May 29 2008
Obama is thinking about visiting Iraq this summer, the most important place on planet Earth when it comes to America’s recent past, present and future with regards to our national security. Â If he goes he is in for a serious wake-up call that will test him as a human being like nothing else has before. Â I doubt seriously if Obama is going simply because John McCain challenged him to face up to the realities of Iraq. Â Obama’s not one to do something risky unless he absolutely is forced into the corner (e.g., Reverend Wright).
No, what I think nailed Obama was this truly powerful ad – and what it shows Obama will need to face when he goes to Iraq:
What will Obama do when faced with tens of thousands of young, brave American heros like this young lady who will challenge Obama to finish up our victory in Iraq? What will Obama do to honor those who sacrificed all to get us to where we are, on the verge of complete victory?
This is such a risky act on Obama’s part I think the politician in him will, in the end, decline to go and face Iraq and our armed forces. But if he does go, then he will be forced to make a decision. Will he play to his anti-war base (which he needs to keep his poll numbers afloat) and diss our armed forces and those who died and were wounded to get us here? We he throw away the most valued sacrifices any person can give a country to hold onto votes? Is a pol or man of principle?
Or conversely, will he acknowledge the sacrifices of our armed forces, of our Iraqi allies and realize the only benefit to a withdrawal now is to our enemies? Will he succumb to John McCain’s wisdom and defend our gains, show he is able to be commander-in-chief and stand up to idiotic forces here in America who conceive of suicidal policies and promote them as solutions to non-problems. Will Obama be the statesman, open a new dialogue with the American people, bridge the partisan divide?
You can quickly see why this is a very dangerous action for Obama. If he is serious about going I would suspect the calls for Clinton to step aside would abruptly stop because everyone knows this is a big gambit. Either way he loses something – that is what hard choices are all about. If there was one good and one bad choice they are easy. It is these kinds of choices that have led President Bush to burn up his political capitol as he fought the war in Iraq to win. He made a series of hard choices which always had a negative impact on him.
But Bush is a leader. We don’t know what Obama is, but what little we know doesn’t show leadership. Which is why, in the end, I think he will dodge the challenge all together.