When discussing the war in Iraq, Barack Obama, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, never ceases to remind us that he had opposed the initial decision to liberate that nation. He seems to be appealing to that supermajority of Americans who now oppose the war.
Just yesterday Obama spokesman Bill Burton used the occasion of the release of Scott McClellan’s book to point out that his candidate had “challenged the president’s rationale for the war from the start.”
But, as Ralph Peters reminds us, “our next president will take office in 2009. It’s today’s reality that matters.” (Via Instapundit.)
But, instead of addressing that reality, the Illinois Senator dwells the past as if it’s enough to remind people he has always been opposed to the war. Should he win election to the White House, he’ll be in charge of managing its consequences in 2009, not in preventing its occurrence in 2003.
To understand what those consequences might be, it would be helpful for Senator Obama to familiarize himself with the facts on the ground today. No wonder the GOP has been counting the days since the likely Democratic nominee has been to Iraq.
The Democratic nominee criticizes the Administration’s policy there as if the situation on the ground has not changed since the surge began. As if the war remains unwinnable, violence is on the increase and political progress is stalled in Iraq. But, there have been improvements too numerous to count largely due to the adoption of tactics similar to those which Obama’s presumptive Republican rival this fall, John McCain, had long proposed as an antidote to a failed policy he had often criticized and repeatedly sought to correct.
No wonder McCain contends Obama is driven by ideology not facts on the ground. His Democratic rival has been offering the same policy toward Iraq as he has been pushing since before the surge began.
Shouldn’t we want as a president someone who considers the circumstances of a situation before rushing to judgment? Wouldn’t that be the reality-based approach?
Given the success of the surge, the coming defeat of Al Qaeda, the decline in violence, the effectuation of legislative reform, shouldn’t we be asking what would happen if we were to withdraw as quickly as Senator Obama proposes. Ralph Peters observes that, “not one ‘mainstream media’ journalist has pressed the leading advocates of unconditional surrender to describe in detail what might happen after we ‘bring the troops home now.’”
Maybe the media’s failure to ask has prevented the likely Democratic nominee from addressing that all-important question.