Open thread: Obama’s Iraq speech; Update: Obama acknowledges Bush

posted at 7:37 pm on August 31, 2010 by Allahpundit

8 p.m. ET across the dial. It’s billed as an Iraq speech, but that’s not really what it is. The “key part,” apparently, will be a renewed call to “take the fight directly to al Qaeda” by finishing the job in Afghanistan. (Wouldn’t taking the fight to AQ require operations in Pakistan, not Afghanistan?) It’s also being billed as a “mission unaccomplished” speech, as the White House is ever mindful after Bush of the pitfalls in celebrating too early. But that’s not really what this is either. Like it or not, by investing the end of combat ops with the grandeur of an Oval Office address, The One is necessarily signaling completion of the task. And why not? The public couldn’t be clearer as to how it feels about renewing combat operations if Iraqi security starts to fall apart. This is closure, for better or worse.

Because it is closure, and closure at a moment when things are ominously open-ended in Iraq, I admit to having no appetite today for the standard left/right recriminations about how much Bush screwed up or whether Obama should credit him for the surge. (I think he will acknowledge Bush tonight, for what it’s worth, mainly to signal that this is an occasion that transcends partisanship. But never underestimate the political instincts of the perpetual campaigner.) Instead, since we’re putting a bookend on history, I offer you this grim big-picture reminiscence by star NYT correspondent John Burns, who was on the ground over there until 2007. Today is a day that’s taken forever to arrive, he says, and yet it still seems to have arrived too soon. And some Iraqis agree:

“Notwithstanding what the national press says about increased violence, the truth is things are still very much different, things are much safer,” Biden told al-Maliki at the start of their 90 minute meeting.

But throughout the day, Biden’s entourage had to duck for cover three times upon hearing alerts for incoming rocket and mortar fire. No impact was heard, meaning that the shelling likely fell short of its target…

“It’s not the right time,” said Johaina Mohammed, a 40-year-old teacher from Baghdad. “There is no government, the security is deteriorating, and there is no trust.”…

“They should wait for the government to be formed and then withdraw,” said Mohammed Hussein Abbas, a Shiite from the town of Hillah south of Baghdad.

An Iraqi poll taken two weeks ago showed 59.8 percent say it’s too soon for the U.S. to fully withdraw. Ray Odierno, while hopeful that the election stalemate will be resolved by October 1, now worries openly about Iraqis giving up on the democratic model if things continue to bog down. The headlines tomorrow will be about whether The One mentioned Bush, but the bird’s-eye historical view of tonight’s speech will be whether, as lefty hawk Michael O’Hanlon argued today, Obama should have waited until the new Iraqi government was in place to commit to ending combat ops. He’s intent on checking the box next to his campaign promise to end combat ops in Iraq, though, so here we are. The die is now cast — again, for better or worse.

He tends to do well in speeches by his usual standards when he has his C-in-C hat on, so here’s hoping he rises to the occasion. The thread is open.

Update: Nothing specific about the surge, but I was right about him saying some kind words about Dubya. From the transcript:

As we do, I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I have said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hope for Iraq’s future.


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Why don’t I feel goose bumps of patriotism and an intense national pride after listening to that drivel…?

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Does anybody have any idea when this is going to be over?

DrStock on August 31, 2010 at 8:19 PM

January 2013

Oldnuke on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

The fraud has been found out and he knows it boy that sucked hes scared shtless and stoned.
19 Minutes time for some golf and a couple weeks vacation. Did he say God Bless America or God Dam America?

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

This president is the biggest hoax every implemented by man.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

You know the pundits are gonna love it.Barf.

sandee on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Oh, and those soldiers that returned home were met by George Bush!

sandee on August 31, 2010 at 8:18 PM

A real man compared to this whimp

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

This is truly dreadful.

Cody1991 on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

David Gergen: “Perplexing speech”.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

He has girl’s hands. Never done manual labor in his life.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Incorrecto buddy. He’s shoveled $h!T all his life.

Amendment X on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

CK: Flat and odd.

lol

IrishEi on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

The Hammer- “flat and odd’ speech. Ha!

Monica on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

BO couldn’t inspire a sand flea.

Cody1991 on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

He lisps his esses

ndulik on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Chris Matthews: “It was Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Boy, he sure mailed that one in.

tommyboy on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

OK, 2 oval office addresses and they BOTH sucked. amatuer hour

Willie on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Oh good… Fareed Zakaria: “… for an eloquent President a solid speech”. Excuse me while I wipe the puke from my lips.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Hope and change has turned into shit and more shit.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

What a horrible speech

ndulik on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Rick Sanchez: “Now that’s the cotton-picking president!”

