Tuesday, June 03, 2008

And the winner is ...

We're not talking about the Democratic Primaries but Iraq. Andrew Sullivan thinks the Surge is working, here's what he says, courtesy of Classical Values, who has some additional thoughts. But the Sullivan quote is:

Petraeus deserves the lion's share of the credit; luck and time and the self-defeating nihilism of the Jihadists have helped. But Bush and McCain equally merit points for pursuing the surge, even though the metrics pointed to failure. Obama needs to capitalize on these gains, not dismiss them.

Sullivan forgot Odierno who is said to have contributed a great deal to the operationa. aspects of the surge. And he forgot a lot of others, who supported it when the conventional wisdom was that Iraq was lost. The Mudville Gazette, for example, exemplified the virtues of seeing a thing for what it is; based on a sound appreciation of actual events. But the important things in politics aren't the facts, but the fads. Classical Values is right on the money in predicting that when he's convinced which way the wind blows, Obama won't be far behind in "pivoting" on Iraq.

Now what about Obama? Boy, is the Good Judgement Man™ ever in trouble. He has been talking defeat in Iraq since forever. Whoops. McCain on the other hand has the distinction that, despite the unpopularity of his position, he was right. I predict a pivot - "I never knew how really vile those jihadis were. And I repudiate them for their obvious misjudgment. I have always been in favor of good relations with the Government of Iraq and no Republican is going to stand in the way of my achieving that goal. There are a number of companies in Chicago that would be excellent help in the effort to rebuild Iraq and they will have all my support." Aside to staff: " &#(*^@!~& Axelrod, where are my G-d Damn Tickets to Iraq?"

This prediction is very probably on the money. After all, if Obama can "pivot" on Jeremiah Wright, why not Iraq? Not only will victory in Iraq be underhandedly acknowledged by people like Obama, they will claim credit for it. The probably line of argument will be "Bush changed his strategy in response to our pressure", etc, etc.

Victory has many fathers. Defeat is an orphan. And history is infinitely malleable. One Bolshevik propagandist illustrated the peculiar relationship of facts to time when he replied to the question of "what happened yesterday?" with the answer that "we haven't decided yet."

I think the press has decided that al-Qaeda is not going to win in Iraq; the only question now is how to apportion the credit.

The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.


Blogger eggplant said...

Wretchard said:

"Obama won't be far behind in "pivoting" on Iraq."

I don't believe it'll happen. It would be like Big Brother claiming that Emmanuel Goldstein wasn't such a bad guy after all. It would cause most of Hussain's flock to have their heads explode collectively.

6/03/2008 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Eggplant, he'll pivot all right. Sullivan is the wind vane that shows that as long as someone (anyone) that isn't Bush can get the lion's share of the credit, the Left will be able to put their cognitive dissonance under control. The fact that the surge is a relatively recent change in strategy will even help, since Obama can say "Well, this seems to be working, so we'll play it out and THEN bring the troops home."


"I think the press has decided that al-Qaeda is not going to win in Iraq..."

Luckily for us "the press" doesn't make those decisions for us any more. They don't own a memory hole.

6/03/2008 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Obama will pivot and it will not matter to most folks. Because "Change" is all they're after.

McCain had better start to blow his own horn on Iraq and start pivoting on Cap and Trade.

6/03/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

And on immigration.

6/03/2008 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Few indeed will see that the difference between positions before and after The Surge represent not merely a technical detail but a basic philosophical outlook. McCain, Bush, Rumsfeld, Petraus, all wanted to win. The difference is like arguing over whether you use B-17’s or B-24’s to bomb Germany or Titan I’s or Atlas F’s to nuke the Soviets.

If a politician had used the B-17 versus B-24 argument as a basis to support or oppose strategic bombing he would have been laughed out of office, probably even in San Diego or Seattle. The fact that we have those doing that shows how very shallow a notoriously shallow profession has become.

We even have a Liberal politician in Australia saying “Hey, why are we pulling out of Iraq now, when we are winning?” Nothing succeeds like success and few Liberals will abandon their nation in its hour of triumph.

