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Old 07-03-2008, 06:00 PM   #376
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i think you've misunderstood what Obama's position on Iraq always was. to stick to a promise of "16 months" no matter what is Bush-like in it's rigidity. such black-and-white thinking is what got us into this mess to begin with.

he's always retained flexibility in his position, even when it seemed as if the most politically astute thing to do would be to go hard to HRC's left. and he didn't do that. his stated position is a withdrawal of combat forces on a 16 month time frame which brings us -- contrary to what other posters would like you to believe -- to a departure of *combat* forces in June of 2010. depending on many things. that's plenty of time for him to influence the course of events over there. contrast this to a Senator who's quite excited about the construction of 50-60 permanent bases.

Obama has always been centrist -- orderly, timely, reasoned withdrawal. not pull out all the stops. it seems you've believed the lies that are put forth by some on this forum -- immediate withdrawal! -- that are critical to the false narrative they put forth about both the course of the war and the positions of the two candidates.

i'm as anti-Iraq as you get, but i don't want immediate withdrawal, nor do i want an absolutist "16 months" president. nor do i want a presidential candidate who isn't going to make several wise post-primary adjustments in policies. do you think candidate HRC would be any different? do you think she would do the Bush thing and do what she wants irregardless of what people on the ground say?

so it seems both you and STING have fooled yourself into believing what you wanted to be true about Obama in order to continue to justify your "opposition" to his candidacy.

there's no real story here. people want there to be a story, since the dominant narrative this week is "Obama tacks right," but if you look at the details beyond the headline, there's not much that's different.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:02 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by Bluer White View Post
Obama's evolving stance on Iraq? His softening of anti-NAFTA rhetoric? His support of the second amendment in DC? His rejection of public campaign financing?

It's almost Change I Can Believe In. And all in the course of about 30 days. Imagine all the "nuance" we can squeeze out of him in 4 years !


DC handgun band is different -- he said he'd respect the court's decision.

one would wish McCain would do the same in California.

it is shocking, though. it seems that Barack Obama is trying to win the presidency.

shocking.

would you like me to enumerate the lack of "maverick" "straight-talk" McCain moves over the past few months?
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:09 PM   #378
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some excerpts from his website:

[q]"All Combat Troops Redeployed by 2009: Barack Obama would immediately begin redeploying American troops from Iraq. The withdrawal would be strategic and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Troops would be removed from secure areas first, with troops remaining longer in more volatile areas. The drawdown would begin immediately with one to two combat brigades redeploying each month and all troops engaged in combat operations out by the end of next year."[/q]

do we not redefine policies based upon new information?

it boggles the mind. we're getting mad at him for doing exactly the opposite of what has made Bush the worst president in recent history.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:18 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by Bluer White View Post
Obama's evolving stance on Iraq? His softening of anti-NAFTA rhetoric? His support of the second amendment in DC? His rejection of public campaign financing?

It's almost Change I Can Believe In. And all in the course of about 30 days. Imagine all the "nuance" we can squeeze out of him in 4 years !

I read an article a few days back
one among many I did not post about for fear of being called anti-Obama diatribe

the jest of the article was that

Reagan was a "movement" president, that set an agenda for "change" and got the people behind him to implement it.


Clinton was a candidate that ran on change. If you get a copy of his convention speech, he keeps repeating "WE CAN DO IT" with the crowd chanting with him. (sound familiar). The first couple of years, they could not do it. Remove the gay ban from the service completely, reform health care. He did not have the American people behind him. So to accomplish some successes he modified his agenda to get a large portion of the American behind him.

The article said that Obama was positioning himself to follow the Clinton style over the Reagan style.

The Clinton style makes more sense to me.

Progressives can not get to the 60 + percent to be a successful movement.


