At this writing, the campaign Web site makes no mention of a trip to Iraq. But under the headings "Barack Obama's Plan" and "Bringing Our Troops Home," it continues to stress that "Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months." That statement and the promised trip would be problematic for candidates getting more scrutiny than Obama has received. It might be called "show-and-tell trouble."
When our kids were in elementary school, they would have to bring something to school occasionally to show their classmates and then tell them all about it. That also meant the youngsters had to know real facts about the objects they were displaying. For a person with Obama's position on Iraq, a trip to the war zone would create a dilemma far greater than telling about a pet frog. It would be more like a pet skunk.
If Obama really does go to Iraq and listens carefully to the Americans and Iraqis who have been fighting and winning the campaign against al-Qaida and the Shiite militias, he will have to admit that McCain's surge strategy was right. He also would have to acknowledge that the campaign in Iraq is being won. And that, in turn, would require him to backtrack on the get-out-now plank of his foreign policy platform.
For most candidates, reversing course on a major campaign issue would be a significant problem. But Obama has proved that changing his mind (some would call it flip-flopping) is no obstacle to success. Just this week, he did an about-face on accepting federal funds for the general election. Though he has long insisted that public financing is essential to avoid becoming a pawn of special interests and lobbyists, Obama now claims that the public financing system is "broken." He's the first general election candidate to opt out of the system since it was established in 1976.
This change of heart hasn't hurt Barack Obama's standing with the media a bit. Count on him getting the same kind of free pass on an equally shameless show and tell in Iraq.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.