ON TUESDAY, BARRY O'S CAMPAIGN, VIA JIM MESSINA, PROMISED THAT BARRY O'S SPEECH WOULD TAKE PLACE IN THE OUTDOOR STADIUM AND THE NEXT DAY THE SAME CAMPAIGN WAS ANNOUNCING THE SPEECH HAD BEEN MOVED TO THE TINY INDOOR TIME WARNER ARENA. IT'S NOT JUST THE BROKEN PROMISES FROM 2008, IT'S ALL THE BROKEN PROMISES SINCE THEN.
LAST NIGHT HE CALLED FOR ANOTHER TERM TO 'FINISH THE JOB' BUT MANY AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT FOUR YEARS SHOULD HAVE PROVIDED SOME REAL RESULTS FOR BARRY O TO HAVE POINTED TO.
THE FACT THAT THE FOUR YEARS DIDN'T PROVIDE THAT DOESN'T CHANGE THAT THERE WAS TIME TO DASH OUT OF THE COUNTRY SUCH AS WITH OPRAH WINFREY FOR A FAILED BID ON THE 2016 OLYMPICS OR TIME TO PLAY GOLF YET AGAIN.
BARRY O DECLARED THAT AMERICAN WASN'T ABOUT "WHAT CAN BE DONE FOR US IT'S ABOUT WHAT CAN BE DONE BY US" -- YET ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO PUSH THE BLAME FOR HIS INABILITY TO GET THE JOB DONE OFF ON THE AMERICAN VOTERS.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Tonight in North Carolina, President Barack Obama will formally be crowned the Democratic Party nominee for president. Will a sitting president speak in a presidential manner or will he echo the strident partisan tone, the ugly us-and-them that has so dominated the DNC? If he's trying to remind people of what they saw in him in 2008, he'll be presidential and not divisive.
If he's going to be presidential, that will need to include thanking Bully Boy Bush for Iraq and not playing glory hog. At Never Gives Credit But Loves To Rip Us Off (so we don't link to them), Stephanie Gaskell is yammering away in that idiotic manner that's so popular at the news-lette. She seems astounded that Republicans might argue Bush deserves credit for ending the Iraq War.
This is not difficult, this is not hard.
Barack Obama promised the American people troops would be out of Iraq ten months after he was sworn in. A promise broken. When did they leave? At the end of 2011.
Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden opposed the Status Of Forces Agreement of the Bush administration. They dropped their opposition to it, right after Barack was elected president -- going so far to vanish their opposition from the campaign site. But they both campaigned on opposing the SOFA. They campaigned on it, Barack show-boated on it and I can quote snapshot after snapshot on Joe's remarks on the SOFA.
So what ended the Iraq War? (It hasn't ended but let's pretend.)
The SOFA. Did Barack negotiate it?
It's the Bush administration. It's Condi, and Bush and Cheney and Stephen Hadley and others.
They're the ones who ended the Iraq War.
The only way Barack gets credit is if you believe as Senator John McCain did. Remember what he believed? From the November 16th snapshot:
What McCain stated he was hearing from Iraqis -- including Nouri al-Maliki -- was that the US would not provide a plan. Graham, Lieberman and McCain all noted repeatedly that they spoke to Nouri, that they spoke to the Kurds, that they spoke to Osama al-Nujaifi (Speaker of Parliament, Iraqiya member and a Sunni). There was not opposition from these groups, the three stated repeatedly. This was Lindsey Graham's point in his first round of questioning. He walked it through slowly with Panetta and then noted that he'd gone slowly and done so for a reason, he stated that when you had all of that support (and Panetta agreed on the Sunni issue, the Nouri issue and on the Kurds that they would have -- the Kurds -- gone for as many as 50,000 US troops), how did you fail to make a deal? McCain felt that the White House didn't want to make a deal and presented that feeling as fact. Graham agreed with him about the failure and wanted to point out that the whole thing -- Iraq plus Afghanistan -- seemed to be done for votes and that it was interesting that Panetta was willing to talk about and explore the Iraqi political situation but no one wanted to talk about the American one. From his remarks in the hearing, Lieberman agreed it was a failure but did not form an opinion as to why it failed.
