03 July 2008

Obama: Flexibility or Compromise on Iraq?

By news media standards it's been a bad day for Senator Obama, since he had to give two press conferences today, the second to clarify comments from the first. His comments on Iraq threatened to leave the impression that he was "flip-flopping," while Senator McCain gloated from the sidelines. All Obama was trying to say was that he remained committed to ending the occupation of Iraq within 16 months of his inauguration, but would be influenced by conditions in the country and the advice of the military. This looked bad to those who took his 16-month proposal as an absolute promise. It can't help but look bad to those who believe that leaving Iraq as soon as possible is a matter of principle, and that the reason to leave is that we don't belong there and shouldn't have gone there in the first place. It's been clear all along, however, that Obama doesn't propose to revolutionize American foreign policy. However wrong he may believe the invasion to have been, he's not about to abort the occupation unconditionally, which is what a principled opposition to the invasion would dictate. Obama is apparently more "statesmanlike" than that, but to the extent that today's comments reveal an evolution of his views, it may hurt him as long as people take campaign speeches to be rigid assertions of unswerving policies and unalterable principles. We should want a President whose opinions involve over time, but our candidates have themselves to blame for running on "promises" in the first place.

If it seems like I've been harsh on Obama this week, that's probably because I find McCain's flaws so self-evident that they don't seem to need mentioning here. But in the interest of objectivity, I applaud Obama's latest swipe on the Republican's 50-year scenario for Iraq. No matter what McCain means or thinks he means, the truth of the matter in Iraq is that x years of occupation means x years of war. I'll take Obama's equivocations over McCain's obstinance any day, but I'd like more choices than those.

2 comments:

Evangelicorp said...

Bam-a-lama...What's Oblackmama know about fighin' a war? He ain't ever been a soldier. Why don't he leave the war dealings to the folks who know better. I thunk it might be better if the po boy just comes out and says, "I think I might appoint a bi-partisan committee of white folks who know what the f they's talkin' 'bout Willis when it comes to them there war dealins' and I think I just might let them figure out a soul-ution." Rather than act like he Rick James with a bucket full of soul glow jelly like he knows what he be talkin 'bout.

Sometimes it's easier to say, hey, I'm gonna pass the pipe to somebody who knows more than bout this stuff and let them figure it out.

Furthermore, he need not be telling people he be related to Sidney Poitier when he ain't. Not that he did, but just in case he's thinking about it. He ain't a real black-black, he's a wannabe white-black pretending to be down with the bruthas. And that ain't no joke. He jive talkin.

evangelicorp said...

I do luvs dem wellhung bruthas tho. When they's a holdin' me down and makin' me squeel like a stuck pig. Secretly I spends my nites wishin' I wuz a real brutha instead of just bein' a cracker.