The Iraqis most enthusiastic about Obama's plan surely are al-Qaida members, Sadrists, Iranian agents and sectarian killers of every stripe. The prospect of an American president suddenly letting up on them has to be the best cause for hope they've had in months. Obama's withdrawal would immediately embolden every malign actor in Iraq, and increase their sway in Iraqi politics.
In his op-ed, Obama sticks to the badly dated contention that Iraqis "have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge." In fact, roughly 15 of 18 political benchmarks have been met by the Iraqis -- progress Obama threatens to reverse.
Obama loves to say that we have to withdraw from Iraq "responsibly." There's nothing responsible about his plan. According to U.S. commanders on the ground, it may not even be logistically possible. Does Obama even care? He says that when he's elected he'd give the military a new mission -- to end the war. Conditions in Iraq, let alone winning, are marginalia.
There are two possible interpretations -- either Obama is dangerously sincere, or he's a cynical operator playing duplicitous politics with matters of war and peace. Watch this space.
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