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Thread: Did Obama pull a fast one on the Democrats?

  1. #1
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    Did Obama pull a fast one on the Democrats?

    Interesting article buried deep in the New York Times the other day. The real question, in contrast to the article title, is what has really changed in Iraq in just two months that Obama has changed his thinking? What is this new "reality" that supplants the promise by Obama when he said, “My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war..." ? Did he not know the reality before Nov. 4th or was he simply saying what was popular?



    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/politics/04military.html?_r=2[/url]

    [QUOTE][B][SIZE="5"]Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality[/SIZE][/B]
    By THOM SHANKER

    [B]WASHINGTON — On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.

    But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all "combat forces" out within 16 months.[/B]

    “I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months, with the understanding that it might be necessary — likely to be necessary — to maintain a residual force to provide potential training, logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said this week as he introduced his national security team.

    Publicly at least, Mr. Obama has not set a firm number for that “residual force,” a phrase certain to become central to the debate on the way ahead in Iraq, though one of his national security advisers, Richard Danzig, said during the campaign that it could amount to 30,000 to 55,000 troops. Nor has Mr. Obama laid out any timetable beyond 16 months for troop drawdowns, or suggested when he believes a time might come for a declaration that the war is over.

    In the meantime, military planners are drawing up tentative schedules aimed at meeting both Mr. Obama’s goal for withdrawing combat troops, with a target of May 2010, and the Dec. 31, 2011, date for sending the rest of American troops home that is spelled out in the new agreement between the United States and the Iraqi government.

    That status-of-forces agreement remains subject to change, by mutual agreement, and Army planners acknowledge privately that they are examining projections that could see the number of Americans hovering between 30,000 and 50,000 — and some say as high as 70,000 — for a substantial time even beyond 2011.

    As American combat forces decline in numbers and more provinces are turned over to Iraqi control, these military planners say, Iraqi security forces will remain reliant on significant numbers of Americans for training, supplies, logistics, intelligence and transportation for a long time to come.

    There always was a tension, if not a bit of a contradiction, in the two parts of Mr. Obama’s campaign platform to “end the war” by withdrawing all combat troops by May 2010. To be sure, Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops. But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops.

    Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis.

    In Iraq today, there are 15 brigades defined as combat forces in this debate, with one on its way home. But the overall number of troops on the ground is more than 50 brigade equivalents, for a total of 146,000 troops, including service and support personnel. Even now, after the departure of the five “surge” brigades that President Bush sent to Iraq in January 2006, the overall number of troops in Iraq remains higher than when Mr. Bush ordered the troop increase, owing to the number of support and service personnel remaining.

    At his news conference in Chicago on Monday, Mr. Obama emphasized his willingness to listen to the advice from senior officers and that of his new national security team, which includes Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, the first Pentagon chief in history to continue serving under a newly elected president; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, as national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, the retired four-star Marine officer who served as NATO’s supreme commander.

    Since the election, Mr. Obama has held unannounced consultations with both Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen, described by Obama aides and Pentagon officials as having focused less on tactics and operations and more on broad, strategic views for American national security. On Wednesday, he made a telephone call to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, according to the Obama transition office.

    [B]To date, there has been no significant criticism from the antiwar left of the Democratic Party of the prospect that Mr. Obama will keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for at least several years to come.[/B]

    At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps’ letting out its collective breath; the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels.

    “I believe that 16 months is the right time frame, but, as I’ve said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders,” Mr. Obama said at that news conference on Monday. “And my No. 1 priority is making sure that our troops remain safe in this transition phase, and that the Iraqi people are well served by a government that is taking on increased responsibility for its own security.”

    [B]An apparent evolution of Mr. Obama’s thinking can be heard in contrast to comments he made in July[/B], when he called a news conference to lay out his Iraq policy in unambiguous terms.

    [B]“I intend to end this war,” he said then. “My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively.” And in a news conference that month in Amman, Jordan, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the American troop increase had bolstered Iraqi security but declared that he would not hesitate to overrule American commanders and redirect troops in Afghanistan.[/B]

    Mr. Gates, speaking at the Pentagon on Tuesday, a day after he appeared with Mr. Obama to announce the new national security team, made clear that the direction of troop levels now had been decided, with the only decisions remaining on how fast and how low.

