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Obama In Afghanistan; Iraqi PM Endorses Obama Plan Of Withdrawal

Barack Obama is in Afghanistan but the big political news imo is that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki told the German magazine Der Speigel that he agrees with Barack Obama's plan for Iraq:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months. In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."

Perhaps Maliki will start referring to it as a "time horizon." I believe this is devastating to John McCain.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I don't know (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:04:55 AM EST
    Since he also agreed with Bush I'm not sure how this will play.

    You got that backwards (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:09:31 AM EST
    Bush agreed with him.

    You know this is devastating for McCain.

    You know this is the perfect kickoff for Obama's foreign tour.

    Why do you deny the obvious?

    Parent

    But didn't Bush's agreement... (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Shainzona on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:41:52 AM EST
    to a "time horizon" come yesterday - therefore this statement is only a confirmation of that?

    In fact, since Obama has waffled on Iraq twice now (10 months becomes 16 months becomes "based on conditions on the ground") he and McCain are basically on the same page (based on conditions on the ground) - which, sadly has been a famous Bush quote, too.

    Parent

    I'm in complete agreement... (none / 0) (#144)
    by mrmobi on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:32:24 PM EST
    ...In fact, since Obama has waffled on Iraq twice now (10 months becomes 16 months becomes "based on conditions on the ground") he and McCain are basically on the same page (based on conditions on the ground) - which, sadly has been a famous Bush quote, too.

    Yes, this is extremely bad news for Obama. Two days ago, the Bush administration confirmed that there should be a "horizon" for withdrawal from Iraq, which, as we know, is a completely different thing from a "timeline," which the traitor Obama has proposed. Today, the double-agent Maliki has agreed with the traitor Obama, confirming that he really isn't the Prime Minister of Iraq.

    All of this serves as confirmation that Obama = Bush, at least if you have your head shoved up your ass as far as you do.

    Please, return to Redstate or No Quarter, or whichever hate site you emanate from, you are embarassing yourself.

    Parent

    Actually (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:18:43 AM EST
    I don't know this. I've been out of town and dependent on the news for my info.

    At least on the news I saw earlier it wasn't playing in Obama's favor. The visuals on CNN made Obama look like he's in over his head in foreign policy while they gave McCain and opportunity to make light of Obama's statements.

    Parent

    Hmm (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:23:00 AM EST
    I do not know what you are watching or reading, but it does not seem connected to any Media I have been watching and reading.

    Parent
    intellectually you are correct (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:58:05 AM EST
    OTOH the Bush' will take the credit for this over the next few mpnths. Also Maliki is suggesting the war was a success and the U can now buzz off.

    Parent
    Teh US can now buzz off. (none / 0) (#64)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:11:23 AM EST
    I do have another blindingly obvious question:

    an uneventful withdrawal and a US friendly regime that lasts a decade or two must be considered to be a major strategic success for the US. Saddam's Iraq was a 12 year septic thorn in the side of Israel and the US.  (and probably a pain for Saudis, Iranians and Syrian alike.)

    o was the war a success? Even if it was bloody and expensive?

    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:27:27 AM EST
    Like capturing bin Laden, that's "a success that hasn't occurred yet."

    Parent
    It's a slippery thing this success. (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:47:14 AM EST
    The press will call the next president a success either way.  thay have to don't they?

    Parent
    Go to YouTube (none / 0) (#119)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:58:56 AM EST
    search for Benazir Bhutto Osama bin Laden or Benazir Bhutto David Frost. Numerous videos of her interview with David Frost will come up. She spoke to the fate of OBL shortly before her death. It's very interesting, and has never gotten any press in the US that I'm aware of.

    If she's right, and I do believe she is, I go deaf at the mention of OBL.


    Parent

    I saw that video (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Steve M on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 06:14:03 PM EST
    It seems very clear to me that she simply misspoke.

    Parent
    Please define your term (none / 0) (#89)
    by wasabi on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:16:21 AM EST
    Please define a "US friendly" regime.  That would be the Miliki govermnent which is closely aligned with Iran?

    How friendly, is friendly?  

    Parent

    Then don't trust Maliki. (none / 0) (#97)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:33:39 AM EST
    I'm just rolling out the contending arguments.
    I'm not defining anything:  I'm describing potential defintions.

    Personally I don't conider Iran to be much a threat or rival really.  They helped in Afghanitan and they have elped in Iraq too.  

    Parent

    CNN (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:30:48 AM EST
    One of the huge problems Obama has is that he's always shown from behind a podium.

    Frankly, who would have thought that the GOP was able to turn Gen. Clark into a negative for Obama? That's why I'm into "I don't know" and perhaps people are seeing what they want to see?

    Parent

    Who turned Gen. Clark into a negative? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Demi Moaned on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:46:11 AM EST
    Frankly, I think it was the Obama campaign that did this. It's a matter of course that Republicans will try to spin anything a Democrat does into a liability.

    But when the Democrat caves in the face of the attack, the Republican viewpoint wins. I don't know why Democrats still think that avoiding conflict with Republicans is a winning strategy.

    Parent

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:52:12 AM EST
    I agree you have a point. It seems Obama caves lots of times. I kind of don't see how this helps Obama in the sense that he's changed positions on Iraq hasn't he?

    Parent
    Viewpoint and meta-viewpoint (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Demi Moaned on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:00:40 AM EST
    Actually it's a double loss.

    Not only is at a loss on the issue under contention, but it's a loss as regards the overall frame that:

    Democrats are weak and Democrats don't stand for anything.

    This, IMO, is why Democrats are so perennially challenged electorally, not because of failures to 'move to the center'. The great bulk of Democratic advantages this cycle are a result of Republican disgrace and default rather than what Democrats are offering constructively.

