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Iraq: An Obama "victory"?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, December 01, 2008

That's pretty much what Thomas Friedman claims will be the case if Iraq turns out like it looks it is going to turn out.

Essentially, given the new SOFA agreement and the withdrawal timetable agreed upon by the Iraqi government and the US, all Obama has to do is sit back and watch it happen.

Other than oppose the war every step of the way, he won't have to say or do anything as it pertains to Iraq (just let the plan agreed upon be executed) and Friedman is willing to hand Obama the credit for success in that country.
In the last year, though, the U.S. troop surge and the backlash from moderate Iraqi Sunnis against Al Qaeda and Iraqi Shiites against pro-Iranian extremists have brought a new measure of stability to Iraq. There is now, for the first time, a chance — still only a chance — that a reasonably stable democratizing government, though no doubt corrupt in places, can take root in the Iraqi political space.

That is the Iraq that Obama is inheriting. It is an Iraq where we have to begin drawing down our troops — because the occupation has gone on too long and because we have now committed to do so by treaty — but it is also an Iraq that has the potential to eventually tilt the Arab-Muslim world in a different direction.

I’m sure that Obama, whatever he said during the campaign, will play this smart. He has to avoid giving Iraqi leaders the feeling that Bush did — that he’ll wait forever for them to sort out their politics — while also not suggesting that he is leaving tomorrow, so they all start stockpiling weapons.

If he can pull this off, and help that decent Iraq take root, Obama and the Democrats could not only end the Iraq war but salvage something positive from it. Nothing would do more to enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials than that.
As I mentioned on the podcast yesterday, this takes an amazing amount of gall, but apparently sycophants just can't help themselves, and you can expect to see a lot more revisionist history when it comes to Iraq from the likes of Friedman and the NYT - just hide and watch.
 
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I don’t take your slant on the article at all.

"This is the Iraq that Obama is inheriting." The Iraq that Bush is leaving to Obama. You don’t have to read much between the lines to see that.
 
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
Arcs, then how do you read this: "If [Obama] can pull this off, and help that decent Iraq take root, Obama and the Democrats could not only end the Iraq war but salvage something positive from it. Nothing would do more to enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials than that."

That is flat out saying that Obama would get the credit for a decent Iraq emerging, and that by extension the Democrats would get the credit.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
What Jeff said - what has Obama to "pull off" in Iraq that will "enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials"?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I think its premature to believe Obama can’t find a way to fudge up the whole thing. Or at least the goodwill between the US & Iraq.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Also missing from Friedman’s analysis—to use the term loosely—is the fact that the entire Democratic leadership, including Obama, was constantly writing off Iraq as a lost cause and demanding that US leave ASAP—damn the consequences to Iraq.

How could this not make it much more difficult for the Iraqis to "sort out their politics" when at any day they might be thrown to the wolves of the insurgents, al-Qaeda, and Iran? If the US did desert Iraq, as the Democrats were demanding, any Iraqi politican with a shred of self-preservation had to be looking into hedging their bets.

Bush’s forebearance, as the surge was taking hold, was a necessity IMO for the Iraqis to stop looking ahead to a future in which they were abandoned, and start grabbing onto a present in which they could defeat their enemies.

No credit whatsoever to the Democrats, the MSM and pundits like Friedman.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
I was struck by the fact Iraq is liberalizing to the point its people have the legal freedom to freely associate with hated enemies like Israel.

The only other place in the Mideast one would expect to see that kind of tolerance is... Israel.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
That is flat out saying that Obama would get the credit for a decent Iraq emerging, and that by extension the Democrats would get the credit.
Of course Obama (and, by circumstance, Democrats in general) will get credit for anything positive to come out of the Iraq he assumes from Bush. And, of course Bush will get the blame for anything negative happening in Iraq over at least the next year or three.
Saying so is not revising history, it’s statement of fact. It’s SOP for the media.

McQ, Obama only has to pull off what Friedman said: pull troops out IAW the SOFA. If Obama accomplishes that and Iraq manages to have some semblance of a self-sustaining democracy capable of defending itself from internal and external enemies, Obama will have overturned the conventional wisdom of the last 60 years: that Democrats get us into wars and Republicans get us out.
 
Written By: Arcs
URL: http://
McQ, Obama only has to pull off what Friedman said: pull troops out IAW the SOFA. If Obama accomplishes that and Iraq manages to have some semblance of a self-sustaining democracy capable of defending itself from internal and external enemies, Obama will have overturned the conventional wisdom of the last 60 years: that Democrats get us into wars and Republicans get us out.
Only if you buy the premise that getting us out of the war didn’t have to be necessarily preceded by achieving victory, which Obama and his friends worked very hard at derailing over the past several years. Obama need only to oversee the mechanics of pulling the troops out, in accordance with agreements already signed with the Iraqi government under Bush’s watch. I agree the media will furiously spin this as a great Obama victory, but history will tell a different tale.
 
