Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Barack Obama and the Iraq War

Either Barack Obama is a very smooth talker, or he is a very sensible individual. I personally think he is a sensible individual. I am contemplating casting my vote for him for President of the United States. I recently read one of his books, and I found a lot in it on which I could agree with him. I was very impressed with what he said in a recent Democratic debate about the war in Iraq.

Here's what he said recently:

Here are a couple of excerpts from the video segment.

"The time for us to ask how we are going to get out of Iraq was before we went in."

"Our soldiers have done everything that's been asked of them," including the deposing of Saddam Hussein.

"We can be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in."

"There is no military solution to the problems we face in Iraq."

He also asked how can the Iraqi government think it is important to have American troops there when they just went on vacation for three weeks because it's too hot? If this is what they think of their struggle for liberty, why are we even there?

I do think there are still military solutions to aid in Iraqi liberty, but I agree with Senator Obama that the Iraqi government is taking this all too cavalierly. Perhaps the best thing we could do is tell them, "See ya. We're outta here."

The quandary that I am in personally revolves around two facts:

(1) that I was never in favor of the US invading Iraq in the first place. On this I agree wholeheartedly with Senator Obama. (I think Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate for president who feels this way.)

(2) that I served in Iraq, made many friends, and I'm now invested in their well-being, and I hope that they succeed in their quest for liberty.

George W. Bush and his helpers didn't really ever seem to be interested in the Iraqi success, because at every turn, their plans have been of the sophomoric variety.

I agree with Barack Obama that George W. Bush never made a good case for war in Iraq. I respect that had he been in the Senate in 2002-2003, he would have voted against the invasion.

Another thing I can agree with Barack Obama on is that the Iraq War has become a "dumb war" and George W. Bush should be held accountable for it.

About the Iraq war, it is the following quote which engenders in me the greatest respect for Barack Obama:

Letting the Iraqis know that we will not be there forever is our last, best hope.

There's one other thing that it's not too late to get right about this war. And that is the homecoming. The men and women. The veterans who have sacrificed the most. Let us honor their courage by providing the care they need and rebuilding the military they love. Let us be the generation that begins that work.


rm said...

i wish, we had politicians like obama here in germany.

there is a new documentation about the iraq war

No End In Sight

my feeling is, that this not a michael moore style movie.

Frank Staheli said...

I have always been of the opinion that the occupation of Iraq could have been done much better, despite my initial disagreement that the US would go to Iraq.

The woman in the "No End in Sight" trailer said it best: 'There were 500 wrong ways to do it and 2 or 3 right ways. It looks like we went through all 500 [wrong ways]."

I can't imagine the Bush administration is really this incompetent; in other words, there must be an ulterior motive for fouling the Iraq occupation up so badly.

I will find a copy of this movie and watch it.

rm said...

"I can't imagine the Bush administration is really this incompetent; in other words, there must be an ulterior motive for fouling the Iraq occupation up so badly."

one reason could be that it's a trailer. (don't know, how to say it in english) it's over the top, it tries to get your attention.

"I will find a copy of this movie and watch it."
you were in iraq, so for me it would be very interesting to know, what you think about the documentation.

Frank Staheli said...

What I meant by that is that I have a tendency to believe the trailer. We never had enough troops while I was in Iraq to do what we really needed to do, and it was always frustrating when our guys went in and cleared out an area, but then had to leave--and the terrorists came right back. I think the bush admin has been very incompetent in the Iraq war.

rmwarnick said...

"No End in Sight" won a prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. I think much of what's in it has been covered already, particularly in books like Fiasco by Thomas Ricks. What the film has going for it is interviews with insiders who witnessed the catastrophic early days of the Iraq occupation firsthand.

At the risk of contradicting Senator Obama, let me point out that expecting the Iraqi parliament to solve all their country's problems in six months is like asking the U.S. Congress to restore habeas corpus, end warrantless surveillance, legislate universal health care, establish a national energy policy, and impeach Bush and Cheney. Ain't gonna happen. Anyway, our politicians are going on vacation too.

rm said...

ah ok, i understand.

rmwarnick said...

I should have mentioned that implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations should also be on the congressional to-do list. We need benchmarks for our own senators and representatives!

Not to mention Iraq isn't even a real country. It's a product of the 1920 Sykes-Picot Agreement. Oh, and the main Sunni bloc, with six cabinet members and 44 members of parliament, has just walked out.

rm said...


i'm trying to read "fiasco". there is no german translation (but good dictionaries ;x)), so it will take a while.

"At the risk of contradicting Senator Obama, [...]"

do you think, he is naive or is this something like pre electoral battle tactics?

rmwarnick said...

Of course, Obama isn't the only Washington politician who has criticized the Iraqi parliament recently. It's become a common talking point, based on the assumption that the benchmarks were reasonable and not an insult to the Iraqis.

It may not be logical, but it's a way out for Americans to blame the Iraqis for the failure of the occupation.