    Parent

    Don't you think it's simplistic (none / 0) (#137)
    by tek on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:13:42 PM EST
    to believe that Obama will do one dramatic thing and it will totally destroy John McCain's chances?  It ain't gonna be that easy.

    Parent
    But wait (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:05:56 AM EST
    Wasn't there a collective freak-out yesterday about McCain supposedly revealing Obama would be in Iraq today?  Afghanistan is not Iraq!

    Maybe McCain. . . (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:09:36 AM EST
    can't tell them apart?

    Don't forget the Czechoslovaks!

    Parent

    Please stop hanging that on (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:36:57 AM EST
    McCain's head (re: Czechoslovaka)Sam Nunn, a   possible Obama VP running mate talked about here also called it Czechoslovaka, and he was considered a guy with heft for Obama....There are many mistakes one could pin on McCain, but he's not the only one making them!!!!

    Parent
    I doubt Larry gives a hoot about it (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:49:58 AM EST
    He is just having some fun.

    As for Sam Nunn being talked about as a VP here, not by any FP poster. Nunn is unacceptable for all 3 of us.

    Parent

    That's right. . . (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:25:50 AM EST
    just "Haveling" some fun at McCain's expense.

    Parent
    The point being that this is at (none / 0) (#47)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:54:25 AM EST
    least the second time he's mentioned this particular McCain gaff. There are so many others he could point out to make his point. Given the fact that a "respected" dem made the same gaff, it's disingenuous to say the least. BTW, I understood the humor and Sam Nunn has been discussed here as a possible vp candidate, albeit in an older former post.

    Parent
    They gotta have something (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by RalphB on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:27:33 AM EST
    to fuss about McCain and the cupboard isn't exactly overflowing now.  So this inflated "gaffe" junk and Maliki agrees with Obama posts.  Hell, Maliki agrees with whoever is nearest.  If it was a post, he'd agree with that as well.  It's quite funny in a pathetic way.

    Parent
    That's the truth of it. (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:18:34 PM EST
    Maliki's "support" is a joke.

    Parent
    Good lord! (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:31:40 AM EST
    Has it come to the point where I'm now getting knocked for mocking the Republican candidate?  Has anti-Obamaism really reached the point where it's become pro-McCainism?  This from people who six weeks ago were laughing at the exact same tendency among anti-Clintonites?

    Really, the Czech thing is reasonably a propos of McCain's possible confusion between Afghanistan and Iraq.  Even if not, where's the crime in mocking a Republican gaffe?

    It comes down to this -- if Obama made that comment, it would be endlessly repeated here as an indication of his inability to understand basic geography.  If McCain makes it, it's treated as an innocent mistake.

    Which side are you on folks?

    Parent

    Let's just say (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by cmugirl on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:37:54 PM EST
    They are both bad at geography.  McCain and Czecoslavika and Obama thinks there are 57 states in the US. </snark>

    Parent
    I'm on the American (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 01:16:24 PM EST
    side. There are other "gaffs" made on both sides that can be used and misused, however, on this particular point, if you're going to make fun of McCain because he said this, then please, equally make fun of Sam Nunn who called the country the same. McCain is certainly not young, and I find that both young and old make gaffs. Let's see how well all of us would do in a stress-laden campaign. We'd all make gaffs. I am still a registered Dem until at least after the convention, then on to independence and country first status. We've had 8 years of Bush bitter, and I choose to "change" any bitter I have felt and become tolerant once again on all sides of the aisle. I want a pol who tells me he's not just a pol, to live up to what he says. Is that alot to ask?

    Parent
    I make fun of everyone equally. . . (none / 0) (#134)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:13:17 PM EST
    and if Sam Nunn is in the news, I'll certainly slag him off as well.

    McCain is certainly not young, and I find that both young and old make gaffs.

    Young and old boatwrigthts, perhaps.   The rest of us make gaffes.  I point that out only because you seem to object to the correct spelling.  McCain's gaffe is a sign not so much of his age, but of his atrophied world view which seems to have stopped sometime around the invention of the word "perestroika".

    Parent

    I don't know what misspelling (none / 0) (#136)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:46:13 PM EST
    you are referring to. I was referring to this:
    Nunn gaffe All I was saying, have your fun, slag off who you will, but if you give credit for a gaffe on one side, please do so for the other. It isn't only McCain making the error.

    Parent
    here here (none / 0) (#138)
    by tek on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:14:53 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:10:31 AM EST
    Of course it was silly but McCain should know better.

    The Secret Service at least did not think it was funny I bet.

    It is just another sign of the bumbling nature of the McCain campaign.

    Parent

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:14:30 AM EST
    At any rate, this kind of unqualified endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan is obviously great for Obama.

    At the same time, it's also great for those of us who want to make sure Obama actually sticks to his plan!

    Parent

    I think Obama wants to (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:18:32 AM EST
    And of course this plus bush's own acquiescence to the Maliki plan makes it an easy political move.

    In fact, everyone is off the hook now - which is fine by me as long as we leave and do not return when the Iraqi civil war intensifies as it will.

    Parent

    Maybe you should stick to what you understand... (1.00 / 1) (#109)
    by CK MacLeod on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:59:47 AM EST
    Or does supporting Obama mean that this is going to become one of those everything-helps-Obama sites?

    1.  Maliki's comment refers to a "timeframe," not to a hard timetable or hard date for withdrawal.  Furthermore, if you've been following the situation at all for the last few years, Iraqi politicians and security officials are always more publicly optimistic about their ability to take full responsibility than where they end up in reality:  That's exactly the tendency you would expect from politicians in their position - to make themselves look as strong, independent, and effective as possible.  Ever since the Iraqi government was formed, its leaders and security officials have been predicting early assumption of responsibility, in statements that were rather laughably premature if taken literally.  

