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Thread: Mr. Obama in Iraq -did he really find support for his withdrawal plan?

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Default Mr. Obama in Iraq -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.

    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."

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. 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."
    Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, 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.

    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?

    Arguably, Mr. Obama has given himself the flexibility to adopt either course. 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. He also pointed out that he had "deliberately avoided providing a particular number" for the residual force of Americans he says would be left behind.

    Yet Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yes, Iraq is the "central front" if all you're worried about is oil, which of course is what the Iraq war is all about.. not "freedom" or "fighting them over there so we arent fighting them over here" or any other such nonsense.. thanks, Washington Post, for clearing that up 6 years too damn late. The ACTUAL front IS in Afghanistan.. right on the border with Pakistan, the tribal mountainous regions that Pakistan at present does not police or even venture into.. it's a phantom border, really. That is the place to hunt Al Qaeda.. you know, the evil bad guys that the US was supposed to be going after?

    At any rate, the Iraqi leader has already expressed his timetable... funny, McCain said that the US would leave when the Iraqis said to, now they are, and now he's accusing Obama of "wanting to lose" when the host occupied country is telling the US to leave.. make up your mind, McSame. Petraeus is Bush's handpicked lapdog, and has a funny habit (along with Pentagon military officials) of injecting themselves into political policy debates against his bosses competition (never his boss of course) instead of keeping his fucking face out of it, like he is legally obligated to do so.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    The 'central front' is in the minds of the extremists.......it's not in Afghanistan or Iraq or Pakistan

    The very idea that it is an a geographic location is idiotic.

    Until these men who wish to be president learn that fact, there will be no difference between the way they approach this
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; July 23rd, 2008 at 10:04 AM.



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The minds of the extremists don't usually last long once you blow their body to bits with a missile targeted at the geographic location they happen to be in.

    That's the physical response.

    The rest, propaganda, winning hearts and minds, all that other junk.. you apply that to the people AROUND the extremists to turn them against the extremists. Provide security and a way to rebuild the country and they'll turn on their former rulers. That's why the Afghani people turned to the Taliban in the first place, in the wake of the Soviet withdrawal there was utter chaos.. their entire country was a blasted wreck and warlords ran rampant.. the Taliban offered a measure of stability.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan,
    I guess they forgot about the Taliban who harbored Osama Bin Ladin before and after 9/11. Kind of like how Bush forgot about them, which is why they've regained strength.

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