My concerns for Obama is that he is doing this so quick. His problem is that because he had to rebuke the Clintons so much during the primaries, he is starting pretty far left, and this much movement so quick may cause him to lose credibility.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:06 PM   #380
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i think you've misunderstood what Obama's position on Iraq always was. to stick to a promise of "16 months" no matter what is Bush-like in it's rigidity. such black-and-white thinking is what got us into this mess to begin with.

he's always retained flexibility in his position, even when it seemed as if the most politically astute thing to do would be to go hard to HRC's left. and he didn't do that. his stated position is a withdrawal of combat forces on a 16 month time frame which brings us -- contrary to what other posters would like you to believe -- to a departure of *combat* forces in June of 2010. depending on many things. that's plenty of time for him to influence the course of events over there. contrast this to a Senator who's quite excited about the construction of 50-60 permanent bases.
But "out of Iraq now" is the campaign cry of so many of his supporters, the majority of the liberal and moderate wings of the Democratic Party. If he truely is trying to quietly change his policy on Iraq, its because his past predictions on Iraq have been so way off the mark and he has been opposed to the Surge policy in Iraq which has dramatically changed conditions on the ground in Iraq for the better. If Obama is adjusting his Iraq strategy from "out of Iraq now" to the Buch/McCain strategy of withdrawal as conditions on the ground warrent such withdrawals then that is really a huge shift.

Lets be clear, Obama had his own very specific policy proposal in opposition to the Surge Strategy in January 2007. It proposed essentially the same thing he had been proposing consistently up until the past couple of months. Withdraw 1 to 2 combat Brigades per month with ALL US combat brigades out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. He wanted to do this despite the difficult sectarian violence which had grown since the Febuary 2006 Shia Mosque bombing, and the lack of an Iraqi military and police force ready to replace US combat brigades as they withdrew. A recipe for disaster according to the latest NIE on Iraq. Obama's policy was much closer to fellow Democrat Jack Murtha than it was to any policy that was based on conditions on the ground or had some sort of flexibility to it.



Now, 18 months later, the Surge has been completed or will be by the end of this month. US casualties have been reduced to the lowest levels of the entire war despite many Democrats claims that the surge would only increase the violence and the casualties. People on here claimed that the US military presence on the ground was causing the sectarian violence!!? Yet, civilian casualties in Iraq have dropped to their lowest levels of the entire war, dramatically lower than they were 12 months ago thanks to a strategy that Barack Obama was firmly opposed to. The Democratic congress report card on Iraq's current 18 Benchmarks for development show satisfactory progress on 15 of the Benchmarks, up from just 8 a year ago. The only two Benchmarks where progress was unsatisfactory was on the disarmament of Militia's and the passing of a final oil law. Despite that, Militia activity has dropped to record lows and thousands have been disarmed. Despite the fact that the Oil law has not been passed yet, Oil revenues are being distributed to all provinces in Iraq. The Sunni block of the government that had left last year is now ready to rejoin. The one Benchmark that was given "mixed" progress was on the security forces because the police force development has been rated unsatistifactory. But Iraqi military development has progressed very well, and despite some early setbacks during the winter, it has dramatically demonstrated many new capabilities that few thought would be possible to develop in this short time frame.

All Democrats still wedded to the 2006 Democratic campaign promise to yank all US troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible can say now, is that the United States is still taking casualties, Iraqi civilians are still being killed, and not all of the political benchmarks have been met yet. Essentially, the only way you can believe that the Surge policy failed is if it was supposed to produce an environment in just 18 months where nobody was being killed and Iraq had succeeded in making political developments that have taken some countries decades to complete. The fact is that the murder rate in Iraq is now lower than it is in most large US cities like Atlanta, Detroit, and Washington DC. Not all of the political benchmarks have been met yet, but progress is being made on all of them, and things are substantially improved from where they were just a year ago. Iraqi oil production is almost back to its pre-war capacity and in the years to come could set a new all time record for the country. GDP per capita is now nearly equal to neighboring Syria.

