As they didn't want to actually win, a strategy to do so wasn't attractive, and they recognize they'd look ridiculous by claiming today we should've implemented the COIN strategy earlier. Disbanding the army is similarly unpersuasive, unless one can make the claim that that organization would've evolved into a force with similar capabilities and loyalties to the one in place today. I don't think that's very plausible. The "keep the lid on" strategy pursued in the Abizaid years was clearly flawed in hindsight . . . but that's not really a Bushism, and again it's not a criticism most of the detractors want to make (probably because they were mostly arguing for the same thing, only even less engaged).

For the boys at the front, nothing is more disheartening than to loose the hounds of war . . . and then hand-wring about withdrawing them. Using political arguments about Bush to undermine support for the war is the worst sort of defeatist (enemy) propaganda, and ought to be grounds for public horsewhipping. And I suspect the preponderance of those who search for faults in the conduct of the war are engaged in precisely that exercise. Hence I won't provide the least bit of support for their positions, and if it irritates them to say "yay Bush" then I'll be shouting it from the rooftops . . . even though I don't think it terribly germane.

Soylent Red

Guess who said this

Barack Obamah. Right before he claimed he didn't. Right before he claimed it was one of his staffers.

GMax

When was the last time a Dem ran for Pres on the promise to raise our taxes? What happened to him?

George McGovern.

And when George H W Bush said read my lips and then sign new taxes into law? Same result, he got turned out.

Tonio k

America had decided to pull the plug by Fall 2006, and pulling the plug thereafter had (and still has) majority support in both houses of Congress. The majority now has to wait until January 09 to finish the task.

JB

"You expect war to be free of mistakes?"

That appears to be the post-modern standard.

Doug Feith had a good rejoinder: history is not a controlled experiment. Given you don't get a do-over of the last 5 years with a different decision, criticism of W. seems to have more of an emotional and philosophical rather than rational basis.

hit and run

Guess who said this

Whoever is was, was he saying it in Feb 2007?

And March and April and May and June and...

It's the same as those who perpetually are calling for a recession. They'll be right one day -- and then they'll try and tell us they should be viewed as having superior judgment for calling it.

Some day, hopefully sooner rather than later, the conditions on the ground will be such that we can remove troops to the extent and at a pace that Obama can say he is vindicated.

Even if it is bullshit.

Were that that were possible tomorrow.

JB

"America had decided to pull the plug by Fall 2006, and pulling the plug thereafter had (and still has) majority support in both houses of Congress. The majority now has to wait until January 09 to finish the task."

This proves that Bush is a goddamn genius. Defying the will of America since 2006!

Cecil Turner

"That's the most outstanding answer I've ever heard."

Bill in AZ

Cecil, your 10:24 is an outstanding response.

Bill in AZ

But he has squandered America's good will around the world, divided our nation, and strained our military to the breaking point

Pure NYTimes manufactured drivel...

Danube of Thought

I agree with TM's assessment of the political impact. If it comes down to, "If you'd had your way we'd have lost," to which the response is "if I'd had my way we never would have been there in the first place," the issue of the war is substantially neutralized for both men. Thinking people may see McCain as the clear winner, but remember what Adlai Stevenson said about thinking people, and remember what happened to Adlai.

I'd like to see McCain, in ads and debates, remind the electorate that, while Obama gave a speech opposing the war in 2002, in 2004 he told the NYTimes that at the time of the speech he hadn't seen the intelligence reports, and that he didn't know how he would have voted if he had seen them.

clarice

Very well put, Cecil.

hit and run

DoT:
in 2004 he told the NYTimes that at the time of the speech he hadn't seen the intelligence reports, and that he didn't know how he would have voted if he had seen them.

In 2004, Obama also said...

"There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." [...]

Obama, a state senator from Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, opposed the Iraq invasion before the war. But he now believes U.S. forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation -- a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration.

