Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

A Big Deal, A Very Big Deal

Marc Ambinder is exactly right with this statement:

This could be one of those unexpected events that forever changes the way the world perceives an issue. Iraq’s Prime Minister agrees with Obama, and there’s no wiggle room or fudge factor. This puts John McCain in an extremely precarious spot: what’s left to argue? to argue against Maliki would be to predicate that Iraqi sovereignty at this point means nothing. Obviously, our national interests aren’t equivalent to Iraq’s, but… Malik isn’t listening to the generals on the ground…but the “hasn’t been to Iraq” line doesn’t work here.

Realizing, of course, that Obama can’t make political hay of this fact now that he’s overseas, I really hope his team is preparing a full court press upon his return.  Imagine Obama saying something as simple as this:

The Prime Minister of Iraq has said that my proposal for withdrawal from Iraq is correct.  Perhaps John McCain would like to attack the Prime Minister of Iraq for not visiting Iraq enough?  Or perhaps he’ll dismiss the statement and thereby undermine the sovereignty of the Iraqi government?  Which is it John McCain? 

Because the fact is this: I was right about not launching the war, now the Iraqi government themselves agrees for my plan for withdrawal.  I have a plan for ending the war in Iraq, something the Iraqi people want, something the American people want, something that’s best for our national security.  What’s John McCain’s excuse now?

Remember, Obama folks, offense.  You need to set the terms for debate, nothing else.

July 19, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I agree that this is a big deal, and I’d like to see both Obama and the MSM pushing it a little bit more (I saw Andy Card and Bobby Jindal on Morning Joe today, and the interviewers didn’t even bother forcing them to spin it away). However, I think Obama needs to be somewhat careful with this. Maliki is playing his own game here. That’s not to say that he’s good or bad, just that his interests aren’t necessarily aligned with Obama’s, McCain’s, Bush’s or the US in general. And I think there’s a real danger in Obama putting all his eggs in the “Maliki agrees with me” basket. Because there may come a time when he has to go against Maliki’s wishes.

    There are a number of sound strategic reasons for the US to get out of Iraq. The wishes of the Iraqis are one more, but we should avoid making them the ONLY criteria.

    Comment by GDH | July 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. You make great points, and I agree completely.

    The primary strategic reasons for withdrawing from Iraq has to be U.S. national interest, first and foremost.

    Comment by dansac | July 21, 2008 | Reply

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