Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama Can't Admit He Was Wrong On The Surge

In his half a term as a United States Senator, Barack Obama has only had to cast one important foreign policy vote. He blew it.

Barack Obama's vote against the president's successful "surge strategy" speaks volumes about how this "different" kind of politician would approach issues of the up most importance while in office. He would approach them like a typical politician.

Had Obama had his way, the war in Iraq would probably be lost. While Obama can't say that this is what he wanted, the primary support on which he relied from his left-wing base, insisted that he oppose any policy that might turn the situation in Iraq around, in favor of immediate withdrawal.

Now, I don't believe that Barack Obama wants to lose a war. He's a smart guy, and I'm sure that in his heart he knows that American success in Iraq is essential and that a stable democracy in the center of the Middle-East would be a huge help to the United States in fighting the War on Terror. However the Senator has been painted into a corner by his strongest supporters, for whom the only acceptable position on Iraq is one in which American soldiers are all brought home immediately regardless of the consequences.

Once again, Obama is smart enough to know that the path in Iraq that is most beneficial to American interests in one in which there is some kind of long term American presence in that nation.

Obama has made it so that if he fulfills his promise of complete withdrawal and then tensions once again flare up in the region, US forces would have to return to Iraq for a third gulf war. No one wants that.

In opposing the surge, Obama put his own interests ahead of those of the nation he hopes to lead. In refusing to admit that he was wrong in his assertion that the surge would fail, we see the Democratic standard bearer doing the exact same thing that the current president was mercilessly criticized for by Democrats.

The Democrats were so gung-ho in their effort to get George W. Bush to admit that he made mistakes in his prosecution of the Iraq war. Where are they now?

Barack Obama will counter such criticism by pointing out that he opposed the war in the first place, which is meaningless considering that no one cared what a backbencher Illinois State Senator thought about such matters in the wake of 9/11 and that there is no way to tell whether his opposition to the war was based on strategic knowledge of the region or was simply a knee-jerk anti-war reaction, which was common in the area that he represented.

Once again however, Democrats seem to want to debate the reasons that we went in to Iraq, reasons that have been repeatedly analyzed, rather than talking about how to win.

As we see the candidate of change is only interested in it if it's change that helps him become president. The change brought about by the surge doesn't do that.

-Dan Joseph

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