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Archive for Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bush foreign policy follows Obama’s lead

July 23, 2008

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To an amazing extent, Bush foreign policy seems to be turning toward the positions of Barack Obama.

On Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and other issues, the administration was shifting gears just as the Illinois senator embarked on his overseas voyage. Some of these changes were forced on the White House by events. Some reflect late recognition that policies were not working.

These shifts may well boost Obama when he argues that his approach to foreign policy is best. Such arguments will only work, however, if he refrains from hubris. His foreign-policy speeches reveal a man still on a learning curve.

Let's hope he listens and learns on his whirlwind trip.

Recent policy shifts at the White House have been quite stunning. On Friday, after talks between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the White House announced that the United States and Iraq will seek a "general time horizon" for deeper troop reductions. This was a Maliki demand that the White House had not anticipated or sought.

Bush officials insisted this was not an "arbitrary date for withdrawal," like the 16-month deadline Obama has promised for a U.S. troop exit. Yet Maliki has changed the tone of the U.S. political debate during the campaign season. It is now harder for Bush or John McCain to denounce Obama for talking of timelines.

Moreover, just in time for Obama's arrival, Maliki dropped a bombshell. In an interview with Der Spiegel that appeared Sunday, he said a U.S. withdrawal should come "as soon as possible." He then said Obama's timeline of "about 16 months" would "be the right time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

The Iraqi prime minister has an eye on coming Iraqi elections. His party is tiny, but his nationalist stance will resonate with many Iraqis who are fed up with occupation, even though they may fear their army cannot yet provide security without U.S. military aid. Kurds and Sunnis in particular are nervous. Two to three years would be a better target for U.S. troop withdrawal.

Obama's Iraq speech on Tuesday underestimated the slow, but real, progress toward new political parties and alliances. Any timeline should be gauged to solidify this progress.

And his big idea - to promote regional diplomacy that would help stabilize Iraq - would be undercut by rigid insistence on a withdrawal date. Here Iran is key. If the Americans were already on their way out, Tehran would have no incentive to agree on a regional pact; Iraqi leaders would feel more obliged to do Iran's bidding.

In Obama's favor, Iraqis seem set to help the next president achieve a dramatic pullout in his first term. If he seeks a stable end to the war, he should listen closely to Iraqi leaders (not just Maliki) and U.S. commanders. A rigid timeline could undercut his goals.

U.S. policy is also trending Obama's way on Afghanistan. He has called for a shift in focus and troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to fight against al-Qaida on the Afghan-Pakistani border. McCain has insisted that the central front in the antiterrorism fight is Iraq.

But al-Qaida and the Taliban have regrouped in Pakistan's tribal areas, from which jihadis are now attacking Afghanistan. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, has practically been begging for more U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Last week, McCain finally called for sending three more U.S. brigades to that country. This month, Bush also promised to send more troops by year's end.

Then there is Iran, where U.S. policy also took a sharp turn last week, again in Obama's direction. He has called for direct U.S.-Iranian talks without preconditions.

In a stunning about-face, the White House sent a top U.S. official, William Burns, to join this weekend's multilateral talks with Iran on its nuclear policy. This reverses years of refusal to meet face to face with Iran on nuclear talks before Tehran suspended its enrichment of uranium.

Condoleezza Rice has said Burns' appearance is a one-shot deal and does not signify a shift. European officials who are also taking part in the talks beg to differ. One told reporters it was a "major change."

Permitting Burns to attend talks is an apparent signal to Tehran that the United States prefers diplomacy to bombs at a time when rumors of possible U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities are rife. To her credit, Rice appears to recognize that diplomacy-cum-sanctions is the better option; unfortunately, Washington is getting serious much too late.

Chances are that Tehran will hold back on any significant concessions until a new president is elected. In other words, Obama - should he win - could luck out on Iran, too. Mercifully, he is backing off his rash pledge to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If U.S.-Iranian diplomacy progresses, it will require a long, hard slog by midlevel officials before high-level diplomacy makes sense.

