NYT: Oh, by the way, forget about that whole “withdrawal from Iraq” thing

posted at 2:30 pm on December 4, 2008 by Allahpundit

In fairness to The One and as duly noted by the Times, he’s always distinguished between combat troops, whom he insists will be withdrawn within 16 months, and residual forces, whose deployment would be “entirely conditions-based” and whom one of his advisors said could number as high as 80,000. It wasn’t a question of the rhetoric being inconsistent; the question was whether he was on the level or whether, as many leftists doubtless assumed, he was saying what he had to say to get elected.

The Times, a tear in its eye, comes to a painful conclusion:

That status-of-forces agreement remains subject to change, by mutual agreement, and Army planners acknowledge privately that they are examining projections that could see the number of Americans hovering between 30,000 and 50,000 — and some say as high as 70,000 — for a substantial time even beyond 2011

There always was a tension, if not a bit of a contradiction, in the two parts of Mr. Obama’s campaign platform to “end the war” by withdrawing all combat troops by May 2010. To be sure, Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops. But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops.

Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis…

To date, there has been no significant criticism from the antiwar left of the Democratic Party of the prospect that Mr. Obama will keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for at least several years to come.

“The strategy of declaring defeat in Iraq and blaming Bush seems to have gone by the boards,” notes Maguire, drily. “Re-missioning” sounds smart too, since so many “combat” troops are already serving as de facto peacekeepers; better to have trainers there with combat experience, who can double as a rapid response force if things get hairy, than a squad of pure advisors. Exit question: Assuming the Times is right about Obama leaving tens of thousands of troops in place beyond 2011, when can we expect the left to stir? Exit answer, assuming security gains are preseved: Never — because McCain’s much-maligned “100 years” comment was entirely true. It’s not the occupation, it’s the casualties. So long as casualties are low, Americans won’t hassle him. Especially Americans eager to see The One push through his domestic agenda.


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Comments

On another thread, we find out that American casualties in Iraq were down to 10 in November 2008. At this rate, American casualties in Iraq would reach those in Vietnam in…450 years–that’s even longer than what McCain said!

Nice and convenient for Bush, Gates, and Petraeus (on McCain’s advice) to win the war before Obama had to make any decisions about the troops. Obama might just keep Gates on board to reward him for his good work…under Bush.

On still another thread, we find out that Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities without U.S. support. A quick glance at a map shows that the biggest country between Iran and Israel is…Iraq. Ya know, those American troops in Iraq (combat or otherwise) might come in handy when Iran launches its retaliation. They are perfectly placed, right where they need to be!

Now what’s a leftist pacifist appeaser like Obama to DO? I HOPE he CHANGEs his mind!

Steve Z on December 4, 2008 at 4:17 PM

don’t miss the part of that article that calls for Reagan’s impeachement for not following the “War Powers Act” as he sees it to work.

Bush did follow the War Powers Resolution with both Afghanistan and Iraq…..and these same idiots have shifted their criticism on that front to “Its an Unconstitutional War”.

jp on December 4, 2008 at 4:29 PM

After expending over 4,000 lives and billions of dollars to stabalize Iraq, even the fool Obama can figure out that we have to insist on an on-going presence in that country. Without our military there, Iran would take Iraq over in a matter of months.

Even the stupidist “journalist” in the world, the NY Slimes, have now figured it out.

Middle Schoolers could run this country better then the left and the media. Yet they are in charge. We truly live in Bizarro-world.

notagool on December 4, 2008 at 4:48 PM

We truly live in Bizarro-world.

notagool on December 4, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Yes. And Barney Frank is the bizarro-Newman: “Farkus”

Mr_Magoo on December 4, 2008 at 5:00 PM

I wonder why it is that the liberal participants at this site won’t comment much (if at all) on this subject? Is slamming Sarah Palin the only thing they can do?

ddrintn on December 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM

I wonder why it is that the liberal participants at this site won’t comment much (if at all) on this subject? Is slamming Sarah Palin the only thing they can do?

ddrintn on December 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM

Yep, they gravitate for the conservative-on-conservative death matches and the social conservative threads. They don’t have the chops for this type of thread.

Y-not on December 4, 2008 at 5:13 PM

I especially like the comment in the article that “his view is evolving.”