Danube of Thought

Cecil T's 10:24 is absolutely spot on, and beautifully expressed. There is not a shred of doubt in my mind that a substantial bloc of Obama's support comes from people who fervently wished for an outcome in which the US would be perceived to have been defeated, thus lessening the likelihood of further US military interventions, and at the same time inflicting the final measure of humiliation on Bushitler. I don't attribute these motives to Obama himself, but I do believe that he fully understands that they are held by many of his supporters.

The answer to Don's question above is Prime Minister Maliki, quoted currently in an interview in Der Spiegel. The fine distinction between Maliki's position and Obama's is that the former is simply specualting that in sixteen months there will be no need for US forces, whereas the latter is setting the timetable now without regard to how conditions on the ground may change. But that is a fine distinction indeed, and not readily reducible to campaign sound bites. I think Maliki seriously undercuts McCain.

bio mom

Why are Democrats so insecure that they need reassurance that they are liked by the other countries? Those other countries will be the first to come running here for help when they feel they need it. Who cares if they "like" us or not! That is the kind of thing adolescents worry about.

MikeS

Obama was completely wrong about the surge, as the McCain Campaign video makes embarrassingly clear. It is not unusual for Obama to be wrong. He was wrong about school reform and public housing in Chicago. In fact he seems to have a reverse Midas Touch. Everything he touches turns to carp.
My concern is about the poor decisions he may make in the future.

Troop increases in Afghanistan sound like a good idea, but isn't that likely to push jihadists out of Afghanistan and back toward Iraq as it did in the past?

Can international terrorism best be addressed as a law enforcement problem?

Can we stimulate our economy by raising taxes and increasing regulation?

Is embargoing our own oil reserves the best way to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

Should we be kinder to our adversaries, criminals, and unrepentant bombers?

clarice

Actually, Maliki is simply playing to HIS crowd..His position is fairly meaningless as the BBC noted--the problem is all the rest of the media are playing off a mis-translation which suggests he wants to kick us out. In any event the UN Resolution dealing with our presence there expires on Sept 30 and a new agreement must be entered into before then.

Ranger

All right--assume Iraq's off the table--that leaves as No 1 the US economy. The NY Sun just informed its readers that under O's plan they'd pay 60% of their incomes in taxes.
When was the last time a Dem ran for Pres on the promise to raise our taxes? What happened to him?

Posted by: clarice | July 19, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Add to that gas prices, which should be a killer for McCain because he is of the same party as the current president, but, given the Dems reluctance to drill...

BTW, The Volokh Conspiracy has a post up on what Obama's CNSF would cost if he really wants to fund it up to the level of the DoD.

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2008_07_13-2008_07_19.shtml#1216451854>Funding Barack Obama's "civilian national security force."

JB

"BTW, The Volokh Conspiracy has a post up on what Obama's CNSF would cost if he really wants to fund it up to the level of the DoD."

Is it obvious yet that Obama has the mathematical grasp of a bright toddler at best?

PeterUK

"Why are Democrats so insecure that they need reassurance that they are liked by the other countries?"

Because leftism is infantilism,they always want to apply playground rules to life.Everything has to be certainty,that is why leftists endeavour every aspect of life.
Sad bastards really.

Ranger

In the Army we used to say "Mission First, Men Always" to balance the two priorities a leader has. WRT to Iraq, this means I want to bring as many soldiers how as possible, but only to the degree that it does not put the mission in jepardy. Obama's attitude is (at least as publicly stated) "Men First, Mission Maybe." The use of concern for the troops to subvert the mission is really... well, words fail me to describe my anger at it.

I wish there were some way of driving that home to people becuase it is important to understand why shifting focust to Afghanistan is a shell game. As soon as we send more troops there, the drumbeat will start, just as with the surge, that "more troops won't solve anything,and the real problem is in Pakistan and we need to just bring them all home."