    2.  BTD's own comment about a civil war "inevitably" intensifying underlines why the withdrawal needs to be conditions-based, not arbitrary.  I'm going to take a Wild-Assed Guess that, when the surge was announced, BTD was certain that it would achieve nothing, and only intensify the violence.

    I also see several commenters who lap up the ThinkProgress/Newshoggers/MoveOn line with a big spoon, simplistically referring to the Maliki government as "allied with Iran," and then answering the problem of Iranian influence by supporting an even more rapid handover of the country to it.  

    The bottom line is that the war is being won partly as a result of political and military approach that Obama & Co fought against tooth and nail, and that as a result millions of people now have a chance for a decent future instead of chaos, real civil war, and worse.  As a further result, the US is turning a threatened strategic setback into a major strategic advance.  

    One hopes that if Obama does win, he tries to make a little more sense than his supporters do, though I confess the evidence isn't very strong that he'll be able to do that.  He actually seems to believe that coming off a devastating loss of the sort he was ready to concede and tried to force, while rejecting our best means of victory, would have increased our chances of success in other theaters.

    Parent

    Yeah (none / 0) (#111)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:18:03 AM EST
    The left is all over the place on this issue about Iranian influence and a quick hand over. Toppling Saddam did strengthen Iran--but withdrawal will probably hand over even more influence at this stage to the Mullahs.  I guess the current argument work as quick and dirty politics but the policy isn't coherantly joined with the stated goals and discontents.

    either Maliki is our puppet or Iran's puppet or he's just trying to survive and make the best of his lot and being pragmatic. He can't be all three all at once.

    Again I really

    Parent

    Parsing the idiocy... (none / 0) (#145)
    by mrmobi on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:03:21 AM EST
    The bottom line is that the war is being won partly as a result of political and military approach that Obama & Co fought against tooth and nail, and that as a result millions of people now have a chance for a decent future instead of chaos, real civil war, and worse.  As a further result, the US is turning a threatened strategic setback into a major strategic advance.

    One hopes that if Obama does win, he tries to make a little more sense than his supporters do, though I confess the evidence isn't very strong that he'll be able to do that.  He actually seems to believe that coming off a devastating loss of the sort he was ready to concede and tried to force, while rejecting our best means of victory, would have increased our chances of success in other theaters.

    Emphasis mine. You've actually absorbed the GOP talking points quite well, congratulations! Your handlers should be quite pleased.

    But let's get on to the idiocy you are trying to sell here.

    First, there is no win in Iraq. As Obama has correctly stated, "there are no good solutions in Iraq." Anyone who thinks this situation is going to result in a "win" is a drooling idiot.

    Second, after what we've done to them, I sincerely hope the Iraqi people are able to find a solution to their tribal problems. With an Obama presidency, however, the U.S. will be moving on, while keeping an eye on the situation regionally, and pursuing the murderers who actually caused 9/11, you know, the ones in Afghanistan, the country where the 9/11 terrorists were trained?

    Third, and most importantly, you'd have to be willfully ignorant to believe that the Iraq fiasco has made us stronger. We have basically put ourselves in the middle of a civil war hundreds of years old and made Iran much stronger than it would have been otherwise. Strategically, we have shot ourselves in the groin. Our forces are stretched precariously thin, and the Taliban are resurgent (we had to abandon a base of operations to them last week). The drug trade in Afghanistan is preeminent, and our commanders there are critically short of both manpower and equipment. Heckuva job, Mr. McFlightsuit! Only a true Republican would call that a "major strategic advance."

    One last thing. Obama's position on Iraq has not changed in any substantive way, and he clearly understands that the Iraq war was the biggest strategic blunder of this young century.

    Do you work at No Quarter?

    Parent

    Yep- (none / 0) (#56)
    by magisterludi on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:04:43 AM EST
    The Kurds are hellbent on independence. It would be awfully hard for Turkey to not get more aggressively involved.  

    And that's just northern Iraq. Ah,well...

    I agree this is good for Obama. It seems the whole world likes him except Israel, according to Politico. Oy vey.

    Parent

    Exactly Steve, that was my first thought.... (none / 0) (#87)
    by Maria Garcia on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:08:36 AM EST
    ...I want Obama to stick to the timeline he promised.

    Parent
    McCain was misrepresented.... (4.25 / 4) (#14)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:19:08 AM EST
    McCain's comments have been misrepresented.  All he said was "I believe", and he qualified it by saying that he "didn't know (Obama's schedule)"

    As someone else pointed out in the previous thread, the foreign media had already published not just a two day period when Obama would show up, but said he would be arriving this morning.

    Anchor-palooza makes it impossible for anyone to keep the schedule a secret -- my guess is that literally hundreds of people know when Katie, Brian, and Charlie were going to be 'reporting from Iraq', and most Iraqis know too because the network producers are all running around trying to arrange interviews with prominent Iraqis for the network anchors.

    Parent

    Come on (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:23:47 AM EST
    He screwed up. Not a big deal, but let's not pretend he did not.

    Parent
    Any reason Sen. McCain would be privy (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:52:24 AM EST
    to more detailed info re Sen. Obama's travel itinerary than, say, the media?  

    Parent
    BTD.... (3.50 / 2) (#28)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:33:33 AM EST
    if the shoe was on the other foot, would you call it an Obama screw up?  Or would you be making the same points I'm making?

    While politically, the potential for damage for an incident like this would have been greater for Obama because of the question of his lack of experience, the fact is that it should NOT be an issue.  It is impossible to maintain opersational security when you have this kind of attention being paid to an overseas trip that includes an announced visit to Iraq.  


