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Sweet column: Obama's Iraq manifesto. (text 2 items below)

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Comprehensive and eloquent, though not unique -- it was not intended to be -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday laid out his vision of how the U.S. should proceed in Iraq.

Obama, mulling a 2008 White House run, does not believe that the U.S. can export democracy at the end of a gun, a conclusion rooted in the deaths of thousands in Iraq. It is a premise that President Bush may only now be willing to consider because the Republicans lost control of Congress in an election that served as a repudiation of Bush's Iraq war.

Obama's staff asked the Chicago Council of Global Relations on Nov. 1 to book a speech -- before the midterm elections turned over control of Congress to the Democrats, but after the freshman senator signaled he may be a presidential contender.

Major candidates put down their benchmarks, and this was Obama's Iraq manifesto.

As soon as the Democrats take control in January, they will try to figure out the best options to change the failed Iraq policies of the Bush White House.

Obama is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and incoming chairman Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) -- already a 2008 White House contender -- has an extensive Iraq agenda planned. The Democratic leaders are basically in agreement on key elements -- arguing, as does Obama, for phased withdrawal of U.S. troops and engagement with neighboring countries.

Biden is suggesting that Iraq create strong regional governments under a federal umbrella. Obama said, "That can be explored, but I don't think it should come from the United States."

Obama was never a throwback peacenik. Rather, the notion that Iraq would "quickly and easily" become a "flourishing democracy" was always an "ideological fantasy."

Now, with no "good options left in this war," Obama and the Democrats are trying to get U.S. soldiers out of Iraq without leaving the country in a civil war. With Democrats in power and Obama perhaps casting himself as a commander in chief, their rhetoric will soon have to be translated to a new reality.


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7 Comments

This guy is a do nothing blow hard, just begging to have Hillary spank him in the primary. He wants to talk to Iran and Syria, Syria just assasinated another Lebense politician. Does this shallow clown understand Iran and Syria are not democracies?

Right, talk to Syria and Iran and ask them to do what?

These countries have a vested interest in seeing Democracy in Iraq FAIL!!!!! They don't Iraq's best intentions in mind, they are out to keep their dictatorial, terrorist sponsoring regimes in power. Ask Lebanon.

Syria and Iran helping, what a joke.

Looks like Obama still believes the thoroughly debunked (see iraqdocs.blogspot.com, husseinandterror.com and www.regimeofterror.com) "Bushlied" garbage. What a clown.

He's right that we can't export democracy if another people doesn't want it. Or doesn't understand it. I agree with him on that. We do have 2000+ dead and counting. Didn't we learn from LBJ getting 58,000 boys killed in VietNam. At the same time, Obama is saying we'll withdraw to surrounding areas (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia) as we put in his so-called umbrella theory around Iraq. Sorry senator, but WILL NOT WORK. These different extremeist groups that are being financed by Iran, Syria, and the Wahabi sect, do not want us in the region--period ! Which is what caused 9/11 and why we'll have a sequal once we let our guard down even the slightest.

Everyone has a right to run for President, the only problem I have with Sen. Obama, is the fact he refuses to call for a Federal Investigation into the cover-up by elected and/or appointed officials of the torture of 100+ BLACK MEN at the hands of Jon Burge and other Chicago Police officers, I know that he wouldn't be quiet if Jewish or Gay men had been tortured,and I'm worry that if he's elected President, he'll appoint a U.S.ATTY. that will have a blind eye to corruption and torture just like Pres. Clinton,as you know people say he was the first Black President.

Wallace"Gator"Bradley
Urban Translator

What on Earth is an "urban translator"? And who would have a need for one?

