Saturday, July 26, 2008

AP Declares US Winning Iraq War

Now that the war in the Iraq theater is looking like the good guys are definitely winning, the naysayers are coming out of the woodwork to jump on the bandwagon. The AP, Associated Press, the scion of defeatism, has declared the U.S. is winning the war and neither the insurgency nor al-Qaida have the wherewithall to reengage.

The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.

Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.
They are not, of course, changing their entire script. No, no. "It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had." They were doing so well and then they had to backslide. The AP writers are referring to the Bush speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in which he said, "...major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." The President then said, "And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country." Both statements were true and accurate, but the majority of press folk missed the college lectures on true and accurate.

But now we are unquestionably winning so media types are changing their tune to Yankee Doodle Dandy. The AP is even willing to write that the new focus is

"training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.

Scattered battles go on, especially against al-Qaida holdouts north of Baghdad. But organized resistance, with the steady drumbeat of bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and ambushes that once rocked the capital daily, has all but ceased.

This amounts to more than a lull in the violence. It reflects a fundamental shift in the outlook for the Sunni minority, which held power under Saddam Hussein. They launched the insurgency five years ago. They now are either sidelined or have switched sides to cooperate with the Americans in return for money and political support."
Baghdad police chief, Maj. Gen. Ali Hadi Hussein al-Yaseri said of the changes, "Even eight months ago, Baghdad was not today's Baghdad."

Scattered holdouts were once called "deadenders" by former-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and was excoriated by the AP. In fact, the entire administration was raked over the coals for saying that the resistance was unorganized and the attacks were ill conceived and executed. But, that was before the AP, et al., began their constant drumbeat of defeatism and cheerleader chant of 'run away, run away!' The insurgency gained confidence, strength, and jihadis because of the American press coverage.

A whole passel of problems remain for Iraq to solve and the AP isn't shy about pointing to them: "sectarian rivalries, power struggles within the Sunni and Shiite communities, Kurdish-Arab tensions, corruption. Any one of those could rekindle widespread fighting." However, they also point out the sectarian killings have essentially stopped because of greater security measures and walling off the neighborhoods from each other. And because of all that and more "statistics show violence at a four-year low. The monthly American death toll appears to be at its lowest of the war — four killed in action so far this month as of Friday, compared with 66 in July a year ago. From a daily average of 160 insurgent attacks in July 2007, the average has plummeted to about two dozen a day this month. On Wednesday the nationwide total was 13."

Even regular folks are in the streets and parks enjoying that little something different in the air. "In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago, when the first, barely visible signs of a turnaround emerged."

The fighting in Iraq is not over, but it is the end of the post-major military operations. Now begins the peace and freedom for which Americans fought, and died, and lost limbs. It's beginning to appear more and more clearly which side has won. Iraqi and American commanders believe American forces will be needed for another year or two.

The media has conceded defeat for their cause and a win for America. They will be moving on to that other war in Afghanistan and maybe even the score. After all, Europeans are involved in that struggle so we can still lose. Like they say now, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of Europe."

Related 2 minute video with Robert Burns, AP chief military correspondent.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, July 25, 2008

BHO Channels JFK

Thanks to IBD and Mike Ramirez.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama - the one way, the only way

At the foot of the Victory Column, across the square from the Brandenburg Gate, Barack Obama addressed today the people of Berlin, the people of Germany, and the people of the world. He spoke not as the presumptive Democrat nominee for the Presidency, but as a presumptuous citizen of America, a citizen of the world.

Obama's words evoked John F. Kennedy's declaration of oneness with the Germans against the burgeoning threat of the Soviet Union. His words echoed Ronald Reagan's challenge to the late USSR to tear down the walls. His words reanimated the actions of Joshua at Jericho when to walls came tumbling down. And the crowds were well pleased.

When you read the speech and watch the video listen for the one worldness of his campaign.

Now, the speech delivered by Barack Obama in Berlin:
"Vielen Dank zu den Bürgern von Berlin und zu den Leuten von Deutschland. Lassen Sie mich Kanzler Merkel und Außenminister Steinmeier für Heißen willkommen mich früher heute danken. Vielen Dank Bürgermeister Wowereit, der Berlin Senat, die Polizei, und am meisten von allen vielen Dank für diesen Empfang ... "
DOH!! Barack Obama doesn't speak German. Or French, or any other European language of which he was, I am sure, appropriately embarrassed today.

