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Ear to the Ground

Obama Hedges on Withdrawal

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Posted on Jul 3, 2008
Obama
Flickr / Jurvetson

Capping off a week of disappointments for his progressive supporters, Barack Obama backed away from the idea of a timely withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, a signature plank in his campaign. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground,” explained Obama, “I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

Update: In response to criticism from John McCain’s campaign, Barack Obama has clarified his earlier comments, saying he would not extend his timetable for withdrawal, but would consider leaving more troops behind, depending on the advice of military commanders.


New York Times:

Mr. Obama, whose popularity in the Democratic primary was built upon a sharp opposition to the war and an often-touted 16-month gradual timetable for removing combat troops, dismissed suggestions that he was changing positions in the wake of reductions in violence in Iraq and a general election fight with Senator John McCain.

“I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

As he arrived for a campaign stop in North Dakota, Mr. Obama told reporters on Thursday that he intended to conduct “a thorough assessment” of his Iraq policy during a forthcoming trip to the country. He stressed that he has long called for a careful and responsible withdrawal of American forces, but he declined to offer a fresh endorsement of his plan to remove one to two combat brigades a month.

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By Reubenesque, July 3, 2008 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C Y R E N A ? ? ? . . .C Y R E N A ? ? ?

Where art thou?  So wordy, so devout.  Now change is just something in your pocket if you’re lucky.

I guess next B.O. will start hinting he might be okay with the insurance companies writing up his new healthcare policy.

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By P. T., July 3, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Obama:  Changeling we can believe in?

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, July 3, 2008 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

Jblack,

You asked:

“Remind me again. Why were most of you here jazzed up about the man?”

Obama is a good salesman, though his warranty sucks, he seems to have sold us a lemon.

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By BobZ, July 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

I am concerned now about the volunteer support Obama will be getting over the next four months, if he further dilutes his message of hope. As each week goes by, he becomes less and less attractive to the Democrat’s who voted for him. He is taking the energy right out of his campaign and his campaign workers. Getting out of Iraq is the key that will unlock the rest of his platform. As long as we’re stuck there we won’t have the money to support upgrades to social programs, nor redeploy some of the troops to Afghanistan to get Osama, nor stabilize our Middle East situation, which would get the price of oil back down to normal levels. At some point Obama has to really hammer home why it is imperative not to have another four years of Republican control of the White House, I hope he is up to it.

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By Pacrat, July 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does anyone believe that any politician aiming for the highest political office in the land will keep his promises? Even Washington lied about his wooden teeth!

Just as long as Obamma talks to some non-partisan generals. Talking to Petraeus won’t give him the real story.

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By webbedouin, July 3, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

Obama backs down on his pledge to filibuster the FISA immunity package…

Obama hedges hit bet on Iraqi troop withdrawal…

People wonder if Obama “sold out”

I doubt that he ever bought in to a progressive agenda.

The Democraps are going to fail you once again in 2008.

We’ll be fighting in Iran, regardless of who wins the election. 

(Basically ‘cause Israel told us to and they went to all the trouble to make up stuff about Iran being 5 years away from having a nuclear bomb.  A secret:  everybody in the world is 5 years away from building a nuclear bomb including myself, should i so desire)
But i digress…

Here is the big clue:

A keep health insurers in the loop for the solution to health care shows that the candidate is “sold out” and a corporate running dog lackey.

A get the health insurers, single payer system approach to health care shows a progressive agenda.

This one simple test will tell you if the candidate is progressive or regressive.  Obamalama is regressive.  Does have some good rhetoric, none the less.

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By jobart, July 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cyrena,
Please help me here. It’s one thing to “say whatever
THEY want to hear” in order to get the necessary support to be elected. Isn’t he going too far here? I look to your response, as well as others of our common “ilk” (damn, I LOVE that word!!!), to get a feel for the “mood” and attitude.
Now,..............to you “objectioning folks”, don’t forget to find (imagined)“issues” with my comments. I’m just a left-wing pansy to be ignored?  Right? Another “radical” revolutionary? No, you’re wrong. I’m an American that,throughout the growth as a American competing for the “fruits” of a sucessful life and future,remains dissapointed. What I strove to achieve and the arena I chose to have that competition with, were “choices” that I (truly believed)had an “objective” decision-making power. Never mind,But,I degress.
I would really appreciate your (cyrena) thoughts. I’m thinking that, with the calender moving foward, the anxiety of the “near term” is anything but “anxiety-producing”.  How are you guys, the “like-thinking”, sleeping? I’m @ ~ 4hrs./ You?

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By Gfernandez, July 3, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

Bush’s Third Term
July 2, 2008; Page A12
We’re beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of “George Bush’s third term.” Maybe he’s worried that someone will notice that he’s the candidate who’s running for it.

Take the surveillance of foreign terrorists. Last October, while running with the Democratic pack, the Illinois Senator vowed to “support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies” that assisted in such eavesdropping after 9/11. As recently as February, still running as the liberal favorite against Hillary Clinton, he was one of 29 Democrats who voted against allowing a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee reform of surveillance rules even to come to the floor.

the Democrat was calling for an immediate and rapid U.S. withdrawal. When General David Petraeus first testified about the surge in September 2007, Mr. Obama was dismissive and skeptical. But with the surge having worked wonders in Iraq, this week Mr. Obama went out of his way to defend General Petraeus against MoveOn.org’s attacks in 2007 that he was “General Betray Us.” Perhaps he had a late epiphany.

Look for Mr. Obama to use his forthcoming visit to Iraq as an excuse to drop those withdrawal plans faster than he can say Jeremiah Wright “was not the person that I met 20 years ago.” The Senator will learn – as John McCain has been saying – that withdrawal would squander the gains from the surge, set back Iraqi political progress, and weaken America’s strategic position against Iran.

Mr. Obama has also made ostentatious leaps toward Mr. Bush on domestic issues. While he once bid for labor support by pledging a unilateral rewrite of Nafta, the Democrat now says he favors free trade as long as it works for “everybody.” His economic aide, Austan Goolsbee, has been liberated from the five-month purdah he endured for telling Canadians that Mr. Obama’s protectionism was merely campaign rhetoric. 

This week the great Democratic hope even endorsed , Mr. Obama’s campaign unveiled an ad asserting his support for welfare reform that “slashed the rolls by 80 percent.” Never mind that Mr. Obama has declared multiple times that he opposed the landmark 1996 welfare reform.


Mr. Obama doesn’t seem to think American political sentiment has moved as far left as most of the media claim. Another is that the next President, whether Democrat or Republican, is going to embrace much of Mr. Bush’s foreign and antiterror policy whether he admits it or not. Think Eisenhower endorsing Truman’s Cold War architecture.


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By Blackspeare, July 3, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

I said it before and I’ll say it again——no candidate running for POTUS will make any substantial withdrawal of troops in the near term.  The ME is too critical to world politics and neither McCain nor Obama is going to allow Iran to dominate Iraqi politics much to their chagrin.  We can see the rhetoric on both sides is calming down as both hedge their bets with the outcome of the US election the unknown factor!

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