Saturday, December 06, 2008

Truth, Lies, and Everything Between

Though Obama has flip-flopped on many issues the one issue he has remained constant about is Iraq. As almost everyone knows, words can be quite malleable when spoken by politicians and Obama is no exception to this. Obama when speaking of the Iraq War chooses his words very carefully. When discussing what to do with U.S. troops he always has used the word “redeploy” as many others have done. Redeploy does not mean bringing the troops home, redeploy means moving them from one area in a battlefield and moving them to another place in a battlefield. In this case it is quite clear that Afghanistan is the new battlefield that Obama had in mind when he first began speaking of redeployment. Obama also spoke of ending the Iraq War. This was always the big lie though a consistent lie. Obama never intended to end the Iraq War but has consistently maintained that he would leave a residual force in Iraq. He bases his claim for ending the Iraq War on the premise that he would remove all “combat” troops from Iraq. Unfortunately those troops defined as combat troops consist of only about one half of all U.S. troops stationed in Iraq nor does it include the mercenaries (thugs) like Blackwater. Thus Obama may claim his desire to end the Iraq War without actually doing so.

Back in July Obama wrote an Op Ed for the New York Times.


The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep. Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president. I believed it was a grave mistake to allow ourselves to be distracted from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban by invading a country that posed no imminent threat and had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Since then, more than 4,000 Americans have died and we have spent nearly $1 trillion. Our military is overstretched. Nearly every threat we face — from Afghanistan to Al Qaeda to Iran — has grown.

While it is true that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 however as is typical of all politicians there are lies mixed in with the truth which helps to make the lies more legitimate. The fact is that al Qaida has for the most part been dismantled, quite the opposite of growing, therefore Afghanistan poses no threat nor does Iran. As I have mentioned numerous times all the intelligence agencies agree that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Yet Obama repeats these same lies over and over. Either Obama is a moron or he is a liar and frankly I consider the latter to be the case.

Also this from the same Op Ed.

As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 — two years from now, and more than seven years after the war began. After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal.

In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected. We would move them from secure areas first and volatile areas later. We would pursue a diplomatic offensive with every nation in the region on behalf of Iraq’s stability, and commit $2 billion to a new international effort to support Iraq’s refugees.

As you can see Obama has consistently said he would leave a “residual force” in Iraq and only a careless reader would interpret redeployment as bringing the troops home or that this means ending the Iraq War and occupation. Obama also carefully leaves himself an emergency exit with his reference to “tactical adjustments” meaning even a partial withdrawal of U.S. troops might be put for another day, month, year, or years.

Obama continues with…

Ending the war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven. Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been. As Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently pointed out, we won’t have sufficient resources to finish the job in Afghanistan until we reduce our commitment to Iraq.

As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there. I would not hold our military, our resources and our foreign policy hostage to a misguided desire to maintain permanent bases in Iraq.

Here Obama contradicts himself, a common occurrence among habitual liars. He claims he would not maintain permanent military bases in Iraq but isn’t that what he just said he was going to do with his open-ended commitment to leaving residual forces? As for his statement of “finishing the job” in Afghanistan just what exactly does that entail? How does he define finishing the job? We don’t know what he means which in turn means that ending the bloody slaughter of Afghan people is something that will be determined in an indeterminate future by indeterminate goals. As most thinking people have already realized this War on Terror is merely a cover for rampant U.S. military aggression and has nothing at all to do with protecting anyone from terrorist attacks. Indeed, all our military aggression has done is to create even more terrorists. I have come to loath that word “terrorist” for it is a term we use for those people who object to being murdered by the U.S. military and having their land invaded and eternally occupied by foreign forces. Put the shoe on the other foot and ask yourself how would you like it if a foreign nation bombed your cities, murdered your friends and families and created a permanent military presence in your backyard? Would you consider yourself to be a terrorist by objecting to this?

At the end of his Op Ed Obama claims he would end this war yet it is quite clear that he intends to do no such thing. To the contrary he has quite clearly made his position clear that he will escalate the War on Terror with more troops, helicopters, and what have you in Afghanistan with no clear view as to when such imperialism would end and more recently has made his hawkish views on Pakistan well known. The questions people should be asking is how does Obama define withdrawal from Iraq, how does he define his goals for escalating military aggression and how much will this cost not only in money but also in terms of human suffering.


At December 07, 2008 11:51 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

On "Washington Journal" this morning, Norman Solomon quoted Obama as saying that he would not only end the war in Iraq, but would "end the mindset" that led to war. This is what we must promote, or we will participate endlessly in the bloody slaughter of children and others.
However, O. said this before he was elected. Can you imagine him saying that now, in light of his staff appointments? I think even the most fervent followers are beginning to realize we've been had.

At December 07, 2008 2:51 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mimi,

Norman Solomon is a smart guy though he has supported Obama I think he does so with the belief that the best way to change things is from within the Democratic Party. I don’t agree with that idea myself but what the heck Solomon has done much more than I have in promoting anti-war sentiment since he is an activist and all I do is write my little screeds. For sure some people have realized that they have been had but others are still hoping Obama is going to be something other than what he is. I think part of the problem has always been that Obama has very clever speech writers who allow people to read things into what Obama says what they want to hear as Jonathan Versen has pointed out.
When I was growing up Blacks had a word they used to describe guys like Obama -- “Oreo” black on the outside but white on the inside, very apt in the case of Obama.


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