Either Barack Obama is plenty confused or he's simply talking nonsense.
He restates his opposition to the surge.
Couric: Before the surge, as you know, Senator, there were 80 to 100 U.S. casualties a month, the country was rife with sectarian violence, and you raised a lot of eyebrows on this trip saying even knowing what you know now, you still would not have supported the surge. People may be scratching their heads and saying, "Why?"
Obama: Well … because … what I was referring to, and I've consistently referred to, is the need for a strategy that actually concludes our involvement in Iraq and moves Iraqis to take responsibility for the country.
She presses him on the point that successfully defeating American enemies in Iraq will inevitably lead to America troops drawing down in Iraq, which would seem to be precisely what he wants. He adds-
What happens is that if we continue to put $10 billion to $12 billion a month into Iraq, if we are willing to send as many troops as we can muster continually into Iraq? There's no doubt that that's gonna have an impact. But it doesn't meet our long-term strategic goal, which is to make the American people safer over the long term. If that means that we're detracting from our efforts in Afghanistan, where conditions are deteriorating, if it means that we are distracted from going after Osama bin Laden who is still sending out audio tapes and is operating training camps where we know terrorists' actions are being plotted.
If we have shifted away from the central front of terrorism as a consequence of enormous and continuing investments in Iraq, then that's a poor strategic choice. And ultimately, what we've got to do is - we have to recognize that Iraq is just one of our … security problems. It's not the only one.
So, can someone point to those who claim that Iraq is the only security problem America faces? He seems to be trying to say that Iraq isn't an important security threat which is why he opposed and still opposes the Surge- because to his way of thinking, defeating terrorists in Iraq won't help end the war in Iraq. No, in his mind, it's much more important to retreat from Iraq and try to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan-
the fact that I didn't visit Afghanistan doesn't detract from my accurate assessment that this has been the central front on terror.
Got that? Obama believes that the central front in the war on terrorism is in Afghanistan where the US has to focus on Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda training camps. Which is why it amazes me that while uttering that Barack Obama can also come out with this-
There is no doubt that the extraordinary work of our U.S. forces has contributed to a lessening of the violence, just as making sure that the Sadr militia stood down or the fact that the Sunni tribes decided to flip and work with us instead of with al-Qaeda - something that we hadn't anticipated happening.
Does he know what he's saying? Can he hear those words or is he just regurgitating something he's been told to learn? Because he's just admitted- though not to himself evidently- that Al Qaeda is in Iraq. US troops have fought, and pretty much defeated, Al Qaeda (and other terrorists who share the same murderous ideology) in Iraq. The surge helped them- and he admits that here too.
But Obama still opposes the surge that helped to defeat Al Qaeda, because he just wants to leave Iraq behind and go and fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. He seems to believe that killing them in Afghanistan will make America safer in the long term- but leaving Al Qaeda alone in Iraq will also make America safer.
Is there any logic to that at all?