July 22, 2008

Obama: Surge Was An Unnecessary Success

Katie Couric—well known for creampuff interviews—nonetheless presses a befuddled Barack Obama into admitting that even with today's perfect 20/20 hindsight, he'd still reject the surge.

Couric: But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?

Obama: Katie, as you've asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.

Couric: But yet you're saying given what you know now, you still wouldn't support it so I'm just trying to understand this.

Obama: Because it's pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that's money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan so that we were reducing our demand on oil, which is helping to fund the insurgents in many countries. So those are all factors that would be taken into consideration in my decision-- to deal with a specific tactic or strategy inside of Iraq.

Couric: And I really don't mean to belabor this, Senator, because I'm really, I'm trying to figure out your position. Do you think the level of security in Iraq

Obama: Yes.

Couric would exist today without the surge?

Obama: Katie, I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there's no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq. I said that, not just today, not just yesterday, but I've said that previously. What that doesn't change is that we've got to have a different strategic approach if we're going to make America as safe as possible.

What character... admitting to 25 million Iraqis that their lives are nothing more than marks to be counted against in a ledger, chits with a firm price. Gives you pause when considering what he'll do if allowed into office to socialize your healthcare, doesn't it?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 22, 2008 11:27 PM

OK, let's try this the civil way:

Obama says his approach was "to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation." How does that equate to putting a price on 25 million Iraqi lives? Especially when the folks that blog here seem to think that Sunnis and Shias have no problems cooperating with one another at all.

It's worth noting that there's a decent argument to be made that we should never have invaded Iraq in the first place, and that our very presence in Iraq put a lot of Iraqi lives in jeopardy.

Many conservatives in America might not share your apparent sentiment that you cannot put a price on human life. If they did, they wouldn't push for extensive tax cuts when millions of Americans (not Iraqis) go without health insurance and, effectively, adequate health care all the time.

You certainly have a good argument on your side that Obama's approach to Iraq has been inconsistent and, to your way of thinking, wrong. But to pretend that Obama or any other human being would cavalierly write off 25 million lives of ANY nationality seems a mite incredible.

That's really the problem caused in the last eight years, the Karl Rove school of thought: it's not enough to debate your political opponents (Democrats), you have to vilify them (evil Commie bastards) and then destroy them. It's why the Republican Party lost the COngress in 2006, and why they may well lose the White House in 2008. Think about it: if Obama is clearly so inadequate as a candidate for President, how on earth could he ever get elected? Only if a majority of Americans are somehow disapproving of the current Republican approach to governance.

Go ahead. Blast away. :-)

Posted by: Diogenes at July 23, 2008 01:57 AM

"It's worth noting that there's a decent argument to be made that we should never have invaded Iraq in the first place, and that our very presence in Iraq put a lot of Iraqi lives in jeopardy."

Whether or not we 'should have gone in' is not really relevant to the facts in this case dio. We are there, you play with the cards you have you know? He's basically saying that if he had been the one pulling the trigger; he would have put the Iraqi nation under his ego-swelling bus and diverted everything somewhere else. And damned if even he knows what would have happened (or damned if he even seems to care).

I just can't believe that $15m Katie asked those distracting questions to Mr. H&C08

Posted by: Lord Nazh at July 23, 2008 03:33 AM

Obama is certainly the protege of reverend Wright. Not only does his overheated sermonizing mimic the manner of the Trinty Church pulpit players, but when he's challenged to defend his statements, actions, or positions, he acts the way Wright did at his audacious press conference: indignant, condescending, dismissive, insulting. Has the nation already forgotten how Obama wilted from the intense pressure of the televised "debate", when the reporters were "asking him too many questions" ? This guy gets flustered in the heat of a Katie Couric interview, and he's gonna stand up to Ahmadinejad?

Posted by: Joe at July 23, 2008 04:14 AM

"Think about could he get elected"

With the help of an utterly complicit media that simply will not show the man for anything like what he really is.

Besides the WSJ, who covered this one?

Some blogs, and that's about it.

The guy consistantly shows poor judgement. If it weren't for that first wave of teenager in college who think that haveing a black president is the answer to the worlds problems, this guy would never have gotten off of the ground.