Foreign-policy events are trending Obama's way if he is flexible enough to take full advantage. Beyond the crowds and the rallies abroad, let's hope Obama's voyage is a learning experience. And one carried out with an open mind.

Trudy Rubin is a columnist and editorial-board member for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"Where's the proof that Bush has done cocaine and marijuana?"There is an extensive catalog of carefully-researched books and journalistic reports about his use of cocaine. Testimonials from people close to GWB. He has never admitted it. He does admit to having been an abuser of alcohol."It's odd that the left-wing loons claimed that Bush should be disqualified from serving as president because of a mere allegation, yet they do not apply the same standard to Obama, an admitted cokehead."You are imaging things. No one said this should disqualify him from being president. Lying about it does make him a hypocrite. You are just making up stuff out of thin air now.Really, RestoreRidiculousness, get with the program.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

"It is possible to know how to do something without actually having done it before."-RestoreHusseinReasonDoes your hypothetical include for example, operating effectively in the Oval Office?Remember folks, you heard RHR's endorsement of Obama right here-straight from the horse's uh, mouth. PS: RHR, this post is satirical in nature, so save yourself the time spent spinning up a ludicrous, pseudo-intellectual response complete with links to sycophant.com.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Yourworstnightmare.."The surge will have been successful when the situation is stable over months and more troops can be withdrawn without increased violence. In other words, winning the war, not just the battle."We were not debating whether the war was over, or whether the war was successful; we were debating whether the surge was over and successful. Although nice job in trying to change to topic to camouflage being proven wrong. Since troops are back to the pre-surge level it is numerically clear the surge has ended, since all reports coming out of Iraq (much fewer now that the liberal media doesn't have anything to blame Bush for) is that the situation has dramatically improved both militarily and politically. In fact just this past Sunday I read how the Sunni were let back into the government."If the surge has worked, why should we not start drawing down forces as Obama has suggested and Bush and Maliki have endorsed?" - yourworstnightmareWe have been drawing down forces for almost a year now and will continue to do so. Maliki wants us to remain, and so do the Iraqi military commanders. There is not dispute, even with the pro-Bush crowd, that we should leave Iraq since the surge was successful and all indications are the things will continue to improve (leaving Iraq was the goal in the first place, Bush just didn't want to leave Iraq in a mess). The only question is how soon do we leave?As you stated it is about winning the war, not just the battle. Therefore we should not immediately withdraw troops simply because the surge worked, because things could get worse. We should also not set an artificial and arbitrary date which doesn't take into account the situation on the ground in Iraq (Obama's most recent proposal). Maliki and Bush agreed to establish a general time horizon, or goal, that could be altered based on the situation on the ground, which is the best solution.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

The reports of al-Maliki's 'retraction' are dubious at best:'German magazine Der Spiegel caused quite a commotion this week by printing an interview with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in which he endorsed Obama's Iraq plan by name. Some tried to downplay the significance of this endorsement by saying that Maliki had been misquoted by the magazine. But it turns out that Maliki actually got a copy of the interview before it was printed and had the option to make any changes...'http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/07/22/maliki-s-endorsement-not-lost-in-translation.aspx

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

"In other words, Barack Hussein Obama has given us a flip flop. Yet he lacks the integrity to admit that it was a mistake to make such a pledge in the first place, just like he cannot admit that he was wrong about the surge."Yeah -- admitting to being wrong is a trait the 'right even when we're wrong' crowd really look for in a leader. Who woulda thunk it?

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

RR,Mr. Burns most certainly wasn't there to discuss soccer, was he?'William Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, will attend a meeting on Saturday with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, and Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement on Wednesday.At the meeting, Jalili is expected to present Iran's formal response to a package of economic and diplomatic incentives that Germany and the Security Council's five permanent members, Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States, presented Iran in June. Representatives from those countries will also attend the meeting.'http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/16/africa/16iran.phpIf you truly don't believe that Burns attended this meeting for negotiating purposes, I have a bridge to sell you- dirt cheap.