Not that he lying to his supporters; not that he was wrong – just “evolving”.

kcewa on December 4, 2008 at 5:19 PM

The best we can hope for is that his campaign was just lies, and he may not govern from as far left as he campaigned. It’s too soon to know. Time will tell.

petefrt on December 4, 2008 at 5:54 PM

I especially like the comment in the article that “his view is evolving.”

Not that he lying to his supporters; not that he was wrong – just “evolving”.

kcewa on December 4, 2008 at 5:19 PM

That’s always been the case. Liberals arent’ expected to be consistent. Only Conservatives, we judgemental, narrow-minded, self-righteous lot, are called to task for revision our positions based on new information. The label that’s generally given to us is “hypocrite”. Libs can do what they want, because a)they seldom talk about honesty or morals, and b) whatever they do is “well-intentioned”.

hawksruleva on December 4, 2008 at 5:56 PM

Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis

Does this mean loss of combat pay?

Dollayo on December 4, 2008 at 6:29 PM

Has anyone else seen this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmzDIo4dxcU

It brought tears to my eyes.

jewells45 on December 4, 2008 at 6:30 PM

j

ewells45 on December 4, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Watch this one for a laugh. These always give me a warm fuzzy feeling.

As far as Iraq and bases go, the libtards would go nuts if they knew we will never leave Iraq. I’m not sure about any of the other bases but I was told in 2006 when I was in Tikrit that Camp Speicher is a permanent US base. It was being built up when I left. Every briefing I went to emphasized that all planning and construction was with permanent occupancy in mind.

There is no way we will ever pull completely put of Iraq. It is way too good of a strategic location in the middle east to just walk away from. It would be stupid to leave.

We’re staying in Iraq just like we stayed in Germany and Japan.

Guardian on December 4, 2008 at 6:48 PM

I especially like the comment in the article that “his view is evolving.”

Not that he lying to his supporters; not that he was wrong – just “evolving”.

kcewa on December 4, 2008 at 5:19 PM

“Evolving” = liberal cluelessness adjusting to reality.

ddrintn on December 4, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Guardian on December 4, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Your link. I just watched three people get killed, didn’t I?

Count to 10 on December 4, 2008 at 8:10 PM

Obama lied!!?!?!

*thud*

profitsbeard on December 4, 2008 at 8:57 PM

It wasn’t a question of the rhetoric being inconsistent; the question was whether he was on the level or whether, as many leftists doubtless assumed, he was saying what he had to say to get elected.

Not saying that isn’t so, but it presents a puzzling picture. Obama lies to win the votes of leftists who know he’s lying in order to get votes. We’re becoming one bizarre country.

ddrintn on December 4, 2008 at 9:20 PM

Yes even with Obama we will have a presence there for a long time.

Jamson64 on December 4, 2008 at 11:01 PM

“Just words…just speeches”.
No promise too big to break. No constituency too large to ignore. No committment too important to walk away from.
I pray we stay in Iraq until the job is done and our greatest generation comes home with honor in victory, but I won’t give the big-eared goblin any credit for it.
None.

SKYFOX on December 5, 2008 at 4:47 AM

The sad thing is, you just know Obama is going to get credit for the success in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of Bush. I can see it now, a few months after Obama is sworn in, there will be regular media reports on how few casualties there have been in Iraq and Afghanistan since Obama was elected.

xblade on December 5, 2008 at 8:31 AM

xblade on December 5, 2008 at 8:31 AM

History will be good to Bush on Iraq. If Obama gets credit in both wars so be it. That would mean WE win.

Jamson64 on December 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM

The sad thing is, you just know Obama is going to get credit for the success in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of Bush. I can see it now, a few months after Obama is sworn in, there will be regular media reports on how few casualties there have been in Iraq and Afghanistan since Obama was elected.

xblade on December 5, 2008 at 8:31 AM

History will be good to Bush on Iraq. If Obama gets credit in both wars so be it. That would mean WE win.

Jamson64 on December 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM

And remember to tell your kids and grandkids the real story of 911 and of Bush’s ballsy push to make us secure. Also, include the back stabbing that the Dems pulled in the name of party and politics. This current Dem party is more than despicable. Let’s make keep that part of the historical record too.

RalphyBoy on December 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM