Thursday, July 03, 2008


Democratic Presidential contender Senator Barack Obama recently was reported to possibly “refine his Iraq timeline”.

Since 2002, Obama had been staunchly opposed to the War in Iraq, calling it a “dumb war” at an anti-Iraq War Rally in Chicago on October 2nd, 2002. Unable to vote on the Congressional Joint Resolution that authorized the war, Obama was dismayed that many Democratic leaders supported it. He had called for a withdrawal of troops to begin last year, and encouraged diplomatic dialogue with the infamous Iran and Syria. In early 2007, Obama introduced the Iraq War De-Escalation Act, hoping to remove troops by March of this year. While Obama has not supported funding cuts to the war, emphasizing the responsibility of the US to essentially clean up the mess it has made in the nation, his promise to have all combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months of potentially serving as President has been especially appealing to voters.

Obama has recently announced a trip to Iraq for later this month, intending to meet with American military commanders to assess the situation in the nation. “I’ve always said that the peace of withdrawal would be dictated by the safety and security of our troops and the need to maintain stability. That assessment has not changed,” he said at a campaign stop in North Dakota.
“And when I get to Iraq and have a chance to talk to some of the commanders on the ground, I’m sure I’ll have more information and will continue to refine my policies.”

Obama’s remarks were immediately criticized by the GOP, with accusations of his trip being a political stunt in the election against Republican contender Senator John McCain, and a reverse of his position in the Democratic primary campaign. The flip-flopper charge which worked so well in the 2004 Presidential Election, completely damaging John Kerry’s campaign against President Bush, has been stealthily making its way back into this election.

Whether Obama’s “refinement” of the Iraq timeline is a weakening of his position and break of his promise and trust, or if it is a political maneuver to gain more moderate and conservative votes, or if truly is a representation of his thoughtful foreign policy skills will be seen. Maybe it's time I refine my thoughts on this “Change we can believe in”…?

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