So much progress has been made in such a short time that even Barack Obama might be trying to quietly revamp his policy on Iraq. The one area where the public rates McCain better on is Iraq policy. Policies that are an obvious success often eventually receive the support of many who opposed the policy even if its done in the shadows. That may be happening with Obama now but there is still a large part of Obama's party that is ideologically wedded to "out of Iraq now" regardless of conditions on the ground, which had previously essentially been Obama's policy on Iraq. Obama does not want to anger such a voting block, so he'll be trying to have it both ways in the weeks to come along with a little historical revisionism on what his past remarks on Iraq policy meant.

A position that is flexible to when it comes to troop levels in Iraq, that is willing to withdraw troops when conditions on the ground warrent it, or send in more troops when conditions on the ground warrent it, has been McCain policy since day 1, and at least Bush policy since late 2006 if not earlier. Thats not where Barack Obama has been since at least January 2007 until perhaps recently. Moving closer to Bush and McCain on Iraq policy would certainly be the right thing for Obama to do, but it is risky since his victory in the Democratic nomination race was largely based on his total oposition to all phases of the Iraq war and his firm commitment to withdrawal regardless of conditions and problems on the ground because in his view those were things that the United States could not help resolve and did not need to help resolve. The facts on the ground in Iraq though over the past 18 months have helped to destroy that myth, and Obama may be trying to find a way to jump on the bandwagon that is moving Iraq closer to a day of peace, stability and prosperity.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:10 PM   #381
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we're getting mad at him for doing exactly the opposite of what has made Bush the worst president in recent history.
Whats funny about people who think this is that Barack Obama's alleged policy adjustments on Iraq move him much closer to Bush, and away from his strongest supporters on the one issue that may have won him the Democratic nomination.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:21 PM   #382
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These changes would be very interesting

Quote:
Mile-high Obama? Invesco Field may be venue
By: Chuck Plunkett
Created 07/03/2008 - 3:48pm

Barack Obama's campaign is considering moving his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention from the Pepsi Center convention hall to Invesco Field at Mile High to accommodate the uncredentialed masses, sources say.

The move would mark a major departure from tradition, but would be in keeping with the candidate's desire to build a large grass-roots campaign focused on "change."

It also would leave behind the multi-million-dollar broadcast studios, media offices and high-tech podium and stage to be constructed at the Pepsi Center.

"No decision has been made in regards to this," wrote Matthew Chandler, the Colorado press secretary for the Obama campaign.

Denver's convention host committee declined to comment on the possibility, first mentioned on the blog demconwatchblog.com.

Mile High stadium, home of the Denver Broncos professional football team, seats 76,125. The Pepsi Center holds less than 20,000 and is to be restricted to delegates, media, high-dollar donors and guests of the Democratic Party.


Quote:
The Los Angeles Times

-- Dems consider shortening convention by a day: "Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee are toying with a convention scheduling change that has been broached before in theory but never seriously considered: cutting the party's conclave in Denver short by one day to give Obama an extra day of post-nomination bounce in the crowded August calendar. ... Obama aides have floated the idea of ending the Denver convention on Wednesday, Aug. 27, instead of Thursday, Aug. 28.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:41 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
i think you've misunderstood what Obama's position on Iraq always was. to stick to a promise of "16 months" no matter what is Bush-like in it's rigidity. such black-and-white thinking is what got us into this mess to begin with.

he's always retained flexibility in his position, even when it seemed as if the most politically astute thing to do would be to go hard to HRC's left. and he didn't do that. his stated position is a withdrawal of combat forces on a 16 month time frame which brings us -- contrary to what other posters would like you to believe -- to a departure of *combat* forces in June of 2010. depending on many things. that's plenty of time for him to influence the course of events over there. contrast this to a Senator who's quite excited about the construction of 50-60 permanent bases.

