Obama in April: I don't want a timetable for withdrawal; Update: April 2004

Barack Obama gave an interview in April to a Chicago television station and talked about his policy on Iraq. Take a look at the confused look on the interviewer’s face when Obama tries to explain that he has never called for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, but wants to complete the mission there:

Q: But you’ve said troops should be withdrawn (from Iraq).

A: No, no, I’ve never said troops should be withdrawn.

Really? This is what his website offers for his Iraq policy:

Bringing Our Troops Home

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

And from the same page, Obama notes that he introduced legislation in January 2007 (the start of the surge) that would have removed all of our troops by March 2008. He spent most of the primaries arguing with Hillary Clinton about which of them would actually produce a complete withdrawal. MoveOn and Code Pink support Obama specifically because he would commit to a fast withdrawal of American troops from Iraq — except for an embassy guard — and Hillary had a more nuanced position regarding precipitous withdrawal.

Instead, in this interview, he does his best to emulate John McCain. In Chicago, on April 5th of this year, he suddenly wants to complete the rebuilding, establish security, and then lower troop levels to a point where all of the gains remain in place.

Does Obama read his own website? Or does he just make it up as he goes along?

Update (AP): Readers are pointing out that the sidebar description on the YouTube page says this is from April 2004, not 2008. Sorry for the slip-up.

Update (Ed): My apologies for the error. The April 2004 date makes this somewhat interesting in a different way. Clearly, when things seemed to be going well at that time, Obama didn’t see a need to withdraw from Iraq. He could very well make the argument that he changed his mind as things got worse, which would be reasonable, if not correct in retrospect. However, Obama has claimed that he always opposed the Iraq war, while this shows that to be not quite the case.

Again, my apologies for the original error, and my thanks to my outstanding co-blogger Allahpundit for correcting it so quickly.