Barack Obama on The Troop Surge in Iraq
GLENN: Give me the surge comments where he said, you know, look, there's other things that have gone on. You know, we have to talk about how the surge and, you know, other things besides the surge.
STU: Okay, here you go.
GLENN: Here it is.
VOICE: How do you escape the logic? You said we succeeded with the surge beyond our wildest dreams? How do you escape the logic that means John McCain was right about the surge?
OBAMA: It's interesting to me why people are so focused on what's happened the last year and a half and not on the previous five.
VOICE: Do you think you made the right decision about the surge
GLENN: Stop for a second. Stop for a second. I just want to point out everybody is focused on what's currently going on instead of the past five. What difference does the past five make? This guy you know, I hate to bring it into Christian terms again but this is where I'm headed towards the end of the hour. This guy doesn't understand that the fundamental concept of redemption. This guy doesn't understand that it doesn't matter where you have been. It matters where you are. Where are you today. Have you learned from the mistakes of the past? Have you looked and said, jeez, my judgment was off here; I can correct it. I mean, that is like saying in World War II, how many mistakes did we make in World War II? Do you know how close we came to losing World War II over and over and over again? We made colossal errors. You change your tactics to win. Again his judgment, his judgment stops, is frozen in time, unless it's politically expedient for him to change it. But then he continues to tie it back to the past. How is this important? Continue to listen.
OBAMA: Here's why. My whole premise has always been that it was a distraction for us to go into Iraq.
GLENN: Got it.
OBAMA: Once we were there, we had to make the best of a bad situation.
OBAMA: And what I have said is that at the time that we made the decision to go in with the surge that it did not address the underlying problem, which is the willingness of the Iraqis to overcome their political differences and reconcile and to provide
VOICE: 15 out of 18 political benchmarks have been met.
GLENN: Stop, stop. That's important. 15 out of the 18 political benchmarks have been met. The other side of the argument was these people won't do it because they don't trust America of being tough. They've got to make look, you got somebody living down the street who's got a gun to your head, says you help them out, I will shoot you in the head because you know they're leaving. As soon as they leave, I shut you and your family. You shut your mouth. As soon as we got serious, that's when the Iraqi people had enough confidence in us that they would fight next to us. Before then, they didn't trust us, nor should they have. That's why 15 out of the 19 now have been met politically speaking. Obama just ignores it. All right. Play the rest of it.
OBAMA: To overcome their political differences and reconcile and
VOICE: 15 out of 18 political benchmarks have been met.
OBAMA: And to provide the kind of strategy that would allow us to move forward. That wasn't part of the package in the surge. So if the question is has the surge done much better than we expected in combination with these other factors in reducing malice, the answer is yes, and I've said this repeatedly.
GLENN: Okay. Here's the thing. He wants, he wants to take credit for getting out. Do you have the second clip of Barack Obama where he talks about, you know, we can get out now, why didn't we get out before? Go ahead, play this.
VOICE: Phrases we've heard from Governor Palin and others at the convention, Republican convention was that in Iraq victory is in sight. Do you believe that?
OBAMA: You know, they have yet to define "Victory." Or it's a very slippery definition. My view is, number one
GLENN: We shouldn't have been there.
OBAMA: It was a poorly conceived mission. So to talk about victory
GLENN: Stop, stop. So to talk about victory, there is no such thing as victory with him. There is no such thing. You will never be victorious in Iraq, ever. Even if we win, they stabilize, we leave, we should leave with our tail between our legs because there is no such thing as victory because it was ill conceived from the beginning. Next.
OBAMA: I think well, look. I think that we I think George Bush, with the help of John McCain and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney made a big strategic blunder. There are enormous costs to that blunder. It's the equivalent of them driving the car off the ditch. I think it's possible for us to get the car back on the road, but
VOICE: That's not going to be better.
OBAMA: Well, that doesn't signify that we are better off than had we not gone. And so I do think that there has been enormous reductions in violence because of the extraordinary service of our troops, and there is no doubt that the improvements in terms of violence has to do with the surge and the Sunni awakening, the Shia militia standing down.
GLENN: He goes on to talk about how that these things that are happening now, the things that are happening now that we can actually get out, he suggested a long time ago. But his judgment is the judgment of a doctor that says, oh, you got cancer? You know what, get out of the hospital and just take your vitamins. And John McCain, being the other doctor, then says, okay, okay, you can take your vitamins and you'll leave the hospital, but you have to have chemotherapy first. Barack Obama is the doctor who said, "I said the whole time you should get out of the hospital and take your vitamins." Yes! But the patient is alive and able to walk out of the hospital because he had the chemotherapy first! All that Barack Obama wants to talk about is the cancer and then walking out of the hospital and having your vitamins, "This is what I said the whole time." He's completely dismissing the whole chemotherapy part. This is not a doctor whose judgment I would trust. But this is only one piece of his judgment. We'll put the whole buzz he will together here in just a second.