As far as the folks at the New York Times are concerned, the success in Iraq is due to the efforts of Barack Obama and the liberals, at least that’s what they are arguing. Take a look at Thomas Friedman’s opinion piece from yesterday:
In the last year, though, the U.S. troop surge and the backlash from moderate Iraqi Sunnis against Al Qaeda and Iraqi Shiites against pro-Iranian extremists have brought a new measure of stability to Iraq. There is now, for the first time, a chance — still only a chance — that a reasonably stable democratizing government, though no doubt corrupt in places, can take root in the Iraqi political space.
That is the Iraq that Obama is inheriting. It is an Iraq where we have to begin drawing down our troops — because the occupation has gone on too long and because we have now committed to do so by treaty — but it is also an Iraq that has the potential to eventually tilt the Arab-Muslim world in a different direction.
I’m sure that Obama, whatever he said during the campaign, will play this smart. He has to avoid giving Iraqi leaders the feeling that Bush did — that he’ll wait forever for them to sort out their politics — while also not suggesting that he is leaving tomorrow, so they all start stockpiling weapons.
If he can pull this off, and help that decent Iraq take root, Obama and the Democrats could not only end the Iraq war but salvage something positive from it. Nothing would do more to enhance the Democratic Party’s national security credentials than that.
If Obama can pull this off? What’s Friedman smoking? How does he think Obama inherited this successful Iraq? President Bush and our troops are who did all the work to get Iraq to where it is and they did so in the face of immense pressure from the liberals and the rest of the world to retreat. Compare this to Barack Obama, who, from the time he came into the US Senate, has done everything he can to lose this war. He and his fellow Democrats in the Senate voted against funding for the troops. They badmouthed the war. Harry Reid said it was lost on national television. Yet the Thomas Friedman at the New York Times says Obama and the liberals deserve the credit for its success.
Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee had the same reaction I did:
If he can pull this of?
And then he continued:
Let’s be very clear, so that even a historical revisionist like Friedman can understand it.
House and Senate Democrats, including President Elect Barack Obama, did everything in their power to lose the Iraq War, and deserve no credit for any success.
How many times in the past two years have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and their cohorts attempted to defund our troops and force them into defeat? Forty times? Fifty? Frankly, I lost count somewhere in the mid-forties.
Now Friedman and his fellow defeatists on the left who long derided those of us who wanted to secure victory as “28-percenters,” “warmongers” and “murderers” want to try to rewrite history. The Times and their fellow travelers long to rewrite their moral cowardice as a virtue, and give themselves a victory by declaration.
Yep, that’s how the Democrats work, isn’t it? Not only do they let others do all the work but they also criticize along the way. Then when it’s all said and done, they try to take all the credit.
Ace weighed in on this today as well:
The general pattern here is that after years of calling more or less explicitly for a cleansing defeat in Iraq, liberals are beginning to make the case that we shouldn’t lose a war we’ve already won just to appease the netroots– in other words, Bush was right.
But they didn’t say that before. Only now that Obama has been elected to they admit it.
Partly because they are now willing to argue in the American interest rather than the liberal Democratic Party interest, and partly because politics continues well past the water’s edge — they want credit for a victory and won’t permit the fallout from a defeat suffered on their watch.
Hat tip: Stop the ACLU