Opinion: Iraq Troop Withdrawal Can't be Claimed as Obama Win

Monday, October 24, 2011 - 12:00 AM

It takes an amazing amount of contorting to be an Obama supporter.

You had to believe him when he said, in September of 2007, that we should remove our troops from Iraq "not in six months or one year - now."

You have to support him when, in July of 2008, he amends the "now" date to sixteen months after he takes office.

You have to forgive him when the sixteenth month of his presidency passes with troops still in Iraq and no end in sight, despite having run his presidential campaign on the issue of ending the Iraq war.

You have to cheer him when he finally says that troops will be out of Iraq completely by December 2011 and pretend the president has kept his promises.

You must applaud that we went into Libya as a "coalition" of many countries, yet give all credit for the killing of Gadhafi to Barack Obama. You must believe when Obama said seven months ago that our non-war in Libya would take "days, not weeks" and not make mention of the fact that even today it is far from over. You must oppose targeted killings in general but shrug when the president approves a drone-killing of an American citizen.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, because these are just a scratch on the surface of broken promises made by our president. When called on any of these unkept promises the president will say "as I've said before" though he has never said it before or "let me be clear" when his clarity is not in question. Before long, especially with the upcoming campaign season, a new promise is made and the circle begins again. This time there are no slogans about Hope and Change perhaps because even Barack Obama supporters have limits as to what they will believe in.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.


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Comments [8]

LibertarianLoon from Upstate New york

"Intellectually Flexible". I LOVE that term! I'm going to appropriate it, I hope you don't mind. It is perfect for people who, suffering from the inability to produce rational thought, only manage to feel and speak.

Dec. 15 2011 04:05 PM

Warning: the following video of Barrack Obama may be offensive to some viewers

Nov. 10 2011 01:19 AM
Nick from UnOccupied NJ--for now!

Right and Wrong at the same time!

Right: Karol is dead on about the Bush Administration setting the withdrawl date. She is also very correct in saying that Obama ran on a Peace Ticket, and didn't deliver.

Wrong: To say that Obama is "weak" or "naive" when it comes for foreign policy is both dead wrong and misleading, almost ridiculous. Obama has been hard at work in this arena so much so that he almost outshines Bush as a warhawk. First, he has increased drone attacks in countries that we simply are not at war with (Yemen, Pakistan, Libya), targeting individuals he and his DOD/DOJ deem terrorists. The two most prolific of these two attacks are Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, killed in two separate attacks by drone strikes. Both of this individuals are/were US citizens (his son was 16 years old!) and had no due process afforded to them, a right GUARENTEED IN THE US CONSTITUTION. Obama backed a NATO plan to provide aerial support in Libya, and probably had a hand in killing Gaddafi (NATO airstrike flushed him out, Libyans executed him). Obama has presided over an increase in domestic security and surveillence in name of combating terrorism. Most important, is this lil tidbit: The Obama Administration DID NOT WANT TO WITHDRAWL FROM IRAQ ON THIS DATE! They wanted to stay. The reason they are leaving is because the Iraqis would not agree to an immunity free American presence, and who can blame them after a decade of War and two very public incidents of killing of innocents. So, Karol is right when she says that Obama campaigned on ending the war/wars immediately and didn't do so. Where she is wrong is this idea of the "weak" Obama that is too nice to hurt anyone. I think one could make a case that he is, or possibly more of, a warhawk than GW Bush.

Oct. 24 2011 08:15 PM
Lawrence H. McFarland from Carmel, NY

Kaplan/Slate & WMDs: Please name one national intelligence service that thought Iraq did NOT WMDs?

Oct. 24 2011 11:54 AM
Karol from NYC

Point of the post is our president has no idea what he is doing and is completely naive in foreign policy (and economics but that's another post).

Oct. 24 2011 11:37 AM
Denise from Queens

And then there Bachmann's take on the end of the Iraq war:

Can someone explain how Bachmann can defend her position? Are there people who actually think this is credible? I hate to take her seriously, but she was actually elected to a public office.

Oct. 24 2011 10:40 AM
John Jackson from Central New Jersey

Hmm...the President follows the timetable set by his predecessor (Bush) for withdrawal and Karol throws stones for it NOT being fast enough.
Sorry, Karol, you have fallen into the 'Obama's Always Wrong' crowd which kinda makes you ignorable.

Give my regards to Laura, Sean, Bill and Rush.

Oct. 24 2011 10:25 AM

I, for one, will be thankful when there will be no more reports of American soldiers dying in Iraq. I do not give a fig as to who does or does not get the credit for it.

I will be equally thankful when the same can be said of Afghanistan.

As far as the politics of credit go, I'm reminded of a definition proposed by Ambrose Bierce:

"Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."

Oct. 24 2011 09:42 AM

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