His background shows his inexperience, and even for being that inexperienced, he's got a lot of weird connections going on in his background.

Read around in there for a while and see why this guy shouldn't be president.

Hope/ Change...pfft.

Posted by: Xerock at July 23, 2008 05:37 AM

It's reassuring to find someone as optimistic as Diogenes. "[I]f Obama is clearly so inadequate as a candidate for President, how on earth could he ever get elected?" By that logic we can substitute the name of any person who actually was elected President and be assured that that person was adequate.

Posted by: Dave at July 23, 2008 10:31 AM

There is nothing civil about Diogenes. Unfortunately the real Greek Diogenes past by the house of both this one and our Obama and found them wanting. We know what has happened without them. Diogenes use your powers of foresight and tell us what Saddam and Qusay would have been up to low these few years. Would they have seen the errors of their ways and mended their behavior? Would they have used the vast oil wealth to bribe, undermine and finance actions against us? I don't know about anyone else, but listening to Obama respond to both ABC's and NBC's questions. Obama sounds like a well spoken fool. He is the product of affirmative action. No doubt he was the big bullshitter on campus. Anyone who went to college knows one. Diogenes, if this lop is elected President, are you willing to be responsible for the damage he will do? Put your life up.

Posted by: Zelsdorf Ragshaft III at July 23, 2008 12:04 PM

Thanks to most of you for politely telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, as opposed to "ripping me a new one" as is often the case here. Except , of course, Z, who insists I'm not civil, because he knows me (and Obama) so well.

Saying Obama is a product of affirmative action starts to hint at your real objection, Z, doesn't it? It's not true, of course, that he was admitted to Columbia and Harvard Law via affirmative action, but even if it were true, you don't graduate magna cum laude and as president of the Law Review due to affirmative action. Do you have some sort of chip on your shoulder about college boys, Z? Because it sure sounds like it. Really, there's no crime involved in using one's brain.

On the subject of getting flustered by a Katie Couric interview, what about McCain's talk with the little lady? This is exactly what concerns me about McCain.

"On Katie Couric tonight McCain says:

Kate Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?

McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is as -- such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn't make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.

One problem. The surge wasn't even announced until a few months after the Anbar Awakening. Via Spencer Ackerman, here is Colonel MacFarland explaining the Anbar Awakening to Pam Hass of UPI, on September 29, 2006. That would be almost four months before the President even announced the surge. Petraeus wasn't even in Iraq yet."

You can read all the tea leaves you want and declare that Obama is totally lacking in anything resembling a smidge of character, and that's your opinion. You've also dismissed out of hand all of McCain's "gaffes". Do none of these "gaffes" ever give you one second of doubt or concern? I'm very very concerned that McCain has lost a step, and this latest episode certainly adds to that concern.

Posted by: Diogenes at July 23, 2008 12:30 PM

The surge, Diogenes, was not just a military operation. It was a strategy, which involved military components. Even if the Anbar Awakening occured before the Surge officially began, remember that it was the work of the Surge that leveraged, reinforced, and amplified the Awakening and made it possible for all of the diverse political pieces to come together instead of fall apart. You guys on the Left are so keen in invalidating the efforts of our American service people and policy planners but have no clue as to the hard work that went into the Surge success that now seems so inevitable and easy that you discount the very efforts that made the success possible. Can you imagine if the Surge failed even after the Anbar Awakening, if the Sunnis fought al-Queda but at the same time banded together to form a stronger insurgency? Oh yes, that would require imagination, intellect, and a modicum of good will towards one's country. My bad.

Posted by: mbabbitt at July 23, 2008 01:47 PM

That's not the issue with the sirge, or at least, it's not the issue I was raising. The issue I raised was McCain's erroneous recollections of how it all went down. And, to take it a step further, his fairly arrogant putdown of Obama for not even understanding the history. Obama doesn't understand McCain's history on this point because McCain's recollection of history is flat out wrong.

But I guess I'm the only one here who sees a potential danger in an old man taking charge when he doesn't have it all together anymore.

Posted by: dioegenes at July 23, 2008 02:22 PM
Do none of these "gaffes" ever give you one second of doubt or concern?

