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Old 07-05-2008, 09:03 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by Diemen View Post
I, for one, would like to see if you could find any posts by FYM regulars arguing for the immediate withdrawal of troops regardless of the consequences. I don't think you'd find much, if anything.
Rapid redeployment of troops was supposed to allow Iraqis to sort it out for themselves, leading to a better situation on the ground.
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Old 07-05-2008, 09:37 PM   #407
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^ And that has been the consistently advocated position of who?
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:13 PM   #408
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Whats really important here is that Barack Obama might be stepping away from positions that he has previously held on Iraq. What can't be disputed is that he did oppose the Surge in January 2007 and thought that US troops should start withdrawing immediately(in January 2007) with all US combat brigades to be out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. Most of the Democratic parties members in congress felt the same as well. They felt they were elected to bring US troops home from Iraq before Bush was out of office in January 2009. They were opposed to the Surge, and did their best to try and force the President to begin a withdrawal immediately by attaching certain restrictions and demands to various spending bills for the war.

That Barack Obama and many other Democrats might be moving away from their past policy positions on Iraq is interesting and a good thing in my opinion. If Barack Obama is making a shift on this policy, it will indeed upset people at moveon.org, code pink and the rest of the left wing of the Democratic Party. But, who else are they going to vote for in November?
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Old 07-05-2008, 11:15 PM   #409
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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.
No. This tangent started on page 25 when deep posted the ABC News article about Obama "refining" policy on Iraq. The gist was that it was at odds with his web site, which says:

Quote:
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.
Which, admittedly, sounds definitive! But if you look at the full PDF file of Barack's plan linked at the bottom of the page, it goes on to say (page 2):

Quote:
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.
If you check the info of the PDF, it was made on 12/13/07. Obama emphasized particular parts more then others, but that is entirely his prerogative as a politician. (And, justifiably something you could believe was evidence that he's Just Another Politician) What is indisputable through all of this is that US tactics under Obama will be aimed at supporting the overall strategy/goal of withdrawing US troops, while US tactics under McCain will be supporting the current strategy of maintaining our presence.

Despite this scuffle, Obama never indicated any shift in his strategy to being near McCain's. Comparing Obama's tactics to McCain's strategy, which might involve brief similarities in retaining certain American troop presence, and therefore assuming that the two candidates now have identical policies is simply missing the big picture. Obama's intentions are quite different then McCain's.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:08 AM   #410
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slate.com has a decent concise overview of the pros and cons of the various (oppositional) ways the Democrats--and in all likelihood a few Republicans--might react...should they choose to do so.

What do you think Congress should do?
that was the question

here are some relies that followed:

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Close the purse, Congress. For once in your big business-owned careers, grow a pair and do the right thing. Close the purse.
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We should leave [the Iraqis] to settle their affairs their own way. It won't be any messier and bloodier than it already is.

"Why should American boys and girls be standing in the line of fire? The only argument you can make is that we created this mess and we should fix it. But the American people aren't going to accept that anymore."
Quote:
it is not "democracy vs. insurgents." it might have been in early 2004, but no longer.

would it really be worse if we pulled out or redeployed?
or would the withdrawal of American troops and their transition into more of an advisory role (from Kurdistan) remove the Western/colonialist element to the current civil war that might, then, keep it contained to Iraq's borders and not involve Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and others?

how do we ask more American soldiers to die for a strategy that has no chance of working and will likely spur more regional violence?
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:55 AM   #411
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I did read this article a few days back.

I believe this is what caused Obama to try and "modify" his Iraq policy.

He wanted to get in front of the story.

This is not just a FYM minor controversy.

It is THE story on all the NEWS programs and lead story in all the papers.


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Obama's Iraq problem

If he becomes president, pragmatism will lead him to recalibrate his stance
Robert Risko/New Yorker

In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office. At the time, this pledge represented conventional thinking among Democrats and was guaranteed to play well with primary voters. But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama’s rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far.

Obama’s plan, which was formally laid out last September, called for the remaining combat brigades to be pulled out at a brisk pace of about one per month, along with a strategic shift of resources and attention away from Iraq and toward Afghanistan. At that rate, all combat troops would be withdrawn in sixteen months. In hindsight, it was a mistake—an understandable one, given the nature of the media and of Presidential politics today—for Obama to offer such a specific timetable. In matters of foreign policy, flexibility is a President’s primary defense against surprise. At the start of 2007, no one in Baghdad would have predicted that blood-soaked neighborhoods would begin returning to life within a year. The improved conditions can be attributed, in increasing order of importance, to President Bush’s surge, the change in military strategy under General David Petraeus, the turning of Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda, the Sadr militia’s unilateral ceasefire, and the great historical luck that brought them all together at the same moment. With the level of violence down, the Iraqi government and Army have begun to show signs of functioning in less sectarian ways. These developments may be temporary or cyclical; predicting the future in Iraq has been a losing game. Indeed, it was President Bush’s folly to ignore for years the shifting realities on the ground.

Obama, whatever the idealistic yearnings of his admirers, has turned out to be a cold-eyed, shrewd politician.

