Monday, July 14, 2008

Obama has a plan

Obama has a plan for Iraq, which I read this morning. He begins by saying
The call by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki for a timetable for the removal of American troops from Iraq presents an enormous opportunity. We should seize this moment to begin the phased redeployment of combat troops that I have long advocated, and that is needed for long-term success in Iraq and the security interests of the United States.
The term "phased redeployment" is, for me, troublesome, but I think I understand his logic. He talks about needing to protect our troops during the withdrawal, and he talks about a plan that would being the moment he takes office, a 16-month withdrawal that would have all US troops out of Iraq by summer, 2010.

Summer, 2010. More than seven years since the war began. Seven years, more than $1 Trillion wasted, too many deaths, too many wounded, and our nation at home in financial crisis. I'm torn by Obama's plan. Part of me says "Not soon enough!" and part of me realizes that what he proposes is a realistic plan to get us out of this horrific morass that Bush created.

A few days ago, I watched the DVD, Sir! No Sir!, a powerful film about the government-suppressed story about the GI movement to end the war in Viet Nam. I urge you all to rent or purchase the DVD, and to take a stand with Iraq Veterans Against The War. We MUST keep Obama accountable.


Mary Ellen said...

Obama has revised his plan so many times that I can't figure out which one he'll go with. With all his flip flopping, who knows that he'll do.

DrDon said...

Boy, I wish the term "flip-flopping" would have never entered the public vernacular. This is not a criticism of Mary Ellen. It's simply a recognition that people are allowed to change their minds. It's one thing when politicians say one thing at a rally in Ohio and another in California within the same week. They should be held accountable for that. But sometimes people are accused of flip-flopping when they voted one way 5 years ago and now say something different. Maybe their views simply changed. Maybe they learned more about a topic. I love how in Washington we now expect people to be consistent for their entire lives. Frankly, I don't want a leader who never adjusts his positions.

Regarding Iraq, my concerns about any of these plans is that none of us as citizens, even if we have fmaily members serving, knows enough about the big picture of this to know what is right. I think the majority of people now believe the war was a mistake. Fine but that's a dead horse. The problem with getting out is that I simply do not know enough about the situation, nor do I think any normal citizens do, to say whether we can pull our troops out in 3 months, or a year, or 5 years. No matter what we think of the war, the worst thing would be to leave the situation worse than we found it. Maybe that's inevitable. But if we can do something to give Iraq the best chance of success, we need to do it, even if that takes longer than I'd like.

eProf2 said...

Amen Jood! Tomorrow isn't fast enough for me, but I'll settle for this latest plan from the Iraqis themselves than McSame's 100 years crap.

FranIAm said...

It is a fine line and that is not an excuse for him.

He has to come through, but this war is an abomination.

Let my people go.

Border Explorer said...

I've Netflixed Sir! No Sir! Thanks. I'm sure I'll like it.

Obama is our only hope at this point.

Mary Ellen said...

drdon- I certainly understand your position on the flip-flopping. Yes, I think it is ok to change your mind as situations change. However, in this case, it seems that Obama has been giving different stories to different groups of people all along. He says what he has to say in order to get votes. That was evident in his FISA vote. First he said that he would filibuster the bill. He said he would do everything he could to get the telecom immunity off the bill, but when those amendments came up...crickets. He then waltzed in, voted yes on the bill and then told those who had supported him that they just weren't listening to him, he's not a progressive after all.

So, what is it about what he says now that we should believe anything he says? When he was telling his progressive supporters that he would end this war and have the troops out in 16 mos., his campaign advisor's were giving interviews saying that he may not stick to that. So, who knows what he will do? He really does flip-flop. When he is saying one thing a month ago and the situation has not changed in Iraq since the primary when he was telling his base support, the left wing progressives that he would have our guys out in 16 months?...Why the change in policy now? I think it has everything to do with his goal to try to look as if he is strong on military issues, because that is his weak point against McCain in the GE. He is now wooing the center and pushing those progressives off to the side. After all...his campaign is just laughing their butts off and telling them, "what other choice do you have?" It was the great bamboozle.