This was their argument, they repeated it over and over. They never once said, "We can force Iraq to do this!" Or that Iraq should have been forced. Their argument was that they speak with these politicians (including Nouri) often and that they knew what the Iraqi politicians were open to and that they couldn't believe that with what Iraq was willing to go along with the White House couldn't get a deal. If they're right about what the Iraqi politicians were willing to go for (I believe them because I've heard similar from the administration), then that was a significant moment and one that history books will review -- as McCain himself noted. I disagree -- again based on what I've heard from administration friends -- that the White House intended to torpedo the agreement. But that's my opinion and I could be wrong (and often am). McCain may have hurt his own argument by presenting it so forcefully -- you'll note that the presentation and not the substance is what the 'reporters' focused on. Had he turned it into a question -- the way Lindsay Graham did -- it might have led to many headlines. Then again, it's a lazy press. Most likely they would have just seized upon another trivial moment to run with. (We don't have space for a full transcript. But some of McCain's remarks on this were included in yesterday's snapshot and Kat's report last night included much more from McCain where he made the argument that the Iraqi leaders wanted US troops but the White House failed when they repeatedly had no plan to present.)
We're referring to the November 15th Senate Armed Services Committee hearing which heard testimony from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and from General Martin Dempsey, Chair of the Joint-Chiefs of Staff. This hearing was covered in the November 15th "Iraq snapshot," the November 16th "Iraq snapshot," the November 17th "Iraq snapshot," by Ava in "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," by Wally with "The costs (Wally)," by Kat in "Who wanted what?" and, at The Third Estate Sunday Review, in "Editorial: The silences that enable and kill," "Enduring bases, staging platforms, continued war" and "Gen Dempsey talks "10 enduring" US bases in Iraq." By contrast, with the exception of Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times) and Laurence Vance (LewRockwell.com), the press misreported and trivialized the hearing.
Now if you're willing to join with McCain and accuse Barack of deliberately attempting to destroy his own negotiations, then Barack deserves credit.
Otherwise, Bully Boy Bush is responsible so Barack may need to share half that already laughable Nobel Peace Prize with George W. Bush.
I have no idea why anyone would want to claim 'credit' for Iraq because Iraq's falling apart.
And people are complaining about the lack of any American influence. Eli Lake (Daily Beast) interviewed Sheikh Ahmad Abu-Risha about the Sahwa ("Awakenings," Sons Of Iraq) and reports:
Rather, he is most concerned that his relationship with the U.S. military has appeared to halt. He said he was assured by U.S. military leaders that he would receive regular visits from senior figures and diplomats to discuss the relationship that began in Anbar back in 2006 and 2007. "There is no contact right now," he said. "They don't visit at all. Ever since the United States withdrew, we haven't gotten anyone to visit."
Jeffrey, who left his post as ambassador at the end of May, said the meetings have not yet happened because without the U.S. military in Iraq it's difficult for U.S. officials to travel to Anbar. "We have every intention of maintaining contact with the awakening and other people," Jeffrey said. "We had several meetings after the military completed its withdrawal with tribal sheikhs from the greater Baghdad area, but it's been hard to get people out to Anbar because of the security situation." A White House spokesman declined to comment for the story.
At the right-wing Commentary, Max Boot notes Eli Lake's report and concludes:
No surprise, that lack of contact and travel; it was precisely what numerous observers, including me, expected would happen when U.S. troops would pull out. But State Department and administration spokesmen spent years assuring anyone who would listen that even with the troops gone, a mega-embassy relying on some 15,000 contractors could continue to carry on vital missions. Now the falsity of those claims has been starkly revealed: U.S. diplomats, devoid of military support for transportation, find it hard to get out of their own embassy in the old Green Zone, thus leaving the old Awakening leaders to find for themselves even as Prime Minister Maliki's increasingly sectarian security forces increasingly persecute high-profile Sunnis including Vice President Tariq al Hashemi.
And of course it's also very difficult to spearhead a diplomatic mission when you have no Ambassador to Iraq. We are aware of that, right?
Not only is Iraq falling apart but Barack's Ambassador to Iraq quit. I'm sorry, Barack's second ambassador quit (James Jeffrey) as did his first (Chris Hill). Two in four years. Iraq needed stability. Barack wasn't able to provide it.
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