Democracy Arsenal

« Must Be A Slow News Day | Main | Iraq: The Real Issue »

July 04, 2008

That Wacky, Wacky Krauthammer
Posted by Michael Cohen

It's been a few weeks since I've had a reason to write about my oh so favorite conservative columnist, Chucky Krauthammer, but today he serves up a real doozy . . . so how could I resist. Not surprisingly Krauthammer has a somewhat cynical take on Barack Obama's statement yesterday that he would refine his Iraq policy based on events occurring on the ground:

Two weeks ago, I predicted that by Election Day Obama will have erased all meaningful differences with McCain on withdrawal from Iraq. I underestimated Obama's cynicism. He will make the move much sooner. He will use his upcoming Iraq trip to finally acknowledge the remarkable improvements on the ground and to formally abandon his primary season commitment to a fixed 16-month timetable for removal of all combat troops.

The shift has already begun. Yesterday, he said that his "original position" on withdrawal has always been that "we've got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable." And that "when I go to Iraq . . . I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies."

He hasn't even gone to Iraq and the flip is almost complete. All that's left to say is that the 16-month time frame remains his goal but that he will, of course, take into account the situation on the ground and the recommendation of his generals in deciding whether the withdrawal is to occur later or even sooner.

As I made this point yesterday, shouldn't Krauthammer be appluading Obama's supposed shift (that doesn't actually exist)? He's acknoweldging the "remarkable improvements" in Iraq, as Krauthammer describes them. Isn't this time for celebration? Obama's opponents have been for weeks calling on the Democratic nominee to shift his position on withdrawal based on the improved security situtation and now they claim to see evidence that he is in fact shifting and they attack him for being cynical.

What's even more confusing to me, however, is the notion that Obama's "flip is almost complete" and he is seeking to "erase all meaningful differences" with John McCain on Iraq. As Krauthammer is no doubt aware, only hours after the "refined" quote Obama reaffirmed his desire to withdraw troops from Iraq in 16 months.

My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively. And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades a month, and again, that pace translates into having our combat troops out in 16 months' time.

As this quote makes clear, the contrast between Obama's position and that of McCain's could not be more stark and the differencs oh so meaningful. Obama wants the troops home in 16 months, McCain has never laid out a timetable for withdrawal. In fact, he has spoken of American troops being in Iraq for 100 years, so long, of course, as the country is peaceful. (But then he never says how long he is willing to maintain the mission until we get to a point that Iraq is peaceful . . . but then that is a whole other conversation.)

But then I've never known Krauthammer to let pesky things like facts get in his way.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference That Wacky, Wacky Krauthammer:


Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Guest Contributors
Sign-up to receive a weekly digest of the latest posts from Democracy Arsenal.
Powered by TypePad


The opinions voiced on Democracy Arsenal are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of any other organization or institution with which any author may be affiliated.
Read Terms of Use