    “And so the question is, How do we do this in a responsible way?” Mr. Gates said. “And nobody wants to put at risk the gains that have been achieved, with so much sacrifice, on the part of our soldiers and the Iraqis, at this point.”
    [/QUOTE]



    [QUOTE][B][SIZE="5"]New York Times bares Obama’s campaign lies on Iraq war[/SIZE][/B]
    6 December 2008

    In an article buried on page 35 of its main news section, the New York Times Thursday provided a candid analysis of the glaring contradiction between the antiwar sentiments to which Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appealed in the run-up to the November election and the actual policies that President-elect Obama is preparing to implement come January.

    [B]The article, written by Times Pentagon correspondent Thom Shanker, is entitled "Campaign promises on ending the war in Iraq now muted by reality." This headline belies the real situation, as the "reality" of the Iraq war has not changed in any fundamental way in the month since the American people went to the polls.[/B]

    [B]Rather what has taken place—in a manner that is breathtaking for both it speed and blatancy—is Obama's repudiation of his campaign pledge to end the Iraq war, which proved decisive in his victories in both the Democratic primary contest and the general election itself.[/B]

    Of course, for those who listened closely, this pledge was always severely hedged, by Obama's statements about leaving a "residual force" in the occupied country and listening to recommendations by US military commanders. But, in the campaign itself, these caveats were overshadowed by his continuous criticism of the Bush administration over the war and his indictment of his principal rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, for her October 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq.

    Now, as the Times article spells out, this relationship has been reversed. Obama has ditched the rhetorical promises of his campaign and these previous caveats have emerged clearly as the "reality" of his policy. It is the continuation of the war and occupation in Iraq as well as the essential strategy of using military force to assert US hegemony over the oil resources of the region.

    While Obama "electrified and motivated his liberal base by vowing to ‘end the war' in Iraq," the Times states, as the transition advances he is now singing a very different tune. The president-elect is "making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months."

    As the article makes clear, "combat troops" is a term of art, or in the case of the Obama campaign, of deception. Only 15 out of 50 brigade-strength units now deployed in the occupied country are formally classified as "combat" troops. The rest are considered "support" units, though large sections of them are armed and participate in combat operations.

    Moreover, as the article makes clear, the semantic difference between combat and non-combat units offers Obama an even easier way to formally fulfill his campaign pledge while continuing the war and occupation that millions of those who voted for him believed he would end.

    "Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama's goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be ‘re-missioned,' their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis," Shanker reports.

    "Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops," he writes. "But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops."

    This is a rather delicate way of saying that Obama's anti-war rhetoric was from the outset deliberately misleading, designed to con the millions of Americans who went to the polls with the aim of voting to stop the war.

    As for Obama's 16-month deadline for withdrawing "combat" forces from Iraq, the Times reports that Pentagon planners are currently drawing up projections for up to 70,000 US troops continuing the occupation not only well past May 2010, but also long after the supposed December 31, 2011 deadline for a full withdrawal established under the recently concluded status of forces agreement reached between Washington and its client regime in Baghdad. It is generally believed that this deadline will be annulled in subsequent negotiations.

    [B]The real policy of the incoming Obama administration was made quite clear last Monday at the Chicago press conference in which the president-elect formally announced that Hillary Clinton—whom he excoriated during the Democratic primary campaign for supporting the Iraq war—was his nominee for secretary of state and that Robert Gates—[U]Bush's appointee as defense secretary[/U], who has publicly stated that US troops will remain in Iraq for years to come—will be kept at his post.[/B]

    He used the occasion to stress the distinction between "combat troops" and the "residual force" and to make clear that he would listen to the advice of Gates and uniformed commanders in setting the pace for even a partial withdrawal.

    [B]The Republican right hailed Obama's performance. In a column published in the Washington Post Friday, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a prominent adviser of the Bush administration, praised the cabinet choices, writing, "It took courage for the president-elect to choose this constellation." He particularly commended the retention of Gates, calling him "the guarantor of continuity."[/B]

    Then there is Charles Krauthammer, the right-wing columnist for the Post who was a prominent supporter of the invasion of Iraq, as well as of a new war against Iran. "That's the kind of change I can believe in," he declared on Fox News Monday. "It is, I'm sure, a disappointment to his left," he added. "But even more disturbing, I'll bet, is what he said about Iraq."