Meanwhile, after saying that space exploration was something we could not afford given the pressing needs here on Earth, Obama came to Florida a couple of weeks back and said he would fund an expanded program.

Oh, they will do it all. And do it the only way they know how - half-assed.

6/03/2008 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Who's kidding themselves? Obama will pivot faster than a jeweled Swiss movement.

After all, if Obama can "pivot" on Jeremiah Wright

If you read Obama's statements about abandoning Trinity Church, there really isn't much "pivot" to it. Some quotes by Obama and/or his wife:

“Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views,” they wrote. “These controversies have served as an unfortunate distraction for other Trinity members who seek to worship in peace, and have placed you in an untenable position.”


“I’m not denouncing the church, and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church,” he said in response to a question. “It’s not a church worthy of denouncing.

Notice the great pains Obama takes to avoid being at all specific regarding what he found so objectionable?

Obama's separation from Trinity Church has nothing to do with any personal disagreement by him over Wright's bilious spewing. All that really matters is Wright's hindering of Obama's Presidential candidacy.

“I suspect if you were in my shoes, it seems plausible at least that you wouldn’t want your church experience to be a political circus,” Mr. Obama said. “I think most Americans will understand that.”

Again, the refusal to acknowledge that it is Wright himself who has turned Trinity Church into a political circus by presenting Louis Farrakhan with his own lifetime achievement award or vomiting up his "America created the AIDS virus to kill minorities" tripe. None of which can Obama bring himself to openly criticize.

From the article: The ministers’ words, torn from their context, can detonate politically, he said.

“There is certainly a tradition in the African-American church to speak against injustice, against racism, against sexism, against economic inequality,” Mr. Obama said. “My hope would be that any presidential candidate can go to a church and hear a sermon and even hear some controversial statements without those views being imputed to them.”

Note how no attempt is made to place Wright's words in proper context. This, despite Obama's tacit defense of them in their ostensibly acceptable context. All the while he ignores his own long standing attendance and strong financial support of Wright's bigoted filth.

From the article: In a much-heralded speech on race in March, Mr. Obama denounced Mr. Wright’s more controversial views, even as he made the case for understanding how the minister’s experience with race in America had shaped his views.

Again, Obama's abject refusal to dispute Wright's lies head-on and, instead, attributing them them to Wright's supposed "experience with race in America" is more than telling. That "experience with race" of Wright's being an indirect smear at whitey as being to blame for the reverend's own reverse racism.

Once again, we see Obama pandering to his black audience without honestly addressing the white electorate on what are clearly issues of racism and bigotry.

Will he pivot on Iraq? Faster than the devil can get his shoes on.

6/03/2008 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The Democrats and the Left will get NO credit for Iraq or Afghanistan or the rest of the GWOT.

They have written the book themselves.


Published two weeks ago.


6/03/2008 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Whiskey said...

I agree with Zenster, and further the undernews (to quote Mickey Kaus) is that most people have decided Obama is a both a racist phony and a menace to their own interests.

SD voted for Hillary, when it was all over, "big time" as Dick Cheney would say.

Obama gave a bunch of mealy-mouthed denials more passive than Bill Clinton's obvious lies. It's far worse, though, since working/middle class white people are more vulnerable to racism by a Black President than Bill Clinton fooling around in the Oval Office.

Obama can't reject his Black base, emotionally he just can't, and all the media coverage for him has not worked with middle and working class whites. Only with hip/cool and financially secure whites has he won.

Pivots can only work when the pivot is plausible. Obama can't pivot on Iraq because his whole white yuppie base wants to punish America for "Original Sin" on invading Iraq in the first place. If he does that he loses his entire core voters and his emotional reason for being. [He's a hard-core leftist.]

Besides the pivot is useless. There's so much video that you can play endless viral video loops of him saying he was for it before he was against it. Or vice-versa. It will make him look weak and pathetic.
Much has been made about the rumor of the "video" on Larry Johnson's site about Michelle Obama ranting about Whitey. People say it exists or it does not. I would not be shocked if it did exist, or something like it.

