BY TAYLOR MARSH
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ You have said victory is in sight in Iraq. In July 2007, when you visited Kuwait, you said, "I'm not going to judge the surge." In the March 2007 issue of Alaska Business Monthly, you were asked about the surge and quoted saying: "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. . . . While I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."
Define "victory" in Iraq? What is the exit plan?
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Bob Woodward's interview with Larry King last night further illustrates a missed opportunity,
so far, by Democrats.
"Whoever becomes president, whoever becomes vice president, one of the items on the agenda should be repairing the relationship with the top military brass. The reporting in and it's laid out in the book, where the Joint Chiefs are sitting around there, not only out of the loop, but they aren't being consulted. The head of the army, chief of staff of the Army, Colonel Schumacher, says in one of the chief's meetings that he feels like Nero, watching Rome burn. He wonders why outside people are being consulted and not the chiefs. ... Even ten months in to Bob Gates' time as secretary of defense, the president, to send a message of support to General Petraeus, is the Iraq commander, didn't use the defense secretary, didn't use the chairman of the joint chiefs. He used a retired general, Jack Keane, to send this message. ..." - Bob Woodward (on Larry King "Live")
The failure of Bush, as well as McCain, to understand what their strategy has done to the U.S. military should be highlighted at every opportunity to reveal their lack of national security judgment. To drive the point home that McCain is part of the reason why we're not out of Iraq, but also what it's cost our troops, as we make ourselves more vulnerable to further threats.
The failure of Obama and his team, especially with the asset of Biden, who is at his most passionate on Iraq, is that they let up the pressure and let McCain escape, so far.
"Who pays the price for this war?" - Bob Woodward
Democrats must hand Bush and McCain that bill. Congress didn't get the job done. Obama, with his anti war speech, which has driven his candidacy, has the opportunity to push McCain into a corner on judgment alone. It's not been done to date.
It's true, the economy has taken center stage, but in the end the only thing the president can control, as Woodward also said, is what he, or as vice president, he or she, who assumes that responsibility after tragedy, can do as commander in chief.
As Woodward reports in his latest book, according to excerpts and interviews, Bush has made certain the next president has no options. Iraq is here to stay. The only decision left to make is who is handed the job to get us out. Who is best to handle the job of commander in chief as it stands as Bush leaves office, our military at the breaking point, our national security strategy in shambles, with a budget exploding in debt because of our involvement in places we have no business being.
Obama has one threshold question he has got to pass to win. Can he handle this job; the job of commander in chief? It's the only question that matters.