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Dan Balz's Take

Iraq and Obama's War


President Obama greets military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad, April 7, 2009. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

By Dan Balz
President Obama's unannounced visit to Iraq on Tuesday put a final exclamation point on a weeklong foreign trip designed to signal to the rest of the world a clean break from the presidency of George W. Bush. But it also underscored the ownership Obama has taken of a conflict in Afghanistan that, in foreign policy, could be as defining for his presidency as Iraq was for Bush's.

Nothing symbolizes the differences between Obama and Bush more loudly than Iraq. Obama's early opposition to the invasion set him apart not only from the former president but also from now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during their competition for the Democratic nomination. His antiwar posture helped him win the nomination and the presidency.

As president, he has set in motion a plan to withdraw all combat forces from Iraq by late summer 2010. Traveling there Tuesday will draw attention to his commitment to end one of the most unpopular wars in American history, while giving him the opportunity to thank the military personnel for the sacrifices they have made there.

White House officials said the president added Iraq, rather than Afghanistan, to the end of his trip in part because of proximity -- it was a short flight from Istanbul to Baghdad. But it allowed the president indirectly to remind voters of a campaign promise largely kept.

Traveling to the war zone in Afghanistan would have highlighted a pledge that may be less popular, as Obama has significantly raised the stakes there since taking office. He has approved a sharp increase in the number of U.S. forces and set as a goal the defeat of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Afghanistan could prove even more intractable for Obama than Iraq proved to be for Bush.

White House officials have sought to highlight the reception Obama has received throughout the week, both from people in Great Britain, France, the Czech Republic and Turkey and from the leaders with whom he met. "There was a sense that America was back," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters.

What did that mean? Back without swagger? Back without unilateralism? Back without demands? Back without arrogance? Back, apparently, without whatever descriptor the administration wants to apply to draw a contrast with the previous administration.

Back with a new style to be certain. Obama's lower-key, less confrontational style is a contrast with Bush's. But back with a clear agenda or a set of policies widely embraced by U.S. allies? That too drew comment throughout the week, and on that, the trip ends with question marks rather than conclusions.

Administration officials understandably chose to highlight the positives, noting in their final briefings that they did not expect Obama's first foreign trip to change the world or produce agreement on the details of his policies with America's allies. Their hope is that Obama has created a sense of trust and respect that will allow him to accomplish internationally what Bush was not able to.

But all of that is in the future.

Abroad, Obama was greeted as both president and celebrity, a combination enjoyed by few of his predecessors. At home, public opinion remains solidly behind Obama and his agenda. The latest evidence came in a newly released New York Times-CBS News poll. His overall approval rating was 66 percent and support for his economic and foreign policy agendas was at almost 60 percent.

Coming after an opening phase of Obama's presidency that has been marked by both highs and lows, the survey suggests a reservoir of support -- and also measured expectations on the part of the public. That gives Obama some time to translate his new initiatives into concrete results.

He will have to produce most quickly on the economy, given the overwhelming public concern about the job losses reported over the past months. But his major international challenge will be Afghanistan, where the United States has been engaged now for more than seven years. Military leaders have warned of increased U.S. casualties as the size of the force there increases. Diplomatic officials have described Afghanistan and Pakistan as more complex and intractable than Iraq.

Throughout the campaign, Obama highlighted the need to do more in Afghanistan. That helped draw a contrast with the Bush administration and, toward the end of the election, divert attention from a debate about whether Bush's surge policy in Iraq had been a success.

As president, Obama has begun to shift the focus of his anti-terror policy away from Iraq to what he has long called the true central front in that battle (though his administration has excised "global war on terror" from its lexicon).

In Iraq, officials said Tuesday, the solution rests on political compromise more than military action. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the administration has embraced a vigorous policy of both firepower and aggressive diplomacy. The other leaders with whom he met on his trip embraced his goals for Afghanistan but did not step up to offer help with additional combat forces.

Iraq will always be George W. Bush's war. Good will aside, Afghanistan is now primarily in Obama's hands.

