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Obama website's opposition to successful surge gets deleted

A funny thing happened over on the Barack Obama campaign website in the last few days.

The parts that stressed his opposition to the 2007 troop surge and his statement that more troops would make no difference in a civil war have somehow disappeared. John McCain and Obama have been going at it heavily in recent days over the benefits of the surge.

The Arizona senator, who advocated the surge for years before the Bush administration employed it, says the resulting reduction in violence is proof it worked with progress on 15 of 18 political benchmarks and Obama's plan to withdraw troops by now would have resulted in surrender.

When President Bush ordered the surge in January 2007, Obama said: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse,"  a position he maintained throughout 2007. This year he acknowledged progress, but maintained his position that political progress was lacking.

Tuesday, while Obama gave a speech on foreign policy, the New York Daily News was the first to notice the removal of parts of Obama's campaign site listing the Iraq troop surge as part of "The Problem." An Obama spokeswoman said it was just part of an "update" to "reflect changes in current events," as our colleague Frank James notes in the Swamp. The update includes a new section on the rise of Al Qaeda violence in Afghanistan.

But some might see the updating as part of Obama's skip to the political center now that he's secured the Democratic nomination. "Today," McCain said Tuesday, "we know Sen. Obama was wrong" to oppose the troop surge.

An old quote of Obama's criticizing the "rash war," which helped him with the left wing of his party and helped differentiate his stand from that of Sen. Hillary Clinton, a primary opponent who voted for the use of force in Iraq, has been replaced on his site by one saying that ending the Iraq war will make America safer. That's more of a general election message.

And hat tip to the folks over at the Wake Up America blog for their continuing trenchant analyses of the summer campaigns in general and, specifically, for highlighting the video below that contrasts Obama's pre-surge position with a more recent interview of David Axelrod, his chief campaign strategist, denying Obama's statements. A reminder of how carefully voters must listen during these last four campaign months.

--Andrew Malcolm

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Uh oh, you criticized Messiah. Look what came out of the woodwork . . .

FLIP FLOP, Whimper, FLIP FLOP, step on Hillary and force her out, FLIP FLOP, avoid debating John cause you're scared people may find out who you really are, FLIP FLOP, throw your pastor under the bus, FLIP FLOP, denounce public money even after you said you'd take it, FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP, DING!

Now imagine it coming from a president

Obama has judgement problems(as in he's not good at it), like 20 years of pastor wright, like ayers, like everything that he "changes" back and forth like a windsock in a field

Wake up Obama supporters! Don't elect someone for the color of their skin. We need a president, not a person that goes with the flow of the biggest lobbyist and FLIP FLOPs on the real issues!


People bashing Barack Obama must be Republicans. We all change or minds about things almost on a daily basis. Barack Obama has to adjust for changes in the economy, the environment, etc.; he must continue to make adjustments. Barack is a Christian. When you call him a Muslim, trying to put him down, you are putting down Muslims here in the USA and abroad; this has to stop. I will continue to vote and support Barack Obama.

A complete article would include the URL where this information was. I for one would like to go to the web archive or the google cache before it i gone from there and get my own copy.

Nice to know you go to right wing nutcase blogs for info.

Yeah if you want more war McCain is your man!

After 8 years of Republican incompetence, it amazes me that there are still so many ignorant people in this country that want to give them another 4.\

I could care less whether the "surge" works or not, it's still a illegal, unjust, and unneeded war.

... Than /any/ politician?

The most amusing part of all of this is watching the Obamatons shift their beliefs as Obama shifts his positions. They will believe. Period.

They abandon their own core values. Obama seems to have none.

Weird. There are actually a number of people posting here who state that the surge did not work. (And I guess are saying that post Saddam Iraq is not improving.)

How about some facts (besides "35 Iraqis killed!" in what has become a rare bombing by an Islamic terrorist?).

What are you using to measure?

Do you read anything by the people on the ground in Iraq who are not anti-war kumba ya pacifists?

Obama radically alters his website (who knows what his position on anything really is these days) and it's no big deal?

Words have meaning for a reason guys.

It's called communication.

