Did Obama’s position on Iraq just change?

Michelle Obama just said* something that made me say, "huh?" She was listing all the wonderful things that would happen if her husband were elected — the arrival of the millennium, dogs and cats living together in peace, the usual hyperbole you hear from people on such occasions, nothing remarkable — when she said:

"… See, that’s why Barack’s running: to end the war in Iraq responsibly…"

Say what? The Obama position, I thought, was an end, without modifiers, to our involvement in Iraq. Not and end to the war, of course. Democrats to whom Obama’s Iraq position (my one beef with him) appeals just want the U.S. to leave, never mind what happens in Iraq (at least Obama wants to leave "carefully" and "responsibly"), even though they use the phrase, "end the war." (Some of them, if you can fathom it, actually imagine that there will only be violence while Americans are there — I suppose they would also answer "no" to the Zen question about the tree in the forest.)

Well, we have been ending the war, quite responsibly and honorably, under the leadership of Gen. Petraeus over the past year. But I thought Obama was against that. I thought he just wanted us to leave.

When did that change? Or did it not change, and his wife is laboring under a misconception?

* Continuity note: I wrote this last night a minute or two after she said it, but didn’t post until now because I couldn’t find a transcript to confirm that I’d heard the quote right. It was one of those things where you hear something, and don’t right it down, but over the next few minutes you think, "Wait a minute… what did she just say?"

25 thoughts on “Did Obama’s position on Iraq just change?

  1. Guero

    My, my, Mr. Warthen. Your boy McSame has been rendered irrelevant and wrong when it comes to Iraq. He and his endorser, Bush, are opposed to the Iraqi government’s insistence we leave on the same timetable Obama says we should stick to. Bush, of course, wavers depending upon his workout and brush cutting schedule, but, just yesterday, his people denied Maliki’s assertion we had agreed to leave.
    Obama’s position has not changed, only your nit-picking and strenuous efforts to keep your boy McSame relevant have changed. Your posting is a strained distinction without a difference.

  2. p.m.

    Mr. Warthen, your typographical homonymity has inspired me:
    I’m in war for the first time
    Don’t you know it’s gonna last
    It’s a war that lasts forever
    It’s a war with too much past
    Don’t right it down, don’t right it down
    Don’t right it down, don’t right it down
    Pardon me, Mr. Lennon. I know it just doesn’t sound write.
    Seriously, when MO said “end the war in Iraq responsibly” last night, it stuck out like a sore thumb to me, too, because she mentioned no other policy specific unless you consider “America should be a place where you can make it if you try” a serious policy statement.
    Of course, she said, “I love America” to make amends for her never having been “proud of” her country until it awarded her husband the Democratic nomination, but then she distinguished “the world as it is” from “the world as it should be,” and patted herself on the back for abandoning the capitalism of a prestigious law firm for the socialism of public service, so, to anyone listening who has more intelligence than the average Democrat, she negated her “I love America” drivel with the pie-in-the-sky socialism that we will be a-Biden if Obama is elected.
    Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, Biden the third most.
    God speed McCain.

  3. p.m.

    Actually, Guero, Obama’s position on virtually everything, including the Iraq war, has changed. He’s been moving to the middle as though it were a median and he were walking a busy superhighway.
    That’s the real Obama: another Clinton, who says one thing one day, another thing three hours later, and votes yet a different way a week down the road.
    That’s the new kind of selflessness, having no self you can pin down, because the position that suits the race for the Democratic nomination doesn’t necessarily suit the race for the presidency, nor will it be able to get through Congress once you’re eventually elected.
    Most importantly, Obama basically voted for infanticide in Illinois and has been lying about it ever since. By November, his campaign will be a shambles.
    God speed a McCain landslide.

  4. Steve

    No, what happened is you must have pulled your head out of your rear end long enough to realize that has been his position the entire time.
    Here’s a tip: Listen to what the candidates actually say and not what Rush Limbaugh says they say.