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Now he claims that he has always said that if you put more troops in Iraq violence would drop."I hadn't heard that, RR. Can you provide a citation, please?"...you must admit that, contrary to Rubin's contention, Obama is following Bush's lead since it has been Bush's position not to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions."Will you admit that this statement was wrong?

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

" RR-don't accuse liberals of getting their news from biased sources when you then turn around and quote people like Limbaugh and FOX news"Loving your posts, terrapin2 and meggers! RR and the others don't have a leg to stand on regarding this topic. They won't admit they're wrong, so by their definition, they're lacking in integrity at the very least. As most of us know by know though, they are masters of twisting facts and statements to fit their own narrow-minded worldview so even when they're wrong, they're right.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

"Again, Obama lacks the integrity to admit that he was going in the wrong direction initially. He is too arrogant to admit a mistake. He also cannot admit that he was wrong about the surge."Again, admittance of wrong-doing doesn't seem to be a trait those in your camp have cared much about the past few years. Thanks for 'flip-flopping' and admitting that it's important though.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

RR,You again are claiming something that is factually incorrect. Until last week, the Bush administration made it a policy not to meet with Iran to discuss their nuclear program without precondition. Their policy was not exclusive to Ahmadinejad. Whether or not it's a mere coincidence that they came to their senses AFTER Obama stated his position, Obama DID indicate that his administration would do what the Bush administration did last week.And the State Department link you provided above as supposed proof that the US has previously 'engaged in diplomatic efforts' regarding Iran is woefully misleading. Meeting with UN Nations to try to convince them to sanction Iran is a far cry from negotiating with the 'evildoers' themselves. No matter how you wish to spin it, the State Department met directly with Iran last week, minus any preconditions. That's a whopping flip-flop.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 5 months ago

The headline to this story is a good candidate for the most ridiculous headline in the history of this newspaper.

jhwk2008 6 years, 5 months ago

Corrupt media? CBS edited out a McSame lie yesterday. McCAIN: I don't know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.In reality, the Anbar Awakening started five months before Bush announced the surge. Here's President Bush's exact quote in 2007."Last September [2006], Anbar was all over the news. It was held up as an example of America's failure in Iraq. The papers cited a leaked intelligence report that was pessimistic about our prospects there. [:] About the same time some folks were writing off Anbar, our troops were methodically clearing Anbar's capital city of Ramadi of terrorists, and winning the trust of the local population. In parallel with these efforts, a group of tribal sheiks launched a movement called "The Awakening" - and began cooperating with American and Iraqi forces."How do you explain this one? I'd call it a flat-out lie.

Keith 6 years, 5 months ago

You know someone has touched a raw nerve whenever Kevin and his sockpuppets dominate the comments.

dandelion 6 years, 5 months ago

RRIf we had helped the Soviet Union in Afghanastan, maybe the Taliban wouldn't have stood a chance, and Al Queda would have had to find someone else to protect them and allow them to grow. But you know what they say about hindsight.Isn't it making you angry that Bush is talking to Iran? I thought he would never do that? I thought he was the tough guy? What's Rush's spin on this now? I mean you only spout what Rush tells you to.Invictus,You're just mad because Lincoln signed the emancipation act and now you're are going to be stuck with an African American president, because all those darn liberals allowed the minorities to take over the country. Of course, Obama is half white. That's really got your goat, right? A black man and a white woman together. Must really blow your mind. The closer we get to the election the more we're going to see the righies' racism come out.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

