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Despite the lack of discussion on the conflict in Iraq at the DNC, rest assured that Barack has a plan. Read all about it below the fold...  

August 27, 2008

Dear People of Iraq,

It is my extreme pleasure to inform you that my first act as President of the United States will be to pull U.S. troops immediately out of Iraq. Well, not exactly "immediately". My generals tell me that we can’t withdraw instantaneously; apparently the pace of the withdrawl is limited by something called "logistics". As a result, it will take several months to extract our forces. But, trust me, we’ll be long gone before 2011 rolls around. Once I’m in charge, we’ll pull out so fast that the "whoosh" sound you hear as we depart will be from the vacuum we leave behind.

You may be wondering about the future of your country once we leave. I believe, based upon my extensive foreign policy experience, that our departure will be welcomed by Iraqis, Syrians, and Iranians alike, and that, as a result, you will enjoy a new era of regional peace and stability. I think I remember hearing something about Iran not being the best of neighbors (eight years of war, 500,000 dead, or something like that) but I wouldn’t worry about that now. I’m sure in no time you’ll have a big block party that ends up in a huge group hug. And if that misunderstood little leader in tiny Iran gets too pushy, just let me know and I’ll go ask him to simmer down.

And don’t worry about sectarian violence or civil war either. Certainly, the relative calm of late must surely indicate that twelve hundred years of internal strife, religious intolerance, and brotherly jealousy  have been resolved between Iraq’s three main religious and ethnic factions.
Besides, we’ll leave some of our soldiers behind. Not enough to help with security, mind you, but enough to monitor the situation. As to the number of troops – it will probably be somewhere between the number of US soldiers forward deployed to key strategic allies like Italy, Turkey and the Philippines during the height of the Cold War (15,000 each), and the number of troops we had guarding the US embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. On second thought, it probably won’t be as many as we had in Italy or Turkey or the Philippines. Seriously, those countries were our strategic allies. What does Iraq have that could possibly be of more value than spaghetti and meatballs or baklava? Anyway, regarding troop levels, I’d love to be more specific, but I don’t want to anger the left wing of the Democratic Party. After all, they nominated me based on my promise to get out of Iraq, and I wouldn’t want to look like a flip-flopper.  

I realize you might be wondering about the timing of this decision. After all, the Bush administration (which you and I know is full of crap) and the United Nations (which everyone knows is full of crap) both seem to think that the "surge", which I strenuously opposed, has worked. The propagandists from the Imperialist Branch of the Republican Party and the MSM (Main Stream Media) will even go far as to point to a couple of recent trends (all dubiously documented, subjectively interpreted, or outright lies) to suggest that your country has "turned the corner." For instance they claim that:

• Sectarian violence, executions, beheadings, kidnappings, and general lawlessness are all in remission, and a bloody civil war was narrowly averted.
• Twelve out of the eighteen progress benchmarks that the Democrat –controlled Congress mandated as measures of success have been met.  
• The Sunni bloc has rejoined the political process by ending a boycott of participation in the cabinet.
• Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has ordered the disarmament of most of his militiamen.
• Control of ten of eighteen provinces has been turned over to Iraqi security forces, and the remaining eight, including Anbar Province, are on track for turn-over before the end of the year.  
• Iraqi civilian and American Armed Forces monthly death tolls are at the lowest levels since 2003.
• The number of IED and suicide bomber attacks has dropped consistently for the last nine months.
• After a general ass-kicking by Sunni and coalition forces, "Al-Qaida in Iraq" has decided to rename itself "Al-Qaida in Pakistan".

In my humble opinion, the question of whether or not the surge worked is entirely academic at this point. (Actually, on the down low, I think the surge has saved a lot of Iraqi lives and kept the country from devolving into chaos and genocide. I mean I’d have to be an idiot to not see that things are better now that they were in early 2007, right?  But, hey, I can’t exactly say that in public. My whole shtick is that I’ve got better judgment than my opponent, so it would be political suicide to admit McCain was right and I was wrong.) The key thing to remember should sectarian violence erupt, or terrorism re-bloom afresh after we leave, is that I made a campaign promise based on what polling data suggested and I intend to see that promise through regardless of the current situation on the ground.  

Anyway, I hope all goes well. Speaking of hope, let me share my audacious hopes for you and your country. First, I hope that you’re able to establish a stable and lasting form of government. And I hope you do it quickly. Heck, it only took the United States eleven years to determine the division of federal and regional power and to draft and ratify a Constitution, so you’re well on your way. Second, I hope you avoid a civil war. It took the US five years of bloodshed and a million dead to settle our sectional differences, so I really, really hope you avoid that mistake. Finally, I hope that you can keep the peace long enough for me to get reelected in 2012 - because, frankly, there’s no way in hell I’m sending troops back to Iraq to refight I war that I forfeited when we were finally ahead on the scoreboard and had runners on base. Anyway, good luck and keep in touch.
Sincerely yours,

Barack Hussein Obama *
Junior Senator from Illinois

* Note – not actually written by Barack Obama.

Originally posted to Sanity Check on Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 04:23 PM PDT.

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