Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stumbling Into The Trap

Senator Obama has finally decided he needs to go to Iraq. To be fair, he was pushed in this direction by Senator McCain, and the latter was right to goad him on this issue. His last trip to Iraq came in 2006, amidst the increasing violence and attacks there, and when he returned home, he was the darling of the hard-Left, antiwar nuts. But Roger Simon @ The Politico notes that this is a trap that Senator Obama has just walked into:

But I am wondering about a trip that has nothing to do with the cost of fuel. I am wondering about Barack Obama’s planned trip to Iraq.

Is it necessary? Why? What is he going to learn from it?

Obama was goaded into the planned trip by John McCain, who, along with the Republican National Committee, has been keeping track of the number of days since Obama last visited Iraq. A clock on the RNC website counts the days, hours, minutes and seconds since Obama was last in Iraq. (As I write this, it has been more than 912 days.)

McCain has been to Iraq many times, and it hasn’t changed his mind. He says that if he is elected president, he would eventually withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, but only “with victory and honor.”

Even though such trips are of limited value — how much do the highly protected, highly isolated VIPs actually get to see? — Obama’s campaign decided he should actually go there as long as he was going to keep talking about the place.

But the trip has already turned into a trap.

Because Obama is a logical guy, he said there was a logical reason for him to go to Iraq. He was going to talk to military people there, he said, and “continue to refine” his Iraq policy.

“I am going to do a thorough assessment when I’m there,” he said at a news conference last week in Fargo, N.D. “When I go to Iraq and I have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and continue to refine my policy.”

More information? To refine his policies? Oh, boy. What a reason to make a campaign trip!

Despite the snark from Mr. Simon, he is quite right to question Senator Obama's decision. After all, Senator Obama has campaigned on a full withdrawal from Iraq. His own words -- “I intend to end this war." -- show that he did not care about the surge's success, and that he firmly believed it would be a failure. But that is not the case. Thanks to the yeoman's work carried out by by Michael Yon people know the story of success that we had in the counterinsurgency strategy executed by General David Petraeus.

Now Senator Obama is going to Iraq to see things firsthand. While this is a political trap for him (we know he will return home and tell his supporters that there is success there, albeit limited, we're sure he will say) it is also one that could backfire on us. If he comes home and admits that things have improved vastly from his last trip, it could very well remove the war from the table of topics; that is, it will be further from voter's minds than it is right now. Thanks to the near-complete media blackout on the surge and it's success, people have largely "forgotten" about Iraq.

That is not to say we do not remember that we are at war, but by obfuscating the successes in Iraq, the media has taken the issue that Democrats are weakest on -- national security and defense -- from the table. That does not mean that we do not have other topics to pummel the Democrats on, but the nation needs to be reminded that these people cannot be trusted with national security. Senator Obama and others have shown their dislike of this war by calling it a lost cause; by saying that we never should have invaded Iraq. Neither is true, and we do hope that Senator Obama realizes that when he visits Iraq.

Of course, we are not holding our breath. If he does recognize success the antiwar nuts will not be pleased. And that is even if he maintains his stance on withdrawal. The "fever-swamp" does not want to hear good news.



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