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Obama: Surge "succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."


I don't see how we can know, because the press and both parties are almost completely corrupt, so we're flying blind. But see here or here or here. If we stop paying the militias, what happens?

Of course, the right war is in Afghanistan anyhow.

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Who said last night:

Let’s look at just one example at a lifetime of principled stands that John McCain’s brought about: his support for the troop surge in Iraq. The Democratic Party had given up on Iraq.

And I believe, ladies and gentlemen, when they gave up on Iraq, they had given up on America.

The Democratic leader — the Democratic leader of the Senate said, and I quote, “This war is lost.”

Well, well, if America lost, who won, Al Qaeda, bin Laden?

In the single biggest policy decision of this election, John McCain got it right, and Barack Obama got it wrong.

So tell me, Barack, why should I vote for you when John McCain was right about the surge and the Democrats were wrong? Isn't the important thing not who was right in 2002, but who will make the right decisions in Iraq now? According to you, that's John McCain.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

As Obama rightly points out, the real questions and points of attack are the correctness of the decision to go to war in Iraq in the first place, that once embarked upon it was poorly executed, that the civilian side of the occupation has been a complete disaster for the Iraqi people and that the whole enterprise has been an enormous waste of American money and lives.

I don't give two hoots about the surge, and getting it off the table instead of continuing a fruitless argument about a meaningless and unquantifiable temporal strategy is about the best Obama can do with it. He needs to aim higher, at bigger targets; at this order of magnitude he should do as he has, mumble something conciliatory and move on.

Submitted by hipparchia on


But he also expressed impatience with the political situation on the ground. “The Iraqis still haven’t taken responsibility,” he said. “And we still don’t have that kind of political reconciliation.”

bothers me.

impatience with the political situation? this isn't useful in a person who supposedly is going to employ diplomacy first, warfare as a last resort. and the iraqis taking responsibility? for something we broke? hubris and american exceptionalism there, not likely to go over well on the world stage. and the surge succeeding beyond our wildest dreams? if it turns out that it really was ethnic cleansing and/or moqtada al sadr's calling a rceasefire that was responsible, that demonstrates a scary lack of knowledge of [or an unwillingness to see clearly] the 'situation on the ground.'

his iraq plan, last i checked, was to leave 50,000 or so troops [and attendant contractors] in the area indefintely to quell any flareups in violence, and increase the military overall by about 90,000 so as to be able to take on afghanistan, pakistan, and iran.

i'll be happy if he turns out to be a stealth dove and this is all just overblown rhetoric on his part, just to get wary independents and moderate republicans to vote for him. but i'll believe it when i see it.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Spot on, actually.

Maybe you're unhappy with what's happening right now in Iraq, but I am delighted. From McCain planning for a Hundred Year's War last spring to Obama bucking up al Maliki who right after the visit started pushing Bush backwards to where now it looks possible we could be all but out by the end of next year, I'd say that's some big progress.

For it to happen, and happen without a huge amount of internecine bloodshed, the Iraqi political situation needs to improve dramatically and it is in fact the Iraqis who will have to make it so. The US cannot impose a solution, which is what BushCo has tried repeatedly; the Iraqis have rightly resented that. Obama making it clear that he expects the Iraqis to sort out their own political issues is both smart politics here in the US and smart politics in Iraq. That he is impatient for them to do so is fine with me; the sooner the better.

Submitted by hipparchia on

the surge was timed to coincide with some 'benchmarks' of the united states' choosing, and those benchmarks were, for all practical purposes, steps toward letting the anglo/american oil companies move in and take over the once-nationalized [by saddam] oil production.

the u.s. wants only one 'improvement' in the 'political situation' and that is re-americanizing of iraqi oil production [though it's looking like they'll settle for re-westernizing]. obama [and to be fair, so have all the other dems] is using the language straight out of this 'improvement' that we [cheney] designed for them.

the oil companies didn't get their [bush-imposed] 30-year production sharing agreements they were hoping for, but they did at least get [bush-imposed] 2-year technical something-or-other agreements [i'm losing track of the changes in terminology that are being bandied about to cover up the real objective]. and iirc the troop drawdown [also bush-imposed] had already started before maliki started publicly siding with obama's timetable suggestions.

yeah, i'm happy that we seem to be killing fewer iraqis at the moment, but it still looks to me like the solution is all-american [with a pseudo-iraqi veneer] and that obama is impatient with the iraqis for not playing along on our timeline.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

But I do think the more Obama sounds like John McCain, the more likely John McCain becomes President. And Obama just agreed with one of McCain's arguments for why he should be President.

