Friday, February 29, 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy Proposals Examined And Scrutinized

It's no secret, Obama's goal is to pull the troops out of Iraq (effectively immediately after taking office).

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.

To be sure, he won't get it done as soon as he or many other people think. But I certainly take him at his word and believe him when he says he will do it, over a specified period of time. So, when asked in the debate earlier this week, Obama says he would reserve the right to re-attack Iraq, if al-Qaida were to re-establish a base there.

Wanting to get into the act against the person who will most likely be his opponent in the general election, John McCain wanted to give Sen. Obama a heads up. He told the Senator from Illinois, "Al-Qaida already is in Iraq".

But it didn't end there. Obama punched back.

He told the Senator from Arizona, "There was no such thing as al-Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq". There are many that think this is debatable, because there is strong evidence that Zarqawi was in Iraq prior to the invasion. But for argument's sake and the purposes of this post, let's assume that he is right for a moment.

If Obama is correct here, one can assume that nothing was created by the invasion. Since Al-Qaida existed both before and after the invasion, the only thing that really changed afterward was the location of said members. They flocked in and began attacking. Cells were located all over the Middle East awaiting their call. The call went out, they came, they saw, they shot, and they bombed.

More predominately, they came in from Syria. But I think it's very safe to conclude, they did come from several Arab countries. The difference lies in the fact that they were dormant, then activated for their contribution toward the ensuing insurgency. In short, they were flushed out of their homelands to fight jihad. The idea that they were all recruited and created because of the invasion, alone, is ludicrous and seriously flawed. But the biggest mistake that can be made when trying to analyze this situation is to assume that AQ would never have been there, if there had been no invasion.

What John McCain needs to do is point this out and make the case for not announcing a withdrawal, before it's safe to do so. It doesn't take a military genius to figure this out, and here's why:

1) The moment U.S. forces move to withdraw they will become targets for attacks that will most certainly be video taped and recorded for propaganda purposes. There's nothing like having film showing U.S. forces retreating and seeing them attacked. If you think recruiting spiked after the invasion, it'll really go up then.

2) To withdraw with the idea that you could come back anytime you want and quell disturbances is not sound strategy. At present, the surge is working and the death rate among military personnel is much lower. Why would it make a bit of sense to leave established positions and risk having to re-take them later?

Just take a moment and think about this.

They would love nothing more than to show the world that the evil American imperialists could be run out, by Allah's mercenaries. They would love nothing more than to have footage on Al Jazeera (and other media sources that are sympathetic to the jihadists) to prove it. They would also love nothing more than to have better strategic positioning, for a re-invasion, whereby more Americans can be killed at a higher rate than at present. This is what they want, period

Another flaw in Obama's thinking, evidently is not as obvious to him or his supporters. They do not have their thinking caps on and even if they did, they wouldn't want to acknowledge any true and distinct reality.

The truth is, if we pull out simply because it was the wrong war at the wrong time, AQ will try and will succeed at re-establishing control of the country. You can bet on it. In fact, they would be foolish not to.

They would love nothing more than a country to control closer to Israel, where they can launch attacks, once they are adequately supplied with missiles (from Iran or others). And why not? Saddam's scuds hit Israeli territory with little effort. With the right missile, a nuke lobbed from Iraq would be preferable to the Iranians as well as more accurate. Shorter distance to travel means less reaction time.

I don't expect Obama or his mesmerized followers to think of this. It's way beyond many of their grasps. But it is true, nonetheless. And while I don't much allow for them having a reasonable amount of understanding in this sticky matter, I do expect John McCain to. And I do expect him to start putting the hammer down in this debate and communicate some things better than he has. One thing is certain, he will not win the Presidency by trying to out-soundbite Obama. From what we have seen from the media so far, they will make sure this doesn't happen.

He must understand, he needs to show his superior knowledge in this area of expertise (and should not tarry). By doing this sooner rather than later, he can/will begin to persuade the independent voters that he can do a much better job than Sen. Obama. It has to start soon.

Don't kid yourself, here. This election is once again going to be about Iraq and the overall war on terror. To make it about anything else at this particular point in time, would be a big mistake. If people want to believe that putting a political novice with no military experience whatsoever in charge of such a huge enormous task for this day and age, there's not much any of us can do. A miscalculation before this is over, can and will be disastrous (both in the short and long terms).