Posted at 1:19 PM ET on Apr 7, 2009  | Category:  Dan Balz's Take
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Comments

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O.K., but that wasn't my argument. Publishing the wrong cartoon could make us more likely to be attacked too. Should we stop publishing cartoons altogether?

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2009 5:41 PM

I'm just saying Japan would not have been nuked if they had not attacked America first. By the same token we may be more likely to get attacked if we attack others first.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 8, 2009 4:15 PM

Just because it didn't work for Japan, doesn't mean it didn't work for America (unless you are actually arguing that Truman SHOULDN'T have drop the A-bomb?!).

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2009 12:38 PM

It worked with Japan.
Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:23 PM

JakeD-
Japan started on offense with a surprise attack on America. Their bright idea of chosing offense over defense eventually caused them to get nuked, so your argument fails.

Posted by: rooster54 | April 8, 2009 10:51 AM

I don't know, but judging by JakeD's sudden burst of frantic posting, I'm dubious that he had as good a time in Las Vegas as he claims. He seems to be exhibiting a certain edgy frustration.

Posted by: nodebris | April 8, 2009 1:10 AM

The world goes to hell, and conservatives are still whining about a blow job.

Way to embrace irrelevancy. You guys, you own it. It's yours.

Posted by: nodebris | April 8, 2009 1:06 AM


DID BUSH-CHENEY TORTURE MATRIX HIT HILLARY '08 RALLY?

JOURNALIST SAYS 'YES.'

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/3/715887/-Did-Bush-Cheney-Torture-Matrix-Hit-Hillary-08-Rally

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 7, 2009 9:58 PM

This visit represents a turning point for Obbama's relationship to the war. Iraq is now officially his problem, and he may be changing his game plan sooner than we think...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 7, 2009 8:31 PM

Time for a little "Reality Check"!

WHEN Bushie invaded Afghanistan;

it was AFTER a Terrorist Assault on our Nation by an Organization Based out of a Country ruled by supportive Leaders!

When Bushie Invaded Iraq, it was AFTER Saddam refused to abide by UN Resolutions and stop conducting such things as supporting Palestinian Suicide Bombers!

Little Barry Obasama is planning to go to War in a Country that is experiencing Police Conflicts!

While I agree that the Taliban are problematic;

They are at this point no where near the Problem they were when Bushie had to BEG for consensus to assault them!

"Barry" is looking like a Fidel/Hugo "Wannabe" more and more every day!

Wake up call Americans:

He has 80,000 US Troops being trained and prepared to deal with "Social Unrest"!

That mean US!

Hugo Jr.! :-(

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 7, 2009 7:02 PM

mikem1 or abqcleave?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:40 PM

Clinton, as president, broke the law.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:38 PM

Even assuming that the BJ wasn't illegal (under the UCMJ it is), 1) lying under oath, 2) obstructing justice, and 3) suborning perjury about it is.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:37 PM

Bush just sucked on every level.

Posted by: marSF | April 7, 2009 6:37 PM

At least Nixon had a grain of self-knowledge and intellect.

Posted by: marSF | April 7, 2009 6:36 PM


of course nixon should have resigned.
he broke the law
let me repeat that...
Nixon, as president, broke the law.

clinton got a bj in the oval office.
not breaking the law.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:34 PM

it's been a slice....
assignment for tonight:

who was worse
nixon or bush?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:32 PM

Oh, great, so you think he shouldn't have resigned as well. Good to know we can agree on somethings.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:30 PM

I am sure of one thing: Any lunatic who would support Alan Keyes is not worth engaging.

Posted by: marSF | April 7, 2009 6:28 PM

"Do you think that Nixon should have rolled the dice with his impeachment as well?"

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:28 PM

jake
i've already answered it.

nixon rolled the dice like an addicted gambler at the flamingo
non stop.
and smeared the institution of the presidency big time.

but you put your money on that republican family of yours.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:27 PM


the most crooked high profile man of two centuries.
a republican named Richard Nixon.

and he was president of this country.
and out and out broke law and code.

then denied it.
then tried to skirt it BECAUSE he was president.

yeah, save the institution of the presidency Nixon.
you massacred it for the following republican family of bush, in which 41 was in government by the time of the resignation.

let's connect the republican crooked dots.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:25 PM

abqcleve:

Are you still around?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:24 PM

mikem1:

It worked with Japan.

