Monday, July 07, 2008

Progress in Iraq

In a recent report to Congress, the Bush administration reported that Iraq has now made satisfactory progress on 15 of 18 benchmarks. This is nearly twice the progress that was reported one year ago. If you were unaware of this, that's probably because NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and the New York Times all completely ignored the story. That's right, none of these major news outlets felt Iraq's progress on meeting political benchmarks was worthy of reporting. But the full story can be found here.

This is no doubt bad news for Barack Obama, who is depending on US failure in Iraq to help him get to the White House. Perhaps that's why the aforementioned news agencies haven't reported on this. Obama has committed to immediate, unconditional withdrawal of US troops and it's a position that he can't reverse. So, the worse things are in Iraq the better he will look when he gives that order, which brings me to another issue.

During a debate, Obama was asked if he would still withdraw US troops EVEN if his top military advisors told him such a withdrawal would be disastrous. Obama answered yes, saying that the Commander in Chief has ultimate authority and is not bound to what his advisors say. This is where I have a problem.

Obama has no military experience. He knows nothing about military tactics or strategy. Yet, he hopes to command the greatest military force on the planet. That's fine. But it seems to me that someone in his position would listen carefully to his military advisors. After all, they know what they're talking about, he doesn't (at least when it comes to military issues). The idea that he is going to do what he wants to do - damn what his advisors say - is a bit frightening. It's just another example of Obama's arrogance, and it reflects a reckless military policy.

I for one am happy to see the Iraqi government making progress. In one year they have doubled the number of benchmarks met. We have given them freedom, then security, and it appears they are responding. Progress is slow, but we are heading in the right direction. It's my hope that America won't turn its back on the people of Iraq when they are so close to succeeding at building their democracy.

That will be up to the voters.


Anonymous said...


I think you have gone overboard and you are now awash in the ocean of hysteria.

As well we know, politicians are likely to say anything that will get them elected. Once they are elected, what they do might vary greatly from what they say.

John McCain is trying to rally the GOP base. If he is elected, I doubt he will attempt to do everything he is telling his base.

Meanwhile, people on both sides of the political spectrum agree that military service is not a good indicator of how competent a president will be.

I too am glad the Iraqi government is making progress b/c basically, it all looked like up from where it was previously. But "so close to succeeding in building their democracy?"

I think that is putting it altogether in too rosy a light.

Take th eunder on democracy in Iraq. As soo as the military is organized, expect a coup.



Dan Trabue said...

who is depending on US failure in Iraq to help him get to the White House.

No one wishes things to go poorly in Iraq. Obama is depending partially upon dissatisfaction with our foreign policy - especially but not exclusively the invasion of Iraq - for success in the fall. The dissatisfaction with the process is real. If things manage to wind up half-way decent there, no one - NO ONE - will complain.

But the ends don't justify the means. If it was a rotten to the core policy that got us there, we oppose that policy. That it MIGHT turn out not horrible will not change that.

By the way, hoping that it MIGHT not turn out horrible is probably expecting too much.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call the Bush administration an objective source. And they met benchmarks they set themselves? Not exactly impressive. Has it ever occurred to you they may have lowered the bar to look good? I mean, they are politicians, and it's a very politician thing to do.

John Washburn said...

"people on both sides of the political spectrum agree that military service is not a good indicator of how competent a president will be."

That's not what I claimed. I simply stated that someone who doesn't have any military experience or knowledge of basic military tactics and strategy should LISTEN to those who do. Obama basically said he would NOT. That is concerning.

One year ago when it was reported that Iraq was only satisfactory on 8 of 18 bench marks, it was a big deal. It was everywhere. You couldn't turn on the news without hearing of it. Now, not so much. Apparently those benchmarks aren't an issue if Iraq is meeting them.

My hysterics pale in comparison to your double standard.

Dan Trabue said...

To be clear, Obama did not say he would NOT listen to military advisers, but rather he'd listen to them, BUT STILL his plan is to exit from Iraq.

He HAS been listening to military advisers. It's not like he has made this policy in a vacuum. There are plenty of military advisers who agree this was a ridiculous invasion.

Kristina said...

Can you let me in on which military advisers are advising that we leave?

Anonymous said...



Dubya's Invasion of Iraq was a "failed policy", haven't you heard that more than once? Saddam, Uday and Qusay were really O.K. guys, and no threat to neighbors. Just another Lie.

Besides, nobody else important has ever offered a solution, and if it were not for IRAN now holding the trump cards, w/ Hezbollah Bullies(Party of God), and the Muslim Brotherhood, and Syria, and, Oh Yeah, those Saudi Royals, and Offensive Jihad, and the 12th Imam, they like to kill a few Jews, so what?

AW Schucks, let's just blame Bush/Cheney; that's the easy answer to complexity. We need CHANGE...yeah, that's the ticket.

I want sumthin' I can believe in.

As soon as Bush & Cheney are gone there ain't gonna be any more suicide bombers, wait-n-see. Yep.

Enrichment? Of what? Get real, man.

Who's got my Sports page? Who's gonna win the Pennant, and how about those Dodgers? What's That?
You don't Care? Aw, grow up! reb