Obama’s trip: Some questions Katie, Brian and Charles should ask

Larry Elder's picture

Question: Before your trip to Iraq, you said that you intend to give the military a “new mission” — all of the combat troops withdrawn within 16 months. Why bother traveling to Iraq and consulting with commanders on the ground, if you’ve already decided on a new mission?

Q: In 2004, you called it unwise to announce a timetable. By 2008, however, you announce a 16-month timetable. Only a few days ago, your top campaign strategist stated that you were “not wedded” to that timetable. The next day, you reiterated your 16-month timetable, but added it’s important not to “undo” our gains. Isn’t this confusing?

Q: On Iran, you criticized Bush for leaving all options on the table up to and including a “military option.” And during the campaign season, you criticized Sen. Clinton for voting to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terror organization. But you later said that, as to Iran, all military options ARE on the table, and said that you consider the Revolutionary Guard a terror organization. Did the facts change or the politics change?

Q: You announced support for a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The next day, you reversed course, leaving the disposition of Jerusalem a matter to be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Can you clarify?

Q: You said you would sit down, without preconditions, with leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Kim Jong Il of North Korea. You later agreed to hold such talks only under prearranged conditions. You further stated that such talks would occur only when and if you choose to hold them. Again, please clarify.

Q: You point to Kennedy’s 1961 summit with Khrushchev, held without preconditions. But Kennedy’s secretary of State, Dean Rusk, advised against the meeting, and Kennedy later declared the talks a disaster. Many historians say that Khrushchev sized up Kennedy as a novice, which emboldened Khrushchev in building the Berlin Wall and in putting missiles in Cuba. Is it wise to hold up the Kennedy/Khrushchev summit as a model?

Q: The Canadians recently agreed to accept 550 tons of yellowcake from Iraq. The Associated Press called it the remaining portion of Saddam Hussein’s “nuclear program.” David Kay, the weapons hunter, found no stockpiles of WMD, but maintained that Saddam Hussein possessed the intent and capacity to restart his chemical and biological program following the lifting of sanctions. Was President Bush, therefore, correct in saying that Saddam posed a “grave and gathering threat”?

Q: Before you joined the Senate, you said that you opposed this war. But you later said that you understood how and why your Senate colleagues voted for the war, that they were “privy” to national security information you did not have. You also said the vote must have been “difficult.” Your nomination opponents Dodd, Biden, Edwards and Clinton — all in the Senate at the time — voted for the war. How can you be so certain that had you been in the Senate, you would have voted against the war?

Q: Some argue that if the United States does not attack Iran before they get a nuclear weapon, Israel will. Do you believe this is true? If so, what will the U.S. do, especially since many will blame the U.S. anyway?

Q: In stating your intention to end the Iraq war, you say it costs $10 billion per month. But you, as does John McCain, intend to leave a “residual force.” Can you give us the size of that force, and provide a cost estimate?

Q: Since the surge, 15 of the 18 benchmarks have been met. The Sunnis, who boycotted Parliament, have now rejoined it. Polls show Iraqis more optimistic about their country’s future than Americans are about ours. At the provincial level, oil revenues are being shared, and Iraq’s oil production is at a postwar high. But for the surge, wouldn’t things in Iraq now be substantially worse?

Q: You opposed the Iraq war and the surge. If you had gotten your way, wouldn’t al-Maliki and other members of the Iraqi government, with whom you have met, be in exile, in jail or dead?

Q: New York Times reporter John Burns estimates that under Saddam Hussein — through war and terror — up to a million Iraqis may have died. Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein?

Q: We have not been hit on American soil in the seven years since 9/11. In the last five years, no major American facility in the entire world has sustained a terror attack. Does President Bush deserve any credit for this?

Q: Estimates for the monetary cost of 9/11 range from $600 billion to $1 trillion. Is it not possible, just possible, that Bush’s actions — including beefing up Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, increased surveillance, and especially the war in Iraq — have prevented another 9/11?

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JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Fri, 07/25/2008 - 3:32pm.

Maybe here’s some reasons these questions were not asked.

If Larry is confused about the timetable in Iran it’s of no concern. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki seems to understand Obama pretty well.

Obama criticized Clinton for supporting the Kyl-Lieberman amendment (which he had said he opposed because it excessively provocative) not for voting to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terror organization. Obama cosponsored a bill that would designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. McCain sharply criticized Obama for missing the vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment for several days until reporters discovered that McCain had missed the vote too.

