Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Real Inexperience and No Common Sense

Updated. See Below.

As many of you (that went back and read the first sorry months of my blog) know, I believe I am fully qualified to be President of the United States, despite having less experience than Senator Obama. I stand by that, because what I possess in common sense trumps what Ol' Barry puts out there. Watch this clip from an interview on ABC (America's Barack Channel) News and you'll see what I mean.

Now this is the reason Obama's lack of experience is really bad for a President to have. Let's just look at this. The question was: "If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge: [emphasis added]"

Wow, what a nice question. If I were Obama (shudder), here'd be my response: "Considering that the surge did work, of course I would. Prior to the surge, there was almost no progress and the country was spiralling toward civil war. And we had no reason to believe that things would really change. However, with generals focused on the mission and our wonderful troops doing what they do best, they produced a miracle. And in hindsight, only a fool would not look at the change and smile. Because now we finally have a position where even the generals are seeing the opportunity to withdraw."

Maybe I should be writing his damned script (what fun!) instead of this blather: "No, because keep in mind that question, you wouldn't ... but keep in mind that kind of hypothetical is very difficult to know hindsight is 20-20 ... later ... but I think that what I'm absolutely convinced of is that at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with."

That was a wholly confusing political answer to what had become a clear military question. And one thing that makes a good military leader is the ability to admit they were wrong and that the change of direction worked. Another thing is being able to trust your generals to do the work when you point the general direction, rather than pointing in the direction of the political winds.

And before you libs start jumping in my shit, Obama has acknowledged that the surge DID work. Sort of. But it really had nothing to do with us. Even though the Iraq situation turned around dramatically. Because political change has to happen. Even thought that was what the surge has made possible and that's something that the Iraqis have to do.

The fact is that Senator Obama appears to fall somewhere between a toaster oven and clown shoes when it comes to understanding how we fight and win wars. And also, that every decision in a war involves somebody dying. The next President really has to continue the fight against terror. When Obama learns the difference between politics and war, then maybe he can leave the nursery known as the Senate and be a proper candidate for President.

Update: I had heard that the formerly perky Katie Couric had asked Obama the same questions. Repeatedly. But I didn't look up that video because it really didn't add more substance. However, having seen clips, Couric repeatedly asks him the question, probably because she can see that his answer makes no sense! Yet Barry keeps trying to argue dollars and politics in the face of an obvious military success. A success that has given him the oppportunity to push witdrawal with a much better chance of Iraq NOT exploding as we depart.

Barry, even the media sees this. Hello? Anybody home?


shaw kenawe said...

Obama has acknowledged that the surge DID work. Sort of. But it really had nothing to do with us. Even though the Iraq situation turned around dramatically. Because political change has to happen. Even thought that was what the surge has made possible and that's something that the Iraqis have to do.

Do you understand what ethnic cleansing is? Do you understand that when Saddam was deposed, his minority Sunnis faced and experienced ethnic cleansing by the majority Shiites in the various neighborhoods, and that civil war between the two factions was what caused the majority of the fighting?

Millions and millions of Iraqis left their country, the majority Shiites have gotten rid of the Sunnis (the Shiites are now in power and partnering with Iraq's new BFF, Iran--thank you GWB).

With no Sunnis left to fight, who are the Shiites going to bomb? You DO remember what started this increase in fighting don't you? And when it happened?

In addition to Gen. Petraeus' strategy, the US also bribed the tribal chiefs to stop their fighting.

It is too simple minded to expect Obama just to say yes everything worked just fine, and we're all going to sing Kumbaya now that the casualties are down.

Iraq is still a failed state. Basic human services like water, electricity, sewage are still below pre-invasion levels. Millions (over 2) have left their country.

And Al Qaeda is resurgent in Afghanistan.

Good for Gen. Petreaus for his strategy to lower casualties.

But we wouldn't have needed the surge had we not started a stupidly planned and incompetently carried out war.

Think of the thousands of men and women who died before the surge--who died because of George Bush's colossal incompetence and intransigence (remember "stay the course" and "no increase in troops?"

The euphoria over the surge can be likened to arsonist being thrilled that the house he torched and destroyed, along with the many people living in it, got some extra water thrown on it, so at least some timbers and a few bricks are still standing.

You can dismiss Sen. Obama and denigrate his intelligence all you like.

But remember, he didn't get where he is today because of his Daddy or a conniving political hack, like Rove.

What he has accomplished in the short period of time is nothing short of phenomenal. And extremely brainy.

Toad734 said...

