Monday, July 21, 2008

Even a Stopped Clock Is Right Twice a Day

Barack Obama has been calling for a pullout from Iraq for years. Now that the battle is largely won, and there will soon be no need for a war-sized contingent of Americn troops there, it's time for that to actually happen. But it isn't because of anything Obama said. It's because of what John McCain said.

All during the war, McCain consistently called for increased troop strength in Iraq, declaring that he had "no confidence" in Donald Rumsfeld and his inadequate numbers. Obama consistently called for throwing in the towel, as he's still doing. His time frame varied from immediate withdrawal to some vague schedule implemented on consultation with generals of his choosing. He didn't ask the Iraqis, because he wasn't ever there long enough to lose jet lag, much less talk to anyone.

Obama, having stumbled onto a 16-month withdrawal schedule, must have been pleased when Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki said that 16 months was about the right amount of time for a US drawdown.

The only problem is that Al-Maliki only wants the US to leave if things stay stable. His motivation is not that the US leave, but for Iraq to stand on its own, without the US presence. So his motivation for wanting our troops to leave is that they are no longer needed. Victory has been or soon will be achieved, so it's time.

Obama, in his partisan zeal to achieve defeat in Iraq, got something right in spite of himself.

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