New Yorker: Obama's Iraq problem - The New Yorker - MSNBC.com
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:06 AM   #412
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Yes, namkcuR and Irvine as well as some others (the second 'reply' is from some random guy in an article you yourself quoted) were openly opposed to the surge, which is quite different from advocating an immediate unconditional withdrawal. Yes, Irvine expressed support for the option of redeployment to Kurdistan and Anbar about a half-dozen times during the first half of 2007. I don't even know what your own *present* stance on how long we should remain in Iraq is--I do, though, recall you saying back in late May that in light of seemingly positive recent developments in Iraq, you would "not let my strong dislike of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld allow me to want this to end with an Iraqi country that can not succeed, just to spite Bush." I'd certainly agree with that, I think most anyone in here would, and if that particular perception has occasioned more openness for some in here to the approach of keeping their continued goal of troop drawdown contingent on circumstances in Iraq, as advocated by Obama, then great. I appreciate that people's positions on how best to deal with the consequences of a messy and protracted war can change over time and in response to new developments in the situation; however, it appears that you don't. I don't appreciate being caricatured as some sort of doctrinaire zealot who takes my marching orders from Code Pink or MoveOn, two organizations I've never given a flying fuck about nor paid any attention whatsoever to, nor as some sort of wide-eyed sycophant who's ready to do a 180 on whatever issue in a heartbeat because Barack "Deus Ex Machina" Obama Says So, and I doubt anyone else here does either.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:52 AM   #413
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I think that the possible emergence of a civil society from the ashes of both fascism and holy war in Iraq is something that most moderate minded people can applaud.
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Old 07-06-2008, 03:56 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Yes, namkcuR and Irvine as well as some others (the second 'reply' is from some random guy in an article you yourself quoted) were openly opposed to the surge, which is quite different from advocating an immediate unconditional withdrawal. Yes, Irvine expressed support for the option of redeployment to Kurdistan and Anbar about a half-dozen times during the first half of 2007. I don't even know what your own *present* stance on how long we should remain in Iraq is--I do, though, recall you saying back in late May that in light of seemingly positive recent developments in Iraq, you would "not let my strong dislike of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld allow me to want this to end with an Iraqi country that can not succeed, just to spite Bush." I'd certainly agree with that, I think most anyone in here would, and if that particular perception has occasioned more openness for some in here to the approach of keeping their continued goal of troop drawdown contingent on circumstances in Iraq, as advocated by Obama, then great. I appreciate that people's positions on how best to deal with the consequences of a messy and protracted war can change over time and in response to new developments in the situation; however, it appears that you don't. I don't appreciate being caricatured as some sort of doctrinaire zealot who takes my marching orders from Code Pink or MoveOn, two organizations I've never given a flying fuck about nor paid any attention whatsoever to, nor as some sort of wide-eyed sycophant who's ready to do a 180 on whatever issue in a heartbeat because Barack "Deus Ex Machina" Obama Says So, and I doubt anyone else here does either.

Before I posted that reply with the quotes.

I should have posted that I never have seen you as one of the Obama believers. You rarely write anything specific "in favor" or "stridently" against any of the candidates.

I think Sting, already admitted he misspoke in writing your name.

He was challenged to "name names".

Surprisingly he did recall your one post, that was neutral, only a question.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:28 AM   #415
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and again this is not a only a FYM impression

about Obama being inconsistent on Iraq

Obama says he's 'been very consistent' on Iraq - CNN.com


http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/news/...a++iraq&st=nyt


Obama 'puzzled' by Iraq remarks furor - Barack Obama News - MSNBC.com

It is the lead story just about everywhere.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:10 AM   #416
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I know we have a few Educators in here


how do you feel about merit pay?

Quote:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) hasn't said much about how to fix America's schools. But an adviser yesterday said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee supports using federal dollars for teacher merit pay and wants to change the No Child Left Behind law championed by President Bush.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:34 AM   #417
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What is indisputable through all of this is that US tactics under Obama will be aimed at supporting the overall strategy/goal of withdrawing US troops, while US tactics under McCain will be supporting the current strategy of maintaining our presence.
Well, thats actually not true. McCain and Bush have always been for withdrawal provided that conditions on the ground warrented such a withdrawal. Initially before the invasion, the Bush administration planned to have the majority of US forces out of Iraq by the summer of 2004. That changed though when the insurgency started. US tactics over the past 5 years in Iraq have been about building the Iraqi security forces, governmental institutions and economy, so that Iraq can function on its own without the need for US ground troops. Bush often stated that as the Iraqi's stand up, we will stand down. Bush and McCain have never had a strategy that simply consisted of either maintaining a military presence in Iraq for its own sake, or simply withdrawing with out any regard to conditions on the ground in Iraq.

Barack Obama and the new Democratic congress repeatedly pressed for the start of withdrawals to begin in early 2007 with all US combat brigades to be out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. There are multiple spending bills in which the Democrats tried to force the President to begin withdrawing troops. Such a withdrawal was not tied to any conditions on the ground in Iraq.