But the surge isn't the only thing that is keepinig violence down, he knows this. The attacks and violence in Afghanistan are up because of the surge. When the surge started, its not like we got to this point over night. We are paying off Iraqi militias, especially the Sunnis. With that money, I am sure they are buying more weapons and will get on with it once we leave. Not only that, the Iraqi army is finally able to handle areas of Iraq so don't act like its all the surge. The surge is the amount of troops everyone told Bush he should have there in the first place. Obamas experience was right on Iraq from the beginning. McCain:Wrong, Bush: Wrong, Cheney: Really fucking wrong, Rumsfeld: Almost comically wrong, Rice: Wrong, Obama: Right. Iraq was never a threat to the US and there were no WMDs. I had friends who went to his rally the night congress authorized force; he was against the war from the beginning and the lack of violence today in Iraq is not due only to the surge and Afghanistan has suffered at the hands of the surge. For instance, June was the deadliest month for US troops since 2001. Thats 28 Americans, a 43% increase. The British also had their worst month at 16 killed. For two months in a row, more Allied troops have been killed in Afghanistan than in Iraq.

McCain is the one who doesn't want to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Obama does. The people who attacked us 7 years ago are not and were not in Iraq, they were and are in Afghanistan.

Do you not want to catch Bin Laden? If not, then vote for McCain or another Republican because we know they arent up to the task.

Toad734 said...

Ya, Shawn also has a point. Go to Dearborn, MI, and you will see where all the former Iraqis went. 40% of Iraqs middle class has fled the country. 3.5 million have fled Iraq since the run up to the war. That's a lot fewer people to shoot at.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: Thanks for the history lesson, which I already knew.

Toad: Thanks for the talking points.

Both of you, somehow (and I know how), missed the point here. It's a simple-assed question and Obama couldn't even get a straight answer. And Katie Couric, to her credit, didn't stop asking the question. Read some transcript and take off the ideology gloves for a minute.

This isn't a gaffe. This isn't mispronunscitating a name or getting your countries confused. This is someone who can't look at a situation, say "It worked, I was wrong about it, now here's what we do with the reality.

And no matter how he got to where he is now, this is the most dumb-assed answer to a simple question I've heard from anyone. Read my response-as-Obama and judge for yourself. Could either of you answer the question better if you could stop spewing ideology in defense of your Messiah?

I was getting frustrated with the way Iraq was turning out. The surge changed that. And much of the failure up to that point was Bush's. But McCain (now I have to step to his defense) had argued for the surge for a few years prior. And he was right on that.

I don't know how Iraq will end up. But I have no confidence that someone who can't even figger out the success of the ground operations could possibly pull off fighting an enemy who wants to win more than we do.

Shaw Hussein Kenawe said...


You want soundbite answers to extremely complicated situations. Obama is not a soundbite guy. This is why you don't get him. He is accurate when he says the surge DID work--sort of:

"Despite all the talk about Iraq being "calm," I'd like to point out that the month just before the last visit Barack Obama made to Iraq (he went in January, 2006), there were 537 civilian and ISF Iraqi casualties. In June of this year, 2008, there were 554 according to AP. These are official statistics gathered passively that probably only capture about 10 percent of the true toll.

That is, the Iraqi death toll is actually still worse now than the last time Obama was in Iraq! The hype around last year's troop escalation obscures a simple fact: that Obama formed his views about the need for the US to leave Iraq at a time when its security situation was very similar to what it is now! Why a return to the bad situation in late 05 and early 06 should be greeted by the GOP as the veritable coming of the Messiah is beyond me. You have people like Joe Lieberman saying silly things like if it weren't for the troop escalation, Obama wouldn't be able to visit Iraq. Uh, he visited it before the troop escalation, just fine."
--Juan Cole, Informed Comment

Shaw Hussein Kenawe said...

As for the tamping down of violence, here's what happened in Iraq this past Sunday:

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Sunday:

' Baghdad

An adhesive IED stuck to a civilian car detonated in Kem neighbourhood, Adhamiyah, northern Baghdad early Sunday killing the driver.

A roadside bomb exploded in Karrada, near al-Rahibat Hospital at 7.30 a.m. killing one civilian, injuring three.

A roadside bomb targeted a U.S. military convoy on Qanat Street in the direction of Qahira, northeast Baghdad at around 10.30 a.m. Sunday. No casualties were reported.

A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Qahira, near al-Nidaa Mosque at noon injuring five people including two policemen.

A parked car bomb detonated in Damascus intersection, central Baghdad at 6 p.m. killing one civilian, injuring seven people including one policemen and one baby girl.

Three unidentified bodies were found in Baghdad today by Iraqi Police; one in Amil, one in Baladiyat and one in Hurriyah.

Gunmen threw a hand grenade at a car selling alcoholic beverages, parked on the Jadriyah Bridge at 9 p.m. injuring four civilians.

A roadside bomb exploded in al-Jaara in Madain, to the south east of Baghdad injuring three civilians including a little girl.


A roadside bomb targeted a pick up truck in Wajihiyah district, 20 km to the east of Baquba at 6.45 p.m. killing two policemen in plain clothes.


A suicide car bomb targeted a site where trucks carrying construction materials for the U.S military stop at 4 p.m. killing two foreign private security contractors.

Gunmen in a speeding car open fire upon a group of civilians in al-Hadbaa neighbourhood, Mosul city at 6 p.m. killing three.

