Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Change You Can Believe In? Biden says Obama Admin. Will Continue Bush Iraq Policy. Inconsistency Runs Amok In Obamaland

The US and Iraq agreed on a troop withdrawl plan last November. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been all over the map for years about Iraq.

While in Iraq, Foot-in-Mouth Chief Biden said that the incoming Obama administration would continue the Bush policy in Iraq.

“The fact of the matter is, the only thing succeeding in Iraq right now is the plan that Barack and I talked about that Petraeus is implementing — giving local control in the very areas with a limited central government.”--Biden last year, falsely taking credit for the troop surge last September.

Red State made this case....

VP-to-be Joseph Biden (D-DE) came out of hiding this week to boast that he and his boss will be following the post-Iraq-conflict blueprint drawn up by the Bush administration to a T.

At an appearance in Baghdad today, Biden said that “the new administration will stick to the timetable in the [U.S-Iraq Status of Forces] agreement.” As AP writer Robert Reid points out, “Obama pledged during his election campaign to withdraw all American combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office” (naturally he misses the fact that Obama actually sponsored legislation that would have removed all troops from Iraq by March of last year).

More on that legislation further down...

This latest is, of course, a far cry from the Obama who opposed the ’surge’ in forces and General David Petraeus’s commitment to emphasize counterinsurgency in Iraq, as well as from the Obama who both refused to admit that the new strategy was succeeding and then, even after begrudgingly admitting that some gains had been made in that Arab state, made the head-scratching claim that he would still oppose the successful change in course if, knowing ahead of time how amazingly it would succeed, he were presented with the opportunity to do so again.

We have found several more statements by Obama which not only show his disapproval of the war in Iraq, but illustrate that in no certain terms was he ever in favor of the troop surge.

Delivered on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 by Barack Obama, Illinois State Senator, at the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq war rally (organized by Chicagoans Against War in Iraq) at noon in Federal Plaza in Chicago, Illinois; at the same day and hour that President Bush and Congress announced their agreement on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, but over a week before it was passed by either body of Congress.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other arm-chair, weekend warriors in this Administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income — to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

(What is fascination with everything being the worst it's ever been since the Great Depression?)

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

Wait a minute? I though Bush lied about all that chemical and biological weapons stuff?

In 2003, while still an Illinois State Senator, Obama had this to say.

"When I was asked, 'Would I have voted for the $87 billion,' I said 'no,'" Obama said in a speech before a Democratic community group in suburban Chicago in November 2003. "I said 'no' unequivocally because, at a certain point, we have to say no to George Bush. If we keep on getting steamrolled, we're not going to stand a chance."

And in 2004...

In an interview published in the Chicago Tribune the following day(July 27,2004), Obama said that he would have voted "no" on the Senate resolution. But he said he was not in favor of "pulling out now." On the issue of whether to stay in Iraq [in 2004], he said "there's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." The context of his remarks makes clear that he was not referring to the original decision to go into Iraq, but the question of whether to remain.

From last March in The Boston Globe:

Yesterday, Obama struck back, declaring that Clinton "doesn't have any standing to question my position on this issue." And he added that, "I will bring this war to an end in 2009, so don't be confused."

In 2004, while supporting the Democratic presidential nominee, John F. Kerry, Obama endorsed Kerry's view that the United States had too much at stake in Iraq to withdraw at that time. Since joining the Senate in 2005, Obama has taken incrementally tougher positions on Iraq, even as he sought to hear from a wide variety of voices about what should be done there, according to aides, advisers, and transcripts of his speeches.

In November of 2005, after it had become clear that US troops faced a raging insurgency, Obama argued in a speech before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations that the US military should scale down its presence, but that US troops were "still part of the solution" in Iraq."We have to manage our exit in a responsible way," he told the council, "at the very least taking care not to plunge the country into an even deeper and perhaps irreparable crisis."

In January of 2006, Obama took his first trip to Iraq, staying two days, and while there he heard conflicting views on whether US troops should stay or go. He expressed frustration with the failure of Iraqi leaders to resolve key disputes, telling reporters that "if we have not seen significant progress over the next few months, we need to have an honest conversation with Iraqis as to what our investment is."

But 2006 unfolded as a year of sectarian bloodshed, deepening Obama's conviction that the US effort was being squandered. He began to call for a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops. By that time, the call was far from unusual, however; other senators had called for a phased withdrawal earlier.

From American Thinker:

Obama's proposed legislation came in the wake of President Bush's announcement of the troop surge. In a statement dated January 19, 2007, Obama said, "I cannot in good conscience support this escalation. It is a policy which has already been tried and a policy which has failed. Just this morning, I had veterans of the Iraq war visit my office to explain to me that this surge concept is, in fact, no different from what we have repeatedly tried, but with 20,000 troops, we will not in any imaginable way be able to accomplish any new progress."

In case you want more....

On January 30, 2007, Senator Barack Obama introduced the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 in a speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate. In describing the proposed legislation he said, "This plan would not only place a cap on the number of troops in Iraq and stop the escalation, more importantly, it would begin a phased redeployment of U.S. forces with the goal of removing all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

"In a civil war where no military solution exists, this redeployment remains our best leverage to pressure the Iraqi government to achieve the political settlement between its warring factions that can slow the bloodshed and promote stability."

And from last July's WaPo:

Barack Obama is strongly reaffirming his stance on pulling combat troops out of Iraq in his first 16 months in office, if elected president, emboldened by the Iraqi government saying last week it supports a timetable for U.S. forces to leave. "The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity," Obama wrote today in a New York Times op-ed.

"We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States." Maliki's comments have left Obama increasing focused on the withdrawal part of his Iraq strategy, instead of the troops he would leave there to maintain stability, which he had emphasized in the last few weeks as the general election has started. Obama still has not said how large of a force he would leave in Iraq, as ten of thousands of the forces in Iraq are not "combat troops" and could remain in the country even if Obama removed all combat forces.

Obama has been wildly inconsistent, saying one thing in public and another in private. From the NY Post....

While campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July. "He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops - and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."

"However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open." Zebari says. Though Obama claims the US presence is "illegal," he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the "weakened Bushadministration," Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.

While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined.

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.

So which is it Mr. Obama? Either you're a liar or you're an idiot.... and we don't think you're an idiot.

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