Written By: the wolf
URL: http://
If Bush wanted credit he should have finished the war before the election. Game Over, you lose (again).
 
Written By: TomD
URL: http://
It’s not a game, TomD, and that fundamental unseriousness — childishness, even — is why Democrats are so untrusted, and untrustworthy, on national security matters.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
And the gall will continue, as The NY Times and the rest of the slavish media to The Clown™ now tell us about all the successes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And if something were to go bad, it must be George W. Bush’s fault.

This is the message we will get next year when the economy is still in the dumps and the deficit is over $1 trillion.

Mainstream media, continue to lick thy Clown’s backside.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
I love how Obama and the democratic illuminati is going to come in on the tail end of this war and scoop up all the credit, meanwhile, W has worked his butt off for the last 8 years, and will only get the blame of all of our soldiers who have died, and none of the credit of freeing Iraq from a murdering dictator and daily terrorists killings.
 
Written By: mnotaro
URL: http://
"2 Legs Gooooooood!"
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
"2 Legs Gooooooood!"
Republican legs bad!

(Although in animal farm it was 4 legs good, two legs bad)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Obama’s illuminati supporters think he’s God. He doesn’t deserve credit for anything because he hasn’t DONE anything.
 
Written By: ew
URL: http://
If Bush wanted credit he should have finished the war before the election. Game Over, you lose (again).
Even when these guys win one, they still can’t muster any grace or substance. It’s just nasty snark when they lose and pseudo-lighthearted snark when they win.

It’s a lack of seriousness, as Jeff said, in the extreme. It’s a narcissism that says that there are no real stakes beyond their ego needs for their side to win.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
mnotaro,

Why shouldn’t the Democrats try it, though? After all, the Democrats get all the credit on VietNam, even though they caused the massive escalation and the vast majority of American casualties; Nixon and Abrams won the war; then the Democrats gave up to a conventional North Viet Namese invasion. That’s even more egregious than what they’re trying here.

huxley,

Actually, I think it’s even simpler than the narcissism, though that is undeniably there. I think that the root of the progressives’ (not all Democrats, by any means) attitude is simply that their version of "us" and "them" does not include conservatives, Republicans or libertarians in "us." As a result, when they root against a war when Republicans are in power, by their fundamental identity, they are not rooting against their own country, but against the Republicans who have, in their view, hijacked power that the Republicans have no right to wield. I think that for most progressives, they really do identify the European Left as more "us" and American conservatives as "them." Certainly, their statements and actions leave it difficult to conclude otherwise.

 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I’m awaiting Erb’s future comments on the Iraq War; he will explain how Obama saved the war effort, and changed it from an evil "war for oil" into an effort for justice and peace . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
It’s just nasty snark when they lose and pseudo-lighthearted snark when they win.

It’s a lack of seriousness, as Jeff said, in the extreme. It’s a narcissism that says that there are no real stakes beyond their ego needs for their side to win.


Yeah. The tone and even much of the phraseology is quite similar to hearing teenage boys at my house playing Halo.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
Jeff — To be sure, progressives see Republicans and conservatives as "them" while feeling closer to Europeans. However, that doesn’t explain progressives’ lack of seriousness in discourse, and how personally they take differences of opinion.

I’ve lost progressive friends over these disagreements. It was too much of a personal threat to them that I disagreed with their worldview.



 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Remember John Kerry calling Vietnam "Nixon’s War" ?

The MSM needs to spread these stories and get them out. How else can they pin everything on the GOP?

Again, my challenge is to poll young people and ask them what party opposed Civil Rights in the 60’s. My prediction is 90% will say the GOP did.

Just like many voters thought the Republicans were in charge of Congress this election.
 
Written By: harun
URL: http://
Well, look, here’s the deal.
Iraq is seen as a victory, whoever they claim won it.

The trick for Obama now is to not turn it into a loss, which would not help his second term asperations, or the Democrat party in general for the next 20 years or so. If he’s half the screwup I think him to be....
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Hmmm... If all TAO has to do "to win" is sit back and let things take the course that Bush has set them on... Why, basically, he just has to vote "present" and then claim that he supported it all along! Why does anybody doubt his ability - demonstrated many times in the past - to do just that???

McQ - ... this takes an amazing amount of gall, but apparently sycophants just can’t help themselves, and you can expect to see a lot more revisionist history when it comes to Iraq from the likes of Friedman and the NYT - just hide and watch.

I seem to recall a comment just the other day to the effect that the students of tomorrow would learn ’the truth’ about Iraq. I guess it depends on whose ’truth’ it is...

But I guess it’s best to take the long view: the United States wins. So long as America wins, I can live with the dems (spit) getting the credit.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://

 
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