BobS

One of the few Dem hacks on TV that I can stomach is Bob Beckel. I started becoming this way when he went on TV and was quite candid about his own steroid use as a college football player. At any rate, he said something that I've been saying for awhile about polls. He said that both sides learned during the primaries that the polls are beginning to be wrong. I believe they are wrong on damn near everything. Apply this to the war, too.

But I have to admit that I find Nancy Pelosi's approval # at 9% to be kind of fun.

Neo

disbanding the Iraq army

Was there an Iraqi Army to disband ?

BobS

From Michael Barone's blog thsi week:

If one assumes McCain is running a little stronger now, in which states would he be overtaking Obama, assuming a uniform rise across the country? In the South, Virginia (13 electoral votes). In the West, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Oregon (24 electoral votes). In the Midwest, Indiana and Ohio (31 electoral votes). In the East, probably nowhere: He trails in June-July polls by 8 percent in Pennsylvania and 9 percent in New Jersey (36 electoral votes). Leaving aside the East, these 68 electoral votes added to his current 218 would give him 286 electoral votes, the number George W. Bush won in 2004.

Conclusion: This has the potential to be a furiously contested race. And on unfamiliar turf. The only 2000 and 2004 target states in the list above were New Mexico and Ohio. The others—Virginia, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Indiana—either were not on anybody's target list in 2004 or dropped off one candidate's target list pretty early in the season.

PeterUK

"But I have to admit that I find Nancy Pelosi's approval # at 9% to be kind of fun."

Amd that is just with the Family.

RichatUF

Here is a write up on the Obamareuters press release based on the Spiegel interview. I also saw someone comment yesterday that some BHO footwashers were claiming credit re: Iraq. I'll go with Maliki is posturing to get a better deal from the US re: a Status of Forces Agreement, while not antagonizing too many in the neighborhood.

As to the recent developments being a negative or positive, I'll crawl ever so slightly out on a limb and say that it is a minor negative for BHO because those who were passionate for a US defeat in Iraq will be discouraged and withdraw from the 2008 campaign.

BobS

Peter: That 9% from might be just northern California.

Rick Ballard

"Was there an Iraqi Army to disband?"

A decent question. If you subtract the Sunni Baathist officer and noncom cadre (which had to be purged), could the uniformed mob which dissolved into thin air in April '03 legitimately be called an army?

Sure - the same way that "lack of a plan" can be used to describe a plan which did not adequately address all possible contingencies, based upon the fact that "resistance" was encountered. A truly "effective" plan would have addressed the fact that the Tikriti clan had assets and deadend supporters tucked away all over the place by... well, anyone can fill in the blanks.

Although they never, ever, do.

Danube of Thought

RichardUF's conclusion seems plausible to me. And I think it's probably true that Maliki is just maneuvering for a stronger position on status-of-forces, but that doesn't cut much ice as far as the election goes.

Meantime, I see that Pelosi will not even allow a vote on offshore drilling.

I became an admirer of Beckel when, during the Libby goings-on, someone raised the likelihood that Rove would be indicted. Beckel said "I sure hope not. A federal indictment destroys a man's life, and this is really just a political dispute. It's a damn shame when politics is waged by grand jury indictment." Or words to that effect.

GMax

Well Bob Beckel was front and center with Gore on every talking head show in 2000 with the ridiculous count every vote meme, except for the military ballots except except.

He was an absolute horse's patootie, and I generally change the channel even today when that moron comes on.

Ranger

One thing that is important to remember is that it wasn't just the Iraqi Army that evaporated over night but the entire Iraqi state, including the entire police force. The US plan from both the DoD and State imagined a decapitation of the Iraqi government, not an anihilation of it. They only war the US has ever fought that had the specific goal of state anihilation was WWII in Germany (ok, the Civil War too, but that was a rebelion, not an international war and it was well before the full development of the modern state, which is a much larger animal than the models of government in place in the 1860s).