  5. bud

    Of course there is no war in Iraq, it’s an occupation. The war ended in May, 2003. So I suppose I could get upset with Michelle for making that mis-statement. But that would be nitpicking.
    But Brad on the other hand. Really now, don’t you think you’re just doing a bit too much parsing of words here? Obama’s position is pretty much the same as it’s been during his run for the presidency. Frankly so has McCain’s. I find Obama’s the more practical. McCain simply doesn’t accept the reality that eventually we have to leave. I choose the leave option.

  6. p.m.

    Actually, Steve, I don’t think Obama has had one position on anything for “the entire time” apart from his nebulous, hackneyed mantra: “Change.”
    In fact, that watchword has been with him since he was in diapers. 🙂

  7. Brad Warthen

    I’m going to leave that error in there, just because it pleased p.m. so much.
    And bud, I’m just asking here, because this has come up before: Isn’t it usually the ANTI-war people who refer to the “War in Iraq?” Don’t they like to beat up W. for having stood in front of that sign the sailors put up saying “Mission Accomplished,” which coincidentally was right after the actual war part ended? Isn’t their position (I almost wrote “there position,” but p.m. has had enough fun for one day) that the war goes on — or rather, DID go on, until the Surge. No, wait — they maintain the Surge didn’t accomplish anything, right, so there is still a “war” going on, if I’m following the reasoning…
    I’m groping for a common language here so that we can discuss this thing, disagree as we might…

  8. bud

    I think we should leave Germany, Korea and Japan also. NATO should be disbanded. And most importantly we should liquidate about half of our military budget.
    As for Texas, well they did produce George W. Bush. Perhaps it’s time to return them to Mexico.

  9. Lee Muller

    Obama is operating off feelings, not intellect. His feelings are predisposed to assume that America, especially under a Republican President, usually acts wrong, is the aggressor, and especially that military actions are wrong.
    What are actually poor communication skills are why he connects with so many other non-thinking people. Obama talks vaguely, contradicting himself, and the non-thinking listeners think that he is echoing their beliefs, that he agrees with him.
    Tt may get Obama the nomination, and it may even get him elected, but it won’t work for governing. The people who find him dishonest and vapid now will see him even worse as he bungles every execution of power. His own Congress and Senate, the military, and foreign leaders, for the most part fall into that second group of thinkers who find Obama untrustworthy.

  10. bud

    I think most anti-occupation people correctly understand this is not really a war but more of an occupation or even a colonization. Yet it’s just easier to refer to it as a war. But a war is clearly an incident fought between two opposing sides with clearly defined territorial and idiological boundaries. The U.S. army in Iraq is just trying, with mixed results, to foist it’s own particular brand of ideology on a country that it has already successfully conquered. The insurgency has no real territory under it’s control and ideologically speaking the various groups are fighting for different causes. Some of these groups just want to spread mayhem for the fun of it.
    I would suggest this is a pretty big difference but it’s not worth fighting over. So if it makes people feel more comfortable to just call this a war, so be it.

  11. Guero

    This is just one more brick in the McSame wall. He has no positive message or raison d’etre. He can only win if he throws enough mierda at Obama.
    Someone who votes with President Junior 95% of the time desperately has to tear down the other candidate so he can have any chance of winning. Not to mention that his handlers have to keep him out of unscripted events so his increasing decrepitude is kept from the American public.
    Just how hard a question is it, “How many houses to do you own?”….

  12. slugger

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort,
    but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” –
    — Martin Luther King Jr.
    When Obama is required to put the peddle to the metal we will find out if he is just a windbag. It might be to late by that time. He may already have been crowned with the halo.

  13. Lee Muller

    Day 2 of the convention, and still no details of WHAT the Democrats actually want to do in Iraq, much less HOW they plan to do it.

