So many told-ya-so's ...

This just in:  "U.S. Considers Increasing Pace of Iraq Pullout" (NYTimes.com)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/washin gton/13military.html?_r=1&oref=slogi n

The amazing thing, to me, is how so many people apparently were unable to predict this very action.   Ok, so I'm 57 years old and have personally witnessed 10+ election cycles in my life time.   Is that, alone, what made me able to predict with 99% certainty that Bush would be pulling out troops this Fall?  

This election season has been marked by an uncommon lack of political savvy in the blogosphere and the mainstream media.   People actually believing that Obama's speech to an anti-war rally in 2002 made him somehow prescient in international affairs?    People actually believing that McCain's "100 years" comment meant anything more than the fact that we still have aircraft carriers stationed in Japan 60 years after the end of WWII?    

How much of it is genuine cluelessness and how much is cynical manipulation of public opinion, is not clear.   But some things are so obvious that one has to suspect disingenuousness (the alternative being outright stupidity).  For example, people believing the Obama/Clinton prattle about troop withdrawals when the Command in Chief is a republican and can withdraw a few combat brigades any time he feels like it, and bring them home to tickertape parades in ... say ... late October?   Thus is deflated the sad little democratic balloon.   Never mind if the next republican president reinstates the troops (on some pretext or other) come February 2009.  

Obama's jolt to the right on Iraq and other matters comes as no surprise, of course.   He's just an ordinary pol and an extraordinary triangulator, but I suspect this is too little too late.  He hooked his very small wagon to the wrong star.   With zero foreign policy chops, it was obvious from the start that he needed to specialize in something else.   Let him say something new about energy policy and the economy, steal some more good ideas from Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, and shut up already about Iraq.

And hey I'm no republican or troll, just a super-pissed-off democrat.   All this stuff was so obvious from the start -- political science 101 -- yet the party got hijacked by its dumbest elements and got us into a fine jam.  

Tags: Bush, Iraq, obama, Troop Reduction (all tags)

Comments

11 Comments

Consider this an open thread...

What's on your mind?

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-15 06:50AM | 0 recs
You're generally correct, of course.

Our history is full of Presidents either using the military or depending on the military to try to manipulate public opinion right before both Presidential and mid-term Congressional elections.

As one example Lincoln himself believed he'd not be re-elected, but Sherman's capturing of Atlanta a month before election day changed the tenor of the election.

by aggieric 2008-07-15 06:56AM | 0 recs
Re: You're generally correct, of course.

You really think that's what this diary is about?

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-15 06:56AM | 0 recs
There's the conundrum, see.

I'm supposed to believe that Mae Scott's new diary isn't about casting aspersions on Clinton, too.

If I am expected to take her dairy at face value, why shouldn't I take this diary at face value?

I haven't bothered to search each diarists comment and diary histories, and having not done so, I think it's a reasonable position for me to take, yes. Does Mae Scott have ulterior motives in posting her diary?  Possibly. But what Clinton is doing is legal and legit.

Does this diarist have ulterior motives? Possibly, but regardless, his point is irrefutably accurate: Presidents - even outgoing ones - have tried to manipulate elections in this fashion.

My DD has become a minefield of suspicion and distrust.

by aggieric 2008-07-15 07:14AM | 0 recs
I don't know the ...

history of the diarist.

I don't know that I agree with all the assumptions the diarist has made.

I do know that there is merit to the argument that actions to decrease the impact of the Iraq war before the GE gets underway in the fall is predictable based on years of experience. There will be more 'good news' from the White House and the GOP before the election, and more reports of 'threats to National Security'.

The GOP has always had an 'October Surprise',and if the Democrats didn't, any action that could plausibly be morphed into one suddenly becomes a 'wag the dog' scenario.

These are things that history and experience teach us.

Scoff at that if you feel you must.

by emsprater 2008-07-15 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know the ...

Yeah, October surprises do exist, no doubt, though I would have to disagree on foreign policy analysis, Obama is more well rounded on international affairs simply by living in differnet regions.  That does not make him an expert, but it likely helps to his ability to deal with people of differnt stripes and cultures.  As I think is obvious, those who travel the world versus those who stay at home usually have more open-mindedness and better understanding of how inrenational relations work, thus adding to Obama's claim to skills diplomatic affairs.

I surely don't think Obama should shut up about Iraq at all, he understands that more foucs needs to be implemented in Afghanistan, something the current admin has failed to recognize or deliberately did so due to various "motivations".  Also, Obama's plans for re-deployment happens to align with Malaki's posturing of US withdrawal, which I think is an advantage.

by KLRinLA 2008-07-15 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: So many told-ya-so's ...

The Bush administration will absolutely do as much as possible to help McCain in this fashion. We will see the news focus from Iraq improve to match reality, we may actually even see Bin Laden caught this time. Scare tactics are SOOOO 2006, this year we'll see what I like to call "Things that Bush was supposed to be doing the whole time".

Which is why it is so important to make news like this irrelevant by focusing on the simple fact that although staying in Iraq will help IRAQ and can help us win THERE, it won't do jack shit in the war on terror or to help make us safer. And that is what Obama has been doing. WTF is he going to be saying on this issue? All he can say is, "We can't afford it, we're wasting manpower, military is stretched, nuclear threat". Not only that, but if the reason for staying in Iraq is so that Iran can't get a foothold, that's really stupid, because they are literally next door. We would have to be there training and pumping in money for at least another 10 years before we'd keep Iran's money from being sufficient to buy influence and pay for dissidents. Iraq is the second biggest oil producer in the world.

But seriously, screw this Chicken Little philosophy, because it's completely counterproductive. You complain, but you don't offer any better alternatives. I'm inclined to think you don't actually WANT to talk to anyone, only broadcast. Nonetheless, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. So my question to you is, what is he supposed to be saying instead of what he IS saying?

by vcalzone 2008-07-15 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: So many told-ya-so's ...

"So my question to you is, what is he supposed to be saying instead of what he IS saying?"

Like I said, Obama should be (have been) focusing on the economy.   If things in Iraq truly are better, then give Bush and Petraeus kudos for their fine work and move on to something Democrats are better at:  the economy, stupid!

by miker2008 2008-08-05 09:12AM | 0 recs
are you joking?

The Bush Administration has claimed troop reductions are about to happen for the last 7 years.

by John DE 2008-07-15 07:49AM | 0 recs
Hah

Nevermind the fact that McCain and Bush have been campaigning against the troop withdrawls because their friends' money is tied up in keeping us in Iraq as long as possible.

Normally I would've been more skeptical about the sudden requests by Iraq to get us the hell out of there, but the Republican line on it is so muddled and their message is so unclear that it seems almost impossible for this to have been arranged.

In fact, unless this was all arranged so that some catastrophe can befall Iraq that tells us that we need to be there forever, Obama has been on the winning side of this latest break.

Reality seems to have a pro-Obama bias.  It was a nice try, though.  

by Dracomicron 2008-07-15 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: So many told-ya-so's ...
Given Obama's speech today..
this diary is a little dusty..
by nogo postal 2008-07-15 08:54AM | 0 recs

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