Q: If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?
A: No, because, keep in mind that…
Q: You wouldn’t?
A: Keep in mind… These kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult. Hindsight is 20/20. But I think that, what I’m absolutely convinced of, is that at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.
So, something that has brought down violence 80% and American troop deaths from 78 to 5 per month – he would still oppose…because he disagreed with President Bush…? Is he saying he would still oppose something that has empowered Iraqis and saved American (and Iraqi) lives simply for political reasons?
Is this a gaffe, distraction, or a moment of clarity?
Here are two recent speeches from John McCain and Barack Obama. The audio is from conservative commentator Dennis Prager’s radio show. Obviously, he favors McCain, but I think he presents both candidates view fairly and accurately and asks some very valid questions that need to be answered (which will not be asked by the media who, in my view, love Obama) and understood by anyone who is concerned about the situation in Iraq and national security. You, of course, can make your own judgements, but if you are interested in what conservatives think – this should be helpful. If nothing else, watch the video at the bottom.
Since I’ve gone on and on about Barack lately, why don’t we start with John McCain:
-McCain and Obama had totally opposite views of the surge.
-McCain points out that Obama laid down his Iraq policy before meeting with Petraeus, visiting Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.
-Question: Why is Obama going to Iraq, if he already knows what he is going to do?
-Obama opposed the tactics of the surge – which are the exact counter insurgency tactics we need to use in Afghanistan.
-John McCain’s was critical of Bush and supported the surge long before it was popular.
Now – Obama’s speech that his just gave before leaving for Iraq (in one big chunk – 12 minutes or so):
-Obama claims that Bush and McCain don’t have a strategy for success in Iraq, rather a strategy for staying in Iraq.
If you made it through all that, here is a little break down of some of Obama’s statements on Iraq, the surge, and other national security concerns:
In my opinion, John McCain’s plan, at least makes some sense. I don’t have a clue what Obama actually believes about national security. Do you?
I mentioned this story last night about the uncontrollable glee of our wonderful and totally non-biased media to meet with Obama in Iraq. He is guaranteeing to bring ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ after all. If that’s the case, why is he such a total downer on America? Listen to him talk about our need to ‘redeploy’ in Iraq, where we are finally (again) finally starting to hear some good news (no thanks to our media). Remember – this speech was given just the other day BEFORE his trip to Iraq:
Exactly! Redeploy to what?!? That’s exactly what the surge was – a redeployment.
More Obama (the host, Marl Levin is pretty harsh in this clip, but he’s making a great point):
Oh, again with the ‘Distractions.’ I’m surprised Obama is campaigning on ‘Change’ rather than something like ‘Focus’. Everything Obama has opposed or disliked he has called a ‘distraction.’
Launching his campaign at unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers house:
"...led a violent rampaging protest in Chicago, and took credit for numerous bombings around the United States. ... Ayers insists he has no regrets. "I acted appropriately in the context of those times,""
Just a distraction….
I don’t think it’s a distraction to ask questions about legitimate concerns. John McCain has years and years on the record serving this country. Obama does not. Thus, it is important to learn what the guy really believes. I don’t think that’s a ‘distraction’ from anything.
Here’s audio of an Obama voter who trusts that Obama will cause change.
Not to mention, Is Obama’s plan for withdrawal even possible? ABC doesn’t think so:
Facts on the ground…also Distractions?
My point is, ‘Change’ and ‘Hope’ are the real distractions from what Obama actual policy suggestions. What do you think? The presidential race is basically just one huge job interview. What qualities does Obama have that qualify him to be your president?
What do they mean by, ‘Media stars will accompany?” That’s exactly what Obama is: a media star.
WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain’s trip to Iraq last March was a low-key affair: With a small retinue of reporters chasing him abroad, the NBC News anchor Brian Williams reported on Mr. McCain’s visit there from New York, including it in the “in other political news” portion of his newscast.
But when Senator Barack Obama heads for Iraq and other places overseas this summer, Mr. Williams is planning to catch up with him in person, as are the other two network evening news anchors, Charles Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, who, like Mr. Williams, are far along in discussions to interview Mr. Obama on successive nights.
And while the anchors are jockeying for interviews with Mr. Obama at stops along his route, the regulars on the Obama campaign plane will have new seatmates: star political reporters from the major newspapers and magazines who are flocking to catch Mr. Obama’s first overseas trip since becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee. A “Meet the Press” interview is also being planned.
Recent Coalition success in Iraq spurs off the rails tantrum from former American, now Al-Qaeda mouthpiece Adam Gadahn:
“We got our a** totally kicked. We couldn’t do diddly poo offensively. We couldn’t radicalize the locals, we couldn’t run the provinces, we didn’t try to run the provinces, couldn’t terrorize Mosul, we sucked.”
“That was a disgraceful performance, in my opinion. We threw Baghdad in the toilet, we gave it away by doing that. We gave um the freaking country. In my opinion, that sucked.”
“We couldn’t stop the coalition. Every time we entered a province, we got dominated. We got our a** totally kicked in Al-Anbar. That’s what it boiled down to.”
“Holy crap! I don’t who the hell we think we are when we do something like that. Unbelievable – five turnovers. One of them for..we’ve thrown 4 provinces for coalition turnovers this year. That might be an AQI record.”