  14. slugger

    I think that Obama and Biden want us to get out of Iraq without taking into the consequences of an announced withdrawal without a secured peace agreement. Seems that Obama and Biden are playing a game of what the people might want without consideration of the factions now operating in Iraq.
    If there is a candidate in this race for president that thinks for a minute that, we can just announce a date of withdrawal and all will be well in Iraq are living in a dream world.
    We are dealing with 3 different tribes of people.
    Maybe Obama and Biden think that we can deal with tribes the way we dealt with indian tribes in the USA when we were negotiating peace.
    The terriorist in the world need to know that the man at the switch will not kiss a– or give into intimidation.
    The main problem with the citizens of the USA today is that they tend to be weak and without the balls that it takes to stand up for democracy for not only the USA but those that would like to destroy us and create a Muslim world. We are turning into a soft society and are willing to give up to socialism, communism and liberalism. We are willing to sit in front of the TV and watch ballgames.
    We need real men with real balls to step up to the plate and take this country back to the greatness that we have allowed the weaklings to go to the polls and turn this country into a suckup, kissup society.
    The future of this great nation should not be left in the hands of Obama and his “blowing in the wind” “feel good” words that do not reflect the opinion of most of the people of this great nation.
    We can only stay in control of our destiny if we go to the polls and vote for McCain. He suffered enough to make him know the years that he was in captivity will make him have the drive to see that this country is never taken over by extremist.

  15. Lee Muller

    Have you ever read the great essay “A Nation of Cowards” by attorney at law Jeffrey Snyder?

  16. slugger

    I have not read what you mentioned (a nation of cowards). I will make a point to do this.

  17. Herb Brasher

    Hey Bud,
    You gotta wait until they get the last drop of oil out of Texas before it goes back to Mexico. But before they do that, it should make use of its original right to divide into five states and cause a bit more havoc. Now that would mess up the Senate . . . .

  18. guero

    Well, Slugger, you’ve certainly revealed yourself as a real knuckle-dragger. A true sidekick for Junior Bush and John McSame, someone who thinks after invading a country that posed no danger to the US.
    Why don’t you tell us how we’re going to stay in Iraq when the people and gummint that Junior Bush installed both want us gone. Just how’s that going to happen, big guy?

  19. Lee Muller

    It doesn’t matter if “the people of Iraq and the gummint… want us gone”.
    Of course the Saddamites, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and their traitorous supporters in the USA and Europe want us to stop cleaning up the Mideast.
    First of all, you don’t know that. You are being told that by a news media which has been covering for Clinton’s ineptitude with Iraq and terrorism, and promoting Obama. Since The Surge started working so well, the number of reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan has been reduced from over 450 to fewer than 20. The media wants pictures of carnage, and events to spin into how “America is losing”. It’s anti-American propaganda, and if you believe it, you are a dunce.
    But mainly, the US is in Iraq and Afghanistan to protect US INTERESTS, because it required us to be there on the ground to do so, by cleaning out the terrorist training in both countries. Like Korea, Japan, Germany, and the Philipines, we need to stay there until our interests are secured.

  20. Guero

    I love it. The REAL agenda of the Bush-McCain administration revealed.
    Let’s invade and occupy a country that was no threat to the USA, against the wishes of their government and the people of that country. Lee, you remember the Philipines kicked us out of their country?
    Did you accuse Senior Bush of treason when we were told to leave?
    How about your military status, Lee? Or are you just another Republican Chicken Hawk?

  21. Lee Muller

    You don’t think the hijacker training camps in Iraq were a threat to the USA?
    How about the $25,000 Saddam paid the family of each dead terrorist bomber?
    How about the 650,000 tons of Iraqi poison gas, chlorine bombs, and biological weapons captured by US and allied forces?

  22. Lee Muller

    The US Naval base at Subic Bay, Philipines, was buried by a volcanic eruption.
    The US was withdrawing from the air bases, anyway prior to the takeover by the Aquino regime.

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