The Democratic strategy seems to be, as always, if we just agree with the GOP we'll take that issue off the table. Well, pretty soon there aren't any issues left.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

except he already calls that a crisis, no?

is there anything he doesn't agree with the GOP on at this point? or should i just wait and by Nov. it'll be everything?

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

i wouldn't be surprised at all.


intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

Mr. Obama said: “I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated. It’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

Fuck that. I vow now never to vote for Obama.

I don't care what kind of war we end with in Iran, or if McCain loots SS, Medicare, pension guarantee and bankrupts FDIC. Fuck it. What an asshole.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

Why does he keep doing this? WHY?

Let this be clear, the so-called purpose of the surge was to reduce violence so that the Iraqi government could coalesece. The opposition to either the surge or the war, itself, was never built around a belief that we couldn't militarily handle things, the opposition is built around the question of: at what cost? So, this idea that we're winning because we're making inroads military is totally irrelevant.

Obama did not need to concede on this. The war wasn't worth the cost, nor was it legitimate. Folks like Obama were on the right side of history on this one. It's stuff like that that tells me he won't stand for much of anything, rather, he'll fall for everything. He keeps giving me reasons to question his convictions.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

For someone I hear is Mr. Nuance and a "professor" he sure failed here. Or he is just an opportunist and going with where popular sentiment is. Hillary Clinton has answered this question clearly and concisely while sticking it to the GOP many times. You also give a solid answer.

But yeah, McCain is evil. No need to point out Obama's failures or the danger he poses. Cause, like, you know, McCain is, like, totally evil, ya know.

TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

While I was out on the streets in Philly being visible for HRC before the 04/22 primary, a good Democrat asked me to convince her that HRC would be a stronger general candidate than BHO.

I had lots of answers but my pithiest one was that BHO was painting McCain/HRC as "War Forever" and himself as "War Never", strictly to get through the primaries, and that Mr. "War Never" would not last through the conventions. (I turned out to be, unfortunately, very right, as one shoe dropped at the stadium show with the war pledge in Afghanistan, and now this.)

Anyway, my point was that the GE danger was that HRC would going in with a nuanced, realistic, centrist, put-your-money-where-your- mouth-is, documented HISTORY on the whole war thing, and Mr. ChangeyHopey was going to be so all over the map by November that people won't be able to figure him out, which is something people just don't like when it comes to something like defense and security.

With these surge comments, he sounds like, well, an Alaska beauty queen trying to stay in a conversation about big manly issues. Pathetic.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

"he sounds like, well, an Alaska beauty queen trying to stay in a conversation about big manly issues."

Call me a humorless old bitter-clingy "dry pussy" feminist fart, but I find your last sentence personally deeply offensive. All the more so because it was utterly gratuitous and unnecesary to your point.

I agreed whole-heartedly with all you said up to then.

If FOR NO OTHER REASON, be more vigilant about your apparently reflexively sexist phrasing, whether you're a male or a female, than that it is deeply off-putting and cancels your otherwise good argument.

IOW, cut it the hell out, guys. Enough already.

One more line o' crap about "beauty queens" when the person in question is the elected governor of Alaska, not to mention a vice presidential nominee, even for the Bad People, and I am seriously out of here, which you may not care about but I do.


intranets's picture
Submitted by intranets on

to be fair, and this part really bugs me, it is RNC and Palin who keeps putting this beauty queen thing out there.

I don't understand why it is her campaign at all (and it was for Gov). Why should I even know she got runner up in Miss Alaska? Why is it not some minor sentence on her wikipedia page? The McCain people keep stressing it as part of her narrative, she keeps stressing it, for the simple reason that she has nothing else on her resume.

She got 2nd place in a contest with 16 people.. in Alaska. SO WHAT? Why is she even repeating that to anyone? Why not go with sportscaster instead?

Do I really need to cite all the times this stupid Miss Alaska thing originated from Palin and/or McCain campaign??? (not that this is an excuse for people making beauty queen jokes)

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on her speech, and the McCain campaign is not "stressing" it. Rather, they are presenting it merely as part of her "small town woman makes good" narrative -- its people like you (ie Oborg)who "stress" about it -- and do so as a way of demeaning her.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

"The McCain people keep stressing it as part of her narrative, she keeps stressing it, for the simple reason that she has nothing else on her resume."