    Parent

    I would call it a screw up (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:48:29 AM EST
    Are you seriously questioning whether I criticize Obama? Really?

    Parent
    no.... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:41:40 AM EST
    but I will say that you were much more willing to criticize Obama during the primary campaign -- and your critique of Clinton was much less 'political' thnn your writings about McCain.

    ...and to be honest, if Clinton was the 'presumptive nominee', I'd probably be right there with you, piling on McCain at the slightest pretext.

    In an 'ordinary' political year, your partisanship would not attract my notice -- your writing and criticism during the primary was completely balanced and appropriate, just as that of any Democrat should have been (and you were far more 'balanced' than I was).  And like any good partisan, for you the rules are different for critiquing a Republican.

    But that doesn't mean that your perspective isn't partisan, and that you are being as fair to McCain as you were to Clinton.

    You were as objective as you could be in the primiaries, because you made the effort to be objective -- and I can't applaud you enough for that.   But you're no longer objective -- and its glaringly obvious.  

    Its also okay, IMHO.  But the fact is that I'm going to wind up disagreeing with you, because I don't support either McCain or Obama, and don't see everything through the "McCain - Evil, Obama - Good" filter that you do.

    I mean, I don't think that my perspective/critique has been the least bit unreasonable, and was quite balanced.  I think that this will wind up as a political 'wash', because McCain can, and will, be able to finesse it and use it to his own advantage -- but at the same time it does take the focus off of Obama's surge flip-flops (an argument that McCain was winning), and will result in 'the economy' becoming an even more dominant issue in the campaign (an issue that McCain is losing on.)

    Parent

    And (none / 0) (#139)
    by tek on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:16:38 PM EST
    let's not pretend that Obama isn't screwing up all over the place and tanking in some polls.

    Parent
    Ending Unilateralism (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:19:45 AM EST
    I agree this plays well for Obama, however I would prefer to hear more on a realignment of our foreign policy from him. War is still war regardless of where the lives and monies are lost. Shifting the burden to Afghanistan and Pakistan isn't the answer. Terrorism can't be won on the battle field. We need to reestablish our committment to the UN and resolve these issues with the cooperation of the international community.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:21:22 AM EST
    Afghanistan is a NATO operation, it's hardly unilateral...

    Parent
    Iraq wasn't either (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:30:27 AM EST
    If the troops we remove from Iraq are sent to Afghanistan and the 200 billion is used there what have we accomplished? We're just trading battle fields. There has to be a more intelligent alternative. Iraq wasn't unilateral either according to Bush.

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#30)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:34:24 AM EST
    George Bush says a lot of things I disagree with.

    Parent
    The point is still (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:46:17 AM EST
    Obama made his mark as the "anti war: candidate. The US doesn't have the military or the money to continue to police the Middle East. I also don't believe the American public is open to spending another trillion dollars and five more years on this project.

    Parent
    What's your alternative for Afghanistan (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:45:57 AM EST
    The Taliban and Al Qaida are in that theater.

    Do you suggest we just forget about them?

    Parent

    No (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:50:17 AM EST
    But every military adviser I've heard has said we can't win this militarially. We have a state department and the UN that can be used in conjunction. We need to use all the tools available not just the Army.

    Parent
    Which military advisers are recommending (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:52:47 AM EST
    disengaging in Afghanistan? Cites please.

    You twist things if you argue that saying we can not win this solely militarily is the equivalent of saying withdrawal militarily from Aghanistan.

    Parent

    General Vladimir Rodimsev Zhukov (none / 0) (#70)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:19:02 AM EST
    If Iraq is unwinnable, Afghanistan is proven to be a grave yard for western armies.

    Parent
    Heh (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:30:24 AM EST
    They will beat the US (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:03:54 AM EST
    in Afghanistan. Bank on it.

    It seems that Maliki's regime is secure enough for him to make overtures to Obama and have less US troops patrolling the place.

    Parent

    Iran could be key (none / 0) (#79)
    by magisterludi on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:36:57 AM EST
    in securing Afghanistan. Iran is already there building roads and infrastructure. They have no interest in Taliban-rule, either. I recall they were cited as very helpful right after 9/11, before the AOE idiocy.

    Too bad we hate them so much.

    Parent

    That' what I remember too (none / 0) (#99)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:37:33 AM EST
    I'd be happy enough to hand over Afghanistan to Iran.  they'll be engaged on mountian warfare instead of us.

    Parent
    Taliban (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Emma on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:34:05 AM EST
    The Taliban and Al Qaida are in that theater.

    If we're willing to forget about them in Iraq, why not afghanistan?

    Parent

    They are not in Iraq (none / 0) (#80)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:39:46 AM EST
    They "were" not in Iraq (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by RalphB on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:30:07 AM EST
    please be accurate, as well as, partisan.

    Parent
    Depends... (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by kredwyn on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:30:19 AM EST
    They weren't in Iraq before 2002.

    But if you recognize that AQ is a amorphous network of smaller groups with bayats paid and connections made rather than a hierarchical group vis a vis the actual IRA (not the splinter factions), there are small AQ groups in Iraq.

    These aren't Taliban groups. But neither are the other ones scattered around the world.

    Parent

    doing an overview (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:46:06 AM EST
    I'd say that Al Qaeda is an Arab based organization made up of individuals who would like to fight America.  Iraq borders almost every Arab state.  So Invading Iraq was an invitation to any Arab spoiling for a fight with the Greater Satan to come and mix it up. Bring it on wa more accurate than the more polite reasons for the invasion.

    Afghanitan was much harder to get too.

    Parent

    Wow. (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:22:32 AM EST
    I thought Maliki was in Bush's corner, but he's made some statements recently to make me think that he might actually be pretty neutral and level-headed about his attitudes towards the American foreign policy.

