Free Markets, Free People


That’s pretty much all that President Obama is left with when it comes to Iraq:

President Obama declared Friday that the United States has now “begun the work of ending this war” in Iraq as he announced the withdrawal of most American forces by the summer of next year while leaving behind as many as 50,000 troops for more limited missions.

Nearly six years after American troops crossed the border into Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, Mr. Obama said “renewed cause for hope” produced by improved security would allow Americans to begin disentangling militarily and turn the country over to the Iraqis themselves.

“Let me say this as plainly as I can,” the president told thousands of Marines stationed here. “By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

Sound a bit like “major combat operations have ended?”. Of course it does. He’s imposing a semantic marker here in an effort to declare he is fulfilling his campaign promise.

Of course, he’s not. In fact, it’s not even close.

Very carefully he’s declared “combat operations” to be complete by that date.  In fact they’ve been complete for a while.  But he’s not declaring our presence in Iraq is over, which was the crux of his campaign promise.

His word salad hasn’t fooled Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid:

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, who complained Thursday that a 50,000-member residual force was too big, put out a more tempered statement Friday, calling Mr. Obama’s plan “sound and measured,” while adding that he still wants to keep “only those forces necessary for the security of our remaining troops and the Iraqi people.”

A person briefed on the closed-door White House briefing for Congressional leaders said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House speaker, was particularly upset about the residual force. She kicked off the public criticism on Wednesday by saying she did not understand “the justification” for 50,000 troops staying.

The justification, of course, is “reality”, a concept the “reality based community” has difficulty with at times. As with many of the decisions Obama has made, it was an attempt to please everyone all while spinning it as something it isn’t .  In this case I’m fine with that.

But let’s call it what it is.

In fact, with the residual force in Iraq through 2011, Mr. Obama has agreed to Mr. Bush’s withdrawal plan while pretending he hasn’t.


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14 Responses to Semantics

  • Mr. Obama said “renewed cause for hope” produced by improved security

    Pres. Bush says “you’re welcome”.   Always remember you voted against the surge Ocarter.
    You know how you like to tell the GOP “I won” ?  Well when it comes to Iraq, that’s what Bush tells YOU.

  • And the “reality based community” and its acolytes buy it.  Hook, line and sinker.

    I’m moving to Montana.

  • Sounds like BHO listens to Petraeus and Odierno just like Bush did.  That is encouraging.

  • Take advice on Iraq from Bush Hitler Chimpy McHalliburton?!?  The devil you say.  Next you’ll be telling us that FISA is legal, Gitmo is professional & well run, and CIA can continue drone flights in Pakistan.

    You’ll also try to tell us that the NYT will still release classified information, but I think we’re smarter than that.

  • The thing that makes me sick is that this idiot is essentialy following Bush’s plan but people like Thomas Friedman will give him credit for “winning” the war.  Also, at the end of his speech he said “Semper Fi” to the Marines assembled.  Is it appropriate fro a non-Marine to say that.  I am going to ask my leatherneck father. 

    • As a Marine I don’t take exception to a non Marine using “Semper Fi”.  Semper Fidelis would have been more appropriate. 

      What I take offense to is  “my wife Michelle has learned firsthand about the unique burden that your families endure every day.”

      Oh really?  Do you know what it’s like to have a conversation with your spouse on how they should spend the insurance money if you get killed?  Did she learn what it feels like to return from deployment have to get to know  you own children again?

      That statement has about as much merit as a white person saying they have learned first hand about the burden of being black in this country.

      This pisses me off to no end.

      “You and your families have done your duty – now a grateful nation must do ours. That is why I am increasing the number of soldiers and Marines, so that we lessen the burden on those who are serving.”

      Either he’s taking credit once again for his predecessors work or he’s planning to further increase troop strength beyond what Bush did.  I’ve heard no mention of the latter and i doubt his liberal supporters will stand for it.

      Perhaps one of his speech writers will include the definition of integrity for him the next time he decides to address Marines.

  • His word salad hasn’t fooled Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid

    I wonder.What does it say that those two are always at the opposite end of the spectrum from the head of the ticket?  I suppose it’s just my jaundiced viewpoint, but he doesn’t seem able to control their spending habits either.  As outlandish as some of the spending he has asked for has been, they’ve tried to add to it each time. 

    In fact, with the residual force in Iraq through 2011, Mr. Obama has agreed to Mr. Bush’s withdrawal plan while pretending he hasn’t.

    Yeah.  SITYS.

  • It continues to amaze that there are so-called decent Americans who continue to believe that it was OK that 4000 Americans – good and honorable souls – died to give the Iranians a stronger hand in Iraq.  Shame on you.  Shame on all of you.  


  • And if you don’t believe that Iran now has a stronger hand in Irag than it did before 2003, then you are ignorant. 

  • Barry’s election has not only strengthened Iraq but Russia, Syria, and North Korea as well.  No argument there.

  • Sigh… I’ll take what I can get.  Winning in Iraq is the important thing.  If TAO steals the credit… Well, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.

  • We’re past beginning and even past the end of the beginning of  about all of the milestones Obama is angling to claim credit for as the never-ending campaigner in chief. 

    Not only have combat operations been complete for a while, we’ve  been  disintangling ourselves militarily for years and together with the Iraqis we’ve done such a good job that Iraqis are doing most of the front line military work themselves and are continuing to be more independent in the many other facets required of a standalone military with each passing day.

    As for turning turning over Iraq to themselves, that’s been going on for years too.  But if turning Iraq over to themselves is a bench mark that hadn’t begun until Obama arrived at the WH, then it’s certainly arguable leaving 50,000 troops there shows he has little intention of turning it over to them during his first term.

  • Rejoice! We are no longer bogged down  in a quagmire. We are now only involved in a little inconvenient stickiness.