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Obama’s Mad Dash for the Exit in Iraq

President Obama doesn’t like war. That’s good. Nobody should.

The problem is that he can’t bear it. And it’s an inconvenience for him, siphoning money from the things he really wants to do, like construct windmills.

That’s bad, at least for a president.

Obama views himself as a peacemaker, the man who is fulfilling commitments to extract us finally from Afghanistan and Iraq. But what he is doing is ensuring continued problems in those areas, because he’s leaving before the job is done.

Look, you guys can play football instead.
Photo by Keith Koffler

The surge in Afghanistan was too small, as I’ve written frequently, and the ANNOUNCEMENT THAT WE WILL BEGIN RETREATING IN THE SUMMER OF 2011 was a sure signal to our enemies that they could wait us out.

Now, having already started crashing through the door in desperation to exit Afghanistan, it appears Obama is doing the same in Iraq.

Fox News reported Tuesday that the administration wants to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq from 45,000 to 3,000 by the end of the year. Military commanders want five or six times as many to stay on. Just like they wanted an 80,000 troop surge in Afghanistan and got 35,000.

Even the New York Times, playing catchup to Fox, noted that the Iraq plan is getting a big WTF from military commanders.

A recommendation to keep 3,000 American troops, first reported on Tuesday by Fox News, would leave in place a token force where many commanders had hoped to see a robust presence continue in a region that is viewed as strategic to American interests.

News of the plan was met with dismay by three senators who visited Iraq many times during the war: Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, and his Republican colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The three released a statement calling the 3,000 troops “dramatically lower than what our military leaders” have said “is needed to support Iraq in safeguarding the hard-won gains that our two nations have achieved at such great cost.

Obama need not always listen to the brass. If presidents always took the advice of their generals, I’d be writing this from my home in the Confederacy in Northern Virginia.

But you do not have to have a degree from the U.S. Army War College in military strategy – nor do you need to summon George S. Patton on the Ouija Board – to figure out that unless those 45,000 troops are all busy doing Sudoku puzzles, whittling them down to 3,000 in less than four months is too fast an exit.

But Obama will be able to claim, in the short run, that he’s making peace, not to mention saving money to fund his latest economic and electric car building schemes.

I thought I’d share with you some thoughts expressed yesterday at the National Press Club by Rudy Giuliani, the hero of 9/11, who seems to be doing his own version of the Sarah Palin tease on whether he’ll run for president.

He’s a man who speaks directly, and based on what he said yesterday, I think Obama should put him in charge of his war policy and hit the golf course.

Take a look and see what you think.

We need to be militarily present in the Middle East until significant numbers of people in the Middle East stop planning to come here and kill us, or killing us overseas. And we should get the American people ready for that, we should make them patient with that. We should get them to understand the value to us in terms of intelligence, the value to us in terms of stopping things before they get to the point of people trying to kill us here in the United States or attacking one of our embassies abroad.

I think part of the problem that we have in Pakistan and Afghanistan is the silly timetables that we put on things. You cannot fight a war with a timetable . . .  Imagine if we had engaged in the Civil War or the First World War or the Second with a timetable. “You know, we’ll fight Nazism for three years, then we’ll get tired and leave.” “We’re going to be in Afghanistan until the summer of 2010 or the summer of 2011.”

You give your enemies a tremendous blaring headline, “They really aren’t serious. We really can wear them out. We can really wear them down.” And finally, when you do that, you demoralize your troops and put them under much greater danger, because they realize the more pressure we can put on, maybe they’ll speed up that withdrawal and they certainly won’t change their minds.

You fight a war for an objective. Objectives don’t have time tables.

Problem is, Obama has other objectives. And war messes with them.

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15 Responses to Obama’s Mad Dash for the Exit in Iraq

  1. What a mess we stepped into with the war against the Islamic terrorists. Trying to stop a nation of inbred, mentally deficient goat-herders who want to kill anyone who eats, prays, or looks different than they do has been a quagmire of wasted American blood and treasure.
    Don’t leave 3,000 Americans in Iraq; bring them all home. And while we’re doing that, let’s bring home all of our military from Korea, Japan, Germany, every **stan country, and protect our interests from within our own borders.