People who should know better (Wright, Pfleger, Moss, etc.) and who had obvious interests in staying "friends of Barack" with influence to peddle could not resist getting up in front of an audience and ranting about Whitey(tm). The emotional high was a drug they could not put away. So, they did things that hurt them long term for a WWE-type high.

They all wanted to be Rick Flair. With a crowd in their hands.

I assume there is video, somewhere, that will find it's way to the public, rather soon, that makes Barack look horrible. At best clapping along to whoever is screaming about Whitey, perhaps Michelle, perhaps Farrakhan, who dominates Chicago politics. Perhaps Obama himself rants about Whitey(tm).

The fundamental error Micheal Richards and others, including Pfleger, Wright, Moss, Meeks, and Obama is that they assume in the age of the internet, YouTube and other sites, that video can be suppressed by the networks. Oh no.

I doubt we've seen the last shoe drop on Obama -- his Farrakhan bonafides had to be established somehow. Someone is going to leak embarrassing videos. I doubt he could put off the drug of the crowd in his hand either.

6/03/2008 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One sick sidestory is the sight of that Political Nuthouse continuing on as always, as the IRS prosecutes this or that White Christian Church (currently in So Calif) for relatively minor, and isolated instances of politics from the pulpit.
Hewitt had John Burns on for an hour, no doubt will post it later.

Think John said his wife is still in Baghdad!
...meanwhile, John is at the Center of the Cold War, Londonistan, home to 2.5 Million Muslims, and millions more Socialist Dhimmis.

6/03/2008 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

Somewhere along the line Obama's campaign probably made the startling discovery that because Obama himself was the message, inconsistencies in his position -- even contradictions -- didn't matter.

There really doesn't have to be a reason to vote for Obama. The process of his selection can only be described as an "anointment" and resembles the way in which the Iraq meme has been handled by the press. At some point "it has been decided" -- by a process of consensus -- that certain things are 'true' or 'false'. The truth or falsity has nothing to do with the facts, but everything to do with the consensus. Obama's legitimacy derives, from the most part, from the idea that "it has been decided" he will be the next President of the United States.

That's not to say the anointment is wholly disconnected to the facts, but it is not directly related to it. It "had been decided", for example that Iraq was a failure; and that held until the fad has reversed itself. The important distinction to remember is that legitimacy arises not from the existence of the facts, but the existence of the fad. The turning comes not when the facts change but when the fad changes.

The fad itself is tenuously linked to an underlying set of facts, but very imperfectly and with great distortions. Now that events in Iraq are too obvious for even the most obtuse to ignore, the fad, though lagged, begins to amend itself. It's like a lossy kind of liquid transmission between reality and policy.

That loss and lag means that Obama will remain invulnerable to almost any kind of flipping and flopping, winking and nodding, because it's already been decided that He's the One. In much the same way a family "decides" to go to Pizza Hut, not because they want the pizza but because some mysterious alchemy has settled it; and the decision will be pursued with the kind of irrational doggedness of those unspoken family dinner decisions, impervious to reasons and stand unless the family finds the Pizza Hut outlet shuttered or burned down. "We're going to Wally World" and He's the One because He's the One.

6/03/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Obama can't pivot until the HillBilly is dead. That may be very soon. And he will probably be quiet about it until after the convention is over. Until the he may still need the nutroots.

6/03/2008 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

It helps to remember that the people who vote for Obama hate all things "Bush". As does the media. Therefore Obama can't be held responsible for being a lying slime rodent. Besides, being a weasel is a core Democrat value.

So history will show GWB as being entirely correct. All Obama has to do is not squander the gains.

The rise of the loons is beginning.

6/03/2008 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

"Somewhere along the line Obama's campaign probably made the startling discovery that because Obama himself was the message, inconsistencies in his position -- even contradictions -- didn't matter."