And now -

THURS JULY 24 2008

Thank you to the citizens of Berlin and to the people of Germany. Let me thank Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Steinmeier for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you Mayor Wowereit, the Berlin Senate, the police, and most of all thank you for this welcome.

I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.

I know that I don't look like the Americans who've previously spoken in this great city. The journey that led me here is improbable. My mother was born in the heartland of America, but my father grew up herding goats in Kenya. His father -- my grandfather -- was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning -- his dream -- required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West. And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life.

That is why I'm here. And you are here because you too know that yearning. This city, of all cities, knows the dream of freedom. And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life.

Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.

On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West, America, Britain, and France took stock of their losses, and pondered how the world might be remade.

This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in Berlin.

The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe. Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin.

And that's when the airlift began -- when the largest and most unlikely rescue in history brought food and hope to the people of this city.

The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold.

But in the darkest hours, the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city's mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. "There is only one possibility," he said. "For us to stand together united until this battle is won. The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty. People of the world: now do your duty. People of the world, look at Berlin!"

People of the world -- look at Berlin!

Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle.

Look at Berlin, where the determination of a people met the generosity of the Marshall Plan and created a German miracle; where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security.

Look at Berlin, where the bullet holes in the buildings and the somber stones and pillars near the Brandenburg Gate insist that we never forget our common humanity.

People of the world -- look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one.

Sixty years after the airlift, we are called upon again. History has led us to a new crossroad, with new promise and new peril. When you, the German people, tore down that wall -- a wall that divided East and West; freedom and tyranny; fear and hope -- walls came tumbling down around the world. From Kiev to Cape Town, prison camps were closed, and the doors of democracy were opened. Markets opened too, and the spread of information and technology reduced barriers to opportunity and prosperity. While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history.

The fall of the Berlin Wall brought new hope. But that very closeness has given rise to new dangers -- dangers that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean.

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

As we speak, cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, shrinking coastlines in the Atlantic, and bringing drought to farms from Kansas to Kenya.

Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow. The genocide in Darfur shames the conscience of us all.

In this new world, such dangerous currents have swept along faster than our efforts to contain them. That is why we cannot afford to be divided. No one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone. None of us can deny these threats, or escape responsibility in meeting them. Yet, in the absence of Soviet tanks and a terrible wall, it has become easy to forget this truth. And if we're honest with each other, we know that sometimes, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny.

In Europe, the view that America is part of what has gone wrong in our world, rather than a force to help make it right, has become all too common. In America, there are voices that deride and deny the importance of Europe's role in our security and our future. Both views miss the truth -- that Europeans today are bearing new burdens and taking more responsibility in critical parts of the world; and that just as American bases built in the last century still help to defend the security of this continent, so does our country still sacrifice greatly for freedom around the globe.

Yes, there have been differences between America and Europe. No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together. A change of leadership in Washington will not lift this burden. In this new century, Americans and Europeans alike will be required to do more -- not less. Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.

That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.

We know they have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a Union of promise and prosperity. Here, at the base of a column built to mark victory in war, we meet in the center of a Europe at peace. Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together; in the Balkans, where our Atlantic alliance ended wars and brought savage war criminals to justice; and in South Africa, where the struggle of a courageous people defeated apartheid. So history reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

That is why America cannot turn inward. That is why Europe cannot turn inward. America has no better partner than Europe. Now is the time to build new bridges across the globe as strong as the one that bound us across the Atlantic. Now is the time to join together, through constant cooperation, strong institutions, shared sacrifice, and a global commitment to progress, to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was this spirit that led airlift planes to appear in the sky above our heads, and people to assemble where we stand today. And this is the moment when our nations -- and all nations -- must summon that spirit anew.

This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate instead of hope.

This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now.

This is the moment when we must renew the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. The two superpowers that faced each other across the wall of this city came too close too often to destroying all we have built and all that we love. With that wall gone, we need not stand idly by and watch the further spread of the deadly atom. It is time to secure all loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to reduce the arsenals from another era. This is the moment to begin the work of seeking the peace of a world without nuclear weapons.

This is the moment when every nation in Europe must have the chance to choose its own tomorrow free from the shadows of yesterday. In this century, we need a strong European Union that deepens the security and prosperity of this continent, while extending a hand abroad. In this century -- in this city of all cities -- we must reject the Cold War mind-set of the past, and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must, and to seek a partnership that extends across this entire continent.

This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.