I apologize for the error in the initials, RR. Too many things going on at once. How kind of you to correct me. With that said, the article makes it clear that the administration at the very least backed down on their earlier pledge of refusing to negotiate with Iran unless their uranium enrichment program is suspended. The US, along with several other nations, submitted a negotiation package to Iran and then met with their chief negotiator, for Pete's sakes. Of course I'm not privy to the details of the discussion, any more than you are. The purpose of the meeting was clear. For you to demand meeting minutes before acknowledging that is absurd. Even if we were privy to the minutes and they reflected that Burns offered a $5.2 billion dollar incentive package of food and aid over the next year in return for suspension of the uranium enrichment program, I still suspect that you would deny that the meeting involved negotiations. If you don't like TNR as a source, perhaps the Columbia Journalism Review will meet your credibility standards. Either way, the policy at Der Spiegel speaks for itself. There's something else that journalists calling Der Spiegel would have learned. "We have a policy at Der Spiegel when we do a question and answer session to provide a transcript to our counterparts in case they want to have a minor thing changed," says Müller von Blumencron, who says Zand verified that Maliki's aides received the publication-ready advance copy. They had no response, and presumably no complaints, before its release.http://www.cjr.org/campaign_desk/hanging_by_the_telephone.phpAgain, this is updated information that very recently surfaced. I suspect we'll be hearing more about it if the Buch/McCain apologists continue to blather on about what al-Maliki meant, rather than what he actually said. And more interestingly, there is a recording of the interview available to reporters upon request.

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

"How about you "listen" to what is said on the videos."I did."Apparently, you watched the videos with the volume turned down."Nope."The Axelrod is shorter, so that would be good for the left-wing loons with short attention spans."There's that trademark Kevin condescension we've been missing all day."As everyone knows, Obama merely mouths Axelrod's words."Who's "everyone?" Got a turd in your pocket?Evidently denial is more than a river in Egypt.

Brent Garner 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but the headline of this article is indeed outrageous. What it should read, if truthful, is that Obama has changed to match Bush's position, not the other way round like it implies. To prove that you need only look at numerous stories published over the last 2 years in which the US has stated its intention to withdraw at the appropriate time. All Obama seems to have done is to slip into town at the appropriate time so that his cut and run doctrine can be spun to look like a reasonable and measured response. Very interesting. Bush and company did the work and Obama gets to take the credit? Is that how this is being played?As for the "negotiations" with Iran, particularly over its nuclear program. It would appear that some of those who post here did not read the reporting of the meeting between the EU, with a US representative present sort of as an observer, and the Iranians. The meeting took more of a tone of reviewing what the EU had demanded previously and seing whether or not Iran intended to comply. Iran refused. That is the short version of it. Would that be called negotiating? Doesn't seem to rise to that level. Seems more like the delivery of official positions, not negotiating.

terrapin2 6 years, 5 months ago

"power to undo every great thing Bush and Cheney have done in the past 7 1/2 years to protect Americans"Are you kidding? Where have you been living? We are less safe now than ever thanks to the current administration. People all across the world view us as arrogant bullies and rightly so. To say that Bush and Cheney did anything "great" is the dumbest comment I have ever heard. The world hates us, our economy is in the toilet, our debt is astronomical, the constitution has been trashed and trampled, and we have a leader that doesn't have a grasp of the English language. Please! A lot of people keep talking about admitting mistakes. When will you right wingers admit your mistake for voting in the biggest idiot the white house has ever seen?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

Again, my original question:Mccain has claimed that he knows how to win wars. What war has he won or has even been involved in winning?

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Barack Hussein Obama went further than that. He said he himself would meet with Iran's leaders without preconditions." --RRfrom the article:"Obama - should he win - could luck out on Iran, too. Mercifully, he is backing off his rash pledge to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Obama was right when he said we shouldn't go in, and he is right in saying we should follow the desires of the Iraqi government and begin to withdraw. Bush should be going in that direction because Obama will take it there when he is President.Obama for President!

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

I said:"Will you admit that this statement was wrong?"You replied:"Why?"So Obama is despicable because he won't admit when he's wrong, but when you can't admit when you're wrong, it's OK. Looks like we can take your statement:"Obama lacks the integrity to admit that he was going in the wrong direction initially. He is too arrogant to admit a mistake."And replace the word "Obama" with RestoreReason.

