1- They’re willing to concede that a too-quick withdrawal from Iraq will erase all of the accomplishments that have been made there and 2 – they’re telling ObamaÂ he needs to continue to soften his stanceÂ and revise his initial plans regarding Iraq in light of the new conditions on the ground there.
Of course, as I’ve noted before, Obama has to walk aÂ tightropeÂ with respect to hisÂ shall we say “evolving” Â position on Iraq.Â Â He doesn’t want to upset the Nutroots any more than they already are by suggesting that theÂ results of the surge have produced more positive results than he was initially willing to acknowledge and thus meaning that our troops might have to stay there a little longer than he’s promised in order to ensure continued success and stability, but at the same time, as part of his general election strategy, he doesn’t want toÂ be seen as downplaying the progress made by our troops and coalition forces to a public who still supports our troops even though the majority now say that the Iraq war was a mistake.Â Â
He has repeatedly said that he wants a withdrawal of all combat brigades within 16 months of when heÂ would take office if electedÂ but has made subtle shifts over theÂ last few monthsÂ by saying that he would take into consideration the facts on the ground based on what our commanders and generals would report to him should he be elected as Commander in Chief, indicating a supposed “willingness” to switch gears on how he feels about withdrawing.Â Â In essence, he’s played politics with the war from day one with the anti-war left, and now finds himself in the dicey general election position ofÂ having to play both sides of the fence.Â Â Â
While the WaPo may haveÂ hope that Obama will continue to reassess his position on Iraq, I don’t see his subtle shifts in on the way he feels about the war in Iraq as a good-faith effort to reconsider his initial view of the war.Â Â Â It’s the same way I felt about Kerry: You can talk all you want to about wanting to be a good Commander in Chief but when all the chips are on the table you can’t convert that into reality if you’ve never believed the war was justified in the first place.Â Â How can Obama truly be willing to revise to any significant degree his position on a war he has repeatedly said should have never been waged, and along with it aÂ surge he has said for the last year and a half that he strongly opposed – the same surge of which he’s oftenÂ played downÂ the success?Â Â Â
He likes to brag about his “judgment” but I simply don’t trust his “judgment” at all on this issue, considering all of the above.Â Saying one thing repeatedlyÂ during the primaries to appeal to your base while subtly preparing to shift gears for the general election with a more “softened” stance is not an indicator of someone who is willing to truthfully acknowledge the realities of what’s happening on the ground there.Â It shows he’s willing to say whatever he needs to in order to appeal to as many voters as possible, and that is inÂ no way – in no way -Â a solidÂ basisÂ for which to conductÂ and execute a successfulÂ war.Â