This is the moment we must help answer the call for a new dawn in the Middle East. My country must stand with yours and with Europe in sending a direct message to Iran that it must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We must support the Lebanese who have marched and bled for democracy, and the Israelis and Palestinians who seek a secure and lasting peace. And despite past differences, this is the moment when the world should support the millions of Iraqis who seek to rebuild their lives, even as we pass responsibility to the Iraqi government and finally bring this war to a close.

This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations -- including my own -- will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one.

And this is the moment when we must give hope to those left behind in a globalized world. We must remember that the Cold War born in this city was not a battle for land or treasure. Sixty years ago, the planes that flew over Berlin did not drop bombs; instead they delivered food, and coal, and candy to grateful children. And in that show of solidarity, those pilots won more than a military victory. They won hearts and minds; love and loyalty and trust -- not just from the people in this city, but from all those who heard the story of what they did here.

Now the world will watch and remember what we do here -- what we do with this moment. Will we extend our hand to the people in the forgotten corners of this world who yearn for lives marked by dignity and opportunity; by security and justice? Will we lift the child in Bangladesh from poverty, shelter the refugee in Chad, and banish the scourge of AIDS in our time?

Will we stand for the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe? Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?

Will we acknowledge that there is no more powerful example than the one each of our nations projects to the world? Will we reject torture and stand for the rule of law? Will we welcome immigrants from different lands, and shun discrimination against those who don't look like us or worship like we do, and keep the promise of equality and opportunity for all of our people?

People of Berlin -- people of the world -- this is our moment. This is our time.

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

But I also know how much I love America. I know that for more than two centuries, we have strived -- at great cost and great sacrifice -- to form a more perfect union; to seek, with other nations, a more hopeful world. Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom -- indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us -- what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America's shores -- is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.

Those are the aspirations that joined the fates of all nations in this city. Those aspirations are bigger than anything that drives us apart. It is because of those aspirations that the airlift began. It is because of those aspirations that all free people -- everywhere -- became citizens of Berlin. It is in pursuit of those aspirations that a new generation -- our generation -- must make our mark on history.

People of Berlin -- and people of the world -- the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. Let us build on our common history, and seize our common destiny, and once again engage in that noble struggle to bring justice and peace to our world.
I know it's hard to do, but it's only a 26-27 minute speech, watch Obama give the speech on the CBS video. Reading it is important, however it doesn't tell where the crowd applauded and how heartily. When he spoke of a nuclear free world and ending the slaughter in Drafur, the crowd crowed excitedly. When he told the crowd the world would need to act as one, the multitudes mutedly applauded agreement sensing what came next. When he called upon Germans to actually contribute with money, resources, might, and blood - nary a peep.

The well known blog David's Medienkritik quotes the Times Online that, "Eventually, we will all hate Obama too." Every U.S. President from Eisenhower to G.W. Bush have been painted as trigger happy cowboys. Obama would be no different no matter what he says now.

There is a larger message in Obama's speech and the Berlin location. He is a US citizen campaigning in Germany for votes to become the President of the United States of America. But, much more. He is running for President of the World and this was the first speech in that larger liberal socialist campaign. We will hear much more of this rhetoric.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No Misspeak Obama Lied

Speaking in Sderot, Israel today Barack Obama came very close to misspeaking. He's not even bothering to misspeak anymore. Now Obama has just plain lied.

"Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon." Read more at Gateway Pundit.
The McCain Campaign jumped on the lie.

"Not only is it not his committee, but he's not even on the committee, he didn't vote on the bill, and he had nothing to do with its passage." Read more at Associated Press.
Islam calls the practice of lying to infidels taqiya and it's perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's expected of a good Muslim, fanatic or moderate. Good thing Barack Hussein Obama is not and never has been a Muslim. Otherwise, I would be concerned.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Anti-McCain Media Bias Real

With the Obama/Media lovefest well underway, it's refreshing to find some journalists who are, at least, not so enamored of Barry. United Press Internationals Martin Sieff took a look at the anti-McCain, pro-Obama media bias and declared McCain the winner.

Analysis: McCain faces real media bias

Published: July 22, 2008 at 4:13 PM

WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- The editors of The New York Times must be determined to get Sen. John McCain elected president of the United States. That is the only rational explanation for their decision to ban him from publishing an article on their op-ed page because it was supposedly incompatible with one from Sen. Barack Obama they previously had published.

The decision was especially striking, coming as it did during Obama's triumphal progress across the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe, with all three anchors of the three most venerable television networks worshipfully in tow. None of them bothered to accompany McCain, R-Ariz., the GOP front-runner, when he took a similar trip a few months ago, or when he more recently visited Colombia and Mexico.

