Obama and the Anti-Iraq War Crowd
The Washington Times echoes what we’ve been saying here for a number of weeks – it appears Barack Obama will simply let the Iraq engagement end itself naturally and claim credit for its final success:
“I believe that 16 months is the right time frame,” Mr. Obama said after announcing his national security team that includes Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who has overseen military gains in Iraq under President Bush.
“But as I have said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders. And my number one priority is making sure that our troops remain safe in this transition phase and that the Iraqi people are well served by a government that is taking on increased responsibility for its own security.”
In other words, “16 months sounds good, unless it will take longer” and then he’ll listen to the “recommendations of my commanders” and modify his plan. Sounds like a bit of a fudge factor to me.
As you might imagine, statements like that, as well as his national security picks, have done anything but mollify the anti-Iraq war crowd that chose him over all other candidates because of his promises to end the war immediately.
But then, where are those people going to go – over to the Republicans? Every side must have its “useful idiots” and the anti-Iraq War crowd served that purpose quite well – their support helped put Obama over the top.
Now reality sets in for both sides – Obama, it appears, is going to let Iraq run its natural course since it appears to be a victory. And the anti-Iraq War crowd? Well, they have the profound thanks of the incoming Obama administration for their support and, in theory, Obama agrees with them. In reality, however, even Obama knows that snatching defeat from the jaws of victory would be blamed on him and that’s not something he’s going to allow to happen to mollify any group that’s real usefulness is at an end.
I guess they’re just going to have to learn to live with the disappointment.
[Crossposted at QandO]