July 23rd, 2008

From the Department of Mixed Blessings: al-Maliki Validates Obama’s Iraq Policy

by Philip Baruth

Look, I’m as happy as the next guy to see the national finally move into the reality-based community. Really, I am.


In light of al-Maliki’s surprising statement of support for Obama’s foreign policy objectives in Iraq, more than a few A-list journalists have been forced to concede that McCain’s own position (occupation until whenever) is not simply untenable, but out of line with every government in the world, now including both Iraq and England.

The Post is fairly typical:

Obama’s analysis has been buttressed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders who, to the dismay of the White House and Sen. John McCain, his Republican opponent, have publicly agreed with his call for completing a U.S. combat withdrawal from Iraq in 2010.

The Post goes on to say that this leaves McCain and the GOP in “a difficult position.” My question would be: why?

When have facts on the ground ever disadvantaged the GOP, with the assured support of Fox and a host of other news outlets afraid of appearing overly pacifist in their coverage?

bush, as el diabloDid the debacle in Iraq cost Bush the White House in 2004? No, it cost the Democratic nominee his dignity, and his reputation for heroism.

That’s not to say that the GOP have such a tilted playing field this time out; all of the variables have changed. But the idea that al-Maliki’s embrace of Obama’s central foreign policy concept leaves the GOP without options is the worst sort of fantasy.

Because the pivot is childs-play to predict.

Just imagine that the factual record of the last 7 years is no barrier. Just imagine that al-Maliki, once our Mesopotamian Jefferson, is dropped from the Republican party list.

And you arrive at this solution: The Iraqis, up to and including al-Maliki, agree with Obama because they, like the Senator from Illinois, are in cahoots with radical Shiite terrorists.

Think about it. It’s going to be a problem in the heartland that some dark-skinned and ungrateful foreigner with ties to Iran supports Obama?

Don’t you believe it. If McCain and Bush and the rest of the GOP Keystone Kops have to destroy the reputation of the government they have so painstakingly propped up, in order to continue to occupy the world’s second-largest oil reserves indefinitely, they’ll do it in a heartbeat.

And then, the attack ad, titled “Convenient”:

(Narrator) “While the Surge in Iraq has been a stunning success, experts agree that political progress has lagged. Why? Nouri al-Malikia has deep ties to Iran’s fundamentalist regime, the same regime that’s threatened Isreal with nuclear weapons.” (Picture of Iraqi and Iranian leaders smiling together) “Now, al-Maliki has another friend: Barack Obama. Al-Maliki and Obama agree that after all our soldiers have sacrificed, the US should leave as quickly as possible, before democracy takes hold. Convenient, to say the least.” (Photo of Obama, getting on a plane and looking back with a single, hunted look) “John McCain says no: build on the surge, secure democracy, and deny the Iranians their fondest wish.” (Beauty shots of McCain, first the shot as a young man coming home, then with VP selection, standing firm)

Call me jaded. But they’ve done worse, and will do worse again.