Barack Obama's Iraq "Plan"

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 14, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama took to the pages of the New York Times today to outline his plan to "end" the war in Iraq. Of course, there's no "ending" of war -- you either win or you lose.

But what's most interesting to me is Obama's attempt to rewrite history -- and will anyone in the mainstream media call him on it.

In the 18 months since President Bush announced the surge, our troops have performed heroically in bringing down the level of violence. New tactics have protected the Iraqi population, and the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda - greatly weakening its effectiveness.

But the same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true. The strain on our military has grown, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and we've spent nearly $200 billion more in Iraq than we had budgeted. Iraq's leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge.

As the McCain campaign notes -- with plenty of sourcing -- not a single thing Obama says about his reasons for opposing the surge originally is true.

FACT: Barack Obama Said He Opposed The Surge In Iraq Because It Would Not Work Or Reduce Violence.

  • October 2006: Barack Obama Says We Cannot "Through Putting In More Troops Or Maintaining The Presence That We Have, Expect That Somehow The Situation Is Going To Improve." Obama: "Given the deteriorating situation, it is clear at this point that we cannot, through putting in more troops or maintaining the presence that we have, expect that somehow the situation is going to improve, and we have to do something significant to break the pattern that we've been in right now." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 10/22/06)
  • January 2007: Barack Obama Says The Surge Would Actually Worsen Sectarian Violence In Iraq. Obama: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." (MSNBC's "Response To The President's Speech On Iraq," 1/10/07)
  • January 2007: Barack Obama Says He Did Not Know Of Any Middle East Expert Or Military Officer That Believed That The New Strategy Would "Make A Substantial Difference On The Situation On The Ground." Obama: "We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality -- we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don't know any expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground." (CBS' "Face The Nation," 1/14/07)
  • March 2007: Barack Obama Warns The Troop Surge Would Not Make A Long-Term Difference. Obama: "[E]ven those who are supporting -- but here's the thing, Larry -- even those who support the escalation have acknowledged that 20,000, 30,000, even 40,000 more troops placed temporarily in places like Baghdad are not going to make a long-term difference." (CNN's "Larry King Live," 3/19/07)
  • May 2007: Barack Obama Says He Does Not Believe The Surge Is Working. Obama: "And what I know is that what our troops deserve is not just rhetoric, they deserve a new plan. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe that the course that we're on in Iraq is working, I do not." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks To The Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists Convention, Chicago, IL, 5/25/07)
  • July 2007: Barack Obama Says The Surge Had Not Worked In Iraq. Obama: "My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now." (NBC's "The Today Show," 7/18/07)
  • November 2007: Barack Obama Says The Surge Has Not Worked, And Had Potentially Worsened The Situation In Iraq. Obama: "Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn't withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a search and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 11/11/07)

Follow the link for more inaccuracies. Consider, once again, that Obama is touting not his experience, but his judgment. His judgment with regard to the surge was 100 percent wrong. It's something even he recongizes -- because he is attempting to rewrite his reasons for his opposition.

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