Say What?

Hmm… Obama Adviser Calls for Troops To Stay in Iraq Through 2010. Maybe it’s just me, but this sure does differ with what Obama has said about Iraq.

A key adviser to Senator Obama’s campaign is recommending in a confidential paper that America keep between 60,000 and 80,000 troops in Iraq as of late 2010, a plan at odds with the public pledge of the Illinois senator to withdraw combat forces from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

The paper, obtained by The New York Sun, was written by Colin Kahl for the center-left Center for a New American Security. In “Stay on Success: A Policy of Conditional Engagement,” Mr. Kahl writes that through negotiations with the Iraqi government “the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000–80,000 forces) by the end of 2010 (although the specific timelines should be the byproduct of negotiations and conditions on the ground).”

Mr. Kahl is the day-to-day coordinator of the Obama campaign’s working group on Iraq. A shorter and less detailed version of this paper appeared on the center’s Web site as a policy brief.

Both Mr. Kahl and a senior Obama campaign adviser reached yesterday said the paper does not represent the campaign’s Iraq position. Nonetheless, the paper could provide clues as to the ultimate size of the residual American force the candidate has said would remain in Iraq after the withdrawal of combat brigades. The campaign has not publicly discussed the size of such a force in the past.

This is not the first time the opinion of an adviser to the Obama campaign has differed with the candidate’s stated Iraq policy. In February, Mr. Obama’s first foreign policy tutor, Samantha Power, told BBC that the senator’s current Iraq plan would likely change based on the advice of military commanders in 2009. She has since resigned her position as a formal adviser.

The New York Sun notes, “The political ramifications of the disclosure are yet to be seen.” I dunno… The backlash seems to be spreading quickly in the blogosphere with opinions from the left and the right at:  Hot Air, Wake up America, Weekly Standard Blog, Abu Aardvark, Talisman Gate, Taylor Marsh, Salon, The Glittering Eye, Don Surber, CANNONFIRE, StephenBainbridge.com, Corrente, NO QUARTER, TownHall Blog and TPM Election Central.

Darn those campaign advisors… How dare they think and speak for themselves when Obama is running a campaign.

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4 Responses to Say What?

  1. Janis says:

    The fear I have about this is that even the more adamant of his anti-war supporters won’t care. It’s very easy for people to logic themselves into remaining conned because they would rather not admit they were taken for a ride. As follows:

    “Well, he’s SO anti-war, and SUCH a staunch opponent of staying in Iraq, that if even HE says we need to be there … then we need to be there for the next 100 years, and I’m totally behind him!” If George Bush drops a bomb, he’s evil incarnate. If Saint Barack drops one, then he’s such a great guy that those people must REALLY have deserved it. Ergo, DEATH TO THEM ALL!

    People are incredibly talented at this junk. Human brains are capable of vast amounts of it. Forget opposable thumbs or language; this is like the one special thing we evolved to do. Rationalize. It’s our version of birds navigating around the world using the Earth’s magnetic fields or cheetahs topping out at 70mph.

  2. Jessica says:

    Janis, I don’t think most people will rationalize it that way. Most Americans were okay with Bush going into Afghanistan but Iraq became a bridge too far for even some of his most enthusiastic supporters. Despite what appears in the blogosphere, most Obama supporters don’t think he’s a saint and won’t rationalize bad judgment that leads to aggression.

    A quick note on advisers … Samantha Power’s comment was reasonable and responsible. No plan developed in 2007 or 2008 should be implemented in 2009 without consideration of current events. It would be unwise to say, “no matter what happens, this is exactly what I’m going to do” about something as fluid as the war or the economy. Using guidelines to set a direction is important but revising to arrive at the best possible solution is smart and pragmatic. Hillary herself is smart and pragmatic and I highly doubt she wouldn’t reevaluate her own plans if she were elected.

  3. I have never seen enough difference between the words of the two Dems on Iraq to make me real happy about either one. I console myself by saying that they’re politicians so they say what they think needs to be said to get elected and will be far brighter than this once given the chance to prove it.

    I want everyone to know on Inauggeration Day that withdrawal has been ordered, and for the convoys to begin moving shrtly thereafter. I want almost all of our troops removed from everywhere else, also.

    WHAT THE HELL DO WE THINK THAT WE’RE DOING?

  4. Janis says:

    Most Americans were okay with Bush going into Afghanistan but Iraq became a bridge too far for even some of his most enthusiastic supporters.

    Some of HIS most enthusiastic supporters, but these aren’t his supporters we’re talking about. We’re talking about supposed left-wing progressives who have been sidelined for 8 years, nursing grudges and building anger. It will come out in exactly the same way such things always come out.

    These are people who have never drunk deep from the koolaid of Righteous Destruction. They don’t have any antibodies against it.