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Chris Matthews: “It was Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

He didn’t really say that did he?

sandee on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Dr. K is ripping BHO a new one…

d1carter on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Chris Matthews: “It was Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

your kidding, right?

WisRich on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Levin going nuts

ndulik on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Juan Williams thinks it was a terrific speech. Ugh.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

OMG, He used the word “God” in a sacred place — Bill Press will have a heart attack.

rbj on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Heh.

TN Mom on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Casual observation: I find David Gergen’s comb over perplexing.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Juan Williams is drinking the Kool-Aid.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Juan Williams is such a choad.

Monica on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

No, by taxpayers paying for a reconciliation mosque in, say, New York Cit in , say, Lower Manhattan perhaps.
Yah. That would work.

Amendment X on August 31, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Hillary doling out money to muslim countries and taliban by the billions, every month.
NASA paying money to muzzies to feel good.
And now , more money to alqaeda :
http://www.resistnet.com/group/islamandterrorism/forum/topics/wh-and-fed-agencies-to-aid?commentId=2600775%3AComment%3A2541668&groupId=2600775%3AGroup%3A34658

macncheez on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

That speech should get him a rise of 5 points for about 5 days.

Electrongod on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Juan Williams thinks it was a terrific speech. Ugh.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

of course he would

cmsinaz on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Rick Sanchez: “Now that’s the cotton-picking president!”

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

No effin way?

darwin-t on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

ZerObama HATES surrender ceremonies…and made sure to mention them.

Gob on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Juan Williams liked it.
shocker.
///

annoyinglittletwerp on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Seriously, he asked the networks to give him time for this crap? Charlie Crist!

So much for not being the President of the blue states, or the red states, but for the United States of America.

El_Terrible on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Obama: Okay, now that Iraq’s done, let’s get back to cap-n-trade.

petefrt on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Juan Williams: (visibly choking up) “So very humble, and he was full of humility. The best speech ever given by any president.”

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Juan Williams; as real as a WWE elimination match villain.

Skandia Recluse on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

the so called surge wolfie?

cmsinaz on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Juan has some crap on his nose from having it shoved so far up Obama’s ass.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

I love me some Steve Hayes! Juan’s a priss.

Yellowdog12 on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Boy, he sure mailed that one in.

tommyboy on August 31, 2010 at 8:21 PM

He was in a hurry. They’re having leftover shrimp from vacation, tonight.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Can’t the man just eat his waffle?

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Man our troops deserved better. The people who lost their lives to give others freedom deserved better than a campaign speech – a bad one at that.

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

No effin way?

darwin-t on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Well, not just now, but he did say that and had to apologize. Newsbusters has it.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Juan Williams thinks it was a terrific speech. Ugh.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

It’s a white thing…

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

There are Patriots for the SURGE and there are patriots against the SURGE and let me be clear I’m not a patriot and I have EGG all over my face. But I’m not finished with AMERACA I have just goten my wheels under me and I most certainly will fall on dumb a$$. /SARC

Thank GOD we only have 60 some odd days to go.

KATDADDY on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

Wow, he never ceases to be able to disappoint me!

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

I’m sorry, this is inspiring how????????
“Um, we’ve sucked in the past, we’ll, suck in the future, but I was more awesome in Afganistan than “the last dude was.” “I concede that Irac turned out ok, ut it was pure dumb luck. I’m so awesomely awesome, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And, Juan thinks it was a terrific speech, so it must be so.

Chewy the Lab on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Juan Williams: (visibly choking up) “So very humble, and he was full of humility. The best speech ever given by any president.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Please, please tell me you’re kidding. I’m begging you.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Is it over, can I turn Fox News back on?

reshas1 on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Please — Juan Williams needs to get behind Fareed Zakaria in the a**-kissing department… actually Fareed’s busy working the front.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Obama: Okay, now that Iraq’s done, let’s get back to cap-n-trade.

petefrt on August 31, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Which can be translated out of liberal speek to mean “tax-n-crash” the economy.

taney71 on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Alan Combs- ahhhh- my eyes.

Monica on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

opps my dumb a$$

KATDADDY on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

your kidding, right?

WisRich on August 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Yep, I don’t have tv so I am only predicting.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o33ksx9Fzqg&feature=email
A good video..

reshas1 on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Why don’t I feel goose bumps of patriotism and an intense national pride after listening to that drivel…?

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Because your patriotism to this country depends on what party the President belongs to. Don’t worry, you’ll be a patriot again if the next one is a republican.

I am loyal to no party…just this country.

fastestslug on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

I love Monica Crowley. You can always rely on her to tee off on Obama.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

O crap Oreally!

Wow Monica Crowley is rippin his a$$ and she is right!

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

We’re gonna need a bigger boat shark.

