Another Victory For The Foreign Policy Consensus

by James Kirchick | July 3, 2008

In response to my post about Barack Obama's rush to the center, Josh Marshall asks:

There's no question Barack Obama has shifted his position on FISA. But I'm hearing more and more that Obama has clearly shifted his position on Iraq. I've been a bit under the weather the last few days. So maybe I've missed something. But can anyone show me any evidence that this is really true? I know the McCain campaign is saying it? And I know bleating, game-playing neocons are saying it. But now that I'm seeing network talking heads saying it, can I see some evidence beyond the fact that the idea is getting pitched by the McCain campaign? Many thanks ...

Well, here's your answer, not from a "bleating, game-playing neocon," but Obama HQ. Delivered, tactfully, hours before the July 4th weekend:

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) promised primary voters a swift withdrawal from Iraq, in clear language still on his website: “Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”

Not anymore. Heading into the holiday weekend, Obama and his advisers repudiated that pledge, saying he is reevaluating his plan and will incorporate advice from commanders on the ground when he visits Iraq later this month.

A top Obama adviser said he is not “wedded” to a specific timeline, and Obama said Thursday he plans to “refine” his plan.

All of this goes to show, once again, how politically marginal are those who called for the betrayal of Iraq's democratically elected government. And it's yet another sign that those on the far Left -- who not long ago mused that Obama was "our own Paul Wellstone" -- have been duped.

--James Kirchick

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/another-victory-the-foreign-policy-consensus