Thursday, December 04, 2008


Obama: pulling the curtain back

All of us have had a good look behind the curtain since day one; the New York Times is just getting a peek:
Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality

On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.

But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months.
There always was a tension, if not a bit of a contradiction, in the two parts of Mr. Obama’s campaign platform to “end the war” by withdrawing all combat troops by May 2010. To be sure, Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops. But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops.

Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis.
And, get ready for the big surprise:
To date, there has been no significant criticism from the antiwar left of the Democratic Party of the prospect that Mr. Obama will keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for at least several years to come.
The antiwar left outside the Democratic Party? That's behind a curtain even the Times' vision doesn't penetrate.

Why stop here? There's more...

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