  2. Sadly, and at great cost (both human and otherwise) this strategy will be yet another example, among many, of BHO being a disaster of a president. And just as Keith made an indirect reference to Lincoln who served 150 or so years ago, people decades into the future will refer to actions such as this one taken by Barry. I am not a prophet, but I predict that history will not be kind to him. Unless of course the US becomes an Islamic theocracy or colony of China, in which case his image will be emblazened on the sides of massive buildings and public places such as we see in Iran and Tiananmin Square.

    • Someone needs to sit him down and make him watch the film of the
      end of the Vietnam war. Those images of the frantic helicopter flights
      leaving from the Embassy rooftop. Bring them home or don’t strand a
      mere 3000 to do a task that calls for more or this could be the result.
      No it doesn’t take a degree it’s common sence and listening to those
      much wiser in the ways of war and the military and that is not Obama.
      They are not toy soldiers they are brave fighting men and women.

  3. Does this man not realize that leaving such a small number is a red flag invitation to the very terrorists that we have been opposing? Surely even Panetta is opposed to this idiocy.

    • Plus–you keep posting this and it makes no sense to me. Sarah is Castro’s secret wife, what? Mark Cuban? Wha? Check SNOPES at least. This is the only thing I will post on this.

  4. Obama is a coward.

    And you should dump the comments that brag about the “truth”. Those are just advertisements. They changed the “cut and paste” but it’s the same junk. they post the same thing here, Daily Caller, FOX, etc.

  5. We need to change our outcome objectives. It was great to help our enemies back on their feet when it came to Europe — they share a culture with us. The idea that we’re going to win hearts and minds of creatures as foreign as muslims whose religion is a political system that demands a worldwide caliphate is naive.

    If we are forced to go into a foreign country to protect ourselves, we need to achieve domination and then use the land as a conquered resource, not a buddy that just mis-understood our likeability. UnAmerican? I’m not so sure. There are realities that do not bend in the face of idealism and one is that a handshake and straightforward, simple honesty always wins friends and results in a better world.

    If we want to perpetuate our freedoms at home, we better take a more realistic measure of our enemies abroad. Muslims, for instance, who come here and build huge “muslim community centers” are practicing gender apartheid on our land. The Somalians, for instance, who use homeschooling to set up Somali muslim training centers and avoid assimliation as they travel our land in large groups that sweep in and seize all jobs in small towns are not “new citizens,” but practioners of a culture that intends to establish itself permanently in our midst. These two examples may be made up of native-born or refugee “citizens,” but was it wise to throw open the door and invite them here because we have had success so far with assimilation and now think we don’t have to weigh the merits of letting anyone in?

  6. Rudy Giulliani, the “hero” of 9/11? I think the word hero gets thrown around too loosely these days. I also remember being consoled by his seriousness on that day, but let’s not gild his reputation more than it deserves. He is a politician, and 9/11 happened to provide an opportunity for those skills to shine.

    Rudy seems to not understand this fact, which is why he continues to milk 9/11 in ever more whorish ways. For Rudy, every day IS 9/11, and that one-track mind of his is exactly why flirting with the presidency is all he will ever do.

    But I can see why Keith likes him, His rhetorical pap is right in line with right wing thinking on the subject of war.

    “We need to be militarily present in the Middle East until significant numbers of people in the Middle East stop planning to come here and kill us, or killing us overseas.”

    This is the man who would be president? That is just one crouton short of word salad! You can pour any policy you want into that ideology. Want 200,000 troops in Iraq? Or none? Rudy’s catch-all, metric-free philosophy can accommodate!

    My fellow Americans, it is time to fold ’em. Accept the fact that what we have right now IS victory. Not every card game is the world series of poker. You can leave them game with more chips than you started with and not call it a loss. But the Republicans don’t understand that we are not fighting wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. The wars were won; these are occupations. And Keith is right: occupation at home is America’s concern right now.