Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The man who couldn't admit he was wrong

Refusal to acknowledge a major national security blunder isn't a great trait for a would-be President. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder provides the transcript from a Katie Couric interview in which Barack Obama offered a cringe-worthy and tortured explanation of his "Surge" positions.

Couric: ...did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?

Obama: Katie, as … you've asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.

Couric: But yet you're saying … given what you know now, you still wouldn't support it … so I'm just trying to understand this.

Obama: Because … it's pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that's money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan so that we were reducing our demand on oil, which is helping to fund the insurgents in many countries. So those are all factors that would be taken into consideration in my decision-- to deal with a specific tactic or strategy inside of Iraq.

Couric: And I really don't mean to belabor this, Senator, because I'm really, I'm trying … to figure out your position. Do you think the level of security in Iraq …

Obama: Yes.

Couric … would exist today without the surge?

Obama: Katie, I have no idea what would have happened ...had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there's no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq. I said that-- not just today, not just yesterday, but I've said that-- previously...

Of course, what Obama really said about the surge is well-documented:

• Barack Obama, Jan. 2007: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraqis going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

• Democrat Barack Obama, Jan 2007: "I don't think the president's [surge] strategy is going to work."

• Democrat Barack Obama, Jul. 2007: "My assessment is that the surge has not worked."

• Democrat Barack Obama, Oct. 2007: "[The surge is a] complete failure... Iraq’s leaders are not reconciling. They are not achieving political benchmarks."

When someone's been that wrong, that consistently, on matters of national security, there's only one thing you can call that person.

A Democrat.

Update: Gateway Pundit has the video: "This Video Is Amazing! ...CBS did an excellent job... This could very well be a turning point in this year's election! Obama came off cocky, confused and crazy. McCain was wonderful- honest, humble and smart."

Update II: Wonkette says "Barack Obama Is A Moron":

Barack Obama’s had his big interview with Katie Couric, and we have excerpts! Somehow, he seems to let Katie Couric trap him, too, with regards to the Surge. She asks him, at one point, if, Given What We Know Now about declined violence in Iraq, he would’ve supported the Surge last year, hmm? Rather than offer his very logical strategic position on this, he tries to make it an economic issue, about how much these damn wars cost...

...Under the current strategy, Iraq will develop into a 46-year-old albino loser who still lives in his parents’ basement; he’s tried to escape and make a go of things for himself in the real world, but his parents have locked him in the basement, which is the point. [Ed: Iraq -- a 46-year-old albino loser? What an elegant analogy!]

The loser child metaphor, it works! Yet here’s Obama, PLAYING POLITICS, saying we should leave Iraq simply because it costs money at a time when you have no home, an insulting contrast of sorts. And yelling at Katie Couric.

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