    As the Times article accurately reports: "To date, there has been no significant criticism from the antiwar left of the Democratic Party of the prospect that Mr. Obama will keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for at least several years to come."

    [B]Indeed, United for Peace and Justice, the most prominent antiwar protest outfit, has issued a series of statements for a national conference it is holding next weekend in which it hails "the new excitement and hope that the election of Barack Obama brings," without saying a word about the Democratic president-elect's clear signals that he intends to continue a war and occupation that has killed over 1 million Iraqis and claimed the lives of more than 4,200 US troops.[/B]

    Organizations such as UFPJ are entirely subordinated to the Democratic Party. They played a subsidiary role in diverting the American people's overwhelming opposition to the war behind the Democratic wing of US imperialism.

    Even before Obama takes office, the transition process has made it clear that the struggle against war can only be waged as a struggle against the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, by building an independent political party of the working class, directed at the capitalist profit system, the source of militarism.

    Bill Van Auken[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by jetstream23; 12-06-2008 at 03:45 AM.

  2. #2
    I hope this keeps up...Obama is very shrewd. He was pandering to his wacky base (alot of lefty JI posters among them) to get elected, but has thus far shown signs that he'll govern from the center/right.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Tucker134;2895856]I hope this keeps up...Obama is very shrewd. He was pandering to his wacky base (alot of lefty JI posters among them) to get elected, but has thus far shown signs that he'll govern from the center/right.[/QUOTE]

    Which is exactly what I said during the election, only to be told by John McSenile's wacky base that I was dead wrong...Obama was going to usher in a muslim caliphate, appoint black panthers to cabinet posts and host a Pampered Chef party at the White House to which he would invite no one except high ranking Al Qaeda members.

    So seriously...we don't care what die hard Republicans think. You guys were the only ones who though Obama was a baby killing libtard. All of us "lefties" knew that Obama would have to "adjust" many campaign promises....we understand why campaigns say what they do. We elected Obama for that exact reason...we wanted someone who would change their mind if faced with different situations and facts. Your party was the only one completely and utterly enamored with people like George Bush, people who never ever change their mind under any condition whatsoever and who will never ever admit and error of any sort. Your party was the party that called anyone with any sort of intellectual curiosity an "elitist". We call that being smart. Your party acted like that is some sign of a serious personality flaw...which isn't surprising since most of you still regard Sarah Palin as a good candidate.

  4. #4
    I was 100% wrong about Barack Obama. I honestly thought Liberal Democrats Obama, Pelosi, and Reid would naively run the country into the ground.

    I'm still waiting to see whom Obama appoints Director of the CIA and what their position is on 'torture'.

    :jets_helm

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2895861]Which is exactly what I said during the election, only to be told by John McSenile's wacky base that I was dead wrong...Obama was going to usher in a muslim caliphate, appoint black panthers to cabinet posts and host a Pampered Chef party at the White House to which he would invite no one except high ranking Al Qaeda members.

    So seriously...we don't care what die hard Republicans think. You guys were the only ones who though Obama was a baby killing libtard. All of us "lefties" knew that Obama would have to "adjust" many campaign promises....we understand why campaigns say what they do. We elected Obama for that exact reason...we wanted someone who would change their mind if faced with different situations and facts. Your party was the only one completely and utterly enamored with people like George Bush, people who never ever change their mind under any condition whatsoever and who will never ever admit and error of any sort. Your party was the party that called anyone with any sort of intellectual curiosity an "elitist". We call that being smart. Your party acted like that is some sign of a serious personality flaw...which isn't surprising since most of you still regard Sarah Palin as a good candidate.[/QUOTE]

    Great post dude.

  6. #6
    I guess we want a President who doesn't care about what is happening now and will just carry out what he wants when he wants. The last 8 years has shown that doesn't work.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Tucker134;2895856]I hope this keeps up...Obama is very shrewd. He was pandering to his wacky base (alot of lefty JI posters among them) to get elected, but has thus far shown signs that he'll govern from the center/right.[/QUOTE]

    Yes, of course, Clinton is center-right now. Conservatives, with the limitless capacity for self-delusion, are declaring victory now in the only way possible. I hope it keeps up until there are no Republicans left in any significant office outside of the south.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=cr726;2895876]I guess we want a President who doesn't care about what is happening now and will just carry out what he wants when he wants. The last 8 years has shown that doesn't work.[/QUOTE]

    Great post dude.