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

You certainly can't tell by the video from the Big 3 that BO isn't Prez yet. That pulled back, wide shot of him sitting in with Maliki looked like a Heads-of-State photo op. I'm very interested for debates between BO and McCain to begin.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

the 'reason' in restore reason actually means 'blind allegiance to wingnut talking points presented as facts'.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

"chet_larock is actually an anagram for "Crack Hotel," which explains his blind allegiance to Obama."Very clever, RR :) Like most of your posts, a demonstration of great wit, followed by a baseless and ridiculous conclusion. But seriously, that was pretty funny

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Now he claims that he has always said that if you put more troops in Iraq violence would drop." -- RRI watched your videos, and I never heard Obama claim that.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Yourworstnightmare:"Many republicans want to declare "mission accomplished" with the surge, but the surge is not yet over. I will wait to see end results before declaring the surge a success."The surge is over, the troop levels are now back to the level they were before the surge and the situation has dramatically improved if you pay attention to anything but the liberal media. (oddly the number of reporters in Iraq when things were going poorly was around 300, and now that things are going well it is around 70). This was that reason McCain was such a strong advocate for the surge rather than cutting a running like Obama's plan. Both democrats and republicans thought more troops were necessary after the overthrown of Saddam, but the problem was that the troops were not available given, the troop rotation policy which has subsequently been changed for the surge. And even if some democrats were right that more troops were necessary, they are not running for President, Obama is, and he opposed the surge and wanted to cut and run. He clearly lacks experience, judgment and is a typical politician.

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Again, Obama lacks the integrity to admit that he was going in the wrong direction initially. He is too arrogant to admit a mistake."I think he should admit this, too. It would show him to be gracious towards his political enemies, which would be a refreshing change from the Bush White House."He also cannot admit that he was wrong about the surge."The surge is over? Wow. Time to bring most of our 150,000 or so troops home! I want the surge to be a success (the ultimate goal of political unification in Iraq), and so far it's looking good. But I was against it originally, as were most Americans."If you think he is going in the right direction now, you must admit that, contrary to Rubin's contention, Obama is following Bush's lead since it has been Bush's position not to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions."Rubin did not say that Bush was following Obama's lead about talking to Ahmadinejad. She did say, however, that a Bush State Dept. official is participating in talks with Iran, which appears contrary to the usual Cowboy Diplomacy that has been coming out of the current Administration since at least 2001.

dandelion 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually RR, I've never been to this site. Thanks for the link.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

RR: "If you think he is going in the right direction now, you must admit that, contrary to Rubin's contention, Obama is following Bush's lead since it has been Bush's position not to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions."Actually, the Bush administration's policy has been to refuse to negotiate with Iran about it's nuclear program without preconditions- they flip-flopped on that just last week. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/16/africa/16iran.php"The decision appeared to bend, if not exactly break, the administration's insistence that it would not negotiate with Iran over its nuclear programs unless it first suspended uranium enrichment, as demanded by three resolutions of the United Nations Security Council."

Marcus DeMond 6 years, 5 months ago

It would be nearly impossible for Obama to do worse than Bush on foreign policy.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

meggers....No matter what he said, whether it was mistranslated or not (perhaps you could get a copy of the tape and translate it for us to prove you are right), he stated AFTER the interview that he does not support Obama's plan. The VP of Iraq stated recently that a 20 month deadline is more reasonable, with the caveat that it is conditioned on the situation on the ground. Regardless the Iraqi government including Maliki, and the Iraqi military commanders wants us to stay. The only question is how soon, and under what conditions. Also, Maliki doesn't get to vote in our election. His opinion on when we should leave (if he is re-elected) will be negotiated with the next President regardless of whom that is. If Maliki and the Iraqi government says we want the U.S. gone in 20 month, McCain will comply. Maliki hasn't said that definitively, and it is clear he is trying to play politics to get the best deal for his nation while the troops remain. Bush has stated since the overthrow of Saddam that we will leave when they tell us to leave. Let's not forget that Maliki wouldn't even be considering asking us to leave if the surge which Obama proposed wasn't a huge success and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.BTW: Gen. David Petraeus' opposed Obama's plan.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Ndmoderate:"Both candidates are flip-floppers, so rather than demonizing one of them for changing positions (they're both worth demonizing if that's the game):"Both of their changes in positions should be scrutinized but Obama's flip-flops are much more damaging to his image than McCain. Obama's is trying to paint himself as a candidate of "change" or not the typical politician. Therefore one of his main selling points is undermined when it is clear he is changing his position due to political expendiency. Obama's claim that (while he doesn't have the experience) he has the judgment is also undermined by his statement, even listed on his website until a week ago, that the surge would fail, when in fact it was a huge success.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

