Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama on Iraq: Two Disturbing Alternatives Reconsidered

A note from Radarsite: The plans have been laid, the die has been cast: we have begun the fateful process of pulling out of Iraq and shifting our military presence to the mountainous wastelands of Afghanistan. But, considering the escalating threat from Iran, one can only ask, is this a wise move? Shouldn't we be building our forces up in this volatile region, rather than drawing them down? Isn't Iran acknowledged by all of our leading military experts to be our most immediate and existential threat? As Iran moves inexorably toward its nuclear capability, do we really want our troops removed from the epicenter of this imminently explosive region, bogged down in the labyrinthine badlands of Afghanistan? And finally, who benefits the most from our projected withdrawal? Can anyone seriously consider the threat to the entire region -- indeed, to the entire world -- from the cave-dwelling Taliban warlords to be greater than the monumental threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran?

Presidential candidate Obama ran on the unequivocal promise to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq. President Obama is implementing this policy as expeditiously as possible. But, we must ask ourselves, what is the true logistical reason for this withdrawal?

Some months ago, Radarsite posed this question to our readers and posited some troubling answers. What has changed since then? Are these arguments less valid today than they were then? the results less dangerous? Beyond the lofty rhetoric, what, if anything, do we actually know about Obama's Middle East agenda? What little we do know about Obama's self-proclaimed empathy for Islam and his apparent antipathy for Israel is deeply suspect. Who will be the real beneficiaries of Obama's will? Who will be the winners and who will be the losers?

Perhaps it's time to take a second look at some of these worrisome issues. Please take the time to read them again, and let me know what you think. - rg


Obama on Iraq: Some Troubling Questions

1. The Terrorists On The Importance Of Iraq:

Osama Bin Laden: Baghdad Is "The Capital Of The Caliphate." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)

Bin Laden: "The Most Important And Serious Issue Today For The Whole World Is This Third World War … Raging In [Iraq]." BIN LADEN: "I now address my speech to the whole of the Islamic nation: Listen and understand. The issue is big and the misfortune is momentous. The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)
Bin Laden: "This Is A War Of Destiny Between Infidelity And Islam." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)
Bin Laden: "The Whole World Is Watching This War And The Two Adversaries; The Islamic Nation, On The One Hand, And The United States And Its Allies On The Other. It Is Either Victory And Glory Or Misery And Humiliation." (Text Of Bin Laden's Audio Message To Muslims In Iraq, Posted On Jihadist Websites, 12/28/04)
Ayman al-Zawahiri: We Must "Establish An Islamic Authority … Over As Much Territory As You Can To Spread Its Power In Iraq … [And] Extend The Jihad Wave To The Secular Countries Neighboring Iraq." ZAWAHIRI: "So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals: The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or emirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate – over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq … The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity." (Complete Text Of Al-Zawahiri Letter To Al-Zarqawi, 7/9/05, Available At:, Accessed 9/5/06)

Bin Laden: "The War Is For You Or For Us To Win. If We Win It, It Means Your Defeat And Disgrace Forever." BIN LADEN: "Finally, I would like to tell you that the war is for you or for us to win. If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever as the wind blows in this direction with God's help." (Bin Laden Threatens New Operations, Offers 'Long-Term Truce,' Posted On Al-Jazirah Net, 1/19/06)

2. Barack Hussein Obama on Iraq War:

"Surge strategy has made a difference in Iraq but failed."

Q: Is Petraeus correct when he says that the troop increase is bringing security to Iraq?
A: There is no doubt that because we put American troops in Iraq, more American troops in Iraq, that they are doing a magnificent job. They are making a difference in certain neighborhoods. But the overall strategy is failed because we have not seen any change in behavior among Iraq's political leaders. That is the essence of what we should be trying to do in Iraq. That's why I'm going to bring this war to a close. That's why we can get our combat troops out within 16 months and have to initiate the kind of regional diplomacy, not just talking to our friends, but talking to our enemies, like Iran and Syria, to try to stabilize the situation there. This year, we saw the highest casualty rates for American troops in Iraq since this war started. The same is true in Afghanistan. If we have seen a lowering violence rate, that's only compared to earlier this year. We're back to where we started back in 2006.

Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

Q: If you get us out of Iraq and somehow al Qaeda takes over anyway, what will you do then?
A: Well, look, if we had followed my judgment originally, we wouldn't have been in Iraq. We're here now. And we've got no good options. We got bad options and worse options. The only way we're going to stabilize Iraq and make sure that al Qaeda does not take over in the long term is to begin a phased redeployment so that we don't have anti-American sentiment as a focal point for al Qaeda in Iraq. We can still have troops in the region, outside of Iraq, that can help on counterterrorism activities, and we've got to make sure that they don't establish long-term bases there. But right now, the bases are in Afghanistan and in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan; that's where we've got to focus.

Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum Aug 8,

A short message from Radarsite: Anyone who has read the captured correspondence of the Al-Qaeda leaders concerning the importance that they attach to Iraq, and the central role that Iraq plays in their scheme for a world-wide Caliphate knows how delighted they would be if we followed the advice of Barrack Hussein Obama, and shifted our focus and resources from the oil-rich center of gravity in Iraq, the universally acknowledged keystone to the Middle East, to the mountainous wastelands of Afghanistan

It is the opinion of this writer, that if we abandoned the Land of the Two Rivers to the enemy now, the long-term strategic consequences of this monumental blunder for our GWOT would be nothing less than disastrous. The idea that we could somehow return to the area if it at some point in the future it became infested with Al-Qaeda is at best naive and ludicrous, and at worst naggingly suspect.

Nothing would suit our enemies in Iraq better than a publicly proclaimed schedule of withdrawal of our troops and their eventual complete pullout.

To this particular observer the absurdity of this plan, which so obviously plays into our enemy's game presents us with one of two troubling alternatives: Either it was purposely designed to enhance the chances for our defeat in this crucial region of the Middle East and enhance the capabilities of our sworn Al-Qaeda enemies, or it is the dangerously delusional bumblings of a hopeless amateur. rg

Voted by Fox News at GOP Hub


  1. "If we have seen a lowering violence rate..."

    Obama doesn't count Iraqis butchered by AQI, that's alright by him.