Christien on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Is it over, can I turn Fox News back on?

reshas1 on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Not yet – I just flipped over and saw a replay of part of the speech – my eyes! my eyes!

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Please, please tell me you’re kidding. I’m begging you.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

: ) Kidding, but would not put it past him.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Dude needs to hit the weights and drink a few protein shakes. He looks like an old Miami drag queen.

Alden Pyle on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

fastestslug on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Don’t be an a**.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

He was in a hurry. They’re having leftover shrimp from vacation, tonight.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2010 at 8:24 PM

I furchur hope they don’t have any salmanilla or nuttin!

Chewy the Lab on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

BOR can push Skeletor’s buttons better than anyone…

d1carter on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

He voted ‘present’ again. Is that all he can do?

Wonder what those golf scores look like. Hmmmmm…..

Cody1991 on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

BOR just asked why it was so boring.

BuckeyeSam on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

That wasn’t Obama who gave that speech.

It was Charlie Crist. Obama couldn’t be bothered to waste his time away from a good game of dunk with Reggie Love, so he called in Charlie to make the speech.

What, you guys didn’t recognize the Tan Man?

victor82 on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Skeletor wants Imam Obowma inside of him…

… there is no doubt about it.

Seven Percent Solution on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Because your patriotism to this country depends on what party the President belongs to. Don’t worry, you’ll be a patriot again if the next one is a republican.

I am loyal to no party…just this country.

fastestslug on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Or because he remembers what Obama was actually saying and doing during the war, so this all sounds like phony bullcrap coming from him.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Dude needs to hit the weights and drink a few protein shakes. He looks like an old Miami drag queen.

LOL, I needed that!

sandee on August 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Please, please tell me you’re kidding. I’m begging you.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM
: ) Kidding, but would not put it past him.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

You actually were pretty damn close!

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

“Hey Favreau. Put a shirt in and write me a speech ending that the bitter clingers would find patriotic”

MayBee on August 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Thanks for that — another loser actor whose movies I can stop seeing.

Republican on August 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Score one for BOR. He just said that Obama’s demeanor reminded him of Our Miss Brooks. Funny!

petefrt on August 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Wow Oreally is right he looks dejected because hes STONED. He gonna quit its too hard he just wants to party and play hes done. Bill sees it but doesn’t know what hes seeing.

dhunter on August 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Monica Crwoley is taering the ONE up though.

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Obama did everything possible to undermine the war and force us to leave in defeat. He was wrong about the war and he was wrong about the surge.

Now he wants us all to forget his past on the issue and feel patriotic that he’s talking-up victory and sacrifice. Please. Spare us.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

You actually were pretty damn close!

bluemarlin on August 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

From a few years experience with these choads.

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

For anyone that would like to join me. I have a drink in my hand. I would like to drink a toast…

To our previous CinC, President George Bush
To all who served and their families…
To all the patriots who supported us…
And most importantly, to our honored wounded and our honored dead…

Who’s with me?

hawkdriver on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Note that Barry didn’t mention the Tollybon or Hamid Karzai.

Christien on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

carbon_footprint on August 31, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Guess I won’t be seeing anymore of his movies.

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Marxist are not very interesting…

d1carter on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

fastestslug on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Or it’s because the speech wasn’t that inspiring.

JadeNYU on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I just woke up… after going under 30 seconds into Barry’s soporific speech… what did I miss?

profitsbeard on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Just how is this going to make his liberal lefty “base” happy? That’s who he has to impress.

sandee on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Who’s with me?

hawkdriver on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Raising glass.

Oldnuke on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Alan Combs- ahhhh- my eyes. ears.

Monica on August 31, 2010 at 8:25 PM

FIFY

LEBA on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Who’s with me?

hawkdriver on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Cheers!

*clinking glasses*

cmsinaz on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

hawkdriver on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Amen to that!

gophergirl on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

okay it wasn’t a me,me me speech as bad as I thought it would be but it so boring.

Was it me but didn’t it seem he was about to laugh or smirk near the end of the speech. When he was talking about how we have failed the middle class and we all need tow owrk together?

Gracelynn on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Monica Crowley vs. Alan Colmes: Baby vs. Bathwater. Yawn!

Chewy the Lab on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Cheers, hawk.

Christien on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

hawkdriver on August 31, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Amen, my brother.

amerpundit on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

He looks like SH!T

katy on August 31, 2010 at 8:11 PM

No kidding. That’s one of the really shocking things about going back to watch his “the surge will never work” videos from two years ago – he’s aged at least 20 since then.

Quisp on August 31, 2010 at 8:31 PM

okay, three years ago. still. (we need edits.)

Quisp on August 31, 2010 at 8:32 PM

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