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Obama Sees a ‘Complete Failure’ in Iraq

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ConcordCowboy, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Obama Sees a ‘Complete Failure’ in Iraq



    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/u...1c2f58b&ei=5088&partner=msnbcpolitics&emc=rss



    KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 21 — Senator Barack Obama said Tuesday that even if the military escalation in Iraq was showing limited signs of progress, efforts to stabilize the country had been a “complete failure” and American troops should not be entangled in the sectarian strife.

    “No military surge, no matter how brilliantly performed, can succeed without political reconciliation and a surge of diplomacy in Iraq and the region,” Mr. Obama said. “Iraq’s leaders are not reconciling. They are not achieving political benchmarks.”

    Mr. Obama, of Illinois, addressed the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars one day after Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, one of his leading rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, addressed the group. In her speech, Mrs. Clinton, of New York, said elements of the Bush administration’s troop buildup in Iraq appeared to be working, particularly in Al Anbar Province.

    After Mr. Obama made his remarks, he was asked in a brief interview with reporters whether he agreed with that assessment.

    “What I had been clear about, I think, even before the surge started was that if we put an additional 20,000 or 30,000 American troops in Baghdad that it’s going to have an impact,” Mr. Obama said. “They are doing an outstanding job in carrying out their military operations. The question has always been, What then?”

    The V.F.W., the nation’s oldest and largest organization of combat veterans, invited four presidential hopefuls to its summer meeting, including Fred Thompson, a former Republican senator from Tennessee, who spoke Tuesday. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, addressed the group Monday. President Bush will deliver a speech Wednesday.

    In excerpts of his remarks, which the White House released late Tuesday, Mr. Bush responded to the Democratic argument regarding the troops. “Will their elected leaders in Washington pull the rug out from under them just as they are gaining momentum and changing the dynamic on the ground in Iraq?” he argued.

    The presentations before a few thousand military veterans and their families set the stage for next month’s Congressional debate on the Iraq war. The conflict is a central feature of the presidential campaign as candidates seek to persuade voters that they have the credentials to be the commander in chief.

    Mr. Obama bluntly restated his opposition to the war, but praised the dedication of the American military. As he spoke critically of the president’s war strategy, the room fell silent, but the senator drew applause as he pledged to improve services for veterans.

    “Whatever disagreements we have on policy, there will be no daylight between us when it comes to honoring the men and women who serve and keeping faith with our veterans,” Mr. Obama said. “This is not a partisan issue. This is not a Democratic or a Republican issue.”

    Mr. Thompson, who has yet to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination, offered few specific proposals about the war or other foreign policy challenges. He argued against pulling American troops from Iraq, but said the United States needed to rebuild a lost sense of unity.

    “As we go forward, and Iraq, one way or another, is in our rear-view mirror, what is our posture? What is our position?” Mr. Thompson asked, adding, “Equally important is the questions and the lack of confidence and lack of respect that will come about from our friends and foes around the world.”
  2. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    That guy also "sees" us blowing up entire villages.

    That guy "sees" what he wants to "see"
  3. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    While I sympathize with Obama's statements, as I've stated elsewhere, I find this arrogant rhetoric about the Iraqi government not meeting political benchmarks to be very hypocritical.

    How is the 110th Congress progressing in meeting its benchmarks and achieving national reconciliation, Senator Obama?

    ((crickets))
  4. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Well...no matter if the US Government does not agree they don't just have one side drop out of the government because they don't agree with the other.

    They don't have one religious radical group taking high ranking members of another group and attempting to kill them.

    You stated this take a couple of times now. Although I get what you are saying it is a different level between the government there and here. And whether people wish to acknowledge it or not...It IS up to the Iraqi government to work these things out and if they can not than it will indeed be a failure. A failure that has cost many american lives.
  5. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Thousands of years under the fist of one murderous tyrant after another.

    Its gonna take some time.

    I understand that in our society 4 years is way to long ..... but guys this is a little different.
  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Well, when someone invades the US, completely overturns existing public and private institutions, ignites a religiously-fueled sectarian civil war, and then holds us responsible for not cleaning up the mess according to a time table that has more to do with their domestic political calendar than any realistic assessment of what's possible under the circumstances, we'll see how genuine our politician's current rhetoric appears.

    Addendum: I tend to subscribe to Colin Powell's "You break it, you own it" maxim. We are responsible for that country's descent into chaos and now politicians on both sides of the aisle want to disown it by shifting blame to the Iraqi government. Even if criticism of the Iraqi government is warranted, which I think it is to some extent, I don't think we should let our politicians off the hook for their responsibility in the matter.
  7. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    I see your point, but at some point the people in that country need to take some responsibility if they ever want to be free. The Iraqi leaders were given a great opportunity to make something out of their new country, but have let religious and ethnic differences destroy this opportunity. At some point, these leaders should put the interest of their people ahead of their hatred.
  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    I understand that the politicians in Iraq bear their own share of responsibility for the lack progress that's being made there. I don't agree, however, that they were "given a great opportunity to make something out of their new country." Dismantling the military, not securing government ministries and arms depots, and other critical oversights allowed for a radical decentralization of power in that country from the onset. Once that genie is let out of the bottle, it's very difficult to get it back inside.

    And I also think we need to think very hard before accusing Iraqi politicians of letting "religious and ethnic differences destroy this opportunity," which seems to rest on the idea that there ever was a strong overarching sense of national identity that trumps religious and ethnic affiliations. Maybe, as some pre-war critics have claimed, that's how these people identify themselves first and foremost. So in pursuing what from our perspective appears like a destructive factional politics, perhaps they are being true to their constituents?
  9. AtlCB

    AtlCB Active Member

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    I believe this attitude is what is keeping these people and the region as a whole from joining the rest of the world in the 21st century. Exactly how long do we have to stay until you believe that we have done our part and the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Iraqi people and their elected leaders?
  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    We don't stay. We leave. And once the civil war plays itself out we help these people rebuild their country/countries and offer them our humble apologies for setting into motion the events that turned their lives upside down.

    Iraq should become like the rest of the world? You think the United States with our nice, stable, wealthy, comfortable society that is devoid of organized lawlessness and ethnic/religious tensions is the norm? That sort of ethnocentrism will get you into trouble.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    I would hardly say we are devoid of organized lawlessness. And we have a rather sad amount of racial and ethnic tension. Iraq has been given a chance - and so far has failed to grasp it. The religious hatreds fueled by bigoted and irrational religious leaders, and stirred up by foreign terrorists trying to start a civil war, are the biggest reasons there is so much trouble. In case you missed it- about 90% of the casualties now are Iraqi victims of bombs and murder squads deeply imbedded in the militias. They are not fighting the US troops- the attacks are centered around religious and ethnic feuds. About 2/3 of the country is fairly peacefull; the violence is concentrated around Baghdad, and Saddams old hometowns. The situation around Basra is worrying, since it was pretty quiet untill the last 6 months.

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