Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Iraq Speech Part IV: Obama's Plan For Withdraw - Contradictions & Stealth Refinements

Having finally paid a visit to Iraq but mere days after announcing his findings and conclusions, the Chameleon Candidate gave us more insight into his "strategic vision" for Iraq.

I. Obama notes that Petraeus has strongly advised against timelines because they will harm our military effort, but Obama intends to disregard the military advice of his highest commander.

Part II Obama Outlines his 16 month timeline to drawdown all combat brigades from Iraq and, in the next breath, says he will listen to his commanders.

Part III - Stealth redefining of his plan. Notable Is Obama's claim that he has "said before" that he will reenter Iraq if there is genocide.

1. Obama now presents his plan as a conditions based 'flexible timeline,' claiming that it is a "strategic vision" as opposed to an "open ended commitment" or a "rigid timetable." In doing so, he implies that McCain's plan - conditions based - is not but an open ended committment, despite the fact that we are now down to pre-surge levels in our troops. Is this a stealth refinement?

2. Timelines are the same thing Obama railed against in 2006 as being wholly inappropriate because they would hamper commanders. He explicitly notes above that General Petraeus has warned against using any timelines because of the effect that will have on security and then admits that he fully intends to disregard that military advice so he can use the money for his domestic programs. But then he says, a few minutes later, that his timeline will be flexible based on the advice of his military commanders. Is there any way of interpreting Obama's speech where those two elements are not completely contradictory.

3. Obama has spoken before about genocide - but not as a justification for reinvading Iraq. This is an outright lie by Obama. His only prior mention of genocide was that it was insufficient justification to continue with the surge.

4. Obama was unable to see that the surge would work in January, 2007. Obama was calling for an end to surge in July, 2008. Obama was calling for an end to the surge in November, 2008. So how much trust do you place in his "strategic vision"?

5. If we transition to a sixteen month drawdown, by about four months into that, the vast majority of our soldiers will have transitioned form active combat and security operations to nothing more than force protection. The Iraqis will essentially be on their own. We, for the first time since 2006, will be on the strategic defensive as we try to perform the largest retreat since Dunkirk.

6. Obama has never flushed out his plan to leave a residual combat force in Iraq to "attack al Qaeda and perform counterinsurgency operations." This man will get a lot of U.S. soldiers killed. It is taking 140,000 soldiers to perform "counterinsurgency operations" right now. A portion of that force is no longer required because we have been so successful. But drop all the way down to a division or less and they will be magnets for Iran's proxies. And, as Iran comes to dominate Iraq, all U.S. forces will be asked to leave. We will go. And we will have lost Iraq to Iran. It will be the the most costly defeat ever pulled from the jaws of an and important victory.

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