If Obama moves away from his activities in supporting starting to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq without regards to conditions on the ground in Iraq as he did in 2007, then he has indeed shifted his position on the issue. Obama and the Democrats in 2007 were all about forcing Bush to start withdrawing troops and get such withdrawals linked to some timetable. If Obama is or eventually drops the timetables and moves away from removing 1 to 2 brigades a month to a withdrawal that is based strictly and only on conditions on the ground, then he will have done a complete 180 on the issue and arrived at the fundamental position of the Bush administration and Senator McCain on the issue.
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:02 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
Yes, namkcuR and Irvine as well as some others (the second 'reply' is from some random guy in an article you yourself quoted) were openly opposed to the surge, which is quite different from advocating an immediate unconditional withdrawal. Yes, Irvine expressed support for the option of redeployment to Kurdistan and Anbar about a half-dozen times during the first half of 2007.
Most Democrats in congress including Barack Obama spent much of 2007 opposing the Surge and trying to force the President to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq without any regard to conditions on the ground. They tried to attach the start of a withdrawal to nearly every spending bill on Iraq in 2007 but were never able to get enough votes to override a Presidential veto and eventually had to send the bill to the President without the withdrawal language attached to it. I don't recall Irvine or any of the other FYM posters opposed to administration policy also being opposed to Democrats in congress forcing the President to immediately start withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2007. The democrats never made the start of such a withdrawal conditional on anything. Some even went further and wanted a specific timeline in there as well for having ALL the troops out of Iraq.

In addition, I would consider "redeployment" to Kurdistan to be a withdrawal, especially since the United States military has often had a limited presence since 1991 in the northern Kurdish area's. Kurdistan has never been a region that was unstable relative to the rest of Iraq over the past 5 years. In fact, not a single coalition member has been killed in the 3 northern provinces that make up Kurdistan since the start of the invasion in 2003. I don't recall there being any conditions attached to such a redeployment either. It was just that is should begin and be the plan instead of the Surge.


Quote:
and if that particular perception has occasioned more openness for some in here to the approach of keeping their continued goal of troop drawdown contingent on circumstances in Iraq, as advocated by Obama, then great
Except that a withdrawal contingent on circumstances in Iraq has not been Obama's position or most Democrats position. If it were, they would not have spent 2007 attempting to force the Commander In Chief of the United States to start immediately withdrawing the US military from Iraq. Saying on your website that you will immediately begin withdrawing troops and will complete the withdrawal within a year, leaves little to no room for "a drawdown contingent on circumstances in Iraq". A drawdown contingent on circumstances in Iraq is closer to "as they stand up, we'll stand down" than to anything Obama has done on the issue in the Senate over the past 18 months. March 31, 2008 was Obama's often repeated date for having all US combat brigades out of Iraq in 2007.
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Old 07-06-2008, 07:37 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by Strongbow View Post
McCain and Bush have always been for withdrawal provided that conditions on the ground warrented such a withdrawal.
Which de facto means troops will stay. The practical effects of their policies demands an enormous troop presence for the foreseeable future. What they'd like to have happen is irrelevant.

Oh I see what the problem is here. I clearly cited his web page showing that Obama's stated Iraq policy was the same before the primary cycle as it is now, even considering the "refine" kerfluffle. But you keep retreating to January '07. Here's the part where you get to prove that Obama's position changed between January '07 and now. You're fond of making authoritative unfounded statements, so now I want you to cite what you keep blindly asserting.

Quote:
If Obama is or eventually drops the timetables and moves away from removing 1 to 2 brigades a month to a withdrawal that is based strictly and only on conditions on the ground, then he will have done a complete 180 on the issue and arrived at the fundamental position of the Bush administration and Senator McCain on the issue.
If wishes were fishes.
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:56 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by yolland View Post
I don't appreciate being caricatured as some sort of doctrinaire zealot who takes my marching orders from Code Pink or MoveOn, two organizations I've never given a flying fuck about nor paid any attention whatsoever to, nor as some sort of wide-eyed sycophant who's ready to do a 180 on whatever issue in a heartbeat because Barack "Deus Ex Machina" Obama Says So, and I doubt anyone else here does either.


and it's necessary for some to fabricate such a position -- either for individual posters, for a particular candidate, or for the amorphous "Democrats" or "liberals" at large -- for their arguments to have any sort of coherence.

it's also grotesque to say that someone should hold the same position today as they held in early 2007. if we've learned anything from Bush and Co., it's that the steadfast maintenance of a position irregardless of reality is the worst possible option. early 2007 is different than mid-2008.

what i find ironic is that for everyone who touts the "success" of "the surge," really, you're making the case for Obama's withdrawal. i find it impossible for some to talk about McCain having a position of withdrawal (though he knows that current troop levels are unsustainable) when there is no clear goal of what "success" actually looks like. though i will say it is beginning to look like the establishment of 60 military bases.

this, to me, is the more interesting question and really what the distinction is between McCain and Obama. do you want American troops stationed in Iraq for the indefinite future, or not? and if some troops are going to be there (and they are), what is that presence going to look like?
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