Really? Nothing else on her resume? Really?

Not to mention the "stressing" part, which is something that's somehow escaped this political junky's awareness.

Oh, it's being stressed all right, but first by the MSM, which lurves that stuff, and secondly by Dems. trying to trivialize the woman by saying things like "she has nothing else on her resume."

TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

Call me a humorless old bitter-clingy “dry pussy” feminist fart,

But I ::heart:: HOBCDPFFs, honestly.

As someone who has had it up to here and then some with this year's misogyny - so much so that I'm not voting Dem this year - I was trying to make a funny about Obama's own inadequacies, his movement's awful sexism and misogyny, and the attempts of the last week to frame Palin as an insignificant lightweight, and to put her in some old, moldy boxes.

It clearly didn't work.

If FOR NO OTHER REASON, be more vigilant about your apparently reflexively sexist phrasing

Perhaps it came off as "having vagina" == "Not ready for the world stage", but what I was going for "has penis" == "no big deal". This week's Palin-centric misogyny and sexism has just driven me insane, especially in light of the DNC, and commenting can be difficult work, what with my head exploding several times a day.

Submitted by gob on

instead of doing the standard defensive crouch.

Pennsylvanians are the best!

Policy not party!

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

Friends now. Thanks for the explainer, and sorry if I jumped too fast.

Maybe it'd be good to bring back the /snark/ tag. Y'know, we feminists have no sense of humor whatsoever. :-)

Submitted by lambert on

No, gyrfalcon, no, please stay. Teachable moments, and all.

Besides, another such moment is 100% certain to come, so that means not only that you're 100% certain to go, but that now anybody has the power to make you go with a sexist remark.

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

gyrfalcon's picture
Submitted by gyrfalcon on

right now, Lambert, among some of us. Don't know why anybody who says they're a liberal/left/whatever-it-is-but-not-a-damn-Republican still needs to have teachable moments, though. And I'm honestly pretty tired of (mostly) women being responsible for teaching (mostly) men about stuff like this.

TonyRZ's a good guy and someone whose comments I've been thoroughly appreciating, so the remark really took me by surprise. I see now from his explanation he didn't mean it the way it sounded, and I should have given him the benefit of the doubt.

So my apologies for losing my temper.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

admitted he was wrong about the surge--

"... She also took a jab at some recent comments by Senator Obama.

"Senator Obama said that the surge 'succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,' I think said Senator Obama, that that surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated. I guess when you turn out to be profoundly wrong on a vital national security issue, maybe it's comforting to pretend that everyone else was wrong, too. But I remember it a little differently. It seems to me there was one leader in Washington who did predict success, who refused to call retreat, and risked his own career for the sake of the surge and victory in Iraq. And, ladies and gentlemen, that man is standing right next to me -- Senator John McCain." (Emphasis added.) "--

empty's picture
Submitted by empty on

When I read this

But he also expressed impatience with the political situation on the ground. “The Iraqis still haven’t taken responsibility,” he said. “And we still don’t have that kind of political reconciliation.”

my blood boiled. Reading BIO's supercilious comment didn't help. I think Chris Floyd does an excellent job of characterizing that particular position.

Obama also emphasized the obscene and morally depraved position that has become the Democrat's standard line on Iraq: that the lazy, no-good Iraqis "still haven't taken responsibility" for running "their own country." The arrogance and inhumanity of this position is staggering, almost indescribable. The United States of America invaded Iraq, destroyed its society, slaughtered its citizens, drove millions from their homes, occupied the country and made itself the ultimate master and arbiter of the conquered land -- but still the Iraqis are condemned for "not taking responsibility for their own country."

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

...has always been part of our eventual exit strategy. I guess they figured that blaming the victim works, over here, so why not try blaming the victim, over there? The Democrats are using this as a shield, to deflect blame. Another instance of them caving to GOP accusations against Democratic patriotism and "support for the troops."

Stephanie's picture
Submitted by Stephanie on

the surge was not so much a military action with a military purpose, but a military action with a political purpose -- i.e. a military action that would somehow, militarily, cause a lessening of political tensions, which would provide some breathing room for the Iraq "government" to regroup and take better control.

so did the surge accomplish this goal -- if one is saying that the Iraq government still hasn't stepped up to its responsibilities to take control after we invaded them and bombed their people, and caused how many deaths and how many refugees to leave?, then I guess it is not a success.