Fox News reports that President Obama is talking about how many American troops will be home from Iraq by the next Super Bowl:
A “substantial” number of the 140,000 troops in Iraq will be able to return home by next year’s Super Bowl, President Obama said in an interview on Sunday before Super Bowl XLIII kicked off in Tampa, Fla.
After conversations with joint chiefs and commanders on the ground, Obama told NBC News that America is in a position to put more responsibilities on Iraq following the country’s “significant election with no significant violence.”
“We are going to roll out in a very formal fashion what our intentions are in Iraq as well as Afghanistan,” Obama said. “It’s good news not only for the troops on the field but for the families who are carrying an enormous burden.”
And welcome news for a President who, as a candidate, talked down this war from the start, and opposed the surge … twice. The first time during the actual vote, the second time after he was asked last summer if he would have supported it knowing how successful it would actually turn out to be. His answer was no. In fact, if Barack Obama had had his way, all combat brigades would have been out of Iraq by March of last year, and the elections that took place this weekend wouldn’t have happened.
How ironic that the surge he consistently opposed has made it so that the conditions on the ground are conducive for the withdrawal he promised during his campaign? It was such an embarassing position for him to take last year that Team Obama actually purged his opposition to the surge from his campaign website.
Will now be the time that President Obama finally openly acknowledges that the surge he opposed has been a big success? Will now be the time that President Obama gives thanks to those – including General David Petraeus, who implemented the plans that Obama opposed, plans that have made it so that political reconciliation can take place in Iraq, have made it so that security there is better than it has been since Baghdad fell in April 2003?
Some might suggest that conservatives just “let go” the fact that Obama admitted he would have still opposed the surge even knowing at the time of the vote what he knew when he was asked about it last summer. I will not. This man is the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, and the opposition position he took last year on the surge was reckless, dangerous, and counter to what the United States military is all about: protecting America and her interests, both home and abroad. Not only that, but two years ago, he called troop deaths in Iraq “wasted” troop deaths. The US military might be able to forgive him for his slips of the tongue, and his unwillingness to admit the error of opposing the surge, but I doubt they will forget.
I know I won’t.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog on Sundays for John Hawkins.