Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Washington Post

So it seems worthwhile to point out that, by Mr. Obama's own account, neither U.S. commanders nor Iraq's principal political leaders actually support his strategy.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the dramatic turnaround in U.S. fortunes, "does not want a timetable," Mr. Obama reported with welcome candor during a news conference yesterday. In an interview with ABC, he explained that "there are deep concerns about . . . a timetable that doesn't take into account what [American commanders] anticipate might be some sort of change in conditions." ......

But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki's timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama's. More significant, it would be "a timetable which Iraqis set" -- not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki "wants some flexibility in terms of how that's carried out." .........

Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq's rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.

We know it isn't as fun to read the news when the three networks enjoy feeding us intellectual baby food declaring that Mr. Maliki endorses Obama's plan but this is why I read instead of watching the news.

We all know according to those wonderful television news reports that Obama did well in Iraq, even while never being able to explain how he would still not endorse the now proven to be effective surge.

Of course the irony is compounded by the fact that he has suggested sending additional troops to Afghanistan to help quell the increase in violence. He won't keep them their for a hundred years nor even beyond the time they would be needed. This is another surge. Of course this one doesn't have the Iraq anchor chained around it's neck so it is okay to recommend such action and when it is successful, even note that such recommendations will not have been controversial. There is no political capital to lose, so the anti-war candidate can get away with redeploying troops instead of bringing them home and still have it be seen as a win.