If Obama's gaffes don't give you one second of doubt or concern, why should McCain's give us one second of doubt or concern?

Sauce for the goose, sir.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 23, 2008 04:50 PM

Speaking of gaffes, Mr. Diogenes, it's rather silly for you to be harping on McCain's when Obama doesn't even know what Senate committee(s) he belongs to.

You sure you wanna continue to talk about McCain not having it all together? At least he knows what committees he's on.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 23, 2008 05:32 PM

I often wonder if Democrats can remember things that happened the day before yesterday, other than how much an ounce of doobie cost.

They always seem to forget that Iraq had ignored multiple UN resolutions, to allow UN weapons inspectors in, and had defied all time-tables and ultimatums, contrary to the agreed upon terms of the cease-fire terms of Operation Desert Storm.

That had they not tied Bush 1's hands we could have gone all the way to Baghdad and taken Hussein out in 1991.

That had Bill Clinton not been such a wuss we could have had Bin Laden from the Sudanese, thus no 9/11, and no Iraq War.

That the consensus was that Iraq had WMD, and Saddam Hussein had gassed his own people.

That most of the elected Democrats (Senate and Representatives) voted to go into Iraq.

That Al Qaeda flocked into Iraq, and were defeated by our military, and duh, they were getting killed over there instead of over here.

That we are still fighting a GLOBAL War on Terrorism.

...and that the US has not been attacked since 9/11.

Posted by: art at July 23, 2008 05:39 PM

"[T]hat's money that could have gone into Afghanistan."

The Democrats always favor "something else." They want to fulfill the objective "some other way."

They don't want oil, nuclear power, or natural gas -- they want wind. They don't want troops in Iraq, they want them in Afghanistan.

In truth, they're in favor of NOTHING, but they're too hypocritical to say so.

Posted by: Larry at July 23, 2008 07:22 PM

OK, is anybody going to comment on McCain? You've danced all around it.

"Well... the Dems did this.... the Dems did that... Obama said this...."

What do you have to say about John McCain completely mssing the complete chronology of the surge -- not just messing up a few dates, but getting it completely inside out -- and then, today, digging himself even deeper with a totally incomprehensible "answer".

Rule One when you find yourself in a hole: quit digging. McCain must have forgotten that rule, too.

Posted by: Diogenes at July 23, 2008 08:43 PM

And Obama doesn't even know what Senate committee(s) he's on.

Kinda gives new meaning to "confused," doesn't it, Diogenes?

Posted by: C-C-G at July 23, 2008 10:12 PM

C-C-G, will you ever realize that this isn't some stupid kid's game of "gotcha"? It isn't how many gaffes my guy has in relation to how many gaffes your guy has.

I have NO IDEA what would possess Obama to say he was on the Senate Banking Committee when he isn't. That's pretty dumb.

But McCain claims he should be President because of his vast foreign affairs experience, yet he continually messes up on his very area of "expertise". He gets countries confused all the time. Now he tries to rewrite history in Iraq re: the Anbar Awakening and the Surge (and he has the balls to mistakenly call out Obama on that topic, claiming Obama doesn't know the history!).

And you're playing infantile "gotcha" games. Grow up and recognize the issue, please.

Posted by: diogenes at July 23, 2008 10:27 PM

No diogenes -- you and your fellow Obama accolytes need to get your messiah back on the truth track.

You are always hung up on McCain's supposed Suni vs. Shiite gaff, but you see nothing wrong with Obama's outright lies about his involvement with the Senate Banking Committee. You see nothing wrong with a foreign policy wimp (with the advice from over 300 advisors) who changes his story according to the audience he addresses.

Tell me, diogenes, just where does your Obamassiah stand on the major issues that concern American citizens? Don't give me your usual crap about nuance and Carl Rove -- just the real facts, diogenes, that is if you have the intelligence and patience to dig them out!

Posted by: Mescalero at July 23, 2008 11:40 PM

This ignorant, arrogant marxist has no business running for president. Liberals whine about the possibility of putting guns in the hands of children and yet they want to hand over the power of the United States to this empty suit.