    This is definitely great news for Obama, not only because it was an endorsement of the plan by the man running the country we're involved with, but also because it boosts his own foreign policy judgment perceptions.

    I'm reading above how some think it's not good news for Obama. I can't understand that. How is it bad news at all?

    Maliki heard (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:25:56 AM EST
    that I have called the election for Obama and is now acting accordingly . . .

    Parent
    HA. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dalton Hoffine on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:42:15 AM EST
    Pols will be pols, huh?

    Parent
    He's expecting Obama will win. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:06:57 AM EST
    o he's aying nice things about Obama.

    Parent
    For one thing (none / 0) (#140)
    by tek on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:19:27 PM EST
    Obama's speaking to a different crowd on the war issue than McCain is, so it's pretty hard to say that because Obama's done something to please the left, he's got the election sewn up.

    Parent
    And you think Bush and McCain are (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:30:06 AM EST
    going to let the al Maliki "endorsement" just hang there as a repudiation of the administration's plan - and we know that's what they're doing - to shape the next couple of months so that they - and McCain - end up looking like the real heroes, just in time for the election?  My own opinion: not bloody likely.  What al Maliki is doing is equivalent to taunting Bush - and we all know that Bush does not respond well to that.

    I suspect there is a pretty high level of "how dare they" in the WH today - how dare al Maliki rub Bush's nose in this by buddying up to Obama, how dare Obama play "see - I told you I could be presidential!" - how dare al Maliki and Obama try to cut us out of this process, how dare al Maliki try to go around me!

    It's way too soon to know which candidate this will benefit, because there is so much time between now and the election; Bush has the military and the State Department at his beck and call, and neither will be taking orders from anyone but Bush until the end of January - and if they can finesse an advantage for anyone, it will be McCain.

    And remember - if Obama says or does anything stupid on the rest of this trip, whatever momentary advantage he gained by the al Maliki endorsement will go up in a chorus of "see, we told you he was too inexperienced to be president," and that's the chorus that will give people pause.

    pre-emption... (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:40:06 AM EST
    I suspect there is a pretty high level of "how dare they" in the WH today

    I suspect that Maliki told them well in advance that he was going to endorse the Obama timeline --that's why Bushco announced the "in principle" timeline for a troop withdraw pre-emptively.  

    One thing that seems to have gotten lost here is that Maliki has his own elections coming up (IIRC) this fall, and most Iraqis want the US out of their country.   Maliki is trying to have it both ways (negotiating SOFA, endorsing a 16 month timeline) here, because the most important thing for Maliki is maintaining power (and access to the enormous graft available.)

    Parent

    Not lost at all (none / 0) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:42:00 AM EST
    But not relevant to our own politics.

    Parent
    well, BTD.... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:54:49 AM EST
    I think that understanding Maliki's motivations is key to understanding what is happening right now.   The poster to whom I was responding thought that the White House was taken by surprise by Maliki's statement --- but the White House announcement makes it clear that this process is being co-ordinated with the Bush administration, and it is the Bush administration that is keeping Maliki in power right now.

    This raises the question 'why would Maliki make this 'pro-Obama' statement -- and understanding Maliki's own upcoming election problems provides us with that answer.

    The problem here is that Maliki is just as capable of turning around next week, and saying something damaging to Obama if Maliki thinks that will help him maintain his power.  

    Parent

    the reason why is irrelevant to (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:57:13 AM EST
    OUR politics.

    Parent
    Maliki is expecting Obmaa will win (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:06:05 AM EST
    So he' be shrewd.

    Parent
    again, BTD.... (none / 0) (#65)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:12:57 AM EST
    if/when Maliki says something damaging to Obama, don't you think that you would be talking about Maliki's motivation for doing so (not to mention 'spinning' it in a way that makes Maliki look completely corrupt/compromised).

    Parent
    I think (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:40:30 AM EST
    they can not do anything about it. what do you imagine they are going to do?

    Parent
    Maybe take a familiar phrase out of (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:53:04 AM EST
    the Obama lexicon - that they have "always taken the position" that this was where they were headed - to some extent they are already doing that.

    Whatever they do - whether it is in the rhetoric or in action - I'm pretty sure politics will play a role because they do not want all of this turned over to someone they see as coming in to undo their master plan for the region - even if most of the public is appalled at what that plan might mean.

    As for al Maliki - he's playing both ends against the middle and neither side should get too comfortable in whatever alliance he has chosen for the moment at hand.

    Parent

    If they say that (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:56:26 AM EST
    then how can they explain the phrase "cut and run?"

    At some point, you have to accept the reality - this is great news for Obama.

    Parent

    How will they explain cut-and-run? (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by Anne on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:30:10 AM EST
    Oh, come on, BTD - you know the answer to that - it's not cutting and running if you're accommodating the host country's desire to take back the reins, is it?

    As for accepting the reality you refer to - maybe in a 24 hour news cycle, yes - but it remains to be seen what this will mean - if anything - over the long term.

    This development is not happening in a vacuum; it will not just sit there and percolate champagne bubbles and confetti for Obama, while Bush and McCain just stand on the sidelines - there will be a response.  

    And Obama has more left to his trip.  What happens as he continues on this get-acquainted-with-the Middle-East-and-Europe tour will factor into the whole story, as well.

    Parent

    But didn't Obama and his (none / 0) (#53)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:59:44 AM EST
    minions try and distance themselves from the 16 month plan? He said something to the effect of
    I didn't say 16 months, that he would check with the generals on the ground etc? What an ad, he said it, then he didn't say it, then Malaki said he said it.

    Parent
    No that qualifier was always there (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:50:28 AM EST
    As I recall, Obama got beat up pretty badly by HRC partisans during the primaries over it.