(AC at Fore Left has some links to and comments on the recent exchange of political punches, between McCain and Obama. If this doesn't concern you, maybe you would like to see some of Obama's other foreign policy errors he would like to implement.)


Greg said...

LAS, if Bush hadn't "attacked Iraq," as they say, al Qaeda would be home baking cookies with grandma. So sayeth the American Moses. Amen.


Obviously, Obama didn't really address McCain's criticism, did he? It's irrelevent now why al Qaeda is in Iraq. They are there. Didn't Obama know that? And what is he going to do about it?

I read a few deleriously stupid comments on Superfrenchie last week about Afghanistan. About the glorious "resistance" there (you know, the head choppers and kidnappers - the people who beat women in the street and shoot little girls who want to learn how to read), and how there is obviously no military solution, and bla bla. Well, the facts on the ground show the opposite. When NATO troops move into an area, the Taliban/al Qaeda leave and things get better. When NATO troops are absent, Taliban/al Qaeda move in and impose their barbaric rule (poppy production is also highest in those areas). It's the same story in Iraq.

But why let facts get in the way, right?

LASunsett said...

//But why let facts get in the way, right?//

It just shows how screwed up some people's priorities are. I tell you Greg, I feel bad for the young people that will have to deal with this crap when my generation is gone. What a mess we will have left you all.

A.C. McCloud said...

Obama is going to have to shift focus off Iraq if he wants to win, either that or hope for a resurgent insurgency. Otherwise McCain will tear him to ribbons on it. I think once Barack gets the nomination it will no longer be politically expedient to talk about Iraq, since he knew it was a weak point of Hillary with the base. He'll try with all his might to focus on poverty, economy, ANYTHING else.

Greg said...

AC: Obama is going to have to shift focus off Iraq if he wants to win,

Reminds me of '04 - a colleague of mine whose political views place her slightly to the left of trotsky told me gay marriage was going to be a BIG issue in the presidential election. I told her the Democrats better hope it's not. It turned out it was - many states placed it on their state-wide ballots as referenda, and it was basically outlawed everywhere it was on the ballot. Not surprisingly, that hurt the Democrats. Conclusion: I am a political genius. ;)

Mustang said...

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad in the process of enacting a capital crime law that imposes the death penalty for any individual who is not a Muslim, but who had Muslim parents. This would mean that Mr. Obama should not plan of visiting Tehran any time in the near future — or ever — unless, of course, he really is a Muslim vis-à-vis Louis Farrakhan’s rendition of black Islamism. So far, I have not heard much “common sense” from Obama. See also: AOW’s recent post with video clip of Obama-mania promises. It provides an interesting insight to how Obama thinks (empty promises), and depressingly, how many Americans don’t.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah let's deny the connection of al qaeda's appearance just because you want to brown nose Mccain. How else do Sunni Muslims enter a predominately Shiite population? Because this war gave them an opening. Ever think about that connection you idiot. God man read a book, pamphlet or something that can engage your short attention span. I guess your parents were cousins or something. Believe me when I say that leaving Iraq would mean immediate bloodshed, criticize that--you know the facts. I don't support Mccain, but I support his position on this because he's right, you can't leave it like that once you screwed up a country. I guess you want to refute that the FACT that the CIA and FBI created Bin Laden and Hussein. Support Mccain for the right reasons, not because you have a hard on for the Republicans.

LASunsett said...

//let's deny the connection of al qaeda's appearance just because you want to brown nose Mccain. //

Zarqawi was there, he was al Qaida. He wasn't the only one. Just because an larger influx came in after the invasion, does not mean there was not a presence. You don't want to believe it, fine with me. But tell me, why? Just don't bring the same old tired stuff without proof.

//How else do Sunni Muslims enter a predominately Shiite population?//

I may be sorry for asking, but do you mind explaining what the hell this has to do with anything I said (or this subject, in general)?

//Ever think about that connection you idiot.//

Like I said on another thread, I don't mind you disputing my words, but don't come here with this kind of discourse. I don't tolerate it. I have never banned a commenter, but I am not opposed to it. When you start the name calling, it's almost a sure sign you have lost the argument.