Posted by: William Fortner at July 24, 2008 12:00 AM

Thank you, Mescalero. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 24, 2008 07:18 AM

Pits bulls, plain and simple. Trained for one thing: attack, attack, attack. It almost looks like you go out of your way to avoid addressing McCain's weaknesses. The whole issue of McCain not understanding that the Surge did not cause the Awakening, and then either lying his way out, or getting more and more confused in the process. You guys just ignore it completely, and "respond" with a highly educated "Oh, yeah? Well, your guy is a Commie!" You don't even have enough courtesy to call Obama by his name... it's always a punchline for your would-be comedians.

Well, it really makes no difference, guys. Obama's gonna be the next President. Better start getting used to it.

Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 09:21 AM

Wow, now the story behind Obama's "false claim" that he's on the Senate Banking Commmittee:

Obama goofed. He was talking about a bill that he sponsored that was approved by the Senate Banking Committee. Instead of saying "my bill" he said "my committee".

Wow. Earth-shattering stuff.

Almost exactly like McCain's explanation of the Surge chronology. I paraphrase:

Well, you see, ummm, the Anbar Awakening was part of..... a counter-insurgency. And then the Surge came in 8 months later. Now, the Surge is the same thing as a counter-insurgency. Well, no, not the same thing, but a counter-insurgency is part of a Surge... no, wait.... a Surge is part of a counter-insurgency.... (is that what Lieberman told me to say?).... yeah, that's it! Look at the words, right? SURGE.... counter-inSURGEncy. See? It's the same thing!!

Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 09:59 AM

Look in the mirror, diogenes. We point out Obama's idiotic claim that he was on the Banking committee, what do you do? Attack McCain.

Obama will only be President if something supernatural intervenes. Otherwise his empty suit status will be shown long before November. Despite their vocal status on blogs and talk radio, there just aren't enough kool-aid drinkers to win the election for Obama.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 24, 2008 05:14 PM

Jeez, C-C-G, do you actually read at all? The very first thing I did was address Obama's gaffe:

Obama goofed. He was talking about a bill that he sponsored that was approved by the Senate Banking Committee. Instead of saying "my bill" he said "my committee".

You (and, if it gives you comfort, many others here) have one speed: ATTACK. You know nothing else, you understand nothing else, you do nothing else. And it explains not only your actions on this particularly little blog, but it also explains your world view. You identify your true-blue buddies first, and then look to level everybody else in sight.


Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 05:21 PM

"Well, there you go again," to quote a famous Republican. You're attacking me once again.

Keep it up, please. Keep showing all us neanderthals how a superior person debates using personal attacks.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 24, 2008 06:33 PM

Follow the chronology please. (Does EVERYBODY on the right have this issue?)

You commented that Obama's statement about being on the Banking Committee, and you ended "Kinda gives new meaning to "confused," doesn't it, Diogenes?"

Last evening, I responded: "I have NO IDEA what would possess Obama to say he was on the Senate Banking Committee when he isn't. That's pretty dumb."

This morning, I Googled to see what was out there on this issue because, at that point, I hadn't heard anything about it except for your comment. I found what I thought was a reasonable explanation of Obama's mistake, so I posted:

"Obama goofed. He was talking about a bill that he sponsored that was approved by the Senate Banking Committee. Instead of saying 'my bill' he said 'my committee'."

You responded: "We point out Obama's idiotic claim that he was on the Banking committee, what do you do? Attack McCain."

So yeah, I questioned your willingness to read, and reposted my original statement: OBAMA GOOFED.

No personal attack against you there, C-C-G, at least not until you ignored not one but two admissions that Obama screwed up in his comment.

(Memo to self: quit wasting your time.)

Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 07:36 PM

"Well, there you go again," attacking me.

What was that you were saying about us having one speed, "ATTACK"? Look in the mirror.

Posted by: C-C-G at July 24, 2008 07:54 PM

In fairness to the moderator of this blog, I'll stop new.

Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 07:58 PM


Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 07:59 PM

Let me quote the late Stokeley Carmichael commenting on the Johnson Administration's credibility problems during the Viet Nam War -- "Credibility gap, there ain't no credibility gap, he's lying!"

