Saturday, July 26, 2008

Was Obama Wrong to Oppose the Surge?

If not for Democratic opposition to the War in Iraq and the American people voting Democrats into office, there would be no surge. Had the Republicans maintained control of Congress, Bush would have stuck with Rumsfeld. Bush did not dump Rumsfeld and switch strategies because he thought he had done anything wrong or because he trusted McCain's leadership and judgement. He did so because the American people demanded a change by electing Democrats who would oppose the failed policies Bush had pursued in Iraq.

So while the surge has turned out better than many (including me) predicted, opposition to the Administration's conduct of the war is the only reason the surge ever came about in the first place and no one need regret that opposition.


  1. Vinny, I think you are incorrect about the surge. I'm not convinced that the surge had anything to do with Democrats or Republicans, not Bush, Congress, McCain, Obama, or Hillary. The surge came when the military said it was needed. If history has shown anything about the Bush administration, it has shown that he trusts the military, almost to a fault.

    The surge has worked! The liberals were proved wrong. Democrats were proved wrong. Obama was proved wrong. We are on the right course because of the military's action and the decision of our president. Where's the praise from you guys that is deserved?

  2. If history has shown anything about the Bush administration, it has shown that he trusts the military, almost to a fault.

    I think this is false. Bush listened to Rumsfeld who ignored what the military told him about how many troops would be needed and ignored what the military told him about the insurgency.

  3. Vinny, you have inside sources, do you?

    Or, you just taking for granted what you've read?

  4. I don't just take for granted what I have read, but when a well footnoted book is not denied by any credible conservatives, I tend to think that it is probably painting a fair picture.

  5. what book would that be?

    so, since the surge wasn't necessary, I'm assuming the war was unjustified as well?

  6. Books I have read include Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Korn, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq by Thomas Ricks, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, State of Denial by Bob Woodward, Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke and The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina by Frank Rich. I am planning to read the books written by Douglas Feith, General Ricardo Sanchez, and Scott McClellan.

    In order to make sure I get the conservative slant on things, I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and the Economist, and I watch Joe Scarborough in the mornings.

    Time will tell whether the surge was the best choice. We are still stuck in Iraq and things have deteriorated in Afghanistan as a result. I don't think that any amount of time will make the war itself look any less foolish.

  7. Vinny:

    Don't mean to interrupt the conversation, but just wanted to say nice job on the blog, very interesting stuff, and I find the Lee Strobel posts to be highly entertaining.

  8. You know, the word "foolish" is an interesting word to choose in relationship to the war. Not sure I've heard it called that before.

    I'm not sure that your choices of conservative media is the same ones I would choose. Neither really considered WSJ or Morning Joe to be conservative! Basically, anyone on MSNBC, I'm not sure they even know how to spell the word conservative!

  9. No, Obama was not wrong, and the surge has proven it.

    Let's remember that during the first 6 months of the surge, violence went up not down. Then they came up with the idea of paying "70,000 IED-planting, sniper-firing, roadside-booby-trapping insurgents" $700,000 a day to be our allies. (see The S(pl)urge)

    What we have is outright bribery and when the flow of money stops, you can bet the flow of IEDs will rise. If the Democrats in Congress had the guts to cut off funding for the war, or impeach Bush and Cheney, or block telecom immunity, it would help elect more Democrats. Instead they sit on their hands and do nothing.