    If you want to nail Obama, stick to FISA.

    Parent

    Malaki supports Obama's 16 (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:12:31 AM EST
    month withdrawal plan. Obama didn't even continue his support of his 16 month withdrawal plan. He said he didn't have a 16 month plan. So, therefore, how can Malaki support a plan Obama himself has said didn't exist (at least not in stone after he would check with the generals on the ground for advice).

    Parent
    You spin like a driedel. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:36:55 AM EST
    Obama's position was he believes the troops should be withdrawn and that it is possible to pull two brigades out a month over a 16th month period, but he always reserved the right to review this with the generals.

    Your ODS is amazing.

    Parent

    Perhaps it's your (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:43:45 AM EST
    dreidel that needs an adjustment spin. The "light" you get shown sometimes dims as you try to knock down another's point of view. I do mind criticism, or correction when in incorrect, however, I do not spin. I read, I study, I discuss, I express, I intellectualize and if I'm incorrect, I will say so and have said so. If you want to see how the dreidel spins, check with the Obama campaign on his Iraq policies and actions regarding his "anti-war" stances and votes. His "nuances" are glaring, imo.

    Parent
    I've always said (4.33 / 3) (#114)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:25:41 AM EST
    that Obama is a politican. If he is elected I will get a MOR Democrat who will disappoint me on some issues and please me on others. I am not blinded by love of Obama.

    That doesn't change his position on Iraq, his statement on  the need to get out or the possibility that something may come up making pulling out in 16 months on the dot difficult.

    Tell me, if Al Gore had been allowed to take office after his election, and he put out his plan on alternative energy and it didn't happen in 10 years exactly as outlined due to circumstances beyond control and took 10. 5 or 11 or 12  years would you be this critical?  

    My guess is no. I could be wrong. You tell me.

    You may "study issues" but you clearly are blinded by your dislike of Obama. You remind me of the Republicans after President Clinton won in 1992. Their preferred candidate's "right" to the presidency had been taken away by Bill. How dare he?! It couldn't happen. It must have been trickery or media bias or Ross Perot and on and on and on.

    Parent

    The Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by JavaCityPal on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    wanted Obama on the Democratic ticket for a reason. They would actually be fine with the idea of him winning the election. He has proven time and again that he is easily led into his policies by the loudest voice, and the most money. He's as good as Republican when they know they can manipulate him so easily.

    Parent
    My second sentence should (none / 0) (#102)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:45:15 AM EST
    read I do not mind criticism...

    Parent
    He did distance himself (none / 0) (#142)
    by sallywally on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:56:42 PM EST
    from that plan. He may not have said he never said 16 months, though. I think he said he was "refining" his plan and either said he didn't assume 16 months anymore or gave the impression he was backing away from that.

    There was a lot of comment about the "refining" meme.

    Parent

    cut and run.... (none / 0) (#69)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:18:55 AM EST
    refers to withdrawing from Iraq before "the government of Iraq" felt confident enough that it could withstand the hoards of al Qaeda terrorists who would inevitably (and immediately) overrun Iraq if we left.

    of course, that whole premise is BS, but the right will still be able to say 'Obama wanted to cut and run' because Democrats in general (including Obama -- that's what his whole 'residual forces' is about) have bought into the "al qaeda is a threat in Iraq" nonsense.

    Parent

    If obama wins (none / 0) (#73)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:24:18 AM EST
    It's not going to be based on the quality of the overall Democratic policy in Iraq, or even his opposition to war or the Iraq invasion in particular.  The argument all have huge loopholes and contradiction that are glaring. It's more to do with public exhaution with the GOP and how they committed the US to a long term invaion and occupation.  Rummy did say he wanted out of Iraq in six month himself--but we got a five year bloodbath.

    Parent
    It depends who offically gets the credit (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:55:02 AM EST
    for the withdrawal.  Yes it is rather embarrassing for  the republicans when the PM of Iraq quotes he prefers who ever has the shortest plan  "Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality."  and then picks Obama plan.  But in this world of politics Maliki owes his soul to the company store and I wouldn't be surprise if in the end all this is turned around to show that it was the Bush administration that will officially get credit for the withdrawal especially before the election.  This would minimize the seriousness of Iraq as a major issue in the GE.  

    If I were Bush this would be the perfect opportunity to use this as his way to get out of Iraq.  I had always said, what better way then be asked to leave.  Bush just needs to  say, Well we did everything we could and we must now respect the orders of this democratic government we created and leave, not because we want to but because we are being asked that our help is no longer necessary and our major goals were accomplished.

    Until no 'al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia' is open-ended (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Ellie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:55:45 AM EST
    In the most ignored best op-ed evah, that qualification seemed adverse to the brisk removal of troops. (Since Mesopotamia includes Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran the use of it as a qualifier strikes me as weasely.)

    My Plan for Iraq
    By BARACK OBAMA
    July 14, 2008

     [...] The differences on Iraq in this campaign are deep. Unlike Senator John McCain, I opposed the war in Iraq before it began, and would end it as president. [...]
    As I've said many times, we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. [...]After this redeployment, a residual force in Iraq would perform limited missions: going after any remnants of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces. That would not be a precipitous withdrawal.

    In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected. [...]

    In this campaign, there are honest differences over Iraq, and we should discuss them with the thoroughness they deserve. [...] (My Plan for Iraq By BARACK OBAMA, NYT Op-Ed, July 14, 2008)

    And discuss them we shall, unless more pressing matters like whether a New Yorker magazine cover is comical consumes the Obama campaign.

    This op-ed seemed to go virtually unnoticed on publication, but the pointless psychodrama pretty much repelled me out of blogtopia last wknd so I might have missed any meaningful discussion about the plan.

