Obama Changes Tune on Iraq Withdrawal
Soren Dayton notes that Barack Obama, who yesterday argued that we should start a phased withdrawal of American troops from Iraq starting in just a few days, vehemently argued against a similar proposal by John Kerry in June 2006. Here’s what he said then:
But having visited Iraq, I’m also acutely aware that a precipitous withdrawal of our troops, driven by Congressional edict rather than the realities on the ground, will not undo the mistakes made by this Administration. It could compound them.
It could compound them by plunging Iraq into an even deeper and, perhaps, irreparable crisis.
We must exit Iraq, but not in a way that leaves behind a security vacuum filled with terrorism, chaos, ethnic cleansing and genocide that could engulf large swaths of the Middle East and endanger America. We have both moral and national security reasons to manage our exit in a responsible way.
As John McCain pointed out in his VMI speech yesterday, that’s all still true.
Now, Obama might honestly believe that the passage of ten months with no end yet in sight simply means it’s time to pull the plug. While I disagree, that’s a perfectly defensible position. But he definitely needs to explain his radical change of position. Given that he’s articulate (and clean!) that shouldn’t be a problem for him.