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Obama – Snap it up

On Stephanapolous yesterday, watching your circumlocution to avoid agreeing that the surge was a success was like watching the swirl of your candidacy being flushed down the toilet. Here is the snappy answer: Calling the surge a success is like giving up ten runs in the fourth inning and using most of your pitching staff to get three outs and calling that a good inning. It’s not a success. You just got out of the inning. The game is a long way from being over and your using up all your strength before Afghanistan, the real threat, gets dealt with.
You, Obama, were against the surge because you have a very different strategy for dealing with the situation. Obviously, this president doesn’t have the skill to implement a more effective policy. Does that mean you just let him do what he wants? No. You have to keep raising your voice to show that there are more effective alternatives in the hope that enough people will get the message and things can change. That’s what I mean by effecting change. Not changing course when the wind changes direction, as when Senator McCain was against the surge before he was in favor of it. Just because you’ve gotten out of bad situation that you got us into is no occasion to be smug and self-congratulatory. The situation is still a mess, largely because of the enormous incompetence, corruption and arrogance that John McCain, for all his self-touted high-mindedness, does not seem to have had a problem with all these years. He’s no longer even troubled by the fact that America is now authorized to torture.
The violence in Iraq has subsided for the moment. No one knows what that means for the future and the work going forward requires skill and intelligence that this administration, with John McCain’s full support, has demonstrated time and again that they lack. Meanwhile, the real threat from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is growing and we are less capable of addressing that threat. So by distracting us in Iraq, has Al  Qaeda outwitted this administration and John McCain? As I said, this is no time to be self-congratulatory about the surge working. This is not the time for another “Mission Accomplished” moment.  It may seem to be working, but unless the gains are skillfully consolidated and a new strategy that includes engagement of the whole region is implemented, this success, too can go for naught.
What is success in Iraq, anyway? We were told that free elections meant success, then that a stable government meant success, and meanwhile, permanent bases are being erected and long term military arrangements are being made that seem to have little to do with the political conditions in Iraq. What is the tangible measurable result by which this administration and John McCain will deem this Iraqi adventure a success? Is it a safely working oil pipeline? Is Iraq really part of Bush and McCain’s energy policy?
Get with the program Barack. You’re fading into the mediocrity of ambivalence.

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