Wretchard nailed that one down definitively. Obonga can be the Chicago Shape Shifter because the nutroots and the other Leftist organizations know that stealth is essential to their gaining power. So, it's o.k. with them if Obonga pivots, denies, or obfuscates - as long as it furthers the overall objectives. Look, I'm telling you, as a veteran of the Left three decades ago I can say with conviction that most of these people have no morals whatsoever. These people believe that the ends always - ALWAYS - justify the means. And Obonga is willing to take the risks of having to try to put it over on the people who don't know him very well.

He's an enemy of our military. He believes that this country is an imperialist oppressor, therefore there can be no honorable service or victory gained by the force of our arms.

He will do more harm to our military than even Jimmy Carter did, if our minds can even conceive of that, since Carter was really bad to the military.

6/03/2008 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Andrew Sullivan thinks the Surge is working

Welcome aboard, Andrew.

Officials in Iraq say 19 U.S. service members died in Iraq in the month of May, the lowest monthly casualty toll since the start of the war five years ago.

6/03/2008 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

"the only question now is how to apportion the credit

One of life's certainties, like death and taxes, is that liberals will find a way to claim the credit for themselves, no matter how much they had in fact sought to obstruct the eventual outcome at every turn. The end of the Cold War was highly instructive in this regard.

6/03/2008 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Fred said:

"Obonga can be the Chicago Shape Shifter because the nutroots and the other Leftist organizations know that stealth is essential to their gaining power."

Hussein is arguably the most hard-left liberal to ever run for President. Previous extreme leftist candidates had the flashing neon light over their heads saying "I am a socialist" (they foolishly thought that this was to their advantage). Unfortunately Hussein is way too crafty a demagogue to do something so stupid. He knows that liberal ideology is political poison. He will not reveal himself until AFTER he has been elected.

We are in such deep manure!

6/03/2008 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I dunno, guys. You don't think all these Whitey putdowns issuing from Obama-ites have pissed off a whole lot more people than just blue collar union folks? I think there's a lot of buyer's remorse in the states that Obama has claimed victory in, and that if those same people had it to do all over again, they would not be voting for Michelle's husband and Wright's congregationalist.

I just don't see Iraq as being that big a deal in the election. Gas prices are heating up and which-ever candidate can come up with a way to demonstrably deal with them will win. If that means we take over Iraq's oil wells and start shipping everything straight to Texas, so be it -- dude's got my vote.

I still think immigration is a big issue, too. Not to mention the sub-prime crisis in housing, and all those other little economic worries that people in NY and DC like to worry about.

We tend to focus on Iraq, but really - it's won and to me, we really could pull out just like the Aussies have done and tell the Iraqi's if they want it, to build it themselves. We've given them all the building blocks and if they allow Al-Queda to come back, then who's too stupid to live any way?

And what the hell are we supposed to do about Iraq and staying/building it if Bush ever gets around to bombing Iran? You just know the professional victims in Iraq would seethe like crazy if they got a whiff of radioactivity.

McCain, of course, will stress national security and his experience in the military, but I'm not sure that translates solely into a question of whether or not to stay in Iraq. I'd much rather see him get behind a serious and stern effort on immigration control than promising to throw another few billion dollars into the black hole of Mesopotamia.

How long, exactly, are we supposed to give the Iraqi's to shape up into law-abiding human beings -- and stop doing honor killings -- before we're allowed to leave them to their god forsaken rat's nest of a country?

6/03/2008 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

n much the same way a family "decides" to go to Pizza Hut, not because they want the pizza but because some mysterious alchemy has settled it;
this is why I'm going to the north shore of oahu.

all the original reasons for going have been canceled out. I'm now going because I'm going.

I realized this when my sister and brother in law came back last month and reported that now the islands are being regularly enveloped in volcanic smog or VOG. It causes sinus problems for some and reduces visibility. This is very much like Washington DC in August.

Still I'm going Why? "some mysterious alchemy has settled it;"

6/03/2008 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I suppose McCain might have a conversion experience on immigration but would anyone believe him and would it outlive Inauguration Day? Besides he needs those Latino votes. I feel marginalized.

