The Liar in the White House

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


In a speech to disabled U.S. veterans in Atlanta on Monday, President Obama opined that “America’s combat mission in Iraq” would end by the end of August, to be replaced by a mission of “supporting and training Iraqi security forces.”

That statement was in line with his campaign promise made in 2007 and 2008, and the pledge he had made on Feb. 27, 2009, when he said, “Let me say this as plainly as I can: by Aug. 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

But nineteen months after taking office, Mr. Obama has quietly abandoned that pledge, admitting implicitly that such combat brigades would remain firmly in Iraq until at least the end of 2011. A far cry from campaign promises to redeploy the troops from Iraq beginning this month.

In language largely ignored by the mainstream media, in the sentence preceding that pledge, Obama said, “I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months.” Obama said nothing in his speech Monday about withdrawing “combat brigades” or “combat troops” from Iraq until the end of 2011.

An White House official who spoke on condition that his statements would be attributed to a “senior administration official” acknowledged that the 50,000 U.S. troops remaining in Iraq beyond the deadline will have the same combat capabilities as the combat brigades that have been withdrawn.

The official acknowledged that the troops will engage in some combat but suggested that the combat would be “mostly” for defensive purposes. Such language implies that there might be circumstances in which U.S. forces would carry out offensive operations as well.

Mr. Obama’s reversal of one of his key campaign promises and a high-profile pledge made early in his administration without explicit acknowledgment highlights the way in which language on national security policy can be manipulated for political benefit with the acquiescence of the news media.

By parsing the withdrawal date of combat troops by the Sept. 1 deadline in his Feb. 27, 2009 speech allows the president to satisfy his anti-war base on a unpopular national security policy issue while at the same time, allows Obama to back away from previous  campaign promises on Iraq withdrawal dates.

In short, what we have is a liar in the White House. Can 2012 get here any sooner?

SOURCE: The Raw Story from IPS News

This entry was posted in Empire, International News, Iraq war, News, Politics, President Barack Obama and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Liar in the White House

  1. Brigadoon says:

    Obama will try to run for reelection based on health care and saving the banking industry. Nevermind the epic failure to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and DOMA, or his mindless escalation of the deadly war in Afghanistan. For my dollar, Obama hasn’t earned the right to come back for another term.

  2. Joe in Colorado says:

    It makes you wonder if Obama ever intended remove the troops from Iraq this month? His fast footwork and fancy language suggests this is indeed the case and once again, the American people were duped into thinking he would be a transformational man, different from all the others.

  3. feminazi says:

    I’m afraid your assessment is correct, Christopher. I don’t think this president ever intended to remove the troops — en masse, from Iraq, as he so often said in the campaign. I worry about the destructiveness this decision will have not only on our economy but on our national psyche. Another occupant of the White who can’t be trusted. What difference is there between Democratic and Republican candidates?

  4. Vivzzz says:

    This is simply no compelling, national interest to keep any American military presence in Iraq.

    Widely reported in the dead tree dailies and in the blogs is the daily activities of our troops. Most spend their day exercising, playing video games, learning computer skills and drinking beer. It’s Club Med in the Green Zone and we, the American taxpayer is funding it. President Obama is just George Bush with a better game to run.

  5. You wrote this headline Christopher, and you’re pulling one of the deceits we’ve come to expect from the idiots on the right: breaking a promise does not make someone a liar.

    You should be ashamed of yourself for falling into that trap. I’m not saying to not criticize the President, but you should know the difference between breaking a campaign promise and lying.

  6. Glenn Beck,

    Perhaps what you should do is extract your nose from Obama’s rectum?

    I am not pulling a “deceits.” Obama campaigned to remove the troops from Iraq this month. This is one of the central reasons millions of people (including me) voted for him.

    Now, Aug. 2010 is here and instead of delivering on a campaign promise of great importance to the American people, Obama’s is playing word games and renaming the on-going troop presence in Iraq.

    Everyone is accountable, Glenn Beck. Even your hero, President Obama.

  7. Mets Fan says:

    The O-Bots, the few remaining, are getting furious.

  8. Rachel says:

    Did anyone really think the troops would come out of Iraq beginning this month? I mean, seriously? I had a small glimmer of hope but as the past 18 months unfolded, it became increasingly clear that Obama does whatever Adm. Mike Mullen and Secretary Robert Gates tell him to do. Hence, the survey that went out to 400,000 troops vis a vis repealing DADT.

  9. Estacada says:

    Glenn Beck Review – Why aren’t you outraged at President Obama for playing games with the very people who supported him in 2008?

    He made a promise to redeploy the troops and now, instead of delivering on that promise, he’s renamed the mission instead.

    This is about as pure a case of gamesmanship as you can find. This is what should outrage you.

  10. lea-lea says:

    Obama is down 41% in the latest poll.

    If he doesn’t stop governing like a Republican lets see him get reelected with the African-American vote only.

  11. Moot point. The troops will be moved to Afghanistan to guard our vast mineral deposits from Afghans who had the audacity to be born on our property.

  12. bradfrmphnx says:

    I will concur that he has fallen far short of the many promises he made. And this was a man that at the time, I felt in my heart of hearts would be the one person who would NOT do this to us. Still, he has done much good. Does that make me an “Obamabot?” Before I make any rash decisions, I a going to wait until I see who else is running in 2012.

    The saddest commentary might be…choosing the better of two evils. I am beginning to detest our entire government.

  13. Joe says:

    I agree: 2012 can’t get here soon enough. I’ll be voting Green.

    On a different, but related, note, I came across a NYT article about this economy becoming the new economy. I’ve considered this from the beginning of this depression.

    Since we’ve done nothing that will stimulate jobs, I figured that high unemployment will define America. This article discusses that:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/opinion/02krugman.html?_r=1

    It’s worth looking at.

  14. Jolly Roger says:

    Christ, I knew it. His history suggested it. I tried to tell people he wasn’t a stone’s throw from Hillary, and they got mad at me. Next time listen to me, dammit🙂

  15. Joe says:

    Hi Christopher:

    First, thanks for your blog. I look at it every day. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind.

    If I post with a link, does my comment go to “moderation.”

    If I wanted to have an image in my message, what do I do.

    If you’d reply to this via my email, that would be great.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  16. Thai Noodles says:

    Watch the polls. Watch them closely.

    If President Obama keeps dropping like a stone in water, as we approach 2012, expect the military to invade Iran.

    Remember, Obama is under increased pressure to prove he’s a friend to Israel and Ahmadinejad is within 12 months of a fully functionally nuke. Obama won’t sit on his hands and let this Iranian kook blow Israel off the map.

    Then his polls will soar — they will go through the roof.

  17. Joe,

    A posts containing a hyperlink is held in moderation.

    This is done to avoid Spam and advertising and there are no exceptions to this rule.

    Please refer to COMMENT POLICY link at top for further clarification.

    Christopher, editor/owner

  18. DMason says:

    I don’t trust Obama now. He’s assuming we can’t read and can’t deconstruct a sentence. That we watch The View and TMZ, sports and porn. Sorry Barry, but we the people are much smarter than you give us credit for.

  19. Miss Courtet says:

    So we voted for Barack Obama, why again exactly?

  20. Big Hank says:

    Gen. Stan McChrystal told Rolling Stone that Obama was afraid of the military. His perception was, the newly elected president was intimidated by the men in uniform.

    I think he’s correct. It pains me to say this because I think what McChrystal said in the interview was a true dereliction of duty. But, it would certainly explain why this president can’t say “no” to the Pentagon and end a pair of wars Obama inherited.

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