TheBabeNemo:

I never watched Austin Powers. Can you answer my question now: "Do you think that Nixon should have rolled the dice with his impeachment as well?"

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:23 PM

ha ha jake..
you think 41 and bill are friends now.
you're the one that really needs to get out more.

coming together for a commercial and maybe a couple press opps a year TOGETHER doesn't mean jack in politics.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:21 PM


Offense / surprise in war is always better than defense / complacency. Better to fight the terrorists in the streets of Iraq than in the streets of America.

hello jake again.
offense/surprise?
it was no surprise. he announced it to the UN a month before 3-21-03 shock and awe.

fight the terrorists in the streets of Iraq and not in america?
heard this one before.......after WMD excuse didn't work, after Regime Change excuse didn't work ---all made by baby bush.
Of course he would have to rely on the "global war on terror" excuse
which BTW they are stopping the use of
because you know why----
cause it didn't work and Iraq proved it.
found no WMD, captured Hussein but no high profile terrorists came along with that.

so what is it
we went to iraq for WMD
no--we went for regime change
-no...all of those excuses didn't work so we will use "global war on terror".

reminds me of Austin Powers, when he tells Number 2 that they are going to make it that Prince Charles had an affair and had to divorce. Whhoopps. done already
okay, how about the ozone layer...
no, done already.
okay, we'll do what we always do, hijack nuclear weapons.
kinda sorta like bush family (and the ride they took the american people on for so many years of both presidencies). all those don't work daddy......

those texans change the rules of the game for themselves whenever possible. specially a kennebunkport bush by way of texas.

i wonder if Bush would have been johnnie on the spot if katrina would have hit dallas?


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:19 PM

"TheBabeNemo:

Offense / surprise in war is always better than defense / complacency. Better to fight the terrorists in the streets of Iraq than in the streets of America.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:06 PM"

By that logic, we should also "surprise" attack Iran, DPRK, and China. All of them pose some "threat" against the US.

Then what?

Posted by: mikem1 | April 7, 2009 6:17 PM

"41 followed the Nixon template"?! Really? Then why are Bill Clinton and he such good friends now? Seriously, BabeNemo, you need to get out more and forget about all those conspiracy theories ...

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:12 PM


Nixon was republican wasn't he?
let's see - ordered his closest cabinet members to break in places for the destruction of records.
-taped every crooked conversation and action he and his cabinet took and then destroyed the tapes outlining said crooked actions.
-got caught and denied the said crooked actions.
-resigned to save "the institution of the presidency".

Nixon wrote the book for Bush.
41 followed the Nixon template.
and did his son.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 6:08 PM

TheBabeNemo:

Offense / surprise in war is always better than defense / complacency. Better to fight the terrorists in the streets of Iraq than in the streets of America.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:06 PM

You sure went from "My comment wasn't who failed America to a greater degree" to "Worst president in history" in lightning speed however ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 6:04 PM

I know the necessity of afghanistan..
now tell me, what was the necessity of Iraq?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 5:58 PM

We'll have to agree to disagree then.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:58 PM

Who knows, maybe a President Gore would have "connected the dots" and prevented 9/11 in the first place?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:20 PM
***************

This argument is not worth rehashing here, but let it be said that a hypothetical that, had Clinton stepped aside for a BJ infraction and allowed Al "Successfully shrunk government to its most efficient state in 20th century" Gore to become president, in which case he undoubtedly would have covered Clinton's presumed incompetence, is absurd on its face.

The FACT is incontrovertible: Bush knew of the issue for a year and, conspiracy theories aside, studiously ignored the increasing warnings within his own administration. THEN, he followed up that particular bit of incompetence with the foul, immoral instigation of a disastrous series of strategic and tactical idiocies in Iraq.

Worst president in history.