Obama has always been centrist -- orderly, timely, reasoned withdrawal. not pull out all the stops. it seems you've believed the lies that are put forth by some on this forum -- immediate withdrawal! -- that are critical to the false narrative they put forth about both the course of the war and the positions of the two candidates.

i'm as anti-Iraq as you get, but i don't want immediate withdrawal, nor do i want an absolutist "16 months" president. nor do i want a presidential candidate who isn't going to make several wise post-primary adjustments in policies. do you think candidate HRC would be any different? do you think she would do the Bush thing and do what she wants irregardless of what people on the ground say?

so it seems both you and STING have fooled yourself into believing what you wanted to be true about Obama in order to continue to justify your "opposition" to his candidacy.

there's no real story here. people want there to be a story, since the dominant narrative this week is "Obama tacks right," but if you look at the details beyond the headline, there's not much that's different.


Irvine says it all so I don't have to. Thanks, my friend! :highfive:

It's hard to differentiate between someone who is employing nuance and someone who is being blown by where-ever the current politcal winds are blowing. Unfortunately, the tendency in this country is to ALWAYS read thoughtfulness and nuance as flip-flopping. It's the whole Kerry "I voted against the war before I voted for it"--I always thought that it was so wrong and disingenuous how he was savaged for that statement. There is quite the possibility of nuance behind that convoluted statement but all that was ignored. And of course the U.S. electorate gave us another four years of a president for whom nuance is a foreign concept.

It would appear that we're going to play that same game this year and that is to our country's loss. And it's not going to be good for Obama either.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:05 PM   #384
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And of course the U.S. electorate gave us another four years of a president for whom nuance is a foreign concept.
When your clearly wrong about policy, its always good to make some sort of shift to the policy that does work, even if for political reasons your unable to admit that your doing that. If Obama is now for keeping US troops in Iraq as long as conditions on the ground warrent their presence he will essentially be abandoning a policy that has defined him on Iraq for the past 18 months and joining one that has defined Republican thinking on Iraq for the past 5 years.

If Barack Obama becomes President on January 20, 2009, his CENTCOM commander will be General Petraeus and the commander of US forces in Iraq will be General Ordinero. They are currently the #1 and #2 commanders of US forces in Iraq and the chief architects of the Surge strategy which Barack Obama was against but has succeeded. Would Barack Obama listen to them and follow their successful policies are will he attempt to change them in order to satisfy the base of his party and fullfill a narrow campaign promise?
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:54 AM   #385
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The Barack Obama campaign hopes to turn the last evening of the Democratic National Convention in Denver on Aug. 28 into a giant rally of voters in a football stadium.

The unusual move, confirmed by two sources, would be an echo of John F. Kennedy’s acceptance speech in 1960. Kennedy delivered his address before thousands of supporters at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Obama’s big moment also would fall on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
this will be 'must see' t v
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:58 PM   #386
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oh ... the surge, the surge ... i've had a long planned post on this subject, but it's a long weekend and i've better things to do. the only quick thing i'll say is that when you pay people not to kill you in a city that has already been effectively ethnically cleansed and barricaded, yes, violence does go down. but, as ever, it's far, far more complicated than that.

what's hard is what this has done for McCain. as conditions "improve," how does he continue to justify staying? if conditions "worsen," then he was as wrong today as he was in 2005 as he was in 2003.

now, as for Obama, to say that he's anywhere near the Bush position is hilarious. i will say that since the 2006 election, which was a smack in the face of the president, Iraq Policy has fallen from the hands of Cheney and Rumsfeld and into the far, far smarter hands of Patraeus and Gates. i think people underestimate just what a moderating influence Gates has been, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Obama kept him as SecDef when he wins in November. it's laughable to make the comparison that the Bush of 2004 and the Bush of 2008 are somehow the same person. we have a defeated, smashed president dazed by a shocking 23% (!!!) approval rating, and he's rightly ceded power and control of Iraq to the adults in the room -- Gates and Patraeus. Obama has made a complete and sharp contrast with the Republicians and McCain on this issue, and it will be this contrast upon which much of the election will fall.