No one aniticipated the complete vacume of a state in Iraq after the war. No one exspected the US Army would have to do the double duty of military security and civil policing until an entirely new police force was establised. No one exspected to have to build a judicial system from the ground up.

Maybe they should have, but some smart political scientists would have had to have writen some papers and books about elaborate, modern states can just evaporate over night and what it takes to rapidly replace them. Perhapse, in the future, any post war plan should include a "worse case" scenario of what to do if the state you are fighting simply and completely disapears at the end of the war, but no one has done that kind of planning since the 1940s.

BobS

GMax: Its hard not to remeber the near-anarchy that was Florida 2000. I'm afraid even a decent fellow as Beckel got caught up in that as well. Dem reality at the time was that a tresure trove of uncounted votes existed in Dade County. They didn't and Gore never was ahead of Bush in actual vote counts. And independent study by news organizations found that Bush had indeed won, although it got little coverage (surprise) in MSM.
Still the hatred remains from the left. I've attempted to discuss these facts with them and their hysterical refusal to accept these facts on this and other issues (Say Iraq or maybe Plame-Wilson) still startles me.

BobS

Greg Norman is tied for the lead at the British Open.

Barney Frank

The left is infantile but the worst of them are infantile in a psychopathological way, which means they will say ANYTHING to accomplish their goals.
Be prepared for an army of increasingly vocal marching morons like Don declaring that 'we' have won the war and it is in some inexplicable way due to their efforts to lose it.

Danube of Thought

Paul Bremer makes the case that there simply was no Iraqi army to disband--that it simply dissolved of its own accord in the face of the invasion, and any decision to maintain it for post-invasion purposes would have been futile anyway.

In the long view, the process of starting a new army from the ground up may be viewed as the most appropriate course to have taken. Of course, if your position going in is that any war that has not been fought to a perfectly successful conclusion in four years must necessarily have been bungled, there'll be no persuading you.

BobS

I wonder if history will prove that one of the key reasons AQ and militant Islam was defeated is because they chose enter the vacuum of post-war Iraq to take on the American military.

hit and run

Barney:
Be prepared for an army of increasingly vocal marching morons like Don declaring that 'we' have won the war and it is in some inexplicable way due to their efforts to lose it.

Kinda like the abusive parent of a star athlete coming foward after his son has reached the pinnacle of success and fame and fortune and telling him, "Just think, if I hadn't beat you so much as a kid, you might have stuck around and had me influence your life ... you probably would have ended up like me. You really owe me, son."

Jane

I'm busy enjoying Greg Norman's comeback in The Open, but I flipped to Fox briefly to hear: "Maliki agrees with Obama's timetable".

Is anyone watching. I thought the Messiah was in Afghanistan not Iraq. Did that happen?

BobS

sorry, Peter.....and the Brits.

BobS

The Fox talking head must have been reading the Obama campaign's....oops...the AP's headline.

centralcal

Supposedly Maliki said this in an interview with Der Spiegel.

hit and run

+4 is leading in the clubhouse? Norman is +3 through 15?

Awesome.

I'm just tuning in.

Barney Frank

But he has squandered America's good will around the world, divided our nation, and strained our military to the breaking point fighting a war which never should have been this difficult (or, if it was always going to be this difficult, should never have been fought).

I was hoping (but doubting) that TM was merely being provocative with this post when he first wrote it.
Are we now confined to using our force only where the rest of the world allows it, ie Darfur, Kosovo and other places which serve their interests but not necessarily ours, lest we squander our good will?
What war have we fought that has been less difficult than this one? Only the Spanish American and Mexican American war come close and were far different wars against far different enemies. The Gulf War was merely the dress rehersal for this one and made this one necessary as its completion.
If the loss of 5000 soldiers is too high a cost to put a strategic block on the western flank of our greatest enemy in the region which is actively seeking to gain hegemony over the entire mideast and thereby down the road be a very great strategic threat worldwide, not just regionally, then this country is probably too soft to survive.

hit and run

Quick story. When I lived in CO, I worked at a golf course. Several weeks after Norman had his colossal collapse at the Masters in 96, we were all in the clubhouse as a big storm moved through. The pilot of Norman's private jet came in and started telling us stories of Norman, including the moments after his collapse.

