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February 18, 2009

Obama To Restore Confidence with Failed Policeh, No End Game"

"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there, .... In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality, uh, we can send 15,000 more troops; 20,000 more troops; 30,000 more troops. Uh, I don't know any, uh, expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to, uh, privately that believes that that is gonna make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.

"Here's what we know. The surge has not worked."

“We saw a spike in the violence, the surge reduced that violence, and we now are, two years later, back where we started two years ago.”

After putting an additional 30,000 troops in, far longer & more troops than the president had initially said, we have gone from a horrendous situation of violence in Iraq to the same intolerable levels of violence that we had back in June of 2006."

I had no doubt, and I said when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence.

- Barack Obama

Despite not having an end game, President Barack Obama is taking swift action to restore confidence in American leadership by boldly embracing the failed strategies of his predecessor:

Within days of his inauguration, Mr. Obama thrilled civil liberties groups when he issued executive orders promising less secrecy, restricting C.I.A. interrogators to Army Field Manual techniques, shuttering the agency’s secret prisons, ordering the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, closed within a year and halting military commission trials.

But in more recent weeks, things have become murkier.

During her confirmation hearing last week, Elena Kagan, the nominee for solicitor general, said that someone suspected of helping finance Al Qaeda should be subject to battlefield law — indefinite detention without a trial — even if he were captured in a place like the Philippines rather than in a physical battle zone.

Ms. Kagan’s support for an elastic interpretation of the “battlefield” amplified remarks that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made at his own confirmation hearing. And it dovetailed with a core Bush position. Civil liberties groups argue that people captured away from combat zones should go to prison only after trials.

Moreover, the nominee for C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, opened a loophole in Mr. Obama’s interrogation restrictions. At his hearing, Mr. Panetta said that if the approved techniques were “not sufficient” to get a detainee to divulge details he was suspected of knowing about an imminent attack, he would ask for “additional authority.”

To be sure, Mr. Panetta emphasized that the president could not bypass antitorture statutes, as Bush lawyers claimed. And he said that waterboarding — a technique that induces the sensation of drowning, and that the Bush administration said was lawful — is torture.

But Mr. Panetta also said the C.I.A. might continue its “extraordinary rendition” program, under which agents seize terrorism suspects and take them to other countries without extradition proceedings, in a more sweeping form than anticipated.

Before the Bush administration, the program primarily involved taking indicted suspects to their native countries for legal proceedings. While some detainees in the 1990s were allegedly abused after transfer, under Mr. Bush the program expanded and included transfers to third countries — some of which allegedly used torture — for interrogation, not trials.

Mr. Panetta said the agency is likely to continue to transfer detainees to third countries and would rely on diplomatic assurances of good treatment — the same safeguard the Bush administration used, and that critics say is ineffective.

A key component of the Obama administration's fresh, new approach to the war on cynicism will be a so-called "Surge" of troops. Though he repeatedly opposed such tactics in the past (claiming additional troops in Iraq not only failed to reduce violence, but actually made things worse) "experts" reassure us the President's war strategy is constantly revised to reflect changing conditions on Capitol Hill.

Though our 44th President's views on the efficacy of "military solutions" may appear to be a moving target, we should all be grateful for one thing. Finally the American people have replaced the fear mongering rhetoric and failed policies of the past 8 years with more of the same judgment we can trust. If the past few weeks have shown anything, they've conclusively refuted the tired old canard that Democrats are not serious about national security.

And you can take that to the bank.

Posted by Cassandra at February 18, 2009 06:27 AM

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"If the past few weeks have shown anything, they've conclusively refuted that tired old canard that the Democrats can't be trusted when it comes to national security. Trust me: you can take that to the bank."

Been there, done that, read the book, seen the movie.

Didn't like the ending.

Or in other words: Doh!!!

Posted by: Something Old and not quite Blue at February 18, 2009 08:19 AM

"Though our 44th President's views on the efficacy of military force appear to be undergoing constant revision, we should all be grateful for one thing. Finally the American people have replaced the failed policies of the past 8 years with judgment we can trust.

And you can take that to the bank."

What bank? Would it be among the ones that BO and minions have assisted by yelling FIRE-ECONOMIC CRISIS-GREAT_DEPRESSION-RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY! from the bully pulpit at every opportunity in between dithering on every other national and international policy position?

Yeah, I think many can now, or eventually will, agree that BO has placed Jimmy Carter's legacy of effective governance in the shade of that ole Dither tree. And it is even more astounding when one considers that he has done so in a period of only one month.

Judgment we can trust... It is amazing, absolutely amazing.

Posted by: bt_dey-vil-rue-de-day-dey-vas-burn_hun at February 18, 2009 08:26 AM

Now there you go again, inciting fear and... well, scary fear-feelings with your pessimistic politics of despair.

Posted by: We have nothing to fear but cynicism ....blah blah at February 18, 2009 08:53 AM

And I thought I was paranoid... *heavy sigh*

Posted by: Marvin, the Paranoid Android at February 18, 2009 09:09 AM

"And you can take that to the bank."

And watch it bounce.

And bounce.

And bounce.

And bounce.

And bounce.


Posted by: BillT at February 18, 2009 09:15 AM

Overheard behind a closed door at the White House:

Barack: "Damn, baby, this job is HARD. Afghanistan. Iraq. Congress. The economy. I feel like a godd**n one-armed juggler. And don't even get me started on that back-stabbing b**ch Pelosi. Maybe I should have stayed in the Senate--now THAT was a good gig. No responsibilities and a guaranteed job for life."

Michelle: "You think YOU'VE got problems? The girls' school grades are dropping like your poll numbers and I AM THE ONE staying up nights and helping them with their homework while you're off lowering the seas. Man up, mah brotha, and stop whinin'. By the way, I want you to put a Secret Service tail on Andrew Sullivan. He is one creepy motherf***er. That naked Valentine's Day card he sent you was the last f***ing straw! You got THAT, Mr. Hope and Change?"

Posted by: MarkJ at February 18, 2009 10:10 AM

Good one MarkJ.

But, as always, the overridng question has to be "How does this help Michelle's kids???"

Pbo is finding out that reality bites. Who knows, he might even use his birth certificate to get out of the job....bwahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Posted by: Kbob in Katy at February 18, 2009 11:36 AM