If I am not mistaken, the general template for the troop withdrawal from Iraq was hammered out, with the Iraqi top guy, under Bush, at the end of his presidency. The timeline was pretty well set. Many people objected to the timeline approach at the time.
Obama claims he has kept his campaign promise about pulling troops out because of this December 2011 thing. He is unabashedly claiming full credit. The basis of it all has kind of changed over the last few years since Iraq nixed the original plan of having some bases still there. But such is life. The O wanted bases but since they said no, he can play up getting out as not being kicked out on that level. This is one of those times when he could blame Bush for the general troop withdrawal and it would be more truthful. Give the man credit for nerve. He must have been reading P.T. Barnum's memoirs.
The big O can claim credit for Osama Been Laiden to rest in the deep blue sea. Not for this. I understood his campaign promise was to bring troops home immediately, much faster than this. I believe the timeline followed was pretty much the default already put in place. At least we haven't escalated other involvement over there, tried to influence who was or wasn't in power and have met with nothing but respect and success since Bush hit the road. Right.
If this is drastically different than how things were before Barack, I haven't noticed. Neither one has been overly clear on objectives, rationale, or what constitutes a victory which would allow us to get out.
Both expect soldiers to be social workers and to serve under unsafe rules of engagement. Both allow troops to be misused.
This police action, using the army to build schools approach hasn't worked, ever. Unless you are someone who benefits from the event. I'd love to be the guy who sells million dollar missiles. Imagine that commission. I'd be starting little skirmishes in the dark of night just so someone would fire one off. Then they'd buy more.
I'm interested in knowing what the strategy is in Afghanistan and the rest of the area. I find it unclear, just as I did in the Bush days. Especially when there was talk of making the region free to be sane and happy, and not oppressive. That is a pipe dream. Not all cultures lend themselves to such things.
Speaking of claiming credit, how often do politicians ask if you are better off than you were four years ago? It gets asked in different contexts, often as a negative against whoever was on the public payroll living in the White House at the time. Bunk!!!
I am better off than I was four years ago or three years ago, but it has absolutely nothing to do with government people. Not one thing. In other periods of my life when I was better off at the end than the beginning of some four year span, it had nothing to do with the president or his merry men and women. In this case I am certainly not financially better off, but I am better off.
So, anyway, this is shaping up to be the most embarrassing of campaign seasons. I guess the good thing is that both sides are now showing their elitist assumption that people will believe anything. I still think the republican thing is being forced and that, in reality, Mittens would not be on top had the nooz not continually titled him "front runner" even though he really wasn't. They've all but banned Paul from reasonable coverage and credit from the start, and now the assassinate Cain's character and chances assault is on.
I see Mitt, much like McCain was in 2008, as Obama lite. One day we will tire of allowing kings to run our lives, and tire of being useful pawns and idiots pleading our causes to them in hopes of forcing others to do our will.
Most people feel more comfortable believing a "good leader" is what we need. I tend to think we need to limit the power of such people so that, good or bad, they can't accomplish much harm to basic freedoms and rights.