Fascinating.

Barney Frank

"Just think, if I hadn't beat you so much as a kid, you might have stuck around and had me influence your life ... you probably would have ended up like me. You really owe me, son."

It's even worse than that, H&R.
It's like the abusive parent claiming he actually hit the home runs and made the fortune.

Jane

Well, that did he tell you Hit?

hit and run

The pilot said that Norman, while certainly not in the greatest of spirits, was not mad or visibly upset either.

It was more, "eh, things happen. let's go."

Not sure what that says about him. Coulda been shock, coulda been repression of real frustration and anger, coulda been genuine. Who knows?

But the pilot said basically that Norman was a professional.

Beyond that, man, it was 12 years ago, I only have vague impressions...

BobS

You know, Norman is a newly wed - to tennis legend Chris Everett

Chris

From the post:
Laura- "...the fact that major decisions, such as disbanding the Iraq army, were made seemingly on the fly is inexcusable."
What if, as several have alluded to, the decision was a fait accompli? The CPA may have "made the decision", but in reality, it was merely an acknowledgement of actual facts on the ground, no?

"When was the last time a Dem ran for Pres on the promise to raise our taxes? What happened to him?"

Mondale comes to mind as a more recent example. To paraphrase; "We're going to tax their arses off."

Result-Reagan 49-Mondale-Minnesota.

Norman? Norman!


Jane

Bob,

I'd say Norman's marriage agrees with him. This is really fun to watch.

Hit I'm not surprised. I remember the year he almost won 4 majors, and had to settle for one. He was gracious back then too.

Jane

What a shot! Holy cow!

BobS

Mike Torico is becoming an excelleny host. I love what he said. "I'm absolutle overwhelmed by this."

kim

It takes trick shots
To make trick knees,
Make crook like moves,
On slick back stairs.
================

RichatUF

Chris-

The CPA may have "made the decision", but in reality, it was merely an acknowledgement of actual facts on the ground, no?

The "Saddam's Delusions" portion of the Iraqi Perspectives Project leads to that conclusion.

Danube of Thought

Obama is on the record as promising not to raise taxes on anyone making under 200K. You and I may know that his various proposals will cost so much that tax hikes will be inevitable, and that his promise is ridiculous, but it keeps him well out of the Mondale category.

bgates

What war have we fought that has been less difficult than this one? Only the Spanish American and Mexican American war come close
I'd suggest the Moro Insurgency to add to that list. Less than 700 American dead (most from disease), thousands of Muslims killed, in an undeclared war on the other side of the world which, far from permanently staining America's reputation, is almost totally forgotten less than a hundred years later.

kim

Old, forgotten, far off things; and battles long ago.
================================

hit and run

From the AP:

GENEVA - A U.S. decision to bend policy and sit down with Iran at nuclear talks fizzled Saturday, with Iran stonewalling Washington and five other world powers on their call to freeze uranium enrichment.

In response, the six gave Iran two weeks to respond to their demand, setting the stage for a new round of U.N. sanctions.

Iran's refusal to consider suspending enrichment was an indirect slap at the United States, which had sent Undersecretary of State William Burns to the talks in hopes the first-time American presence would encourage Tehran into making concessions.

Slap at the US? OK. I agree!

Slap at Obama's prefered foreign policy approach?

clarice

Well, he's so much more deft and lovable--surely Iran would take different tack if he'd been there with preparation but no preconditions, Hit.

