Obama and the Surge
Karen DeYoung and Jonathan Weisman declare this morning that Sen. Barack Obama, with his recent travels and comments, "has remade the [presidential] campaign's foreign policy playing field, neatly sidestepping Republican charges that he has been naive and wrong on Iraq and moving to a broader, post-Iraq focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Our Readers Who Comment have both praised this article for its solid, unbiased analysis and condemned it as yet another line in the litany of proof that the media have fallen in love with Democrat Obama and written off Republican John McCain.
Obama has received wall-to-wall coverage from the MSM, with all three major network news anchors and several senior political correspondents tagging along on his Mideast excursion while McCain jokes that he's being covered by the Junior Varsity. And Obama has gotten good press, although a Post editorial today calls Obama's "strategic vision eccentric." It too has received a flurry of comments, most of them attacking the Post. Probably useful to note that Post reporting and editorial-writing staffs are separate entities, and there's a high firewall between the two shops.
We'll start with the comments on the story, and allenridge, who wrote, "POST you're missing the "story". For the second night in a row "stubborn" Obama still can't admit that the "surge" has worked... Look Obama is clearly over his head and like a fish out of water..."
But crlchild said, "Well done Obama. Could it be that the US is about to get a President with both commonsense and brains?"
davidstats2006 wrote, "I haven't seen anything that suggests that the role of the surge in the reduction of violence Iraq is anything but minor, whatever Republicans say. I believe the two other contributors to that reduction -- "a Shiite militia cease-fire" and the "rejection of al-Qaeda-allied insurgents by Sunni tribal leaders" -- were far more important."
HFNY said, "The 2006 election where the Dems seized control of Congress also motivated the Sunnis to work with the US... McCain doesn't seem to understand this - he thinks the surge began and caused the Sunni Awakening, which is the opposite of the way events on the ground took place."
rjcrawford33 asked, "Could it be that Obama is proving even more adept than many of us hoped? Could it be that the only thing left to McCain and the GOP is incipient racism via code word? Obama continues to astound and fascinate."
pgr88 said, "Huh? So the WaPo spin is "Obama has remade the campaign's foreign policy playing field" now, eh? Face it - Obama had to go. He has no experience on the issue, and his positions as recently as 3 months ago were dead -wrong. He has to play catch-up..."
novanelly wrote, "Obama hasn't "neatly sidestepped" criticsm no matter what this article wishes to believe - his complete lack of understanding of the effect of the surge in Iraq and his total lack of any plan for the future of Iraq were put on display during this trip and have not been forgotten no matter how much Obama wants to change the subject..."
metzger1 said, "Before, Obama said the Iraq war was unwinnable. Now, he says it's won. Yuck."
And BruceMcDougall said, "...The shameful bias in our national media is becoming an international joke... the media has vetoed your votes and picked the candidate themeselves."
But andym108 wrote, "This article by Karen DeYoung and Jonathan Weisman is a model of clarity and evenhandedness, and should be read carefully by everyone posting here. Obama clearly states that while he intends to listen to the military with great respect, there are many other factors to consider in formulating our foreign policy. The wishes of the Iraqi people and the needs of our own economy, just to name two that seem to be forgotten by the Post editorial board."
Which brings us to some comments on the Post editorial today. We'll start with DEFJAX, who asked, "Is this editorial from the WaPo editors or the Republican National Committee?"
Jeff-for-progress said, "One thing, I find disturbing, is the frozen mindset, that does not see the benefit of an evolving position on what the US strategic interest is. I think it makes a big difference if it is backward-looking as the Post's overemphasis on protecting oil reserves is, as in this editorial, or forward-looking attempting to become more energy self-reliant..."
Chas1 wrote, "You people still don't get it; or you can't abandon the 26 mistaken editorials you published in favor of our military invasion of Iraq in the first place... The WaPo editorial team is the one who is "eccentric." "
markst said, "I guess that this editorial, along with Mr. Gerson's elegiac paene to Ms. McCain in the accompanying column, is the Post's attempt to counter recent criticism that the media has given too much coverage to Mr. Obama."
rkeithgargus wrote, "Every faction in Iraq save one is in favor of the US exiting Iraq on timetable. The one faction that wants us there is the one stealing or being bribed. The rest want us out... This editorial page is a train wreck."
edbyronadams said, "If keeping a timetable becomes a political necessity for a President Obama and he completes it in the face of oil export disrupting civil war in Iraq, the resulting runup in gasoline prices would wreck his presidency."
Jerusalimight asked, "Why does the WaPo always scream "The sky is falling!" when Democrats make traction? Chicken. Littles."
We'll close with Awheck, who wrote, "So the Washington Post has written the talking points for The Messiah, now he can be for and against, against and for, for and for, for or for, for or against, against or for, against but for, for but against, for never against, but never for or never against."
All comments on the Deyoung-Weisman analysis are here.
All comments on the Post editorial are here.
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