I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Ask Again...

What separates Barack Obama's Iraq policy from George Bush's?

Last night, in his 60 Minutes interview, Barack Obama was asked about Iraq and the current situation there.

I didn't watch but here's the extent of what I could find on CBS's own website, where it concerns Iraq.

'"What do you think of what's going on in Iraq right now?" Kroft asked.

'"Well, I think, on the positive side, we've seen a reduction in violence. And I don't think anybody can deny that," Obama said.

'"What we haven't seen is the kind of political reconciliation or accommodation between the Sunni and the Shia and the Kurds that are required in order for Iraq to stabilize. But I completely reject the notion, you know, most forcefully presented by John McCain that we should commit ourselves to a 50-year or a 60-year or a 100-year occupation in order to assure stability in Iraq. I think that is a recipe for disaster.

'"At a time when American casualties are down, at a time when the violence is down, particularly affecting the Iraqi population, is that the right time to try and set time tables for withdrawing all American troops? I mean you talked about...the end of 2009," Kroft remarked.

'"Yeah, absolutely. I think now is precisely the time. I think that it is very important for us to send a clear signal to the Iraqis that we are not gonna be here permanently. We're not gonna set up permanent bases. That they are going to have to resolve their differences and get their country functioning," Obama said.

'"And you pull out according to that time table, regardless of the situation? Even if there's serious sectarian violence?" Kroft asked.

'"No, I always reserve as commander in chief, the right to assess the situation," Obama replied.

'"It has cost us over half a trillion dollars so far. When the final tab is tallied, it may have cost us as much as two trillion dollars,' Obama said at a stump speech. '"For that amount of money we could have rebuilt every bridge, every road, every school, every hospital. We could have put in place all the homeland security that was needed. We could have made America more safe. Could put people back to work. Sent our kids to college."'

Okay, now I get to piss a handful of you off. In other words, I get to have my fun now.

Let's start with Senator Obama saying that the violence is down and that he doesn't think there's anyone that can deny that.

Please understand that when Hillary Clinton says it, when John McCain says it and when George W. Bush says it, I want to kick their asses, too. This is not "Get Obama"; it just happens to be his turn for an ass-kicking.

That and the fact that he says there's going to be a "change" when he becomes president.

There is no change.

Barack Obama says it, Hillary Clinton says it, John McCain says it, all of establishment D.C. says it.

But the numbers don't lie.

Thanks to Antiwar.Org, I can give you the numbers on how many US soldiers and how many Iraqi people have been killed, wounded or kidnapped.

Would you like to know the numbers for the first 42 days (that's up through today) of 2008?

57 US soldiers dead.

1829 Iraqis dead.

2092 Iraqis wounded.

21 Iraqis kidnapped.

Does this sound like the violence is down? It doesn't to me.

Yeah, I'm taking every word that a presidential candidate says seriously. There are no passes simply because he's not as experienced as everyone else or because he's popular with the kids. If Barack Obama says the exact same thing that establishment D.C. says, then he's not changing anything. He talks just like they do.

Obama says that now is "precisely the time" to set up time tables for withdrawal. This is the only thing that I can find that makes him sound any different than George W. Bush. Bush doesn't want time tables, Obama does. That's all.

In the matter of a second, he follows that with talk of how we should send a message to the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people that we're not going to be there forever, not going to set up permanent bases and that they have to work "to work to resolve their differences and get their country functioning".

Here comes the nitpicker again.

There are some that would bitch and complain that I'm doing just that, picking apart Obama's words and that I'm making it seem like more than it is.

Again, I'm not going to give him a pass for anything. I want to you understand that when he claims that he's going to bring "change", it's not going to happen.

So he co-opts the speeches of George W. Bush, the old stand-by of "We'll stand down when they stand up". Jesus! You'd think he'd at least bring change to the same old tired buzzwords.

As for permanent bases, I don't know you'd call the embassy that the US government is building in Iraq but I'd call that as close to a reminder, as close to a permanent base, as you can get.

Obama then says that, if the violence goes up or if the Iraqis don't get along or the sun doesn't come up tomorrow, he will reserve his right to "assess the situation".

Again, this sounds just like Bush.

Some of you are scratching your heads and saying to yourselves or the computer monitor that I'm an asshole and that it sounds nothing like Bush.

Uh, yeah, it does.

Bush says that he's the decider and that he'll decide what the policy is going to be. Bush says that it's his right to assess the situation. Bush says he'll listen to the commanders "on the ground" (the lamest phrase I've ever heard) and then assess the situation.

Yeah, it does sound like Bush.

In full disclosure, Obama then has a stump speech quoted in which he says that we could have had a TON of money to do this with and send our kids to college, etc.

I would ask you to take a look at some of what Barack Obama voted for and see if you think he didn't have a hand in sending that money straight into the buzzsaw.

Go to Project Vote Smart and have a look for yourself. Look at Hillary Clinton and John McCain's records while you're there, too.


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