//God man read a book, pamphlet or something that can engage your short attention span.//

I will match my library with your anytime. Right now, I am reading Lone Star Rising by Robert Dallak. It's about the life and rise to power of Lyndon Baines Johnson. I know a lot about Johnson, because I was alive when he was President, But, that doesn't mean I know everything. as you apparently think you do.

Anyway, your blog manners are quite atrocious. You are welcome to comment and debate, but clean up the attitude. And above all do not assume you know anything about me or what I have accomplished in my life, before you start lambasting things you are not prepared to defend with courteous and reasonable arguments. Otherwise, don't bother.

Anonymous said...

You can argue that al qaeda was there, but you can't deny that it was this war that mobilized them. Even President Bush said that there was no connection between Hussein and al qaeda. And we are only hearing about al qaeda now for that reason, the war opened a window for them. You want to defend an argument that has been abandoned by everyone even on the far right, be my guest. You're only proving my point. As for my point about the Sunnis and Shiites is that they seldom work together toward a common goal until there is someone else to point their aggression toward, in this case it's American troops (another example: Palestine and Hezbollah against Israel). All I'm saying is I support Mccain's decision for the right reason, he has a good point about the necessity of maintaining a presence in Iraq, not only is al qaeda a threat but so is other factions within the country, if you want to take the weaker point, again be my guest you're only weakening your own argument. As for my reading tastes, I don't presume to know more because I read two books about the president of one country, but I try to look into other countries, religions and ideologies, but that's just me. But I still concede the point that you are at least willing to look into history where many others neglect the subject in regard politics altogether. Also, I read many of your postings, if you think my manners are atrocious, you should really read your own blogg, they have a very hateful and disrespectful tone with just a few facts sprinkled over the sentences, so I'm just as guilty as you are I guess but at least I'm willing to admit it.

LASunsett said...

//...if you think my manners are atrocious, you should really read your own blogg, they have a very hateful and disrespectful tone ...//

Examples please?

Mustang said...

McCain, in wanting to maintain a military presence in Iraq, is an extension of the Bush Preemption Policy. Whether it is a sound strategy will depend on how well the interests of Iraq merge with the perceived long-term interests of the United States. We can encourage Iraqi politicians to find common ground, but ultimately they must find their own way consistent with their own political culture.

Obama is typical of liberal politicians, who mistakenly think that all will be well once he brings the troops home. He is pandering to the anti-war crowd—most of which have no idea what they are talking about; Obama is Carteresque in the sense that in his attempt to look “presidential,” he is essentially showing his hand to our opponents. He seems oblivious to the fact that he is playing a dangerous game — and the ante is American lives, abroad and at home.

The US has maintained a military footprint (deterrence) in Okinawa, mainland Japan, South Korea, and in Europe since the end of World War II. It is a viable policy only because it has worked to demonstrate that aggressive policy may incur a US intervention. It is the only reason, in my view, why North Korea hasn’t invaded South Korea, or China hasn’t seized Taiwan. Thus, it is easy to see why the US wants to maintain a military presence in Iraq, but much will depend on the Iraqis ability to provide internal security from insurrectionist activities.

I should not that President Ahmadinejad’s derisive statement about the presence of foreign fighters in Iraq on 2 March 2008 was laughable; most al-Qaeda elements are exactly that, and many of those from Iran. Iraq would be a tasty plum for Iran simply because Iran see’s itself as the “holy see” of the new Caliphate. Those who argue that the US should have concentrated all of its anti-Taliban or al-Qaeda efforts in Afghanistan are pathetically ignorant of the realities of warfare, of Arab culture, and of history. While I might have investigated other possibilities prior to authorizing an invasion of Iraq, the fact remains that we have killed a lot of “soldiers of Allah,” and were able to do so because we drew them into us, where we could target them effectively.

Obama has it all wrong; and so too do most people who support him. They are as plainly ignorant as he is — and I might add, they behave thus at their own peril. What remains now, of course, is to disentangle ourselves from the Saudi connection, and it is possible we can do that with a stable Iraq, and a continued military presence there.