Obama, D-Ill., has been riding high this week, as we have noted, with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backing his bold plan to evacuate all 16 U.S. combat brigades from Iraq by the end of 2010. That certainly will boost Obama with his core supporters and should give him a huge boost for foreign policy sagacity and credibility with the independents he must win over to capture the presidency. It was striking that Gallup's daily tracking poll Tuesday showed Obama still only very narrowly ahead of McCain by 3 points -- 45 percent to 42 percent -- despite all the favorable mainstream publicity he has been receiving.

However, Obama also risks a major patriotic backlash. Even though Maliki is, ostensibly, a U.S. ally, a full troop pullout will certainly not please Heartland conservatives, the very core Republicans who in the past have been the most hostile or suspicious of McCain. Obama's Middle East policies run the risk of shoring up McCain's core support. Now The New York Times has made it even easier for McCain to secure the key support he must have from his own base.

For conservatives around the country, especially across the American Heartland, will see the decision to ban McCain from The New York Times' op-ed page because his proposed article was too different from an Obama one as unfair and outrageous. It will only serve to confirm their long-established distrust of the mainstream American media for having an enormous and ineradicable liberal bias.

It is certainly unprecedented for The Times, which still likes to imagine itself as the U.S. national newspaper of record, to ban the front-running candidate and virtually certain nominee of either of the two great political parties from publishing an op-ed piece with them whenever they request it. And it is certainly not the case that McCain is an inexperienced neophyte. He has been in the Senate for more than 20 years, while Obama has served less than two-thirds of a single term there.

Nor can it be said that McCain is trailing Obama so badly and is so certain to lose the election that what he has to say isn't important anyway. Given the soaring oil prices, the housing and banking crises, the continued unpopularity of the Iraq war and President George W. Bush's dismal standings in the opinion polls, McCain is doing vastly better than anyone could have dared to imagine. In the past month alone, as we noted earlier this week, he has erased a potentially killing lead of up to 15 points that Obama held over him in June, according to Newsweek and other polls. And this happened at a time when Obama enjoyed a free ride in the national media and vastly greater -- and uncritical -- coverage in it.

Banning McCain from an op-ed opportunity in The New York Times and the fawning coverage that Katie Couric and her colleagues are giving Obama on his Grand Tour, therefore, is exactly what McCain needs. For McCain's problems are the opposite of Obama's.

Obama has an energized and united Democratic Party around him. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., has not dared to say a word against him since she dropped out of the race, and the supposed passionate loyalty of her support has melted away. Now Obama must reach out to the undecided center to clinch the presidency.

But McCain faces exactly the opposite challenge. He is already well-known, trusted, liked and respected by independent voters. For precisely that reason, it is the conservative and Christian Right home base who have doubted his bona fides. In their eyes, his humiliation at the hands of The New York Times is a kiss of life, not death. It is an anointing of conservative sainthood.

Obama this week won the respect and support of the prime minister of Iraq; McCain was rejected with contempt by The New York Times. On balance, McCain won.
This whole Obama orgy is becoming really annoying and a lot of voters on both sides are feeling it. The media's orgasmic praise is starting to have a corrosive affect on Obama's campaign. The trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with his star tour of Europe will prove to be the Obama peak. He's overreached too soon, he has shot his wad and it's all downhill from here.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, July 21, 2008

John McCain NYT Rejected Editorial In Full

John McCain has written an editorial for the New York Times less than a week after Barack Obama wrote and the NYT published his editorial. According to the Drudge Report, NYT Op-Ed editor David Shipley explianed to the McCain staff, "It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece. I'm not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written."

Here is Senator McCain's editorial in the original submitted form:

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama Wants 8 to 10 in the Big House

Sen. Obama has declared he will be the President of the United States for 8-10 years. On "Face the Nation" Sunday morning, Barack Obama, speaking from Afghanistan, told CBS chief foreign correspondent
"the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years.
Presumably, that will be as President of all 57 states.

Can it be that this Constitutional scholar and professor doesn't know about the 22nd Amendment limiting Presidents to only two four year terms, a total of eight years with no repeats? Perhaps his advisors, the 300 Smart-ones, are leading him astray with false information.

Many will say Obama is tired from all the campaigning and he's jet-lagged from the flight to Afghanistan. Let's remember that Obama is the youngest in the current presidential nominee field. If he's this brain scrambled now and it's just the campaign, how scrambled will he be as President getting only a few hours of sleep while having to make really important decisions?

More from Gateway Pundit and Political Punch with Jake Tapper.

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