July 24, 2008
Katie Couric actually committed journalism the other day when she asked Obama some pointed questions about the war in Iraq and the war on terror. More significantly, she followed up doggedly when Obama did his usual equivocation and obfuscation. In the following excerpt, Obama becomes noticeably peeved when it becomes apparent that Couric was not going to be conducting the standard MSM softball interview that Obama has grown accustomed to at this point. In fact Obama routinely avoids situations where he might be pinned down to decide on an actual stance on an issue or answer even mildly difficult questions about his 'evolving' policy positions.
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.
Couric: And I really don't mean to belabor this, Senator, because I'm really, I'm trying ... to figure out your position. Do you think the level of security in Iraq ...
Couric ... would exist today without the surge?
Obama: Katie, I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there's no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq. I said that, not just today, not just yesterday, but I've said that previously. What that doesn't change is that we've got to have a different strategic approach if we're going to make America as safe as possible.
Couric: If you believe, Senator, Afghanistan is, in fact, the central front in the war on terror, why was this your first trip there? And why didn't you hold a single hearing as chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the fighting force there?
Obama: Well, the, actually, the subcommittee that I chair is the European subcommittee. And any issues related to Afghanistan were always dealt with in the full committee, precisely because it's so important. That's not a matter that you would deal with in a subcommittee setting. And the fact that I didn't visit Afghanistan doesn't detract from my accurate assessment that this has been the central front on terror.
Clearly Obama has difficulty figuring out what his own stance is on Iraq, yet he ceaselessly insists that he has always been consistent on every related topic. You name the topic, Obama has always held the same position all along. It's just us not listening closely enough, you see. What's more disturbing than Obama changing his mind on Iraq (and a host of other issues) is that he now apparently imagines himself to be infallible.