as far as Obama goes, he is maintaining his commitment to a prudent, cautious, orderly withdrawal strategy that does not jeapordize whatever small and highly reversable gains that have been made in the reduction of violence over the past year. he will not stick to a game plan irregardless of empirical evidence. this is what Bush has done, this is what "last throes" Cheney has done, this is what "stuff happens" Rumsfeld has done. do we really want Obama to be the anti-war version of these walking disasters?

the goal remains withdrawal as soon as is prudent and possible. the goal is not the creation of 60 permanent bases in Iraq and the continued American presence -- and empire by any other names -- in the middle of the most volatile region in the world.

so all we can fault Obama for is a bit of election year cynicism (or just realism?). shocking. and he's yet outflanked McCain on another position. what STING and his irrational ilk kept screaming about was "precipitous" withdrawal and the chaos that may or may not follow. Obama has said he won't do this, but he has said he is commited to withdrawal. he does not want an indefinite occupation.

he has now shrewedly framed the Iraq question: do you want to prudently withdraw, or do you want indefinite occupation?

what reason is there, then, to vote for McCain?

Obama just redefined the lame "patriotism" issue, he made a smooth play for the evangelicals through his position on faith-based initiatives (while retaining and reiterating important distinctions between himself and Bush), and he's just repositioned the Iraq question.

and you thought Bill Clinton was a master strategist?
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:59 PM   #387
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But "out of Iraq now" is the campaign cry of so many of his supporters, the majority of the liberal and moderate wings of the Democratic Party. If he truely is trying to quietly change his policy on Iraq, its because his past predictions on Iraq have been so way off the mark and he has been opposed to the Surge policy in Iraq which has dramatically changed conditions on the ground in Iraq for the better. If Obama is adjusting his Iraq strategy from "out of Iraq now" to the Buch/McCain strategy of withdrawal as conditions on the ground warrent such withdrawals then that is really a huge shift.

Lets be clear, Obama had his own very specific policy proposal in opposition to the Surge Strategy in January 2007. It proposed essentially the same thing he had been proposing consistently up until the past couple of months. Withdraw 1 to 2 combat Brigades per month with ALL US combat brigades out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. He wanted to do this despite the difficult sectarian violence which had grown since the Febuary 2006 Shia Mosque bombing, and the lack of an Iraqi military and police force ready to replace US combat brigades as they withdrew. A recipe for disaster according to the latest NIE on Iraq. Obama's policy was much closer to fellow Democrat Jack Murtha than it was to any policy that was based on conditions on the ground or had some sort of flexibility to it.



Now, 18 months later, the Surge has been completed or will be by the end of this month. US casualties have been reduced to the lowest levels of the entire war despite many Democrats claims that the surge would only increase the violence and the casualties. People on here claimed that the US military presence on the ground was causing the sectarian violence!!? Yet, civilian casualties in Iraq have dropped to their lowest levels of the entire war, dramatically lower than they were 12 months ago thanks to a strategy that Barack Obama was firmly opposed to. The Democratic congress report card on Iraq's current 18 Benchmarks for development show satisfactory progress on 15 of the Benchmarks, up from just 8 a year ago. The only two Benchmarks where progress was unsatisfactory was on the disarmament of Militia's and the passing of a final oil law. Despite that, Militia activity has dropped to record lows and thousands have been disarmed. Despite the fact that the Oil law has not been passed yet, Oil revenues are being distributed to all provinces in Iraq. The Sunni block of the government that had left last year is now ready to rejoin. The one Benchmark that was given "mixed" progress was on the security forces because the police force development has been rated unsatistifactory. But Iraqi military development has progressed very well, and despite some early setbacks during the winter, it has dramatically demonstrated many new capabilities that few thought would be possible to develop in this short time frame.

