John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Turn the Page

Posted on August 31, 2010

Photo via the NY Times

The President said he wanted to turn the page on Iraq.

I wonder how that makes the Iraqis feel.  My guess is that they are saying, “wait, this chapter isn’t done yet!”  About the only Iraqi who wants us out is that Sadr character, who is just looking for a way to grab power for himself.

It was nice that Mr. Obama called former President Bush today, and that he mentioned that conversation in his speech tonight.  I wonder if the current President acknowledged that the former President was right when it came to the surge.  I doubt it.

Mr. Obama has been pretty consistent that he didn’t like the Iraq War and that he wanted to spend the money that we spent in Iraq on bigger government to “help the middle class.”  The irony is that most middle class voters are clamoring for smaller government, lower taxes, and less meddling from the Feds, not for more help from Mr. Obama.

Time will tell if we pulled combat troops out of Iraq prematurely.  Should we leave the region completely, which Mr. Obama seems to be promising in his speech tonight, the immediate beneficiary will be the Iranians.  Iran already has more influence in Iraq than any other country other than us, and should we leave completely, well, why don’t we just leave Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the keys to the candy store then?

We got into Iraq and Afghanistan to not only knock off hostile and violent regimes, but also to put maximum pressure on an Iranian regime intent on building nuclear weapons and funding worldwide terrorism.   When we leave both Iraq and Afghanistan, we give the Iranians a chance to take a deep breath.

We still have more than 100,000 troops in Germany, Japan, and Korea, all who were put in place to put maximum pressure on the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  Now, the Soviet Union has been gone for close to twenty years, but we still keep our troops to provide stability and, yes, to project American power.

But projecting American power is not what Barack Obama is all about.  He is all about building a bigger government to take care of a middle class that doesn’t want to be taken care of by a massive federal behemoth.

The President used the Oval Office to make a political speech about how he hoped to turn the page on his party’s political troubles.  The flag behind him prominently displayed the Latin motto of the United States, E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one.  That motto signifies that America is a country of many different nationalities, religions, colors and creeds, but one unified purpose.

Mr. Obama wants that unified purpose to be for the American people to turn the page on Iraq, and I imagine that won’t be a hard sell for most folks who have long turned the page on that conflict.  The problem for the President is that the voters have already read the next chapter in the Obama book, and what they see is higher taxes, bigger government, higher debt, a health care law that they hate, and an economy that is in a shambles.   And according to a spate of recent polls, they don’t blame President Bush for this mess.  They blame President Obama.

My guess is that in this coming election, voters will turn the page on President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

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