Jan 26, 2009
During this election campaign, Barack Obama pledged that on Day One of his administration he would meet with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and order them to draw up plans for withdrawing all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.
On Day One, he did meet by teleconference with military leaders, but he didn’t give the order. He said only, “I asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq” with NO time frame attached.
Obama’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a statement saying various options were discussed, 16 months, 3 years or no date. And Ryan Crocker, ambassador to Iraq, issued a strong warning against a “precipitous” withdrawal from Iraq.
Put all that together and what have you got? The same smoke and mirrors Bush was so fond of!
On Day Two, Obama appointed one man, Richard Holbrooke, to be special envoy to both Afghanistan and Pakistan – two countries that have little in common other than the war the U.S. is carrying out against Afghanistan, a war which has spilled over into Pakistan. In that one appointment, Obama announced his intention to treat Afghanistan and Pakistan as one battlefield – a much wider war
On Day Three, to make his positions clear, Obama authorized new missile strikes on tribal villages in Pakistan, killing at least 10 civilians.
Obama campaigned on two main issues, his apparent opposition to U.S. wars, and on the economy. On the question of the war, it took him only three days to thumb his nose at what people believed he stood for.