“It was a horse sh** performance in Baqubah, horse sh**.”
“That’s pitiful, I mean, it’s absolutely pitiful. To preform like that — Pitiful.”
“It sucked, it stunk.”
“Resurgence?!? Don’t talk about resurgence! You kidding me? Resurgence? I just hope we can nab someone’s lunch money.”
One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth. For instance, we went into Iraq with shoddy intelligence (at best), no reconstruction plan, and perhaps half as many troops as were required. We refused to admit that an insurgency was growing, until the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war. Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence and are getting beaten back or co-opted. Shia, Sunni and Kurds are coming together — although with various stresses — under the national government. If progress continues at this rate, it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say “the war has ended.” Yes, likely there still will be some American casualties, but if the violence continues to drop and the Iraqi government consolidates its gains, we will be able, in good conscience, to begin bringing more of our people home. I will be paying very close attention to the words of Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, who is replacing General Petraeus as the overall commander in Iraq.
Whatever we do in Iraq from here forward, we must strive to make better decisions than those made between 2003 and 2006. And one way to achieve that is by making certain that our civilian leaders are fully informed. All three candidates for President are extremely intelligent, but that doesn’t mean that all three are tracking the truth on the ground in Iraq. Anyone who wants to be President of the United States needs to see Iraq without the distorting lenses of the media or partisan politics. I would be honored to visit Iraq with Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, Senator McCain or any of their Senate colleagues.
I hereby offer to accompany any Senator to Iraq, whether they are pro-or anti-war, Democrat or Republican. I will make this offer personally to a few select Senators as well. Our conversations during the visit would be on- or off-record, as they wish. Touring Iraq with me, as well as briefings by U.S. officers and meetings with Iraqis, would provide an accurate and nuanced account of the progress and challenges ahead, so that the Senators might have a highly informed perspective on this most critical issue. Our civilian leaders need to make decisions based on the best information available. The only way to learn what is really going on in Iraq is to go there and listen to our ground commanders, who know what they are doing. Generals Petraeus and Odierno have years of experience in Iraq, and vast knowledge of our efforts there. But the young soldiers who have done multiple tours in Iraq also have unique and invaluable perspectives as well. These young soldiers have personally witnessed the trajectory of the war shift dramatically, and can articulate those changes in concrete and specific terms. It doesn’t matter if a soldier is only twenty-something. If he or she spent two or three years in the war, that person is likely to have valuable insights. The best way to understand what is really going on is to listen closely to a wide range of service members who have done multiple tours in Iraq. Some will be negative, some will be positive, but overall I am certain that the vast majority of multi-tour Iraq veterans will testify that there has been great progress, and now there is hope. Combat veterans don’t tolerate happy talk or wishful thinking. They’ll tell you the raw truth as they see it.
Whether any Senators take advantage of my offer, I do hope that the presidential candidates visit Iraq, not just for a photo opportunity, but to spend time with our commanders and combat veterans, who know the truth and are not afraid to speak it.
Candidates who wish for a positive outcome from the situation in Iraq should take up his offer or something similar to it. (hint hint Nancy ‘Iranian goodwill is responsible for success in Iraq’ Pelosi and Harry ‘the war is lost’ Reid.)
Oh, and check out Michael’s book. You won’t be able to put it down:
“Well, the purpose of the surge was to provide a secure space, a time for the political change to occur to accomplish the reconciliation. That didn’t happen. Whatever the military success, and progress that may have been made, the surge didn’t accomplish its goal. And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, theynegotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians.”
I’m sorry – I usually don’t resort to flat out insults, but…What a freaking clueless idiot!
This ludicruis comment is so typical of the know-nothing douchenozzels in Washington. It even earned Nancy the coveted flaming skull over at Ace of Spades (I had to transplant and quote):
Having blurted out, probably accidentally, that the surge was in fact successful, Granny Rictus McBotoxImplants now scrambles to credit the enemy nation murdering our troops with the victory our troops accomplished through blood, sweat, tears, and more blood.
It’s not our troops. It’s not Petraeus’ leadership. It’s not the Iraqis turning on the Al Qaeda murderers. No — it’s Iran’s goodwill.
Here at wtc she gets the coveted Jar-Jar Award:
I have created a helpful “who to trust” tutorial below for those who haven’t been following the war so far:
I hate to say it, but Sen. Obama does not. McCain continues to make efforts to get closer to situation in Iraq so he can broaden his understanding – Sen. Obama basically repeats talking points (You might as well listen to a speech by Harry “the war is lost” Reid).
This is the question you should be asking about the situation in Iraq: Who do you think understands more clearly what is actually going on there: The troops on the ground, or a bunch of policy makers back in Washington?
The one thing Sen. McCain understands is that if we really want to figure out what’s going on, we have to talk to the men directly involved.
Michael Yon, who is self supported, has spent months amongst the troops (more time than any other journalist) on the ground in Iraq. His book is what I like to call, the no Bull-S*** assessment of the situation. It’s a great read and you can get a clear picture of what General Petraeus’ strategy is for Iraq. I read half the book in one sitting cause I just couldn’t put it down.
Then you can congratulate yourself. In reading this book you will know more about the War in Iraq than most of the senators in Congress, sadly, including Sen. Obama.