Brazen and Simplistic

Tony Blankley does a nice job analyzing Barry’s muddled position on the surge in Iraq:

… When [Barry]… submit[s] himself to the occasional press interview, his actual words read in print must make his handlers as nervous as his visual images make Republicans nervous. His discussion of his Iraq policy is almost incomprehensible. He has claimed that both Bush and Iraq’s al-Maliki have come to his position that it is time to move our troops out of Iraq. But back on Sept. 12, 2007, he called for an immediate start to the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq. Obama’s plan called for the complete pullout of troops by the end of 2008 by bringing home one or two brigades each month.

“Let me be clear: There is no military solution in Iraq. There never was,” he said. “‘The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year — now.”

For him, now that the surge he opposed is working and victory may be around the corner, to claim that he was always right is like someone in America in 1944 opposed to the Allied D-Day invasion of Normandy claiming there is no military solution to World War II and we should bring our troops home; then once our troops were on the beach, warning that our troops can accomplish nothing on the beaches — get them out; then when they broke out, warning Americans that they never will get through the hedgerows; then when they broke through the hedgerows, warning that they never will get through the Siegfried line; then the following spring, when Hitler blew his brains out, Germany surrendered and President Truman ordered our troops to be brought home systematically, bragging: “You see? I was always right. Even the president now agrees it is time to bring the troops home.”

But if that claim is brazen, his discussion of Iraq and the war on terror is surprisingly simplistic. When asked by ABC News whether he is committed to winning the war in Iraq, Obama said: “I don’t think we have any choice. We have to win the broader war against terror that threatens America and its interests. I think that Iraq is one front on that war, but I think the central front is in Afghanistan and in the border regions of Pakistan.” (So is he or is he not in favor of winning in Iraq?)

But his idea that the central front of the war on terror is in some geographic location is simplistic. The central front is in the minds of Muslims around the world. If we lose Iraq and Islamist radicals are seen to win, we lose a strategic battle in the war — just as in the Cold War the strategic front was not in Greece in 1947 or Berlin in 1948 or China in 1949 or Korea in 1950 or Cuba in 1962 or Vietnam in 1965 or in Eurocommunist countries in the 1970s. The central front was always the minds of men. When the idea of Soviet-style communism was defeated by Reagan, the war ended. When virtually all Muslims see terror to be a dead end to their aspirations, the war on terror will be over.

When Obama understands that, he may be ready to be deputy assistant secretary of state.

And Nicholas Wapshott, writing in the New York Sun, examines Barry’s media coverage and its implications:

…Mr. Obama’s journey, ostensibly to show his foreign policy credentials, is …a rare chance for the [TV network news] anchors to try to regain if not the influence at least for a short while the prominence of their predecessors. They can only do this by exaggerating the importance of what they are reporting. If, as they suggest, Mr. Obama’s European jaunt is truly “historic,” they cannot afford to be critical. He must be portrayed as a president in waiting, a prophet biding his time, a hero awaiting destiny’s call.

This bodes badly for the role of the press during an Obama presidency. Coupled with the adulation of uncritical reporters eager to cut themselves in on a piece of American history is the penchant of Mr. Obama’s posse for deterring critics by accusing them of “playing the race card” whenever they dare point out their candidate’s shortcomings.

Apart from displaying Mr. Obama’s pomposity and lack of humor, the hullabaloo over portraying the Obamas as Islamist terrorists on the New Yorker cover demonstrated the success of his campaign managers’ strategy: normal critical standards cannot be applied to their “historic” candidate without attracting hurt opprobrium.

So far, Mr. Obama has enjoyed an easy ride. A large faction in the press held off scrutinizing him while they reveled in upsetting the “inevitability” of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. The press continues to give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt as he jettisons with unseemly haste the liberal positions that caused him to win the nomination.

But if the policies, characters, and judgment of both candidates are not rigorously scrutinized, the election will be little more than a coronation. And if Mr. Obama reaches the White House, will the press continue to hold their breath rather than upset the “historical” narrative they have assigned him?…

And Ann Althouse on Time Magazine’s Joe Klein and his phony outrage over McCain’s statement that Obama would prefer to lose a war in order to win the presidency:

…Klein is trying to generate a big outrage to distract us from McCain’s solid point. McCain said we had to win the war, he pushed for the surge, the surge worked, and now we will have that victory that he would not give up on. Obama said the war was hopeless, we’d have to accept loss, and the surge would only waste more lives.

That is a huge, huge difference. And that is what McCain was referring to. It could have been put even more sharply.

If Klein wants to get all outraged about something, he should get outraged retrospectively about how Obama and many Democrats were ready and even eager to embrace defeat. If Klein wants to worry about who is unsuited for the presidency, he ought to recognize that if Obama had been President two years ago, we would have suffered a humiliating defeat in Iraq that would have repercussions for decades.

And Klein thinks it’s “desperation” to urge us to face that crucial reality, which is what McCain did? Desperation — which is recklessness arising from the utter lack of hope — is what Obama had about the Iraq war.

…The point is that Obama’s judgment would have led this country to jump headlong into defeat. We now must decide if we want this man making choices about things that will arise in the future. Why is it necessary to spell it out again and again that we need to use past judgments to predict future judgments about new matters? I feel like an annoying pedant saying this again. But the reason it’s necessary is that journalists like Klein are covering for Obama.

Talk about “sad.” That’s sad.

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