The Parse

Parsing the stupidity

Obama admits he was wrong on troops (sort of)

with 5 comments

Obambi has selected Gen. Eric Shinseki to head up the Veterans Administration because “he ‘was right’ in predicting that the U.S. will need more troops in Iraq than Rumsfeld,” according to the AP.

So, Obama – who opposed an increase in troops in Iraq – is selecting a man whom he says was right for holding the position that was opposite his own.

Of course, AP willingly misses this and instead focuses on the disagreement between Shinseki and Bush/Rumsfeld.


Written by The Parse

December 6, 2008 at 9:07 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Wow. [Immature personal attack removed.] Gen. Shinseki made his statements before the war started, arguing that if we were going to invade Iraq, then we needed at least 500,000 troops to do so. Obama on the other hand, was against the “surge” as a means to stem violence and create a political solution. There are certainly legitimate reasons to criticize Obama’s position there, but they don’t require rank dishonesty.


    December 6, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  2. The fact that Shinseki made the statements before the war is irrelevant. The point is that Obama says he likes Shinseki because he had the judgment to know that more boots on the ground (whether at the beginning or not) would be necessary to win the war, whereas Obama himself doesn’t hold the same judgment. By saying this, Obama is indirectly admitting that his position (more troops don’t work) was wrong. But, that’s as close as he’ll ever come to a real admission of poor judgment.


    December 6, 2008 at 10:29 pm

  3. Granted, you removed my “immature personal attack,” but you still haven’t shown that you’re not an idiot.

    The claim that we needed more troops to invade, and the claim that we need more troops to secure Baghdad (which is what the surge was) are two separate claims which can be evaluated on their own merits. Which is to say that you can believe the first without necessarily believing the second. Here’s an example:

    “We needed more troops to secure the borders of Iraq and ensure that nothing would escape, moreover, we needed to establish some semblence of order in the major cities.

    However additional troops now won’t do anything to address the underlying dynamics behind the violence, and sending more troops now is counterproductive, since the presence of troops is what’s driving the violence.”

    Now, regardless of whether or not these claims are true, they aren’t logically dependent on each other. Show me that they are, and maybe you’ll have a point.


    December 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    • You can’t believe that in order to win in Iraq, we need more troops and do not need more troops. Logical enough for ya, Mr. Bright?


      December 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm

  4. I have no doubt that Gen(R) Shinseki will do a bang-up job as Veterans Affairs Secretary.

    But General Shinseki, while seemingly prescient on the amount of troops required for Iraq, was also on the wrong side of many critical decisions that affected the readiness and capability of the army as well.
    The typical narrative normally fails to examine his record beyond the one day of testimony before Congress in February 2003; he was Chief of Staff of the Army for four years, after all. . .


    December 7, 2008 at 12:01 am

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