Nope, the MHI article doesn't say that, RR. This appears to be becoming a habit with you. Posting an erroneous claim and then dishonestly stating that a source backs up what you said. In fact, the very first sentence of the article states this: "President George W. Bush has authorized the most significant American diplomatic contact with Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, sending the State Department's third-ranking official to Geneva for a meeting this weekend on Iran's nuclear program, administration officials said Tuesday."The article goes on to say:'Clifford Kupchan of the Eurasia Group, a consultancy in Washington, said the meeting, even with strict limits, was "a much-needed and an extremely welcome correction" in the Bush administration's policy.He said that there was now at least "a perception of opportunity" that the international confrontation over Iran could be resolved without war.Kupchan said that the meeting would be the highest-level contact for Iran with the United States since the revolution, and that, more important, it would deal with the fundamental dispute between Iran and the international community."Disclaimers notwithstanding," he added, "the precondition that Iran must suspend before the U.S. will talk about the nuclear issue will by every standard have been dropped."'And as for the New Republic and al-Maliki's 'retraction', they quoted the magazine in which the article appeared. Your CNN link is four days old- it's clear that new information has emerged, whether you like it or not.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

There you go again, RR. Iran didn't meet our preconditions before the State Department met with them last week. I see you're unable to refute your lie about the Bush administration's policy towards Iran, so now you're trying to spin it into 'Bush' meeting with Iran, rather than his administration. That dog won't hunt.It's common knowledge that the State Department typically engages in talks with other nations before a meeting is planned with the president. In fact, meetings between actual heads of state are generally formalities that are intended for public perception more than anything else. Not to mention, Condi also said repeatedly that the US would not meet with Iran unless preconditions were met. Nice try, but still a flip-flop.

meggers 6 years, 5 months ago

Reading comprehension is your friend, RR. Do I have the details of the incentive package? No. But it's clear that the meeting was held to discuss Iran's response to the DIPLOMATIC incentive package presented in June by the US and the five other nations mentioned.

terrapin2 6 years, 5 months ago

You people are amazing. Point out one politician, ever, on either side, that has not flip-flopped on points for political gain or been caught in a lie? You are fighting like 5 year olds. RR-don't accuse liberals of getting their news from biased sources when you then turn around and quote people like Limbaugh and FOX news. If you believe anything Limbaugh says, then any argument you make on here is worthless.

