Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Against it before he was for it?

Previewing the President's speech on Iraq this evening while we prep for KT's challenge.

At Monday's White House briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs gave reporters a preview of President Obama's speech on Iraq. Obama will apparently take credit for withdrawing U.S. troops -- "We are completing a drawdown of almost 100,000 troops that…many did not think was possible," Gibbs said -- but is unlikely to acknowledge any special role played by George W. Bush's troop surge. Gibbs said Obama plans to call Bush before the speech, but through repeated questioning would not admit that the surge played any especially important role in the war's progress.

A couple of things here. Yes, the troop drawdown was executed at the behest of the Commander-in-Chief, President Obama, but let's not forget that he is simply honoring the troop drawdown agreement put into place by the Bush administration. Obama's on watch, however, and such is the nature of politics where you get the blame as well as the credit for what transpires or was allowed to transpire while you are in office.

But the "many did not think was possible,"... Again, with the false straw mans. Similar to just a few days ago when in response to the persistent birth certificate question, Obama responded, "I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,”. He's answering questions no one is asking. Those wing-nuts just want to see it once, that's all. And up close!

Here's more from Gibbs, yesterday:

"The president always believed that you would change part of the security situation by vastly increasing the number of troops," Gibbs said. "But again I think it was important -- and the president was criticized for this throughout the campaign -- and that is saying that we were not going to accomplish all of what needed to be done in Iraq simply militarily, that there had to be a political accommodation.

(italics, ours)

OK. OK. So, maybe he was just against it before he was for it. It happens.

Like when you go from being a junior senator to potentially the most powerful man on the planet.

By January 2008, with the surge working, Obama revised his remarks at a debate in New Hampshire: "Now, I had no doubt -- and I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence."

In the Team O inner circle, this was always referred to as the great 30,000 additional troop un-surge.

Linked articles strongly hint that there will not be any public acknowledgement of the Bush surge plan or of Bush himself, in the speech tonight and that's a shame. For an administration that possesses a massive grace deficit, reaching out to the former President would be, we don't know.... possibly post-partisan and maybe even unifying.

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