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Sunday, July 27, 2008


Obama's and McCain's position on Iraq is now identical

Don't act surprised; you're a reader of Left I on the News. :-)
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said in an interview published on Saturday the size of a residual U.S. force left in Iraq after the withdrawal of combat troops would be "entirely conditions-based."

"We're going to have to provide them with logistical support, intelligence support. We're going to have to have a very capable counterterrorism strike force...We're going to have to continue to train their army and police to make them more effective."

Asked if he had a clearer idea after talks with diplomatic and military officials how big a force would need to be left behind for those tasks, Obama replied: "I do think that's entirely conditions-based.

"It's hard to anticipate where we may be six months from now, or a year from now, or a year and a half from now."

"Barack Obama is ultimately articulating a position of sustained troop levels in Iraq based on the conditions on the ground and the security of the country. That is the very same position that John McCain has long held," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. (Source)
When Obama was running against Hillary Clinton for the nomination, we heard repeatedly how he had opposed the invasion of Iraq, and she hadn't. Now he's running against John McCain. McCain has recently claimed on many occasions that his judgment on Iraq has been vindicated, because "the surge worked." Now without arguing about the truth of that claim, the rather obvious rejoinder from Obama would be that no, his judgment on Iraq has long been vindicated, since if the invasion had never happened, 4400+ Americans and allies and more than a million Iraqis would still be alive, and millions more wouldn't have been driven from their homes. But, in case you haven't noticed, Obama has not responded to McCain in that way. Some will say he's just pretending to move to the right in order to appeal to the "center" for votes. Some also believe in the tooth fairy.

Update: Incidentally, Obama keeps talking about the "safe and orderly" withdrawal of troops and implying that 16 months to pull out some of them (fewer and fewer every day, it would seem) is the only way to act "prudently" and ensure the safety of the troops. I personally think that's poppycock, but let's accept it for the moment. What about stopping all offensive activities, or even just stopping all aerial bombing? Those things could be done not in 16 months, not in 16 days, but on the first day Obama is in office. Has he ever promised to do that, or even hinted at it? Not to my knowledge.

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