I wouldn't trust Obama further than I could throw him.

DivaJood said...

Look, I put this out as sort of an open thread. Personally, I've never seen Obama as either liberal or progressive. I have always seen him as more of a populist, quite in the center, much like Bill Clinton was. Is. Clinton did a lot as President that was not to my liking; still, he was a far cry better than anything the Republicans threw at us. For me, it's a bit of "deja vu all over again" with Obama - he's much closer to Bill Clinton in policy and position than he is to my first choice, Dennis Kuchinich; or my other choice, John Edwards.

So this is an open thread - really. I appreciate everyone's input, because I am seriously troubled. I am not sure when "not good enough" because acceptible - probably around the time Bobby Kennedy was killed and we had to settle for not good enough - I haven't seen a satisfactory Democratic candidate since Bobby Kennedy.

But Obama will likely be elected, and we must hold him accountable.

Dusty said...

I never viewed Obama as a leftie either..but I agree with Mary Ellen that Obama has turned into a typical politician at this point and that really bothers me as I friggin HATE politicians.

His message that electing him will "change the status quo" rings very hollow with me at this point.

His NAFTA stance has moved to the right as well. There are other examples but I don't have the time to put them all up here.

Diva..perhaps you could do a review of the movie you mention for Sirens? We love movie reviews over there ya know. :)

DivaJood said...

Dusty, I will do - didn't think about it. Will do.

Liberality said...

The war must end sooner rather than a lot later. Otherwise we will be bankrupt. Hell, we already are bankrupt! But this war doesn't help any and did a lot to put us behind the eight ball financially. Now we gotta bail out all these banking institutions and we owe China almost everything we have. This country is in deep trouble.

DivaJood said...

Dusty, I posted at Sirens, but my links are screwed up. Argh. What am I doing wrong?

I hate being blond.

Dusty said...

Kiddo, I have no idea what you are doing wrong. Email me the links and I will stick them in.

DivaJood said...

Dusty, I fixed the links, but the header is still kerflooey. Blond.

okjimm said...

The war makes me sick. Some of the rhetoric is the same shit I heard during Nam. I am still waiting for the Commie hordes that were going to be on the California shore the moment we pulled out of that war. Shit, all that happened is we got some nifty Vietnamese restaurants. Yea, what Liberality is fucking bankrupting our country with no foreseeable end, no set goal, no plan....nothing. Ah, I can't talk about it. Really.

DivaJood said...

I appreciate Mary Ellen's passion about her fears over Obama. I appreciate drdon's position, more in keeping with Obama's. All of you have something to teach me - but I am torn. I support Obama, but I am not "Obamafied," a term I read over at Torrance Stephen's blog. Had Hillary Clinton become the presumptive nominee, I would be supporting her, but I am not "Hillaried" either. What I am is weary. I am weary because we haven't had anyone step up and be a real leader since Bobby Kennedy. Maybe I am looking backward with rose tinted glasses, but I recall Kennedy having brass balls when it came to taking a stand.

We have become a nation that settles for less than we should - we've sunk so often to the lowest common denominator; we see it in every crevice of society. Parity in sports makes every team interchangeable. (except for the Cubs, this year, please god.) The overabundance of franchise stores from burgers to furniture - everything is the same. Hell, Pottery Barn's stated goal is to have every living room in America furnished by Pottery Barn. So why does it surprise me, and pain me, that all the candidates seem like identical pieces in a jigsaw puzzle?

I seek your thoughts, your opinions on this, because I'm stumped. Why did nobody stand up to Bush in the first place to keep us out of this war? And Obama has a plan, albiet a slow one - which is more than McCain has.

Help me please. My heart aches with this, this absolute sameness.

susan said...

I don't do much political bloggery but was also inclined to say something about Obama today since I'm very concerned too about his inability to hold any particular stand. With all this nonsense about the rush not to offend anyone how could he begin to turn things around? Kucinich and Edwards were my first and second choice too but alas, Obama was chosen right after he gave that speech in 04. You're right to be worried and anybody who isn't simply isn't paying attention.

