05 December 2008

Obama: 'I Didn't Really Mean It' (UPDATED)

About complete withdrawal from Iraq, that is.

Which, as you readers already know, pleases me a great deal. I'm glad to see the airy rhetoric of Obama's many inane campaign promises (rubber) hit the proverbial road. As us realists always knew, those sorts of ridiculous promises were never going to work for real.
On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.

But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months.

“I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months, with the understanding that it might be necessary — likely to be necessary — to maintain a residual force to provide potential training, logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said this week as he introduced his national security team.

Publicly at least, Mr. Obama has not set a firm number for that “residual force,” a phrase certain to become central to the debate on the way ahead in Iraq, though one of his national security advisers, Richard Danzig, said during the campaign that it could amount to 30,000 to 55,000 troops. Nor has Mr. Obama laid out any timetable beyond 16 months for troop drawdowns, or suggested when he believes a time might come for a declaration that the war is over.

In the meantime, military planners are drawing up tentative schedules aimed at meeting both Mr. Obama’s goal for withdrawing combat troops, with a target of May 2010, and the Dec. 31, 2011, date for sending the rest of American troops home that is spelled out in the new agreement between the United States and the Iraqi government.

That status-of-forces agreement remains subject to change, by mutual agreement, and Army planners acknowledge privately that they are examining projections that could see the number of Americans hovering between 30,000 and 50,000 — and some say as high as 70,000 — for a substantial time even beyond 2011.

Like Ace, I wonder what his supporters will say now to excuse his betrayal of what was the most important issue to them during this campaign: The complete and total withdrawal of American "occupying" forces from Iraq.

Obamaniacs, commence tying yourselves in nuanced knots.

(h/t Hot Air & Ace)

UPDATED 2:28pm BST: Typically, I'm content to just mention some point about how Obama's not living up to his promise, make a snarky comment, and leave it at that. Fortunately, people like Ryan D. at Pendulum Politics exist to actually look at the substance of the situation.

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