Posted by: abqcleve | April 7, 2009 5:56 PM

abqcleve:

I believe I did that already via my explanation as to how Bill Clinton failed America more dismally than George Bush did (I won't even get into the literal "back door" involved with Ms. Lewinsky). Yet, the MSM gave him a pass and went after Bush like a rapid dog. I have no qualms defending what Bush did in Iraq. Why can't you do the same as to Obama? At the very least Dan Balz seems willing to let Iraq slide regardless of what Obama does to screw it up.

As I also stated, we are certainly each entitled to our opinions about any of that.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:49 PM

Actually, abqcleve, I believe that Bill Clinton failed America more dismally than George Bush did. I guess we are each entitled to our opinions about that.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:58 PM
*******************

That's what we're sharing--nothing more than opinions. My comment wasn't who failed America to a greater degree: mine clearly and specifically addressed, what will GWB most likely be associated with? I simply added Katrina to someone else's Iraq and the economy.

Despite revisionist attempts from the right, no one has any doubt what Clinton will most be associated with, from a historical perspective. That association harmed no one but Clinton and his family and it made Jonah Goldberg's career.

Posted by: abqcleve | April 7, 2009 5:48 PM

Obama is well on his way to making Jimmy Carter look good. What a disaster and a clown. He has embarrassed us to the world. The liberal media here seems to continue to try and blow smoke up the collective colon of the nation. ...Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 7, 2009 4:01 PM
****************

Can someone please explain for the edification of us all, this striking fascination righties have with all things back door? If it isn't smoke, it's physiognomies or other appendages. And I realize that most rational folks have long ago given up querying righties on what exactly "the liberal media" is comprised of ("any outlet that says something I disagree with," very much like "legislating from the bench," is the best I can figure); but at what point to righties begin to accept responsibility for their own failures to administer, legislate or even communicate?

Posted by: abqcleve | April 7, 2009 5:41 PM

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Posted by: Homeless-in-America | April 7, 2009 5:38 PM

TheBabeNemo:

Hello, I'm right here in San Diego (on the same planet I assume you are typing from). We, obviously, disagree as to the "necessity" of the Iraq (and Afghanistan?) war. I think it's interesting that I mention Gore too. I often say interesting things like that. Gore, at least, would have been focused on the terrorist threat rather than trying to save his political and actual backside. Gore could not have done any worse than Clinton (that being said, I think the right man won the 2000 election -- I'm talking about Gore taking over for President if Clinton had had the sense to resign -- or, do you think that Nixon should have rolled the dice as well?).

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:35 PM

Hello--earth to jake!

Another way to look at it is that BILL CLINTON signed those death certificates when he selfishly made the American Presidency all about himself -- like a tail wagging the dog -- instead of stepping aside and allowing someone else the chance to protect innocent lives here and abroad.

Bill Clinton invaded Iraq because of a lie of weapons of mass destruction?
Bill did a Mission Accomplished?

He made the presidency all about himself?
And Bush didn't? For the Bush family, took us into an unnecessary war...because daddy never got re-elected and GOT hussein in the gulf war.
so he told his son to. and made sure, in the state of florida, his son got elected.

Interesting that you mention Al and 9-11.
Do you think anyone could have stopped
9-11?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 5:29 PM

When I saw The President walk with the Troops I was happy too, because he is who he is and they are United States citizens over there. This is about respect.

Posted by: bdrevers | April 7, 2009 5:26 PM

Even Tricky Dick didn't sink that low:

"In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.

I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interest of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.

From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad."

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:22 PM

TheBabeNemo:

Another way to look at it is that BILL CLINTON signed those death certificates when he selfishly made the American Presidency all about himself -- like a tail wagging the dog -- instead of stepping aside and allowing someone else the chance to protect innocent lives here and abroad. Who knows, maybe a President Gore would have "connected the dots" and prevented 9/11 in the first place?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 5:20 PM

"This of course means a whole lot from a president who daily blames all of his problems on Bush",
--as he should in certain cases. Bush really did leave a big mess.

"and glosses over problems with his handout programs like
TARP - that one was bush's
Stimulus 1-that one was bush's
Stimulus 2-HR1 is being implemented to FIX the above 2.
Socialist-on-a-stick-budget----um, have you read the budget. When in doubt, dummies call it socialism.

