Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mission Accomplished




The President won't say it, but I will.  Candidate Obama promised to withdraw our combat troops from Iraq in about a year-and-a-half, and focus efforts instead on Afghanistan, and President Obama has done exactly what he promised, on schedule, and with hardly a mishap.  It's hard to think of too many presidents in my lifetime who consistently did pretty much what they told us they were going to do.

Nobody is saying that all the problems of Iraq are solved, but I also don't hear too many people arguing that a larger continued U.S. military presence in Iraq would be helpful in solving them.  Which means that in addition to applauding the successful withdrawal of 100,000 combat troops from Iraq, we should also cheer the fact that we have achieved something approaching political consensus on what was a pretty contentious issue during the campaign.  The White House and the Pentagon should get some credit for that achievement also.

9 comments:

  1. The pull out date was set by Bush, not Obama, btw.

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  2. Actually the pull-out timetable was set by a treaty between the Iraqi and US governments, negotiated during the Bush administration, but with the knowledge that Bush would be out of office soon. Bush and McCain did not like to talk about the fact that the right of US forces to remain in Iraq was subject to international law and the permission of the Iraqi government, however. They liked to pretend that we had more control over withdrawal than that, and McCain sometimes talked like we might strong-arm our way into staying in Iraq indefinitely.

    Obama by contrast set a clear direction to US forces to comply with the timetable we had negotiated with the Iraqi government, and made sure the withdrawal was carried out smoothly. I wasn't trying to give him credit for setting the pull-out date, only for carrying out the mission successfully.

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  3. The POTUS looked tired. As with most Presidents, I find myself feeling empathy toward them as their time on the job rolls along; whether I agree or disagree with their policy. The ginormous task just wears them down so quickly.

    I am not sure why he gave the speech. No new tale to tell. I suppose he took the advice of his inner circle. He needs a new inner circle. Perhaps it was a campaign move. In Ohio (a state he won in 2008) a democratic poll showed voters favored Bush as the current President over Obama by a 50-42% margin. Startling.

    It is also worthwhile to note that 4500 special forces are still fighting combat missions every day in Iraq; and we still have 45,000 regulars are are there but not fighting. The mission is quite over yet.

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  4. Nobody believe's he is in favor of the Afghan war. He is a dove. Who told him to give a speech that wasn't that? His advisors .... oh man.

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  5. Obama has been making hawkish speeches about Afghanistan for only about 4 years now, since he started running for President, and maybe before that. Yet liberals act surprised and betrayed when he escalated the war in Afghanistan, and conservatives got mad at him for setting a date to begin withdrawal, even though though Obama has dramatically increased NATO forces in Afghanistan after Bush had put minimal effort into Afghanistan for six years. I don't know why people don't take the President at his word on this.

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  6. I see at HuffPost that the AP is reporting today what I wrote yesterday about ongoing US combat troops in Iraq.

    Regarding hawkish speeches by Obama relative to Afghanistan, I agree there is ample record of his vocal support. My point, I don't believe it reflects his view. He has no passion for the mission and I don't think, in his gut, he agrees with it.

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  7. Everybody thinks they know what Obama really thinks. I wonder how they know this. But the truth is that only I am tuned in perfectly to the Obama wavelength.

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  8. Ha ha ... that comment is tied for all time best "Joe" respone with the "Wouldn't Be Nice" thoughts about gals of the era. You are a funny guy! Cheers :-)

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  9. Bob Woodward's new book tends may shed some light.

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