You must have fun on that vacation, Charles, if it kills you, and take a bandana for your mouth and nose.

6/03/2008 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

This is huge news, I find I am filled with a great deal of emotion

The Iraqi citizens return cannot be understated or underplayed in their judgment of the "Surge".

As a testament to the willingness and ability of our troops to do the job, do it right and perform with humility and grace, despite the pressure, the obstacles, the roadblocks and despite the lack of faith, lack of trust, and lack of support displayed by many in accomplishing the tasks we ask of them..., Iraq is a testament to the undying greatness and splendor of spirit of the American Fighting man. Thanks to every one that has served during this time of trial. I am humbled by their service and awed by the immensity of their accomplishments.

With the return of these mainly middle class refugees, many who are unfamiliar with the sea changes gone on in Iraqi societal order, a whole new process must begin to educate and repatriate these folks as smoothly as possible. Significantly, among the signals that it is ok to return are the defeat of JAM and others.

I figure the reaction of the UN is a positive sign that they will decline to mess it up for the Iraqi's, and whether they know it or not IMO the Iraqi government and people ought to thank them for their absence as being the most useful thing they could offer to do.

6/04/2008 12:41:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Thanks Wretchard,

It is truly an honor to get a link from the Belmont Club.

6/04/2008 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger rodomontade said...

I have my doubts about the pivot. I think it reflects the hope that Iraq as a political issue will eventually have to come into line with Iraq as a country. If it happens, it won't be until Obama has to think about governing after the election.

Ground truth is that Iraq was the winning issue for Obama in the primary. He can't simply pivot without calling into question the rationale for his campaign and implicitly calling his supporters dupes.

The example of Rev. Wright is not directly applicable. Nobody voted for Obama BECAUSE OF Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright is just a red herring for a real Obama supporter. On the other hand, millions of supporters came to Obama BECAUSE OF his position on Iraq. He cannot just slough it off because it would betray too many supporters.

6/04/2008 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger rodomontade said...

Let me add that while I would distrust a pivot from Obama, I would view it as a profoundly positive development in terms of our efforts in Iraq and the Middle East. A pivot would indicate that it is no longer viable in American politics to oppose the mission. I have long hoped -- for the sake of our fighting men, for the sake of our allies, and frankly, for the sake of enemies -- that we would reach such a point. But I'm convinced that it is much too early to conclude that we have.

6/04/2008 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Oblabla is a target-rich field of fire. Pick just about any period of his record and there's corruption/Marxist/Black-Lib-craziness to be had.

Iraq's survival is not the end goal. It will be a potent partner in a decades-long war with Islamofascism. Deal.

6/04/2008 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"I dunno, guys. You don't think all these Whitey putdowns issuing from Obama-ites have pissed off a whole lot more people than just blue collar union folks? I think there's a lot of buyer's remorse in the states that Obama has claimed victory in, and that if those same people had it to do all over again, they would not be voting for Michelle's husband and Wright's congregationalist."

I was thinking this way too, but then I started to look at the polls, and he's running about even with McCain in head-to-heads. WTF? OTOH, a LOT of people haven't been paying attention. We'll see what the numbers look like in about August or so...

"How long, exactly, are we supposed to give the Iraqi's to shape up into law-abiding human beings -- and stop doing honor killings -- before we're allowed to leave them to their god forsaken rat's nest of a country?"

It won't be that long now. We're probably well over half done.

6/04/2008 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Now that Obama has the nomination locked up, he will start to pivot on Iraq. He will say that while he showed better judgment by initially opposing the war, it has been the constant pressure and threats by people like himself and other naysayers that has brought the Iraqi government in-line. Then, if and when, he assumes the Presidency troops will be drawn down and the media spin (and Democrat line) will be that Obama cleaned up Bush's mess.

Bookmark it.

6/04/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/04/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Wretchard,

It is truly an honor to get a link from the Belmont Club.


6/06/2008 06:39:00 PM  

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