Obama never said he, “…would sit down, without preconditions, with leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.” Look it up. He said, specifically talking about Iran’s nuclear program, that he would talk to Iranian leaders. Look at the Iranian constitution, nuclear programs and foreign policy are specifically reserved for the “Supreme Leader” presently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The old yellowcake scare for the ignorant again. As toxic as lead paint. Ho-hum. See here for a previous discussion of: yellowcake.

“Since the surge, 15 of the 18 benchmarks have been met.” Preposterous. Talk radio lunacy. In a May 2008 report to Congress obtained by AP, the Bush administration wrote that the Iraqi government achieved "satisfactory" progress on 15 of 18 political benchmarks. Pure propaganda. Independent studies show the surge has only met 3 of the 18. Anyone wanting to read the official GAO report can find it here:

Iraqi Surge Benchmarks

“We have not been hit on American soil in the seven years since 9/11… Does President Bush deserve any credit for this?” Sure, if we aren’t hit for another two years be will deserve the same credit as Clinton deserves for the US not being hit again after the first Trade Center attack. Hopefully Obama will not be stupid enough to ignore national intelligence briefings with names like, “Bin Ladin determined to strike in US.”

Richard Hobbs's picture
Submitted by Richard Hobbs on Sat, 07/26/2008 - 3:22pm.

Jeffc, you know I'm just an ignorant old white racist so I get really confused when you use those words . . . like "shilling."

I don't know what that word means. I thought it might have come up while you lived in "da hood," but I've not been able to find it in any slang dictionaries either.

So I read the dictionary again and I could not understand what you meant. How could there be a meaning to an English equivalent of a coin?

Then I realized that words mean different things to liberals.

While words like "change" make a conservative ask the questions, what, why, when and how much. The word has another meaning to liberals. To liberals its like a sounding bell, as in Pavlov's dog. Everytime they hear it, they get a tingling feeling going up their legs and back, and then it finally rests between their ears, hmmming away as they begin to mutter in a chant, "Oh Bama, Hey Bama, Bama, Bama Ho, Bama Hey, Bama Ho, Bama! Hey Barry, Barry, won't you look down on me? Bama Ho, Bama Hey Superstar!"--(Sung to the tune from J.C. Superstar, "Hosanna".)

So I looked up the only reference I could find, and lo and behold, I found it in the 2nd Chapter of Obama,

"Wherein Baby Barry was resting in a manager, while his typically sweet white momma looked for foreign schools to raise her son in "diversity."
Finally, a light from above filtered down upon her, and she heard a voice on high say, "Whatch ya be doin' whitch joe shilling?" Frightened by the voice, Barack's mother commanded the voice in thunderous voice, "Why you be ax'ing 'bout my shilling? . . . 'sides, I only's got one, Allah knows I not being needed 'nuther shile to be living witch me." whereupon, she laid a golden basketball at his feet, and prayed that from hence forth, the name of Barack should be his name."

But you see Jeffc, I don't know why you are talking about Elder's children? What does that have to do with the story? But I do like how you are trying to bring a new word that you've learned from the Book of Obama, and use it in your daily vocabulary of blogging.

I'd like to know where the ceremonial rights begin, in which The Holy One Barack, will have his testicals removed. Since, Jessie's comments can never be interpreted except in a lovingly, non-racist way, I can only assume this might be part of the Book of Obama.

So bless us with your other new words. Because us dumb hicks that can't speak a foreign language, like Barack did while in Germany. . .oops, no not there. . . in France. . . nope not there?
Oh yeah, when he went to England, he was speaking a foreign language, because no one can understand the words that he uses, since all of the definitions have to be changed to accommodate his serious screw ups on the campaign trail.
"You see when the Senator said he would negotiate without pre-conditions, what he meant to say was that he didn't care which resturant they ate at. . . "
"You see when the Senator said that through his leadership on the Banking Committee he was able to write some important economic bills. What he meant to say, was that while he was at the bank depositing his campaign monies, he paid a lot of his own personal bills"
"You see when he says that his racist Pastor of 20 years is as close to him as an Uncle, what he meant to say, was that he never met the man nor ever heard a single word that ever came out of his mouth."

So share with us some more from the Book of Obama. I can hardly wait!!!!

I'll be waiting.

JeffC's picture
Submitted by JeffC on Sat, 07/26/2008 - 5:03pm.

shill (sh l) Slang
One who poses as a satisfied customer or an enthusiastic gambler to dupe bystanders into participating in a swindle.

v. shilled, shill•ing, shills

To act as a shill.

Use this dictionary from now on:


Submitted by wheeljc on Sat, 07/26/2008 - 4:09pm.

To add to your treatise, the following appeared in the London Times on July 25. Satire? Yes, but to some, it is fact.

He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.

And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”

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