The main thing from the Responsible party in Chief is it is all Bush's fault...and don't you forget it.
Yes, most of it is. Specially the fact that he never caught bin Laden and Zawahiri
and don't you ever forget that one !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 5:07 PM


nah, baby bush signed the death certificate for 4,000 plus americans when he went to Iraq for daddy.

clinton played with an intern in the oval office.

gee

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 5:04 PM

"Back to pandering, appeasing, and ingratiating itself into favor at the taxpayers expense".
--okay, i see. diplomatic trips mean nothing, uh? But every other president can pander, appease and ingratiate.
BTW, the Obamas did wonderfully at the ingratiating.

"Apparently it is not enough for the socialist dream Obama has brought to American on debt to China," ---
wait-that was Bush on the American dollar. Going all the way back to daddy too.

"but he wishes to export that principle to Turkey",
--now what principle is he trying to export? A Bush principle? Please explain this one.

"who, he is extra sensitive to since he came from a Muslim-dominant nation (Kenya, umm, where was that birth certificate again? Should we ask Kenya for it?)"
--and President Obama is not sensitive to America at all. Nah, we just voted him in for the heck of it.
Hawaii has the birth certificate. Shall we go into it again.

"and he believes they should also prosper like America is now".
---America is prospering now? Where, tell me.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 5:03 PM

Actually, abqcleve, I believe that Bill Clinton failed America more dismally than George Bush did. I guess we are each entitled to our opinions about that.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:58 PM

JoeTH

When your hero Bush had 27%-33%,

do you propose that the 'government' had not employees, no contractors, no programs?
Just got 'em suddenly when Obama appeared?

In a democracy sometimes the other side beats you and is popoular and indeed successful.

Just try to bear it, sonny. It's gonna get much worse for you, now and in HISTORY.

There's nothing as stupid and nasty as a conservative, is there? THey hardly know how to bear voting and democracy.

Posted by: whistling | April 7, 2009 4:54 PM

Two things will define GWB, overreaching in Iraq and under performance in the economy. The Rumsfeld and Paulson features of the Bush years will be long remembered.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 7, 2009 1:48 PM
*****************

I would add one more that should never--and I believe will never (certainly by those directly affected)--be forgotten: Katrina. No president has ever failed America more dismally than did Bush with the entire Gulf coast, but especially the poor in New Orleans.

Posted by: abqcleve | April 7, 2009 4:54 PM

I'm surprised the 60% isn't higher. He's bought more votes this year than the bosses of old... and when you add together gov't employees, gov't contractors, and those dependent on gov't programs, he starts with a 55% advantage that he's expanding at the expense of the 40% who don't support him.

Posted by: JoeTH | April 7, 2009 4:43 PM

the Czech Republic and Turkey and from the leaders with whom he met. "There was a sense that America was back," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters.

What did that mean? Back without swagger? Back without unilateralism? Back without demands? Back without arrogance? Back, apparently, without whatever descriptor the administration wants to apply to draw a contrast with the previous administration
-----------------------------------
Back to pandering, appeasing, and ingratiating itself into favor at the taxpayers expense. Apparently it is not enough for the socialist dream Obama has brought to American on debt to China, but he wishes to export that principle to Turkey, who, he is extra sensitive to since he came from a Muslim-dominant nation (Kenya, umm, where was that birth certificate again? Should we ask Kenya for it?), and he believes they should also prosper like America is now.

To Iraq he admonished them that it is now time for them to assume responsibility. This of course means a whole lot from a president who daily blames all of his problems on Bush, and glosses over problems with his handout programs like TARP, Stimulus 1, Stimulus 2, Socialist-on-a-stick-budget etc. The main thing from the Responsible party in Chief is it is all Bush's fault...and don't you forget it.

In Afghanistan, the one place where he could cut and run and there would be no consequence because nobody really wants that dump, he is adding troops. Why? I suppose it is not-Bush to beef up Afghanistan and cut and run in Iraq, and that is the important thing, being not-Bush, because, well it was Bush that is responsible for all our problems, not Obama.

