Monday, October 24, 2011

Obama and the Iraq troop pullout

Good morning. Welcome to O-pinion, the Observer editorial board's opinion blog.

I'm associate editor Fannie Flono and I'm your host today. Our itinerary, as it is every weekday includes a roundup below of opinion we see locally, regionally and around the country. You'll see tomorrow's print editorials here as they're written, and we'll tell you at the end of each afternoon who we thought had a good day or bad day.

They're still talking about the troop pullout from Iraq in the Opinion blogosphere. And President Barack Obama didn't score any points with conservatives, especially the Republicans who want his job, when he announced Friday that, yes indeed, the United States would pull out of Iraq by the end of the year. Jennifer Rubin who writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering opinion from a conservative perspective said it was "hard to know which is worse: the irresponsibility of a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq or the sheer dishonesty with which it was presented."

Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy said the withdrawal was a result of bungled U.S. negotiations with Iraqis over immunity for U.S. military involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal and other abuses in Iraq.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked up on that theme and got in a good lick, saying “President Obama’s astonishing failure to secure an orderly transition in Iraq has unnecessarily put at risk the victories that were won through the blood and sacrifice of thousands of American men and women." In a statement. "The unavoidable question is whether this decision is the result of a naked political calculation or simply sheer ineptitude in negotiations with the Iraqi government."

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came riding to Obama's rescue on talk shows on Sunday, expressing support for Obama's decisions. She said the president came through on his commitment to get troops out of Iraq, and pointed out that the plan for leaving began during the Bush Administration, citing that the goal all along was for the Iraqi’s to be able to stand on their own. “The point of our involvement in Iraq stated over and over again by people on both sides of the aisle was to create the opportunity for the Iraqis to have their own future without the oppression of a dictator like Saddam Hussein.”

Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Daily provides an apt reminder that Clinton has come a long way to confidence in Obama's foreign policy leadership. Remember that scare ad when Clinton ran against Obama for the Democratic nomination three years ago - the one about who you would trust to answer that red phone in a foreign policy crisis? How things change.


Ghoul said...

So who is scheduled for the last few helicopter flights out as the insurgents overrun the green zone?

Wiley Coyote said...

Leaving isn't the issue. At some point it has to be done, sooner, rather than later.

It's what happens after the fact and how we manage it.

If Libya and Iran are examples, we're screwed.