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If Barack Obama is trying to position himself as the candidate of change and of the future, then why does he constantly revert to the past when the issue of Iraq is brought up?
(CNN) -- Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama engaged in a pointed exchange over al Qaeda in Iraq on Wednesday.
Sen. John McCain questioned Sen. Barack Obama's way of handling the war in Iraq.
McCain was in Tyler, Texas, and Obama was in Columbus, Ohio.
"I understand that Sen. Obama said that if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq that he would send troops back in militarily. Al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq. It's called al Qaeda in Iraq," McCain said.
"It's a remarkable statement to say that you would send troops back to a place where al Qaeda has established a base -- where they have already established a base."
McCain's comments come in response to remarks Obama made Tuesday night in a debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton. He was asked if the president would have to right to go back into Iraq in order to suppress an insurrection after downsizing the U.S. troop presence.
"I always reserve the right for the president ... to make sure that we are looking out for American interests," Obama said. "And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."
In a statement sent out by McCain's press office Wednesday said, "Is Sen. Obama unaware that al Qaeda is still present in Iraq, that our forces are successfully fighting them every day, and that his Iraq policy of withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda and weaken our security?"
Obama responded to the latest attacks from McCain, saying his comments were taken out of context.
Obama said the question he was asked during the debate was a "big hypothetical."
"I said, 'Well, I would always reserve the right to go in and strike against al Qaeda if they were in Iraq,' so you know, this is how politics works," Obama said at a rally in Columbus.
"McCain thought that he could make a clever point by saying ,'Well let me give you some news Barack, al Qaeda is in Iraq,' like I wasn't reading the papers, like I didn't know what was going on."
"I said, 'Well first of all, I do know that al Qaeda is in Iraq. That's why I've said we should continue to strike al Qaeda targets. But I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq."
Obama continued to blast Bush and McCain, saying, "John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq."
McCain in his statement said "the Democratic presidential contenders deny progress and see only gloom and doom. Where is the audacity of hope when it comes to backing the success?
"Big Hypothetical?" Not if you get your way and pull the troops out before the job is done Mr. Obama.
Yes, we know that Obama opposed the war.
We also know that he opposed the surge, and wants to abandon Iraq, throwing troops back in whenever Al Queda pops up in the region. Of course, this is similar to what we were doing pre-surge and it wasn't working.
Here's an interesting question that someone should ask BHO. Is it a good thing that we are in the process of handing Al-Queda a devastating defeat in Iraq?
Yes, we know that they weren't there before, but how is that relevant to the future of the country and to American national security?
This is just one more sign that Mr. Obama is a candidate of rhetoric and not ideas. When questioned about the future, he brings up the past and then goes to the old standby of being taken "out of context" when McCain makes him look naive.
The answer Obama should have given, the right answer, would have been:
"Well Tim [Russert], the U.S military is currently crushing the remaining elements of Al-Queda in Iraq, due to the surge strategy which I opposed and we are going to stay in Iraq until the Iraqi military is capable of quelling any Al-Queda presence in the country on their own so that the next President won't need to send more troops into that nation ever again."
Seriously, Barack, you are not nearly as prepared to play this game as your supporters and many in the media think you are. When the honeymoon is over and people start to see who you really are.....well, we can only hope the American people will have such an awakening before Election Day.
Oh, and by the way, don't you love how Democrats--like Chris Dodd--are so anxious to be seen as being on board the bandwagon with a winning candidate that they wait until the nomination is all but wrapped up to endorse someone? Or they switch from the candidate that they were supporting to the one who is ahead so as to save face, like Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Whatever happened to loyalty? I'm sure Mrs. Clinton knows all about that, being a life-long Yankees fan. Oh wait.
I'm just wondering when these same Democrats will see the light and jump on the Iraq surge bandwagon.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
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Posted by Falling Panda at 4:04 PM