Senator Obama like so many others seems to think that talking is always the answer. Here's a question that this nation will have to answer sooner or later. "Is there anything in this world worth dying for?" Being both a Viet Nam Era and Desert Storm veteran, I can tell you first hand, the reason we lost Viet Nam, and won Desert Storm is our commitment level to winning.
The current President Bush could have learned a lesson from his father. He started this Iraqi War with the right procedures, (Shock and Awe Campaign), which had immediate and dramatic results. Remember how all the Arab states were demanding our total and immediate withdrawal? That's because we were having an impact. But I don't hear those demands too much lately, because the Arab states know that with each day of frustration we experience in Iraq, the willingness of the American public to finish the job, diminishes. The supporters of Radical Islam know this, and are jumping for glee. Each day that we publicly refuse massive war efforts, brings us closer to another Viet Nam. I believe the best approach was then, and still is today, an increase in bombing, imbargos, and freezing of international assets, which would bring this and any other country to it's knees. We lost very few lives during the first 30 days of the war, demonstrating our superiority in advanced weaponry. But we are only average at ground wars. That is not a commentary on the heroism and bravery of our women and men in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's just a statement of fact that it is impossible to control any rebelling nation unless you have more of your soldiers in their land than they have resistnace fighters. But, Senator Obama's idea of an umbrella force will guarantee either a series of suicide attacks on our troops in the neighboring states, or an eventual total pull-out of all military assets in the region. And talking with the Iranians, and Syrians will only lead to more of the kinds of lies and deceptions that Sadaam Husein gave us. If you want to win a war, "walk softly and carry a big stick." And, I might add, use it when you can.

November 28, 2006

I cannot sleep. My seething anger keeps my eyes wide open.

But you are sleeping safely in your home, holding your partner or your child and you know in all probability that you will awake tomorrow. And tomorrow, you will open your eyes, step into your bathroom and you will find running water. You will fix yourself a coffee and you will find electricity, you will open your kitchen cupboard and you will find food.

Then you will get dresse , and you have clothes for winter and if you catch the flu, you can always call up your doctor or run to a hospital. Hey, you can even take flowers to your beloved ones if they happen to fall il,or just check to make sure that the surgery of Uncle Tom was successful. Oh yes, you can afford to do so.


Then you will get into your car, drive merrily or maybe not so merrily to your work place , or go shopping worrying about what to cook for your sweet family, or meet with your friends for a morning cup and rant neurotically about how miserable your life is.

Your day is probably filled with things to do. Most likely you have a job and you know you have an income at the end of the month. And you can give yourself the luxury of planning for your future.

You plan everything don't you? What you will be getting for your kids at Christmas, how many parties you have booked on your agenda , your next vacation trip, your one year plan, your five year plan , when your goverment will be invading another country. You are in fact a great planner.

If you have kids , then you know they are getting an education . You can buy them pads, pencils, drawing books , toys and even take them for a stroll in a park free from Depleted Uranium and you can fly kites and raise your eyes to the sky and not see fire jets hovering above your little head . You can do that. I know you can.

And if you are walking about, you know that no bomb or bullet is going to blow you or blow your loved ones away. You will neither be kidnapped nor abducted never to be seen again.

You feel queasy at the sight of blood . Yes I know that. Even the blood you watch on your TV screen when you get back home safely in the evenings is censored so as not to disturb your sensitivities. You don't see limbs , bowels, and brains blown away, you are really cared for and so protected . And if per chance you come across such scenes, you conveniently zap or ask your kids to run upstairs. You don't want them traumatized . Yes violence is bad for you .
It disturbs your peace of mind . I really sympathize.

And when Saturday or Sunday comes, you go to your worship place, and praise the Lord for being born in the greatest country ever. Yes I know you enjoy your rights and freedoms.

During weekends, you can take time for your leisure, tend your garden , go to a gym, invite your friends, barbecue, go dancing , party. You can have fun . But of course, it is natural, it is written in your constitution "the pursuit of happiness" is just for you, and only for you. I don't need to remind you . You already know it by heart.

And when you are with your friends you can be so very interesting . You can tell them how fucked up the world is , how people can't get along . You will point your finger in our direction and hold us as an example . Oh yes, you know so much . Your press told you all about it.

And when you are done with all of the above, you will go back to sleep in your cozy bed, switch the lights off and snore in total oblivion. All the way to that state you are so familiar with, all the way back into your usual comatose indifferent self.

And we are still here,counting the minutes, the seconds and hoping we will taste life again. A life we had before you and your ilk took it all away.


Painting : Iraqi Artist Rafa Nasiri.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 21, 2006 9:27 AM.

Sweet column: Blagojevich taps Duckworth for state vets job. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Emanuel, for '08, table dives if forced to pick between old friend Hillary and new friend Barack. is the next entry in this blog.

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