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July 03, 2008

Obama: I'm Willing to "Refine My Policies" on Withdrawal After My Iraq Visit
Updated, Bumped

Maybe he'll say he decided to change his policies after a combat vet asked him to, which worked for him on his flag-pin flip-flop.

Senator Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot sustain a long-term military presence in Iraq, but added that he would be open to “refine my policies” about a timeline for withdrawing troops after meeting with American military commanders during a trip to Iraq later this month.


“I’ve always said that the pace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said. “And when I go to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”


“My 16-month timeline, if you examine everything that I’ve said, was always premised on making sure that our troops were safe,” he said. “I said that based on the information that we had received from our commanders that one to two brigades a month could be pulled out safely, from a logistical perspective. My guiding approach continues to be that we’ve got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable.”

Convenient, eh? But it is welcome, at least, that he finally is willing to publicly recognize that the safest, best, quickest method of withdrawal is now simply winning the fucking war. The pace of victory is amazing, and it seems well-nigh irreversible.

Meanwhile, three of his closest surrogates spin three different versions of what his current possibly is.

So, no one knows what the hell Obama's actual position is, except for Obama himself, and even that seems pretty unlikely.

More: AmSpec says Obama has officially "entered John Kerry territory" as regards flip-flopping on Iraq positions.

True... but John Kerry flipped to the left/defeatist side, whereas Obama has flipped closer to the right/McCain/victory side. That's important too.

Quagmire! So ABCNews headlines a blog post.

There will be only one relevant question now out of Obama’s trip now: Do you stand by your plan? Obama is unlikely to give a direct, yes-or-no answer -- and that’s where Sen. John McCain and his allies can and will pounce.

Obama has almost always built in some wiggle room into his proposal -- including promises to consult with commanders on the ground -- but surely not always. For point of reference, go to Obama’s own campaign Website:

Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.

That’s pretty unequivocal.

Obama’s migration to the political center has been well-documented, and is already a frame McCain is building around his candidacy. But Iraq -- this is qualitatively different, an issue that lives on a higher plane, since opposing the war was the rationale for his candidacy in the first place.

Yes, but so what? The Obama phenomenon is a cult of personality. His fanatical supporters are not voting for any particular set of policies; they're voting for the man, plain and simple, whatever his policies may have been or might one day evolve into.

Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. Whatever HighFather says is good, is good.

It just doesn't matter. The liberal anger over Iraq has always been less about Iraq itself than their fury that they were no permitted a Liberal Veto that would trump the decision of the government and general public. They are anti-war, but they are especially anti-war-we-haven't-collectively-consented-to.

If Obama's on board with victory, then it's "our war" as far as liberals are concerned, and they make the necessary adjustments to suddenly support it. Just as Keith Olbermann didn't find it particularly difficult to deem the FISA telecom immunity Obama supported as a show of "strength," rather than, as it had previously been, "definitional fascism."

A bit more at Hot Air, including the expected -- but quite temporary -- DU freak out.

They will learn to love Iraq Victory. HighFather has now given them permission to do so.

Better still-- the actual victory parade will take place on his watch, most likely.

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