All Democrats still wedded to the 2006 Democratic campaign promise to yank all US troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible can say now, is that the United States is still taking casualties, Iraqi civilians are still being killed, and not all of the political benchmarks have been met yet. Essentially, the only way you can believe that the Surge policy failed is if it was supposed to produce an environment in just 18 months where nobody was being killed and Iraq had succeeded in making political developments that have taken some countries decades to complete. The fact is that the murder rate in Iraq is now lower than it is in most large US cities like Atlanta, Detroit, and Washington DC. Not all of the political benchmarks have been met yet, but progress is being made on all of them, and things are substantially improved from where they were just a year ago. Iraqi oil production is almost back to its pre-war capacity and in the years to come could set a new all time record for the country. GDP per capita is now nearly equal to neighboring Syria.

So much progress has been made in such a short time that even Barack Obama might be trying to quietly revamp his policy on Iraq. The one area where the public rates McCain better on is Iraq policy. Policies that are an obvious success often eventually receive the support of many who opposed the policy even if its done in the shadows. That may be happening with Obama now but there is still a large part of Obama's party that is ideologically wedded to "out of Iraq now" regardless of conditions on the ground, which had previously essentially been Obama's policy on Iraq. Obama does not want to anger such a voting block, so he'll be trying to have it both ways in the weeks to come along with a little historical revisionism on what his past remarks on Iraq policy meant.

A position that is flexible to when it comes to troop levels in Iraq, that is willing to withdraw troops when conditions on the ground warrent it, or send in more troops when conditions on the ground warrent it, has been McCain policy since day 1, and at least Bush policy since late 2006 if not earlier. Thats not where Barack Obama has been since at least January 2007 until perhaps recently. Moving closer to Bush and McCain on Iraq policy would certainly be the right thing for Obama to do, but it is risky since his victory in the Democratic nomination race was largely based on his total oposition to all phases of the Iraq war and his firm commitment to withdrawal regardless of conditions and problems on the ground because in his view those were things that the United States could not help resolve and did not need to help resolve. The facts on the ground in Iraq though over the past 18 months have helped to destroy that myth, and Obama may be trying to find a way to jump on the bandwagon that is moving Iraq closer to a day of peace, stability and prosperity.


you know what i've just realized?

you don't even understand the Republican position on Iraq.

no wonder no one can discuss anything with you.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:24 PM   #388
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In Iraq, Obama thinks US troops are the problem, McCain thinks US troops are the solution. It's a very clear distinction. At the end of the day, if you want most troops gone in 16 months, plus or minus a couple of months or few brigades at troop commander's discretion, vote Obama. If you want to double down, cross your fingers and hope that somehow Germany will emerge from the rubble, vote McCain.

Is this all because of Obama's press conference and the use of the word "refine"? As if that word negates everything....
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:29 PM   #389
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you know what i've just realized?

you don't even understand the Republican position on Iraq.

no wonder no one can discuss anything with you.
It doesn't matter, Obama is not going to go out to appease the netroots and any policy towards Iraq will be geared towards the national interest and that presidents legacy; each of which is not served by a removal of troops without some degree of stability, the point where American troops are more of an impediment to stability than being the barrier against genocide kicking off is coming and all the politicians are having to deal with that.

I think it's interesting to note how your views seem to have evolved along with Obamas on the issue of the surge.
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:37 AM   #390
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Obama will be about one mile from my residence.

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Obama to visit, raise funds in Newport Beach

Sen. Barack Obama is coming to Newport Beach to raise money for his presidential bid. He’s holding a reception benefiting the Obama Victory fund at 3:30 p.m. July 13 at the Balboa Bay Club.

There will be two events. A VIP reception will start at 2 p.m. followed by a general reception at 3:30. The VIP reception will cost $28,500 and the general $2,300.

“I actually like the fact that we’re taking it right here at the beach,” said Melahat Rafiei, executive director of the Orange County Democratic Party.

“We have so many people helping out with this event since Hillary [Clinton] is out of the race. Democrats are really coming together for Obama.”

Democrats hope to raise $1 million, Rafiei said. For more information call (714) 835-5158.
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