At the G20, after giving the Queen her 2nd Ipod, this one though filled with speeches of Obama, he strutted around and surrendered the lead position of the USA, taking a seat somewhere in the back row as part of a new group effort to dealing with the worlds problems. He caved to Germany and France with more regulations, yet got no concessions from them to apply failed Keynesism by priming their pump with borrowed money from China. Yes! It was a resounding success.

Posted by: Wiggan | April 7, 2009 4:40 PM

Also, didn't Obama say he would be keeping 35,000-50,000 troops IN Iraq? Was today's speech conditioned on "being able to make sure Iraq is stable, that it is not a safe haven for terrorists"?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:22 PM

Specifically, if we prevail in Afghanistan, then GWB gets all the credit, or is that just a one-way street as to losses? Also, will that rule apply to Obama if he hands off Afghanistan to someone else?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:14 PM

gce1356:

Please see the MLB Theory of War, expounded upon, below.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:11 PM

Dan Froomkin -- Bush's War, Five Years On: "At this point, his legacy is not looking very good."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/03/17/BL2008031701328.html

Joel Achenbach -- Bush's War Powers

voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2006/01/bushs_war_powers.html

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:05 PM

This is hardly "Obama's War."

He inherited it (and Afghanistan) from Bush and everyone realizes that.

At best it will only ever be "Obama's War" * (heavy emphasis on the asterisk)

Posted by: gce1356 | April 7, 2009 4:02 PM

Obama is well on his way to making Jimmy Carter look good. What a disaster and a clown. He has embarrassed us to the world. The liberal media here seems to continue to try and blow smoke up the collective colon of the nation. Watch as our Constitutional rights are sold out to international control. Law of the Sea, Trade and Cap, our current government is allowing foreign interests to override our Constitutional rights. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/04/02-10

Obama does not need to apologize for America to the world. He needs to sit down and have a nice hot cop of STFU. What a buffoon.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | April 7, 2009 4:01 PM

"You guys" being WaPo (because Balz is EXPLICITLY saying that Iraq is Bush's war alone) reporters and/or someone else?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 4:01 PM

You guys never used the phrase "Bush's war." It was always framed as a great patriotic national effort which only a few kooks on the left opposed. Now all I read and hear about is "Obama's war" and about how high the stakes are for him.

Higher than for Bush? Why?

The media is the problem.

Posted by: swallen1 | April 7, 2009 3:56 PM

Rahm should let Balz know that he can stop providing cover for Obama then.

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 3:50 PM

rahm took care of that jakey.

America is back.

Truman had to drop an A bomb on Japan to have the buck stop at his desk.
Let's hope President Obama doesn't have to drop a bomb to have "the buck stop".

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Back on topic: What ever happened to "The Buck Stops Here"?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 3:13 PM

oh yeah.....i viewed that at another computer.
And I stand by my prior statements.
President Obama knows it was genocide, didn't change his view.
Just didn't call it that to their faces while there.
Diplomacy is a drag sometimes, no?

Something along the lines of not letting Abbademajaud (sp?) lay flowers at Ground Zero whenever he comes to the USA.
That may be a bit of a reach, but somewhat comparable in analogy.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 2:44 PM

"As for your comments about Bush perpetrating 9/11, I shall let that be so others can mock you"

i will not mock the statement.
it is valid.

The Bush family has more up their sleeves than the octopus guy in Spiderman

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 2:35 PM

"[K]ing"? As for international law, Congress (maybe I should have limited that to the Senate although I was trying to make a joke) does indeed ratify treaties and thereby "enact" international law. I have my basic (and advanced) facts straight. I posted the YouTube transcript and other campaign statements on the Armenian "genocide" thread. Sorry I can't stay for long today. Maybe we can discuss after you catch up on your reading?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 2:35 PM

Good Morning, Vietstan!

Posted by: jdcw | April 7, 2009 2:32 PM

"Czechoslovakia"? Really?
The Czech republic and Slovakia parted ways more than 17 years ago. It's dissapointing to see this slipped The Post's proofreaders.

Posted by: cc_checeanu | April 7, 2009 2:24 PM

hey jakey - king is on the other blog today too.