ndmoderate 6 years, 5 months ago

Both candidates are flip-floppers, so rather than demonizing one of them for changing positions (they're both worth demonizing if that's the game), I'll take a flip-flop in the right direction (i.e. not talking to that bats@#t crazy Ahmadinejad) over not flip-flopping at all.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"If it "stands to reason," why did Obama say that the surge would create more violence? Are you suggesting that he is unreasonable?"Did you read my post? The surge is not yet over, despite the giddy-yet-premature claims of "mission accomplished" about the surge by many who are hungry for any positive news from Iraq. They are drawn to it like a moth to flame.I understand McCain needs to use the surge as a political tool, but he should be careful, because it is my opinion that the final chapter of the surge is not yet written.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"The surge is over, the troop levels are now back to the level they were before the surge and the situation has dramatically improved if you pay attention to anything but the liberal media"I do not dispute that an increase in troops in selected areas resulted in a reduction in violence. So far, drawing down those levels to pre-surge levels has not been accompanied by an increase in violence. The surge will have been successful when the situation is stable over months and more troops can be withdrawn without increased violence. In other words, winning the war, not just the battle.A question for you "mission accomplished" crowd: If the surge has worked, why should we not start drawing down forces as Obama has suggested and Bush and Maliki have endorsed?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"Yet you cannot name one of these so-called carefully-researched books and reports. Where's the proof?"Do a Google or Amazon search, kiddo. I have neither the time nor inclination to do your homework for you.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"He got the surge right..."McCain was not responsible for the surge. McCain did call for more troops, but by this logic, all the democrats who also called for increased troop levels very early on in the war can make this claim. It is not a distinguishing factor for McCain"..and did spend a great amount of time in uniform."Many hundreds of thousands of troops and veterans can make this claim. Again, not a distinguishing factor for McCain."Which war has Barack Hussein Obama won?"None. Same as McCain."I doubt is he knows the difference between a corporal and a colonel."You are simply talking out of your face here. I seriously doubt you are correct, and I would like to see the evidence for this ludicrous statement."He might be better suited for Drug Czar given his past cocaine and marijuana use."He will need to compete with GWB for this one, although GWB would also be eligible for head of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms given his past alcohol abuse.All you seem to be restoring is making ridiculous, unfounded statements. Far from reason.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

An anagram for Nightmare is "Amen, right".'Nuff said.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

There is no link, Kevin copied that and added in his own random Obama quote. Cute.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

"power to undo every great thing Bush and Cheney have done in the past 7 1/2 years to protect Americans"So, tell us again, who's being played for a fool? Silly Bush-nut.

Satirical 6 years, 5 months ago

Echoing what bkgarner stated, did anyone hear about how the "talks" with Iran went? It was a disaster.What a surprise that a bunch of liberals would give Obama the credit for all of Bush's successful policy decisions. If it was something successful, then Obama was the influence all along; however if it was a failure, then it was Bush by himself. Also, it is a little odd that this author forgot to mention that Maliki retracted his statements made to the German paper and stated his comment were misunderstood. .

Terry Jacobsen 6 years, 5 months ago

I doubt very seriously that Bush gives a crap about what Obama's foreign policy is. He has continued his path as always the way he wants to proceed. Obama is not the President and he may have an opinion about what he will do if he is elected President, but let's face it, running for President and being the President are two different worlds.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

McCain has claimed that he "knows how to win wars".Maybe so, but I would like to know which wars McCain has won or has even been involved in winning.Another free pass for McCain by the "liberal media". Ridiculous.

unknownperson 6 years, 5 months ago

if bush is "retarded" wouldn't this make obama retarded?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 5 months ago

"When McCain was pressuring for the surge, Democrats such as Barack Hussein Obama were expressing their opposition."When Rummy was ignoring advice of military commanders at the start of the war to increase troop levels, democrats and republicans (McCain included) called for increased troop levels. Any success the surge might have had would have been exponentially so if Busho had listened to military commanders, McCain, and some democrats early on.As for Obama opposing the surge, you are correct. It stands to reason that increased toop levels in select areas will quell violence. I hope I (and Obama) am wrong, but it remains to be seen what happens when the troops withdraw. Many republicans want to declare "mission accomplished" with the surge, but the surge is not yet over. I will wait to see end results before declaring the surge a success."Hundreds of thousans of troops and veterans cannot claim to have served at the level of McCain."To what level do you refer? John Sidney McCain retired as a Captain in the Navy and served as a fighter pilot. A nice record, but nothing exceptional."It is possible to know how to do something without actually having done it before. For example, our troops knew how to take Baghdad in 2003 without having done it before."This is a ludicrous statement in which you contradict yourself. It means nothing. By this logic, Barack Hussein Obama can make the same claim. He has never won a war but knows how to do it, just like John Sidney McCain.

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

"All this shows is that you are liar, a coward, and a plagiarist"Same as always, under his last 100 screennames!

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