Barack Obama's had his big interview with Katie Couric, and we have excerpts! Somehow, he seems to let Katie Couric trap him, too, with regards to the Surge. She asks him, at one point, if, Given What We Know Now about declined violence in Iraq, he would've supported the Surge last year, hmm? Rather than offer his very logical strategic position on this, he tries to make it an economic issue, about how much these damn wars cost during a time when no one has a home in America. Move the debate back home, but let "The Surge Worked" live yet another day. FTW.


Couric: But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?

Obama: Katie, as … you've asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.

Couric: But yet you're saying … given what you know now, you still wouldn't support it … so I'm just trying to understand this.

Obama: Because … it's pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that's money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan so that we were reducing our demand on oil, which is helping to fund the insurgents in many countries. So those are all factors that would be taken into consideration in my decision-- to deal with a specific tactic or strategy inside of Iraq.

First, he gets pissy. He is always getting pissy at the news questions. He lets a question from Katie Couric -- that he refuses to answer -- get him pissy! Why can't he say No, he would not have supported it, because much of the reduction in violence has come from (a) most people already being dead in Iraq, not many left to kill, (b) most surviving Iraqis getting the hell out of Dodge and (c) American forces giving shitloads of cash to Sunni tribe leaders to get them to, you know, stop killing everyone. And that the reduction in violence, which roughly corresponded to the implementation of the Surge time-wise but who really knows, has not altered the untenable position of the United States in Iraq, a country which will have to deal with sectarianism at some point, on its own terms, but cannot really do this while another country is playing nanny. Under the current strategy, Iraq will develop into a 46-year-old albino loser who still lives in his parents' basement; he's tried to escape and make a go of things for himself in the real world, but his parents have locked him in the basement, which is the point.

The loser child metaphor, it works! Yet here's Obama, PLAYING POLITICS, saying we should leave Iraq simply because it costs money at a time when you have no home, an insulting contrast of sorts. And yelling at Katie Couric.

He is clearly worried that, by directly saying "no" to the question about rethinking his position on the Surge, McCain will claim he's Insulting The Troops' Sacrifice. Oh, Barry. Bad things happen to Democratic presidential candidates when that hot air starts dictating their politics. Besides, McCain will say it anyway, and no one will care.

Obama, Couric Spar Over Surge [Marc Ambinder]


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