"you didn't know that Congress had enacted MLB Rule 10.16 into our international law yet"

Now jakey, you know our Congress does not enact INTERNATIONAL law. Please, next time you are ready to insult, get your basic basic facts correct. Thanks !!!

Afghanistan is America's war.
No matter who is President.

So we don't fly out of those windows in those really really tall buildings any longer!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 2:21 PM

Sorry Balzy boy, but this is NOT Obamas war. Both the wars that we are now imbroiled in were started by George POS. Bush, and his criminal cabal. They helped perpetrate the events of 911, and all the killing since is directly attributable to them.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | April 7, 2009 2:03 PM


-- Obama could easily say, "OK, wars over. Troops come home now." But he hasn't. So yes, these are now his wars, just as Viet Nam moved from Johnson to Nixon.

As for your comments about Bush perpetrating 9/11, I shall let that be so others can mock you.

Posted by: enaughton27 | April 7, 2009 2:19 PM

(see also, Rules 10.17 "Winning And Losing Pitcher" and 10.19 "Saves For Relief Pitchers")

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 2:18 PM

Does this mean that, if we prevail in Afghanistan, then GWB gets all the credit, or is that just a one-way street as to losses? To borrow from the baseball analogy, again, when a relief pitcher (Obama) enters a game with runners (Iraq and Afghanistan) already on base, he inherits said runners. If those inherited runners later score, the runs are attributed to the previous pitcher or pitchers (Bush) for purposes of calculating statistics such as earned runs allowed or earned run average (historical ranking).

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 2:17 PM

I wasn't aware that Congress had enacted MLB Rule 10.16 into our international law yet. What ever happened to "The Buck Stops Here"?

Posted by: JakeD | April 7, 2009 2:10 PM

Sorry Balzy boy, but this is NOT Obamas war. Both the wars that we are now imbroiled in were started by George POS. Bush, and his criminal cabal. They helped perpetrate the events of 911, and all the killing since is directly attributable to them.

Posted by: TRACIETHEDOLPHIN | April 7, 2009 2:03 PM

Two things will define GWB, overreaching in Iraq and under performance in the economy. The Rumsfeld and Paulson features of the Bush years will be long remembered.

The difference between Bush and Obama is that the latter unlike the former is engaged with the rest of the world and uses the power of the word rather than the sword as the instrument of communication. With the sword communication is unidirectional, with the word it is multidirectional.

For me personally it is a matter that I fell like I am again part of a great nation rather than a tool of a dictatorial government.

Posted by: Gator-ron | April 7, 2009 1:48 PM

TIME TO HEED IKE'S FAREWELL WARNING...


The Iraq visit underscores the dichotomy between candidate Obama and President Obama in the handling of the wars in both Iraq
and Afghanistan.


The fear is that Obama has come under the "ambit of suasion" to which all incoming presidents are subjected.


Some might even posit that POTUS is a constant target of "psy ops" (psychological operations) intended to influence his decision-making.


President Obama would be well advised to re-read Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address, in which he warned of the insidious influence of the "military-industrial complex."


His staff should order an independent review of the environment in and around high government officials to ensure that their mood and behavior is not subject to external alteration or manipulation by technological means.

***

"When you see the abuse of power, you've got to speak."

-- VP candidate Joseph Biden, Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention


***


Bush-Cheney Constitutional Abuses Continue...


THE EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK:

VIOLATING HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF INNOCENT BUT 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS...

ON THE STREETS OF NYC, DC, PHILLY, BOSTON...

...AND IN CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS AMERICA.

And federally-funded programs equip and train the "community gang stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors as police look the other way -- destroying their livelihoods and degrading their health with widely-deployed microwave radiation ("directed energy") weapons


A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.


When victims complain, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."


True -- because federal and local authorities KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.


Will the national press corps -- and Team Obama -- wake up and realize that democracy and middle-class wealth are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

http://nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 7, 2009 1:37 PM


There was a sense that America was back," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told reporters.

I love Rahm Emanuel.

back.....as in back what???

I would venture to say
"back in the game"

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 7, 2009 1:34 PM

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