Chris

DOT,
Good point on raising taxes on "only" those above 200 (or 250)k. We'll see if that line holds.

bgates

Baghdad: Iraq's main Sunni Arab bloc rejoined the Shi'ite-led government on Saturday in a breakthrough for national reconciliation after parliament approved its candidates for several vacant ministerial posts.
And Obama did that just by flying past the country. Imagine what he will do once he gets there!

hit and run

Clarice:
Well, he's so much more deft and lovable

I agree!

His deftness is so much more loveable...to idiots, dumbasses, morons, imbeciles, and anti-Americans.

There's a lot of overlap in those categories.

Though not so much overlap when it comes to the Iranians, unlike a lot of the American left who fall into all of them.

hit and run

bgates:
And Obama did that just by flying past the country. Imagine what he will do once he gets there!

You know...I'm getting an image of (and if this makes no sense to anyone here, I hold you in the highest regard) the Rock of WWE fame, raising his eyebrow ("can you smmeeeeelleeellleeeellllaalalalalah what the Rock...is cooking")

When Obama winks...things get done.

When Obama gives a stern look...enemies retreat.

When Obama puts his hands on his hips...domestic opponents cower.

And if he ever raises one eybrow? ...The whole world stops ... and listens.

Egads. But that might make a good ad...or if not, a good SNL skit.

PeterUK

The Obama Anthem.
"Throw out your hands, stick out your tush, hands on your hips, give 'em a push... "

hit and run

From the Netroots Nation convention in Porchlight's backyard...

Can we please have more Gore, more Gore, more Gore!

Both Gore and Pelosi addressed domestic and offshore drilling, a solution to high gas prices that John McCain first included in his energy plan last month. "The idea that we can drill our way out of this is so absurd as to not warrant a reply," Gore said, before comparing the idea to the hangover remedy of 'the hair of the dog that bit you.'

As an expert in the art of "hair of the dog"*, let me just say that Gore is full of shit.

More Gore! More Gore! More Gore!

--------------
*Let me assure you that tomorrow morning's "good morning!" comment from me will be preceeded by a hair of the dog experience.

bgates

HR - I can imagine Michelle doing all that stuff.

Bet she drops a mean People's Elbow, too.

tina

ABC, CBS, NBC all have headlines posted reading:

"Maliki supports Obama's withdrawal plan"

Jane

Unbelievable! well this election is over.

hit and run

bgates:
Bet she drops a mean People's Elbow, too.

laughing too hard...to...respond....

Porchlight
As an expert in the art of "hair of the dog"*, let me just say that Gore is full of shit.

So very true, Hit.

Well, I wish I could report that the Gore Effect is in fact in effect, but it's pretty damn hot today. Must be all the hot air emanating from downtown.

Pagar

"Barack Obama's "civilian national security force."

IMO, William Ayers has been training people for this for 40 years. Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam, probably wrote the ops plan.

Jane

This makes me sick, from Jake Tapper:

White House Accidentally E-Mails to Reporters Story That Maliki Supports Obama Iraq Withdrawal Plan

July 19, 2008 1:29 PM

The White House this afternoon accidentally sent to its extensive distribution list a Reuters story headlined "Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan - magazine."

The story relayed how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the German magazine Der Spiegel that "he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months … ‘U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,'" the prime minister said.

The White House employee had intended to send the article to an internal distribution list, ABC News' Martha Raddatz reports, but hit the wrong button.

The misfire comes at an odd time for Bush foreign policy, at a time when Obama's campaign alleges the president is moving closer toward Obama's recommendations about international relations -- sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, discussing a "general time horizon" for U.S. troop withdrawal and launching talks with Iran.

LUN

Americaneocon

Great post!

Barney Frank

Bgates,

I'd suggest the Moro Insurgency to add to that list. Less than 700 American dead (most from disease),

I thought the total was 4 or 5 thousand including disease and in any event it took 10-12 years to finish them off so can't say it was any easier than Iraq. Pretty similar seems like.

JM Hanes

Don:

Wow! Maliki isn't the lazy, lightweight, Iranian stooge that lefties thought they knew! Apparently, he's smart enough to figure out that Obama has a shot at winning the election come November. It's not like defending Bush policy would have cost him any points in Germany, right?

