• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Obama Turns Page, Treats Iraq as a Distraction

    President Obama’s wooden speech tonight, ostensibly focused on Iraq, actually gave short shrift to the war in Iraq and failed to convincingly articulate a vision of Iraq’s future, his own Iraq policy, or America’s role in the world. The President talked about ending the war, but not of victory. Apparently in a rush to put the war in the past, he gave little attention to why the war was fought, what was at stake, or how the war related to broader U.S. goals in the Middle East.

    Instead, Obama maintained that “now it is time to turn the page,” and focus on restoring the economy—“my central responsibility as President.” Clearly more at ease acting as the “Economist-in-Chief” rather than the Commander-in-Chief, the President then devoted a surprisingly large portion of the speech, only his second from the Oval Office, to vague rhetoric about fixing the economy. But protecting America’s security and leading the nation in war should be his highest priorities as President, not to mention the paramount focus of a speech about Iraq.

    Unfortunately, the televised address sounded more like a campaign speech from a politician rather than a message from the Commander-in-Chief of a nation at war. He said that “Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not.” But he gave no inkling of what that commitment entails, why America has a vital interest in Iraq’s future, or his Administration’s vision of Iraq’s future.

    Unfortunately, President Obama missed a golden opportunity to reassure anxious Iraqis and nervous U.S. allies elsewhere that the United States is a dependable friend that is determined to consolidate the long-term security of Iraq—not merely make a rush for the exit.

    While the speech may have helped him with Democratic voters, it is likely to undermine confidence in American leadership not only in Iraq and the broader Middle East, but in many other areas of the world. President Obama’s proclamation of his “central responsibility” for economic matters, shoe-horned into a major speech about Iraq—one of the world’s most important international security issues—will only encourage foreign doubts about his Administration’s commitment to finishing the job in Afghanistan, winning the struggle against Islamist extremism, and protecting U.S. allies around the world.

    For more on what the speech should have covered, see:

    Obama’s Iraq Speech Should Stress a Resolute U.S. Security Commitment

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Obama Turns Page, Treats Iraq as a Distraction

    1. West Texan says:

      Well stated and on the target James. It'll only be a matter of time before America's military is surging back into Iraq to preserve what they can of their hard lived gains. Americans suffered and died to not only build a promising future for Iraqis, but to join in the fight against Muslim extremist who are a proven threat to national security. Obama and company need to stop campaigning and get a dang clue. Ever hear of Maslow's hierarchy of needs Mr. Obama? It doesn't point to the economy stupid.

    2. Stan W. says:

      Didn't someone say during their campaign, it's called multi-tasking?? Someone wrote, Bush lied and 4,000 died. I say LBJ lied and 60,000 died. People seem to have forgotten Vietnam. There was no Tonkin Gulf incident and it was just 1 more reason for us to go to war. Now, the issue is can combat troops stay out of Iraq and Afghanistan is still going on.

    3. MJF, CT says:

      Mr. Obama hasn't left the campaign trail, yet. He seems to think that his role in life is to convince us how good he is but his actions and track record prove otherwise. Mr. Obama has no business in the role he is in….. a common citizen would do a better job of decision making and running the Country!

    4. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 9.01.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    5. James - Longdrycreek says:

      Barry S aka BHO intended to say, "Let's cut and run." His passby the troops at Fort Bliss, TX, indicates the level of his "disinterest" in Iraq or Afganistan, because his extreme Left base is restive and anxious about their future to plunder America.

      I refuse to listen to Barry. He is not trustworthy. He earned our disdain.

      The Chicago "native" has the orientation of an internationalist, communist and Marxist.

    6. Jade F, MD says:

      What rock did Mr Obama crawl from? I'm not a conspiracy theorist but it seems someone else must be pulling the stings. This country's defense is the first concern of the President. He's not acting as Commander-in-Chief; he's not acting as Economist-in-Chief – it's NOT AN ACT and that is what's scary!

    7. West Texan says:

      Clarification for Obama about needs. Free markets and individual states will take care of the domestic front, aka the economy. Your job, if you decide to ever do it, is America's foreign policy and national security. Only a propagandized free thinker from Harvard could screw that up. Oh!

    8. Pingback: Blog Interviewer

    9. Steve Minneapolis says:

      Obama came to the white house without any experience, ANY experience, this man hasn't even run a dariy queen !! and yet some how enough American people were shallow enough to buy into the hope and change. It's freightning to have someone with so little of life's experince in that position , but much scarier to thing that the American people voted to put him there.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.