Apparently Obama understands the need to make things as clear as possible for the sound-biting, faux-news reporting, McCain narrative driving Media. After a week of fielding absurd questions about his Iraq stance and having to defend one of the most ridiculous attacks of this season, he decided to put it in writing in the NYT for all those out there who are still whining. Of course, most of those who claim that Obama flopped can't read and only watch talking heads spew garbage about the size of their manhood rather than listen to a solid and strong position.
He starts out pretty much giving his typical stump.
"THE call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States. 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."
We know this stuff and it's shocking that he STILL has to remind people of it. Then again, McCain is slowly fading into the same Alzheimer induced path that his lover Reagan quietly drifted into.
"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."
He lays out his clear opposition to the surge not by condemning some of it's successes, but by saying what a crutch it has been to the Iraqi's and what a detriment it has been to our military.
"The good news is that Iraq’s leaders want to take responsibility for their country by negotiating a timetable for the removal of American troops. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. James Dubik, the American officer in charge of training Iraq’s security forces, estimates that the Iraqi Army and police will be ready to assume responsibility for security in 2009. Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning Iraq over to a sovereign Iraqi government."
He's right on target here. Move our troops out, let NATO troops keep the peace if needed and take care of our real business where it is needed. He is not allowing McCain and his Media push the McCain narrative that leaving is equatable to surrender. McCain has got to let his Vietnam-era Domino Effect dribble go and realize that the world has changed and there is no room for his dated leadership.