Thursday, July 24, 2008

Iraq Viewed In Isolation

Is this so difficult to understand?

Of course, Repubs don't understand it, or at least pretend not to. Ditto the news media, unsurprising because it has virtually throughout been cheerleaders for the war. Neither, though, do most of the supporters of Obama (though Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state is an exception), which is hard to figure out.

The candidate himself says it over and over. Here Katie Couric in her exclusive interview (with the candidate everyone else has interviewed) tries six times to get Barack Obama to say that the "surge" was successful, apparently because she is one of the many not to understand. The Illinois senator explains that the surge

doesn't meet our long-term strategic goal, which is to make the American people safer over the long term. If that means that we're detracting from our efforts in Afghanistan, where conditions are deteriorating, if it means that we are distracted from going after Osama bin Laden who is still sending out audio tapes and is operating training camps where we know terrorists' actions are being plotted.

If we have shifted away from the central front of terrorism as a consequence of enormous and continuing investments in Iraq, then that's a poor strategic choice. And ultimately, what we've got to do is - we have to recognize that Iraq is just one of our … security problems. It's not the only one

What I'm saying is it does not solve the broader strategic question that we have been dealing with over the last five, six, seven years. And that is how do we take the limited resources we have, both militarily and financially, and apply them in such a way that we are making America as safe as possible?

A few questions, inasmuch that Obama understands what very few others do:

-When did the goal of American foreign policy become victory in Iraq- Wasn't the Administration at one point concerned about terrorism (or at least pretend to be)?

-Doesn't the surging strenth of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan concern anyone besides the junior Senator from Illinois (and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish, wrong about most things but consistently right about this)?

-Why must we hear only about the surge, as if there is no connection between the improving situation in Iraq and the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, where our nation is involved in a more critical war?

-Why does the other major party candidate believe Iraq and Pakistan share a border? (O.K., that one is a cheap shot.)

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