The captive mind

Commenting on Barack Obama’s foreign policy speech in an excellent editorial, the Washington Post calls out Barack Obama for his “damn the facts” approach to the American sacrifice in Iraq:

At the time he first proposed his timetable, Mr. Obama argued — wrongly, as it turned out — that U.S. troops could not stop a sectarian civil war. He conceded that a withdrawal might be accompanied by a “spike” in violence. Now, he describes as “an achievable goal” that “we leave Iraq to a government that is taking responsibility for its future — a government that prevents sectarian conflict and ensures that the al-Qaeda threat which has been beaten back by our troops does not reemerge.” How will that “true success” be achieved? By the same pullout that Mr. Obama proposed when chaos in Iraq appeared to him inevitable.

***

“What’s missing in our debate,” Mr. Obama said yesterday, “is a discussion of the strategic consequences of Iraq.” Indeed: The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war’s outcome — that Iraq “distracts us from every threat we face” and thus must be speedily evacuated regardless of the consequences. That’s an irrational and ahistorical way to view a country at the strategic center of the Middle East, with some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Whether or not the war was a mistake, Iraq’s future is a vital U.S. security interest. If he is elected president, Mr. Obama sooner or later will have to tailor his Iraq strategy to that reality.

While speaking on Obama’s behalf yesterday, Senator Joe Biden captured the “reality is optional” approach of the Obama campaign to Iraq. Speaking on behalf of Obama yesterday, Biden advised: ““If John (McCain) wants to know where the bad guys live, come back with me to Afghanistan. We know where they reside. And it’s not in Iraq.” Biden’s comment is stupid, but it is also an offense to the American troops coping with the forces of evil in Iraq. Senator Biden owes them an apology, and the Obama campaign owes them a swift disavowal of Biden’s remarks.

Via Dean Barnett.

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