    :jets_helm

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=maury420;2895872]Great post dude.[/QUOTE]

    Easy on the man-love

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2895861]Which is exactly what I said during the election, only to be told by John McSenile's wacky base that I was dead wrong...Obama was going to usher in a muslim caliphate, appoint black panthers to cabinet posts and host a Pampered Chef party at the White House to which he would invite no one except high ranking Al Qaeda members.

    So seriously...we don't care what die hard Republicans think. You guys were the only ones who though Obama was a baby killing libtard. All of us "lefties" knew that Obama would have to "adjust" many campaign promises....we understand why campaigns say what they do. We elected Obama for that exact reason...we wanted someone who would change their mind if faced with different situations and facts. Your party was the only one completely and utterly enamored with people like George Bush, people who never ever change their mind under any condition whatsoever and who will never ever admit and error of any sort. Your party was the party that called anyone with any sort of intellectual curiosity an "elitist". We call that being smart. Your party acted like that is some sign of a serious personality flaw...which isn't surprising since most of you still regard Sarah Palin as a good candidate.[/QUOTE]

    Obama's stance & voting record on abortion is an abomination..I def would rather not get into that again, but u brought it up. He hasn't even been sworn in yet so we should all temper our enthusiasm for "The One" until some time has passed. But thus far his appointments & rhetoric have been responsible & inclusionary. It's definately encouraging...not that he really had much of a choice, given the condition our great country is in.

    If u recall, Clinton had a first term that was so liberal, it resulted in the Gingrich-led Republican revolution..& the only significant legislation in his second term were Republican initiatives: NAFTA/Welfare reform..so Obama should stay the course & continue to lean right on the economy & national security. Clinton almost destroyed the military & is the primary reason why 9/11 was allowed to happen.

    I agree that Sara Palin was not the best candidate for VP

  11. #11
    I hope after 8 years of spending like a very drunk sailor someone will have some common sense!

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2895861]Which is exactly what I said during the election, only to be told by John McSenile's wacky base that I was dead wrong...Obama was going to usher in a muslim caliphate, appoint black panthers to cabinet posts and host a Pampered Chef party at the White House to which he would invite no one except high ranking Al Qaeda members.

    So seriously...we don't care what die hard Republicans think. You guys were the only ones who though Obama was a baby killing libtard. [B]All of us "lefties" knew that Obama would have to "adjust" many campaign promises[/B]....we understand why campaigns say what they do. We elected Obama for that exact reason...we wanted someone who would change their mind if faced with different situations and facts. Your party was the only one completely and utterly enamored with people like George Bush, people who never ever change their mind under any condition whatsoever and who will never ever admit and error of any sort. Your party was the party that called anyone with any sort of intellectual curiosity an "elitist". We call that being smart. Your party acted like that is some sign of a serious personality flaw...which isn't surprising since most of you still regard Sarah Palin as a good candidate.[/QUOTE]

    So wait a minute, he campaigned on one thing and played to mass liberals but now appears to be more center/right and you're saying that all the "lefties" knew this was going to happen? Why didn't he just say what he's saying now and maybe win the general election by 70%??? I've been pleasantly surprised by a lot of the things I'm watching him do now, the people he's surrounding himself with, etc. Why didn't he campaign with these same ideas and approaches so that he may have actually had a better chance at my vote and that of others?

    If I were a "lefty" I think I'd be a little pissed about the false advertising. The over/under is 3 months before we start hearing about Barack Obush keeping W's Defense Secretary, digging up Volcker from Reagan's administration, etc. :P
    Last edited by jetstream23; 12-06-2008 at 09:58 PM.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Tucker134;2895999]Obama's stance & voting record on abortion is an abomination..I def would rather not get into that again, but u brought it up. He hasn't even been sworn in yet so we should all temper our enthusiasm for "The One" until some time has passed. But thus far his appointments & rhetoric have been responsible & inclusionary. It's definately encouraging...not that he really had much of a choice, given the condition our great country is in.

    If u recall, Clinton had a first term that was so liberal, it resulted in the Gingrich-led Republican revolution..& the only significant legislation in his second term were Republican initiatives: NAFTA/Welfare reform..so Obama should stay the course & continue to lean right on the economy & national security. Clinton almost destroyed the military & is the primary reason why 9/11 was allowed to happen.

