Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snake Oil and Rose Water: Obama's Promises To Keep

I am happy to find that I am not the only skeptic. John Caruso, an admirable, acute, reliable, alternative blogger on Jon Schwarz's lapidary, 'little' blog, A Tiny Revolution, is also not bedazzled.

He quotes another vividly skeptical commentator, Jeremy Scahill, on Obama's "nuanced" promises about the pllans his regime considers for Iraq:
The New York Times is reporting about an "apparent evolution" in president-elect Barack Obama's thinking on Iraq, citing his recent statements about his plan to keep a "residual force" in the country and his pledge to "listen to the recommendations of my commanders" as Obama prepares to assume actual command of US forces. "At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps' letting out its collective breath," the Times reported. "The words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels."

The reality is there is no "evolution."

Anyone who took the time to cut past Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric of "change" and bringing an "end" to the Iraq war realized early on that the now-president-elect had a plan that boiled down to a down-sizing and rebranding of the occupation.
Caruso appends Scahill's observations cunningly:
I particularly appreciate the Times' choice of headline: "Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality." This is an extremely useful principle I'm sure we'd all like to employ at one time or another: "Unfortunately, Tom, my promise to pay back that money you loaned me has now been muted by reality—namely, the reality that I never had any intention to. Sucker!"

For anyone who actually wanted to know how Obama would govern, the single most important thing he said during the campaign was this: "Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified. ... Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don't exempt myself."
Caruso also directs a well-aimed jab at FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) for their capitulation to Obamania:
I'm sad to see that FAIR is handling this same story with the new favorite strategy of Obama backers: to point to his official campaign policy positions and pretend that he never said anything different then from what he's saying now—and if anyone foolishly thought so, they just weren't paying attention. This is a particularly disingenuous tactic since it studiously ignores the "overheated rhetoric" Obama used on the campaign trail that contradicted those official positions and convinced so many of his supporters that he intended to bring the Iraq war to a complete close.
Yep, I am a querulous, cranky, dirty, old, fucking hippie.

Why do you ask?

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