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RS

FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

You know, I’m starting to think that the WaPo doesn’t *approve* of Obama’s Iraq policy.

I hope that they've given their reporter a big enough budget to cover an emergency alternate return flight.

I know, it sounds difficult to believe – but for some strange reason, the Washington Post seems almost… well, skeptical about the whole “run away from our responsibilities to the Iraqi people and attempt to recreate that entire South Vietnam collapse” thing. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest – maybe, just maybe! – that the WaPo might actually think that this was… a bad idea. Even if it is being trumpeted by the junior Senator from Illinois.

Shocking, no?

[Mr. Obama in Iraq](http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/22/AR2008072202462.html)Did he really find support for his withdrawal plan?THE INITIAL MEDIA coverage of Barack Obama’s visit to Iraq suggested that the Democratic candidate found agreement with his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat forces on a 16-month timetable. 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.

Yesterday he denied being “so rigid and stubborn that I ignore anything that happens during the course of the 16 months,” though this would be more reassuring if Mr. Obama were not rigidly and stubbornly maintaining his opposition to the successful “surge” of the past 16 months.

{snip of neither U.S. commanders nor Iraq’s principal political leaders actually supporting Obama’s strategy. }Mr. Obama’s response is that, as president, he would have to weigh Iraq’s needs against those of Afghanistan and the U.S. economy. He says that because Iraq is “a distraction” from more important problems, U.S. resources devoted to it must be curtailed. Yet he also says his aim is to “succeed in leaving Iraq to a sovereign government that can take responsibility for its own future.” What if Gen. Petraeus and Iraqi leaders are right that this goal is not consistent with a 16-month timetable? Will Iraq be written off because Mr. Obama does not consider it important enough — or will the strategy be altered?

Doing the roundup: Instapundit (H/T) thinks that this might be a sign that the media may not be giving Obama quite the free ride that the public is increasingly seeing them as giving. Tom Maguire (who, alas, seems slightly morbidly depressed at the thought that we might actually elect this fellow) floats a new slogan: “Peace with honor at a price you can afford.” Ed Morrissey of Hot Air simply notes that while Afghanistan does need more emphasis – and while we can use our victory in Iraq to cover that emphasis – it needs to be advocated for the right reason, which is not because doing so will enhance a particular candidate’s electoral chances.

I want to put a special emphasis on this, because we seem to be having people out there who have difficulty grasping the concept – and the prominent of those people happens to be the assumed Democratic candidate for President. Senator Obama got the Iraqi War drastically wrong. He was wrong to oppose it, he was wrong when he guessed that it would lead to utter disaster*, he was wrong about the Surge – heck, Katie Couric did everything except outright beg him to revise and extend his remarks – and now that we’ve won there, he wants to try to insinuate himself into that victory, after several years of doing everything he could to make it impossible. This is, by the way, not unusual behavior for him: he generally got away with it in both the Illinois and the US Senate {H/T for both: Buck Naked Politics}.

Unfortunately for him, people are paying more attention now. He can be indifferent to my low opinion of his inability to admit that he was wrong all he likes; whether he can be similarly cocky towards the Washington Post… should play out interestingly.

Moe Lane

Please, by all means: whine about that statement. I haven’t given out homework assignments on *Military Blunders of the World Wars, Casualty Rates of the American Civil War, Strategic Repercussions of the Spanish-American War, or Standard Insurgency / Counter-Insurgency Tactics, Post-1950 for some time now.

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