Got that diogenes, I've waited for years to use this expression against marxist fellow travelers, brain-dead liberals, and the occasionally misguided Republican like yourself. Regarding Obama's Sderot gaff, he just plain ole lied, period.

He's flip-flopped so much that after he threatened the usual liberal-white-guilt zombies and black racists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson with his principled stances against the left/Green railroading of three innocent Duke LaCrosse players for rape as well as his calls for fairness in the Jena 6 case, he then betrays the confidence he established with my wife and myself by pandering to the worst hypocrites to ever set foot in this country -- those crooks living on San Francisco's billionaire's row, a few of which I got to know and despise as a graduate student at UC Berkeley.

Posted by: Mescalero at July 24, 2008 10:40 PM

Yes, of course, you're right. Obama lied. He figured that, even though he's on an international tour with three network anchors, more press than you can shake a stick at, and almost as many folks that are eagerly awaiting even the slightest misstep -- cameras and mikes everywhere he turned -- he'd be able to get away with a lie like that. I mean, it's next to impossible to find out who's a member of the Senate Banking Committee and who's not, right? It's not like it's a matter of public record, available on all sorts of governmental and/or non-governmental websites, right?

Of course, one may wonder what he would gain by lying like that, but... awwww never mind, he's a just lyin', thievin', no-account Commie.

Nope, ole Barry HUSSEIN Obama thought he'd get away with that one. Thank God somebody was awake enough to alert us to his pernicious lies!!!

Posted by: diogenes at July 24, 2008 11:46 PM

Sorry Diogenes but McCain is more correct than you your leftist pals and the Obamanation about the surge. While the Sunnis began to rebel against the AQ (oh, that's right, the Obamanation says no AQ in Iraq, my mistake) around 9/06, four months before the surge was effectuated, the blessed Col. McFarlane, instituted a new counterinsurgency strategy with the assistance of Gen.Petraeus in Anbar Province, that became the basis for the surge strategy later used throughout the rest of Iraq. To that end a mini surge was performed, with about 4,000 extra troops being used in Anbar, especially in Ramadi (before the official surge started). Their encouraging success laid the groundwork for the change in US policy/strategy in the war. To those who credit the Anbar Awakening without the surge (the surgeophobics) you should review the latest charts by Gen. Petraeus showing casualty rates, etc., and you will see that until the surge took hold, the Sunnis even with the additional troops had so so success. Even today, the Sunnis of Anbar are aghast at talk of removing US troops such as the radical leftist proposal by Obamanation. I am disappointed with Maliki, that he would give any credence to the Obamanation cause if the Obamanation had his way Maliki would be hanging from a lamppost with AQ and IRGs dancing in the streets of Baghdad. Had I been Pres Bush, and Maliki made this abominable statement I would have stated, PM Maliki has stated that the war is over and that the troops can come home in sixteen months. The US is not an occupying power but came to liberate Iraq from a brutal dictatorship. Now that the legitimate gov't of Iraq has made it's choice, I have asked the Coalition military officers to draw up a plan to hand all the remaining 8 provinces in Iraq, that are still under US control back to the Iraqis, as the Iraqis believe that they are fully capable of administering them. I have further directed the Coalition Forces to draw up plans to withdraw two brigades a month from these eight provinces, and to draw up plans to withdraw the majority of the rest of our forces from Iraq under PM Maliki's time horizon, so that by the end of 2009 only a residual combat force will be left in Iraq. While these withdrawals are occurring, of course the Administration remains open to further discussions of the continued basing of coalition forces in Iraq. We wish the Iraqis well on their march to complete sovereignty. That would have called Maliki's bluff and made him crap in his pants, and high tail it away from the Obamanation.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at July 25, 2008 04:32 PM

Yeah. The press is eagerly awaiting Obama's every mistake, you "Republican"-Obamican. That's why they get shivers up their legs when he speaks! The fact is, Magic Negro knows that his gaffes & misrepresentations are underreported (with some exceptions) and he takes full advantage of it.

Posted by: Nine-of-Diamonds at July 25, 2008 10:24 PM

Re: Gaffes

I haven't seen anyone post Obamanation's claim, "I've already campaigned in all 57 states."

Posted by: Otto at July 27, 2008 05:17 PM