    Mesopotamia's still a pretty big chunk of real estate.

    TChris posted on it here (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:23:45 AM EST
    And it was discussed throughout the blogs.

    Parent
    I was prancing through the meadow picking daisies (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Ellie on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    ... in disgust.

    And the "Mesopotamia" qualifier just makes me wonder when the timeline inevitably gets taken off the table and excused as "smart" politics.

    Parent

    I missed that. Mesopotamia?! (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:26:02 PM EST
    I think you read it correctly.  Very open-ended.

    I would have preferred the term Persia. :-)

    Parent

    Isn't "Al Quaeda in Mesopotamia" (none / 0) (#143)
    by sallywally on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:01:19 PM EST
    a republican phrase? Makes it sound so long LONG term....like it's always been there....

    Parent
    I've worried about Obama being able to (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    actually beat McCain but this does seal the deal I think.  America wants out of Iraq!  The Afghan tour looks like it is going to put a big bow on top because America would like to shut down Al Queda too.  It's a twofer tour.

    I have a hard time distinguishing (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:56:36 PM EST
    between U.S. military being bogged down in Iraq and being bogged down in Afghanistan.  Please clarify.

    Parent
    actually... (4.00 / 4) (#5)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:10:07 AM EST
    this is good news for McCain.

    Bush's (and McCain's) public position has always been that if the Iraqis don't want us there, we're out of there.  All McCain has to do is reaffirm that position (as in "I've always said that...") and he's home free.  

    The "Iraq" question then becomes one of "who do you think has the best qualifications and experience to supervise the withdraw of American troops safely?"   McCain is going to win that argument hands down.

    The only way that McCain 'loses' with this is that it reduces the importance of Iraq as an issue, making 'the economy' an even more dominant issue in the campaign.

    Absurd Paul (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:11:38 AM EST
    At this point, I can not take you seriously.

    Your personal animus towards Obama has clouded your generally good judgment.

    Parent

    BTD.... (4.00 / 4) (#23)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:25:56 AM EST
    perhaps its your animus toward McCain that is clouding your judgement.

    Remember, I don't have a dog in the Obama/McCain fight.  

    There is good news for Obama here as well, because his flip-flopping on the surge disappears as a story.   But the fact remains that its not the kind of horrible news you think it is for McCain.  


    Parent

    Nice admission (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:32:12 AM EST
    That you have no animus to McCain's policies.

    Come on Paul, you are being absurd now.

    Parent

    In fact.... (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:44:17 AM EST
    the reason that I have no dog in this fight is because I can't see myself supporting either candidate.  I do have a great deal of "animus" toward McCain's stated policies, but I can't support Obama because I think he lacks both the experience/qualifications and the character/temperment to be President.

    Right now, I'm probably going to vote for McKinney if she is on the ballot.... but I'm not shilling for Cynthia.

    Parent

    Good luck with that (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:47:54 AM EST
    I have no idea why you think McCain is qualified though.

    I have a lot of respect for you Paul and I think you are being pretty darn silly now.

    Parent

    I didn't say I thought McCain was qualified... (4.25 / 4) (#54)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:03:23 AM EST
    ....but if I had to take a position, I'd say that at minimum, he is 'less-unqualified' in terms of experience/background than Obama.  

    IMHO, it either Obama or McCain wins, its just going to be one giant cluster**; the only question will be the nature of the cluster, and what happens as a result of it.

    (i.e. I'm not making the naderite 'no difference between the parties argument -- there will be differences, but mostly along the lines of whether you lose your house to a hurricane or a tornado accompanied by flooding rains.)

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:05:09 AM EST
    Voting for Cynthia McKinney would sure send the message that character and temperament are important issues!

    Parent
    I don't know about McKinney, (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by zfran on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:10:52 AM EST
    but if 18 million voters suddenly voted 3rd party in one way or another, it would get noticed.

    Parent
    uh...uh... (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by p lukasiak on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:20:54 AM EST
    well played, sir!

    trust me, if there was any chance of McKinney winning, I wouldn't be voting for her.....

    Parent

    Zing! (none / 0) (#61)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:08:31 AM EST
    How will this be seen (2.00 / 0) (#100)
    by MichaelGale on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:42:40 AM EST
    by American voters who see a 'candidate' usurping the President of the United States and creating foreign policy before he is even officially nominated?

    Is this how this 'introduction' tour will be develop - with Obama, the candidate, making policy on his own without the other branches of the government being involved? Just him and this 300 advisors?

    I think this idea of a foreign tour is over the top.
    No matter who you are for, I think it can very easily get out of control.

    CW is that Obama is the President in waiting. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:48:39 AM EST
    So why not have him buttered up by the local potentates.

    Parent
    Axelrod as de facto Secretary of State (none / 0) (#125)
    by Cream City on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:21:52 PM EST
    is about it.  And the end times.

    Parent
    Israel Will Attack Iran (none / 0) (#8)
    by bmc on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:12:57 AM EST
    If this New York Times Op-Ed has any truth to it, then McCain will not have to worry too much about irreparable damage from Maliki's comments about the Iraq withdrawal timeline, whether from Obama or anyone else. And, the rest of us may be watching a horrifying scenario play out in front of our eyes:

    New York Times Op-Ed

    Israel Will Attack Iran

    By Steven D., Booman Tribune

    Yes, you read my title correctly. Today's New York Times includes an op-ed piece by Benny Morris, a Professor of Middle Eastern history at Ben Gurion University. He claims Israel will most certainly attack Iran within the next 4 to 7 months, and if conventional weapons are unsuccessful to knock out Iran's nuclear program, than Israel will escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20312.htm

    But don't you remember. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:16:26 AM EST
    the fifteen times Israel has already attacked Iran?  Last fall, the fall before that, six times in 2005. . .