Gunmen in a speeding car open fire upon a civilian in Aden neighbourhood at 7.30 p.m. killing him on his doorstep.

One policeman killed by sniper fire in al-Masarif neighbourhood, Mosul city at around 7.30 p.m.


Iraqi Army servicemen captured a suicide bomber targeting a checkpoint in central Ramadi. The suicide vest was defused and the suicide bomber detained.


An American Special Force raided the residence of Khalaf Issa Turk in al-Asri neighbourhood, Baiji at dawn, Sunday and opened fire upon Husam Hamed Hmoud al-Qaissi, son of the Governor of Salahuddin Province while he was asleep in the guest room and also opened fire upon Auday Khalaf Issa al-Qaissi, his cousin killing them both, and detained two others without giving any explanation, said a security source in Salahuddin Province. The American military said its forces shot two armed men during a raid because they felt they had "hostile intent". The statement added that the forces also injured and captured an al-Qaida financer during the operation.


A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Tayaran Square, central Kirkuk Sunday morning, injuring one policeman.


Basra Police found the body of a 24 year old female in Jazair neighbourhood, central Basra Sunday. She was shot four times.

Shaw Hussein Kenawe said...

Are you planning your next vacation in the peaceful county of Iraq?

Why not? The surge worked.

Sort of.

Obob said...

In reference to the Iraq/Afghan debate
"any attempt to play off the two wars against each other is little more than a small-mindeded and zero-sum exercise."
Christopher Hitchens
I would love expand on this, but my children currently forbid it.

Patrick M said...

I don't "get" Obama because he seems incapable of stringing together a cogent answer without benefit of a teleprompter, a script, and a writing crew (wonder if he's hiring?).

I'm not looking for a sound bite. The fact is that Obama, between stutters, did not give a straight answer to the question beyond the yes/no response (which was no).

And from a military standpoint, the surge did work by reducing (not eliminating) the level of violence, creating conditions where the Iraqis could get their shit together, take over operations, and allow us the opportunity to scale back toward withdrawal.

And Barry can't seem to say, "Great, it worked, here's what we do next." without fighting the battle whether we should have gone in in the first place.

By the way, who the hell is Juan Cole from Informed Comment? He sounds made up. That sounds like a so made up name.

Patrick M said...

Oh, found that Juan guy. Looks like he works with some people who translate the word of the Western world into Arabic. I'll have to see if he can do SPD.

Obob said...

I'm back, in theory.
Obama is not a person to speak to reporters. He lacks the effective communication skills to answer questions quickly, clearly and effectivly. I will be looking forward to the multiple volumes of Obama-isms.
Could you see him in a Q & A at Parliament? It would be a bloodbath. He would stumble like Paris Hilton leaving a club
As for his shift to Afghanistan. I love how he capitalizes on the deaths of American solidiers for political points. Classy. See Paris Hilton above for a tie in there,

Obob said...

and hitchens is attacking his former allies on the left for their feeble attempts

Toad734 said...

Because he wasn't wrong about it.

You're very welcome for the facts, call them talking points but all this shit you are saying is merely talking points as well. My "talking points" are indeed facts.

I'm sorry if it's just coming to your attention that we are paying the insurgents not to shoot at us. I'm sorry that its just coming to your attention that we are resettling 12,000 Iraqi refugees (mostly Sunnis)this year. I'm sorry if you were unaware that the Iraqi army is finally starting to come into their own. I'm sorry that you didn't know American casualties, partly due to troop surges in Iraq, are up over 40% in Afghanistan for June. These aren't talking points they are facts that McCain is ignoring.

Patrick M said...

Obob: I was going for more fact-based arguments, but between you and an 8-minute montage of Obama's stumbling in a 40 minute speech (without repeats), this is getting entertaining.

Toad: You sound exactly like Obama (without the stumbling). That's why they call them talking points.

And I was already aware of most of that (and have learned a little about the militia payments, thanks). But what does that have to do with Obama's incoherence. He doesn't cite anything you did. And he doesn't manage to answer the damned question.

By the way, I don't really care what McCain is talking about. I'll get to him another day.

Toad734 said...

Well, thats the problem. I think in one of my comments I said, "this is what Obama should have said". Asking me why he didn't is like me asking you why George Bush thinks Childrens do learn.

Maybe no one has informed him about the payments and maybe he thinks he will be called an american hating traitor if he "shits on the soldiers" in iraq by saying their success come with Afghanistans failure.

Patrick M said...

...maybe he thinks he will be called an american hating traitor if he "shits on the soldiers"...

No one here or any reasonable person claim Obama is such. And there are ways (as I demonstrated in the original post) to say things without sounding that way. It involves a genuine respect for the troops who put their lives on thee line no matter the mission. And it's on that where questions about Obama are raised. And note I say "questions" instead of calling him a traitor. That means he hasn't answered positions to my satisfaction, at which point I'll probably just say he's wrong.

But I respect a well-thought position, no matter how wrong it is. Which brings us back to his original statement.