Mary Ellen said...

What is even more frustrating to me than having a Dem nominee that I don't trust, is the fact that we have a Democratic Senate and House that have done nothing but bend over to every whim of Bush's, no matter what it is. When they were given the majority, they squandered it and all it took was the threat of a filibuster by the Republicans to get them to fold. To me, the FISA bill was the final straw. We have no leaders, just a bunch of crooked politicians who don't care about anything but themselves and their political careers.

When I hear another Democrat say that Obama had no choice but to vote for the FISA bill, because if he didn't, the GOP would use it against him in the GE and say he was soft on National Security, I could scream. So, giving away the rights of ALL Americans and stomping on our Constitution was ok because it was a shrewed political move? NO!

We need a leader, not a "shrewed" politician. At least not one that claims to be a Constitutional scholar and then becomes part of the group that was so willing to shred it.

okjimm said...

Russ Feingold. 2012. A nice twice-divorced Jewish boy from Wisconsin who somehow still thinks that ethics, morals and honesty count for something. What weird ideas, huh? I may even write him in. Seriously

DrDon said...

You make good points Diva. I think one thing most of us have in common is that we're weary of the war, even those people who supported it in the beginning (which was a majority). My concern is simply that things are just more complicated than people like to believe. For example, some people have commented that the war is bankrupting us. Well, that depends on your perspective. The defense industry, which employs tens of thousands, tends to do well during wartime. Even the "bill" for the war is not considered harmful by some economists who believe there's not much danger in us carrying big national debt.

In fact, there's probably a greater danger to our economy from average Americans who spend more than they make and whose savings rate has dropped almost to zero from double digits 20 years ago. The mortgage crisis has done more to hurt all of us than the war and it was caused by people wanting to live beyond their means as Americans always want to. The average person carries over $8,000 in credit card debt and saves less than 1%. This is far more dangerous to the country but changing that means changing ourselves and Americans are notoriously bad at that. We'd rather blame our politicians for the mess we're in rather than curbing our own absurb behavior.

Don't get me wrong. Politicians screw things up plenty. But the biggest challenges facing this nation (skyrocketing health care costs, crushing debt, lack of preparation for the modern workforce) are largely of our own making and we as individuals could change those things with a little self-control. Again, we're like a modern day Roman empire, feasting at the table while the city-state crumbles around us.

okjimm said...

" For example, some people have commented that the war is bankrupting us. Well, that depends on your perspective."

The 2005 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world's defense spending combined

"Even the "bill" for the war is not considered harmful by some economists .."

I am not an economist, never will pretend to be one, but my perspective is making weapons and killing people and blowing up buildings,cultures and societies IS bankrupting us. No useful technology (except for blowing things up) is being produced. No useful products to benefit mankind are being developed. If you build a bomb, use it, it is gone. There is NOTHING left of the money you spent.

The cost of the war will also need to include ALL medical care for all wounded, maimed, and incapacitated veterns,,,,,FOREVER....that is not a defense budget item. And they deserve it!

No, I am not an economist. And I do not have to be to understand that is fucking war is fucking bankrupting us...morally. I will not pay that price.

Randal Graves said...

But Obama will likely be elected

Um, diva, you do realize that you still live in the United States, right?

DivaJood said...

Oh, okjimm, I could move to Wisconsin and marry Russ Feingold. I'm Jewish and only ONCE divorced, and he's really good! He could have a Diva First Lady. I should start picking out a china pattern.

Seriously: And I do not have to be to understand that is fucking war is fucking bankrupting us...morally. I will not pay that price.

The last eight years have been Vietnam all over again. My concern, my real worry, is that we've stooped to such a level of blandness that we will forever be bankrupt emotionally, morally. We have paid the price, over and over again. We got too comfortable.

DivaJood said...

Randal, of course I do - and have decided to move to Wisconsin and take up with Russ Feingold.