Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama’s Latest Position on Iraq and Afghanistan

In his New York Times op-ed this morning, July 14, 2008, Barack Obama once again reminds us “he opposed the war in Iraq before it began…” And as he has done consistently since the day he launched his campaign for the presidency, Obama fails to note that he was not eligible to vote for the Iraq War Resolution at the time it was passed by the U.S. Senate.

Obama was an Ill. state legislator when he took his no-risk stand at an anti-war rally in Chicago. Since his election to the U.S. Senate, Obama has acknowledged he did not know how he would have voted on the Iraq War Resolution had he been eligible, and he has voted in favor of every bill related to funding that war.

In the meantime, Obama was appointed as chair of a foreign relations subcommittee on Afghanistan. When confronted in a debate by Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary, Obama admitted he had never convened the committee on Afghanistan because, as he explained, he had been busy running for president.

In today’s op-ed, Obama carefully repositions himself on both the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan, which Michael Falcone summarizes in the Caucus (NY Times):

"Senator Barack Obama wants the United States to increase troop levels in Afghanistan by about 10,000 and would support a phased redeployment of troops In Iraq within 16 months of taking office leaving a residual force to carry out “limited missions.”

'"In the article, Mr. Obama also notes: 'In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected.'

"The Times’s Jeff Zeleny points out that Mr. Obama is sharpening his policy toward Iraq and Afghanistan as he prepares to visit both countries later this summer."

Obama’s plans to visit Iraq and Aghanistan for the first time since 2006 were obviously made in response to John McCain’s challenge earlier in the general election campaign.

After his hurry-up visit to America’s two war zones, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee will trek to Denver where he anticipates his coronation. He may be in for a surprise. The Denver Group recently published an ad in the Chicago Tribune urging that the Democratic Party not become the Boston Tea Party at its convention in August.

The Denver Group’s main goal is for Hillary Clinton’s name to be on the ballot and placed in nomination so superdelegates will have the opportunity for a meaningful vote. To see the ad, go here.

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