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:16:32 AM EST
    That settles that. Heck, why not go back to the Seymour Hersh stuff?

    Parent
    In fact (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:20:52 AM EST
    I believe the next Friedman Unit will definitively resolve the issue of whether Israel will attack Iran.

    Parent
    Attack what? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:24:53 AM EST
    See there is the fallacy, it is not like there is one site to attack.

    There will be no attack of Iran by Israel.

    Parent

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Steve M on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:37:19 AM EST
    Well, I'm fairly confident that whatever Iran is doing, they are not likely to make the same mistake twice as far as exposing themselves to attack.

    It also seems to me that Israel has made such significant overtures towards the peace plan of late, including the massive prisoner exchange where they got nothing but two dead bodies in return, that they are very unlikely to suddenly upset the regional apple cart tomorrow.

    Parent

    Israel riks a bloody nose (none / 0) (#67)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:14:27 AM EST
    They are forewarned and many of their best officers have rotated through hezbollah.

    Israel could lose a squadron of planes very easily.

    Parent

    I'm afraid that prisoner exchange might (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:00:27 PM EST
    have embarrassed the Israeli government enough it might overreact--but not by using nukes on Iran!

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 08:34:18 AM EST
    you've got to admit that it's possible. However, I agree with you. After hearing this screeching for months before the 2004 election, I think it's simply more garbage.

    Parent
    Gordon Brown (none / 0) (#57)
    by allpeopleunite on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:04:45 AM EST
    Gordon Brown in Iraq today!

    Now this one is interesting (none / 0) (#62)
    by andgarden on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:10:05 AM EST
    Brown and Obama have deep policy differences over Iraq, but I'm sure that Brown would love to tie himself to Obama so he can improve his numbers in Britain. It was suggested about a year ago that Brown was going to dump Blair's Iraq policy; he still can.

    Parent
    Brown privately opposed the war... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:16:43 AM EST
    ...but he had an economy to run.  So he wasn't the man in control of military event for many years.

    Parent
    Brown recently opposed timetables (none / 0) (#107)
    by catfish on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:54:43 AM EST
    in a little-noticed joint press conference with Bush, he said he decided to oppose timetables and to stay in Iraq as long as needed. It blew me away but of course there was nobody to talk to about it, I saw it on C-Span.

    Parent
    define needed. (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:21:51 AM EST
    He's also reduced the British troops to 4,000.  And they don't patrol anymore.

    So infact he's ended most of the British involvement.

    Parent

    I don't know about needed (none / 0) (#124)
    by catfish on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:20:27 PM EST
    All I know is Bush looked really really happy.

    Parent
    he's always grinning. (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:45:58 PM EST
    Boy, some guys have all the luck. (none / 0) (#66)
    by lilburro on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:14:12 AM EST
    McCain seems destined to lose.  


    Obama almost running unopposed now (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by catfish on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:55:18 AM EST
    He won't have to get anyone to drop out or kick anyone off the ballot.

    Parent
    McCain's DEVASTATION... (none / 0) (#72)
    by DANCER on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:23:47 AM EST
    ...this would be "devasting" because???  It might actually be accurately reported?   BUSHCO and McSHAME have ever cared what the Iraq soverign government thought or wanted?  It will be more than a blip on the media horizon?   Nothing appears to DEVASTATE McSHAME...anyone watching or listening carefully and still finding a reason to support this sad old man will deserve the fate that follows his election!   OT...THE DARK KNIGHT was a most enjoyable film experience (although old folks like us had a bit of trouble with the fight sequence near the end of the film - don't do enough video game playing I guess)...WELL DONE...

    Why no photos?? (none / 0) (#78)
    by mrjerbub on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:34:06 AM EST
    He gets every benefit the press can give him.

    I finally saw some photos. (none / 0) (#110)
    by mrjerbub on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    He didn't look that out of place. Why are they so cautious?

    Parent
    Traveling in war zones (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:37:29 PM EST
    with this administration running things....I'd be ummm pretty cautious too if I were Obama and company.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#113)
    by cmugirl on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 11:24:08 AM EST
    No one besides political junkies is paying attention right now.  All this nonsense about gaffes and stuff will be lost.  The public will tune in after the conventions for 8 weeks in the fall.  Then it's a sprint to the finish line.  

    I bet most people don't know or care that Obama is doing a grand production in Iraq today.  It's a summer Saturday and if people aren't working or tyring to pay the bills or at little league games, they are out enjoying themselves and not caring about Obama or McCain.

    Time Horizon? (none / 0) (#122)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:15:04 PM EST
    It must be mistranslation from Arabic. McSame will clear that up soon. Maliki agrees with McSame, we all know that.

    Maliki our new best toady. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Salo on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 12:46:47 PM EST
    Malaki (none / 0) (#135)
    by noabsolutegrid on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 05:41:46 PM EST
    He will be shown to have been corrupt.  Can't tell me that country can go it alone yet.

    I wouldn't trust one single politician in Iraq (none / 0) (#141)
    by stefystef on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 09:16:01 PM EST
    Malaki or any of them.  The Iraqis are notorious for switching teams in a heart beat.  
    These corrupt Iraqis will kiss the ass of whoever will help them stay in power.
    Malaki is trying to become another Hussein, he just has to wait until the U.S. pulls out.

    Please don't be fooled by this "endorsement".  It's nothing brag about.

    Why's That? (none / 0) (#146)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 20, 2008 at 12:22:14 AM EST
    I wouldn't trust one single politician in Iraq

    Do you think they are mad at us, or something, for destroying their country and killing their people, over non-existent wmds aka oil?

    Parent