WaPo: Did Obama Really Find Support For Iraq Withdrawal Plan?

Is the Washington Post starting to take columnist Howard Kurtz's concerns about an Obama-loving media to heart?

An editorial in its Wednesday edition entitled "Mr. Obama in Iraq: "Did He Really Find Support for his Withdrawal Plan?" makes one wonder.

In fact, this piece was so skeptical of the differences between what the press have been reporting about the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee and the truth that it could almost have been written by Kurtz himself (emphasis added throughout):

THE INITIAL MEDIA coverage of Barack Obama's visit to Iraq suggested that the Democratic candidate found agreement with his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat forces on a 16-month timetable. So it seems worthwhile to point out that, by Mr. Obama's own account, neither U.S. commanders nor Iraq's principal political leaders actually support his strategy.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the dramatic turnaround in U.S. fortunes, "does not want a timetable," Mr. Obama reported with welcome candor during a news conference yesterday. In an interview with ABC, he explained that "there are deep concerns about . . . a timetable that doesn't take into account what [American commanders] anticipate might be some sort of change in conditions."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki's timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama's. More significant, it would be "a timetable which Iraqis set" -- not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki "wants some flexibility in terms of how that's carried out."

Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq's rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.

Surprised? Not what's being presented by most mainstream press outlets, is it? Well, the Post's greatest skepticism was saved for last:

Yet Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

Wow. Is this an indication that media are finally beginning to realize Obama is just an attractive man in a nice suit possessing a great voice and spectacular oratory skills -- but without a CLUE when it comes to geopolitics? Are press members beginning to fear how dangerous an Obama presidency could be for the nation?

Or, is this just one editorial taking a presently contradictory opinion about the Messiah?

Stay tuned.

Foreign Policy Iraq Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Afghanistan Washington Post
Noel Sheppard's picture

Sponsored Links