LAT's Brooks: Obama's Point 'Correct' In Saying Our Troops 'Just Air-Raiding and Killing Civilians'

What's bothering the Los Angeles Times's Rosa Brooks now? She doesn't like how the McCain-Palin ticket has noted that Barack Obama said on the campaign trail that our troops in Afghanistan are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians." 

Yet Brooks declares that Barack Obama was essentially "correct" when he said this. ("Obama's no troop-hater: Lost in the debate about 'air-raiding villages' is that Obama's correct." (Sun., 10/19/08))

Brooks acknowledges that Obama's words were "not exactly eloquent," yet she tries to assert that Obama's remark was "enthusiastically ripped out of context." (Sorry, Rosa. You can't have it both ways. And nothing was taken out of context. See for yourself.)

Brooks also falsely declares that the McCain-Palin ticket has branded Obama as a "dishonorable troop-hater."

"A dishonorable troop hater"? Sorry again, Rosa. Neither McCain nor Palin have ever said that. What the campaign said was "dishonorable" was Obama claiming that our troops were "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."

The beginning of Brooks' article:

Is Barack Obama a dishonorable troop-hater?

According to John McCain and Sarah Palin, you betcha. As one recent McCain ad puts it, Obama "says our troops in Afghanistan are 'just air-raiding villages and killing civilians.' How dishonorable."

But what exactly is wrong with decrying military tactics that cause needless civilian casualties and undermine our own counterinsurgency efforts? What's wrong with denouncing the stupid strategic decisions that forced the adoption of those tragic and counterproductive tactics in the first place?

That's what Obama was doing in New Hampshire in August 2007, when he made the comments the McCain-Palin team has so enthusiastically ripped out of context. He was arguing that the diversion of U.S. troops to Iraq has had devastating consequences for our efforts in Afghanistan. We need more troops in Afghanistan, Obama asserted, so that U.S. forces won't need to rely so much on airstrikes as an anti-insurgency tool. "We've got to get the job done there," he said. "And that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."

Not exactly eloquent, but Obama's fundamental point is unassailable ...

The "dishonorable" thing here is Brooks' dishonesty.

2008 Presidential Los Angeles Times Rosa Brooks

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