StrawmanCometh

OT but DoT mentioned offshore drilling. The congressional ban expires 09/30/08 and is renewed annually in the appropriations bill for Dept of Interior. Can we have a fight about this? Will House rep's and bluedogs force a vote to get the ban amended out? Discussion over at Aces read discussion elsewhere? if McCain (ha!) or other would filibuster, but I think Senate rules preclude filibustering an appropriations bill. One would hope Bush would veto it. (Hope and Change!)

Barney Frank

DOT,
Good point on raising taxes on "only" those above 200 (or 250)k. We'll see if that line holds.

Even if he intended to hold it which he does not, as he intends to raise the cap gains tax on everyone and let Bush's other tax cuts expire, he will not be able to hold the line because raising taxes always causes the tax base to shrink as people alter their behavior and actions, which is why tax increases never yield what is predicted of them.

arrowhead

“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,” al-Maliki told the magazine Der Spiegel.

Well, shoot. That's about as definative a statement as Obama's comments on (fill in the blank).

arrowhead

...definitive NOT.

Ranger

One of the most interesting explanations of all the moves towards Iran lately that I have heard is that it is all intended to drive down the futures prices of oil. Leaking that there will be no attack on Iran during a Bush administration and then offering to open up the interests scetion would take a lot off of the "risk premium" that is being factored into the high oil futures. Driving down the price of oil also hurts Iran, which is only keeping its economy afloat due to the high price of oil (which is why it is in Iran's interest to keep stirring the pot and keep oil futures up). There were reports of gas lines Iran last week, so the economic presure on the regiem must be getting pretty heavy. Dropping the price of oil right now just adds to the presure.

Unfortunately, I have had the feeling for a while that the West's only plan for dealing with the Iranian nuke program is to hope someone in Iran overthrows the government before they manage to make a bomb.

kim

Well, true, Ranger; but that hope remains the best plan. I believe we've committed extra resources to the effort and it may work. Let us pray, as do the Israelis, that their back-up plan isn't needed.
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Elliott

My admiration for British headline writers is somewhat diminished. I thought one paper at least would have gone for the low hanging fruit,* but a search on Google News for "Time waits for Norman" returns nothing at present.

Barney Frank

My admiration for British headline writers is somewhat diminished. I thought one paper at least would have gone for the low hanging fruit

Somehow I anticipated a Jesse Jackson/Barack Obama joke.

hit and run

Elliott:
but a search on Google News for "Time waits for Norman" returns nothing at present.

Try now, Elliott.

hit and run

Er, try the google blog search, if you will. I'm no british headline writer, alas.

Elliott

Hit and Run,

If you want to make Google News, I think you'll have to change the name of your blog to Izvimhstia. That would win the bots' approval.

bgates

Barney Frank, I think your number is right for the period between when we took the Philippines from Spain and when we had a peace treaty with the Filipinos. "End of major combat operations", as it were.

The Moros stopped inflicting casualties on us about 10 years later, but they're still around, and possessed of the worst acronym of any terrorist or revolutionary cadre on the planet.

Terry Gain

"Instead, we will have a choice between a candidate who would have avoided Bush's mess and a candidate who would have been better at cleaning it up."
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Avoiding Bush's mess? I think it would be more accurate to say allowing Saddam to return to developing nuclear weapons and running terrorist training camps and harboring terrorists as soon as sanctions ended.

Better at cleaniing it up? You are having an off day TM. Obama would have turned the mess, as you call it, into absolute chaos and the worst strategic defeat for the United States since Vietnam.

tina

Per CNN:

Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan

tina

More from the CNN article:

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.

LUN (maybe, I never did this before, so I'm not sure I did it right!) :-)

hit and run

Tina, you are oh, so right.

Oh, and the link was good, too.

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Wilson/Plame