Monday, July 14, 2008

Yet again, Afghanistan is called the good war while Iraq is condemned

From the New York Times (registration required) "Troops in Afghanistan Need Help, Obama Says"

"“As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, wrote in an Op-Ed article published on Monday in The New York Times. “We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.”


“On my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war,” Mr. Obama wrote, adding: “Ending the war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the Taliban is resurgent and Al Qaeda has a safe haven. Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been.”"

What double speak. On his first day in office starting* to end "this war", next sentence: in order to continue war in Afghanistan.

I put an asterisk in from of 'starting' because if you actually look at what he's saying, it's not "I'll start to end this war on my first day in office but" "I would give the military a new mission: ending this war". Presumably the military, in their mission, could declare that it would take four years to end the war, or could declare that it had to be ended once basic stability has been achieved. In talking about ending the war previously Obama has said that knowledge and intelligence gained from talks with military commanders would really inform his ideas on Iraq. This idea is exactly what Bush says in that Bush claims superior access to intelligence data that proves that we need to be there. Obama could conceivably claim that he has seen the same info and needs to moderate his position based on it.

You have to read the fine print in Obama's statements. What he says is never unqualified, yet people act like he's making clear cut, simple, statements.

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