Obama's Surge Shuffle
Politics: Barack Obama's refusal to admit he was wrong on President Bush's successful change of strategy in Iraq is as laughable as it is disingenuous. It also calls into question his qualifications to be president.
Obama was clearly opposed to the surge as he courted the Democrats' anti-war base. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence," he said in 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."
But when he was confronted this week by ABC News' Terry Moran with the success of the surge, asking if he would have supported it knowing what he knows now, Obama's answer was "no."
Along with his refusal to admit the mistake came something else: an endless stream of double talk obviously designed to distract from our military's successes in Iraq. Obama spoke of "a combination of political factors inside of Iraq that then came right at the same time as terrific work by our troops." He added that "it wasn't any doubt that you have an additional 20,000 troops, and where they are right there, it is going to have an impact."
So after insisting the surge "will do the reverse" of quelling "sectarian violence," Obama now claims what he really said was that it would "have an impact" — meaning a positive impact.
As craftily worded as this may be, it's simply a lie. Moreover, the "political factors" Obama refers to — the Anbar Awakening in which Sunni chiefs turned against al-Qaida — were, in fact, primarily engineered by the U.S. military's dealings with those chiefs.
Obama's claim that "the Sunnis might have made the same decisions at that time" is no less than an insult to the U.S. commanders who worked so hard to convince the Iraqis it was in their interests.
Obama also provided ABC with this serving of gobbledygook: "The political dynamic was the driving force between that sectarian violence. And we could try to keep a lid on it, but if these underlining dynamics continued to bubble up and explode the way they were, then we would be in a difficult situation. I am glad that, in fact, those political dynamic shifted at the same time that our troops did outstanding work."
Imagine the media scrutiny if that kind of babble came from the mouth of George W. Bush instead of the 21st century's JFK.
No wonder the Obama campaign earlier this month removed the anti-surge statements from its Web site, and stopped listing the surge as part of "The Problem" in its section on Iraq.
Obama's "problem" turned out to be the solution, proving again how feeble his foreign policy judgment would be as commander-in-chief. His dishonesty about it disqualifies him all the more.