    I agree that Sara Palin was not the best candidate for VP[/QUOTE]


    Great post, dude! :yes:

    This country is fiscally and militarily center/right but more moderate socially. I think most people want a small government that doesn't overspend but promotes a strong national defense while staying out of people's bedrooms. If this is where Obama goes then I think he will appeal to a great majority of the American people.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Tucker134;2895856]I hope this keeps up...Obama is very shrewd. He was pandering to his wacky base (alot of lefty JI posters among them) to get elected, but has thus far shown signs that he'll govern from the center/right.[/QUOTE]

    Hey, as long as he remains charismatic, he could prolly use McCains Presidency script and those idol worshippers will be happy.

    And its only backtracking and lying as a means to an end when Republicans do it.

    lol

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;2895861]Which is exactly what I said during the election, only to be told by John McSenile's wacky base that I was dead wrong...Obama was going to usher in a muslim caliphate, appoint black panthers to cabinet posts and host a Pampered Chef party at the White House to which he would invite no one except high ranking Al Qaeda members.

    So seriously...we don't care what die hard Republicans think. You guys were the only ones who though Obama was a baby killing libtard. All of us "lefties" knew that Obama would have to "adjust" many campaign promises....we understand why campaigns say what they do. We elected Obama for that exact reason...we wanted someone who would change their mind if faced with different situations and facts. Your party was the only one completely and utterly enamored with people like George Bush, people who never ever change their mind under any condition whatsoever and who will never ever admit and error of any sort. Your party was the party that called anyone with any sort of intellectual curiosity an "elitist". We call that being smart. Your party acted like that is some sign of a serious personality flaw...which isn't surprising since most of you still regard Sarah Palin as a good candidate.[/QUOTE]

    Man, I remember the days when I thought one party was significantly better than the other. Barely.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=jetstream23;2896306]So wait a minute, he campaigned on one thing and played to mass liberals but now appears to be more center/right and you're saying that all the "lefties" knew this was going to happen? [B]Why didn't he just say what he's saying now and maybe win the general election by 70%???[/B] I've been pleasantly surprised by a lot of the things I'm watching him do now, the people he's surrounding himself with, etc. Why didn't he campaign with these same ideas and approaches so that he may have actually had a better chance at my vote and that of others?

    If I were a "lefty" I think I'd be a little pissed about the false advertising. The over/under is 3 months before we start hearing about Barack Obush keeping W's Defense Secretary, digging up Volcker from Reagan's administration, etc. :P[/QUOTE]

    Because that isn't how campaigns and the American two-party system works...do you pay attention to anything anymore?;)

    Normal people don't donate their money to politicians...they have bills to pay and think giving money to a pol would be like giving heroin to Lindsey Lohan. Only base voters are retarded enough to donate to campaigns.

    And of course "leftys" are pissed. They're not like idiot "righties" who somehow thought Bush was one of them even though he never followed through on his campaign promises. Only a bunch of religious zealot dumb asses were stupid enough to believe that George Bush was some cowboy christian from Texas instead of the spoiled brat rich kid from New Haven he actually was.

    Go and read Kwo's book.

  17. #17
    Change!

    [I](course) [/I]

  18. #18
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    I really could care less if Obama takes 1 year, 2 years or even 4 years to get out of Iraq. I know logistically it's impossible to remove our entire force out of Iraq in 16 months or whatever the campaign promise was but as long as it eventually gets done over the next couple years I'm perfectly ok with it.

    Beats spending the next 100 years there which is exactly what the neocons wanted.

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=jetstream23;2895845]Interesting article buried deep in the New York Times the other day. The real question, in contrast to the article title, is what has really changed in Iraq in just two months that Obama has changed his thinking? What is this new "reality" that supplants the promise by Obama when he said, “My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war..." ? Did he not know the reality before Nov. 4th or was he simply saying what was popular?



    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/politics/04military.html?_r=2[/url][/QUOTE]

    He was obviously pandering to the far left base and the idiot hipsters who he was banking on for votes.

    Anyone who truly believed that we would be out in less than a year can't be very smart.

  20. #20
    It's quite ironic that those who were quick to promote the ideal that he'd surround himself with different thinkers are now becoming frustrated with the results.

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