Friday, July 4, 2008

I take it back

Remember when I said here I agreed with Krauthammer, at least in broad outline? I take it back. His latest dribbling tries to argue that there is, or soon will be, essentially no difference in position between Obama and McCain on the Iraq question:

Two weeks ago, I predicted that by Election Day Obama will have erased all meaningful differences with McCain on withdrawal from Iraq. I underestimated Obama's cynicism. He will make the move much sooner. He will use his upcoming Iraq trip to finally acknowledge the remarkable improvements on the ground and to formally abandon his primary season commitment to a fixed 16-month timetable for removal of all combat troops.

The shift has already begun. Yesterday, he said that his "original position" on withdrawal has always been that "we've got to make sure that our troops are safe and that Iraq is stable." And that "when I go to Iraq . . . I'll have more information and will continue to refine my policies."

He hasn't even gone to Iraq and the flip is almost complete. All that's left to say is that the 16-month time frame remains his goal but that he will, of course, take into account the situation on the ground and the recommendation of his generals in deciding whether the withdrawal is to occur later or even sooner.


Well, let's see: McCain has said staying in Iraq ten years, a hundred years, a thousand years, is fine. That when the troops come home "isn't important." That we have to stay until they're not fighting us any more, at which point we can stay as long as we want to. Obama has said the goal is be out in 16 months, but events on the ground may change that; progress so far is real but fragile, and an out-by-next-week rush could cause another paroxysm of American-produced chaos.

Someone needs to draw a picture with very simple diagrams, and use short, simple words, to help Mr Krauthammer understand that One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other.

No comments: