Change He Can Believe In, But do You Still Believe Him?

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Obama has changed his positions more times in the past few weeks than the entire sorry campaign of presidential hopeful Senator John Kerry. Whether town hall debates against his opponent “any time, any place,” public financing of political campaigns (his, in particular), NAFTA, handgun bans, the death penalty for child rapists, the intelligence surveillance bill or the Iraq war, Obama is showing his “progressive” supporters the sort of change he believes in. But do you still believe him?

In the New Yorker, George Packer notes (“Obama’s Iraq Problem“):

In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office. At the time, this pledge represented conventional thinking among Democrats and was guaranteed to play well with primary voters. But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama’s rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far.

I agree. Obama is out of touch with what is happening in Iraq. But so is Packer and most of the MSM:

At the start of 2007, no one [emphasis mine] in Baghdad would have predicted that the blood-soaked neighborhoods would begin returning to live within a year.

No one? How about the enlisted soldiers, NCOs and officers of our armed forces? Anyone take the time to talk to them?

Have any of these so-called experts taken the time to actually read the new counterinsurgency manual? I suspect not. Instead, reporters and pundits for magazines like the New Yorker routinely had their ideological biases confirmed in the NYT, MSNBC, Harpers, and other liberal media sources. When their predictions of gloom and doom failed to materialize, they stopped covering the war in Iraq. Surge? What surge? And so it goes…

ADDED more from:

Airforce Amazons (a blog I recently learned about via Bob from Brockley)

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions

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3 responses »

  1. The odd part is that Packer has indeed talked to military and counter-insurgency people. See his article on David Kilkullen here:
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/12/18/061218fa_fact2

    And his article on pre-surge counterinsurgency operations in Tal Afar here:
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/04/10/060410fa_fact2

    Falling coverage since the surge, at least on TV, is confirmed in this New York Times story:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/business/media/23logan.html

    For what it’s worth, my reaction to the Packer opinion piece is here:
    http://airforceamazons.blogspot.com/2008/07/obamas-iraq-problem.html

  2. Trolling through Daily Kos and Huffington Post has been incredibly enjoyable the last two weeks. All these folks who made Obama out to be the second coming of the left, are coming to recognize that he is like all other politicians: he is going to do what is expedient to win, and *gasp* what’s good for the country over the raving screams of his base.

    Now, I am not going to be jumping to Obama’s side just because he is verbally coming to the center. You have to prove that it’s where you want to be, and like everything we have seen from Obama thus far, it’s all talk.

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