This is funny, every time I read about what Obama says or did not say I start to hear the tune for old mcdonald:

O Obama had an opinion, e i e i o
and in that opinion he made a criticism e i e i o. With a criticism here and a criticism there, here a cism there a cism everywhere a cism cism. O Obama had an opinoin, e i e i o.

Why do i even bother reading articles about the candidates. Both choices are mediocre at best. I might as well throw my vote away and vote libertarian lol.

I suggest all those who are upset with the "Wake Up America" crowd to click on down the web to the "fair and balanced" crowd at MoveOn, Code Pink, and the Huffington Post. Or, maybe they can find another objective reporter like Dan (fired) Rather. Obama has more postions than the Kuma Sutra - what feels best at the moment !

When the incredible lightness of His Messianic Being is exposed, it is amusing to watch Obama supporters cover their ears and say "I can't hear you" over and over. Witness the comments here.

Blogger Wright alleges that the surge did not cause a reduction in violence but, rather "political reconciliation" between factions. This is a classic example of partisan distortion and an emotional and intellectual inability to recognize and admit the truth. The "reconciliation", Mr. Wright, only became possible when our military provided the support that made it safe for various factions to come out and support the new government. Prior to the surge, these groups were afraid to speak out or support the govt. My son was in Iraq prior to the surge, and was asked by an Iraqi recruit "why" the Iraqi recruits should do anything if the US was going to abandon them. To the Iraqis, another US retreat (or abandonment) meant that it made more sense not to fight the radicals than to support westernization. Are you liberals so utterly brain dead that you cannot see the point? Ok, you like Obama and you believe in depressing and sovietizing the free people of America, but must you constantly lie on top of it?

Obama is a nice man I'm sure. I doubt that many of us could get mad at him after knowing him however, he's just not the man I want in charge when people are trying to kill us.

If McCain gets in with Mitt Romney as his V.P.......we're in good shape. I had a chance to hear Romney recently and he is very intelligent man concerning financial issues. When asked a question....he goes right to it and needs not search for the right words.

He did venture stuff in China and wow did he go around all of the 'red' tape. This guy knows how to make the banks solvent and the trains run on time.

It's amazing that some people who write in these columns fail to use their common sense when analyzing things. The reality couple of years ago is quasi different today. So, as a leader what should OBAMA do? Of course he should adjust his policy accordingly. Is there anything more decent, elegant and normal than that? NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Poor so-called journalists???

It is always laughable how furiously people will get all lathered up to defend a politician that they do not know, will never meet and will never see her/him made to stand up and be counted for the ridiculous things they say and pledge to get elected. Most of the frustration comes from not having the foggiest idea of what is going on but swearing ever true allegience to someone who says she/he does. Hitler got a long way with verbal inducement.

All politicians are liars. the only ones who do not lie, are the ones never heard from.. save your passion for your lover.

Speaking of deleting information from web sites, I insist that you delete the word "successful" from your headline. That is incredibly misleading; Obama was opposed to the surge, but the way you've presented the information implies he was opposed to a successful war effort. Furthermore, the words "successful surge" do not appear anywhere else in the article - your headline is not supported by the body of the article. Please fix this poor journalism promptly.

Vote Third Party. Vote McKinney or Vote Nader. You do NOT have to fall in line and choose from one plate of beans or another plate of beans. It's still beans. Choose third party and you are NOT stealing anyone's votes! They do not belong to the presumptive nominee. I am not voting for either and it is funny how both sides think my vote belongs to THEM

Now if the mainstream media would only cover McCain's myriad blunders, reversals, and distortions.

But why would rich people want to stop the Bush-McCain gravytrain? Tax cuts, croneyism, lobbyists, no-bid contracts, and tax-payer subsidized bailouts all in service of the superrich. If I owned a newspaper or TV station, I suppose it would be hard for me to go against that.

Senator Obama was WRONG on the surge. Senator Obama origianlly did not know how he would have voted for the war, but once he started running for president, he knew he would have voted against the war. He is not ready to become commander in cheif.....he is scary!!

lots of blunders magicly disappear from obamas website check it out


"Can you say puppet?"

Yes I can... George W. Bush

Yeah, the surge is "successful" but for some reason the democratically elected government of Iraq wants a timetable for withdrawal.

Lots of Obama apologists here- it's funny to see them talk around the facts. He can do no wrong, right?

No wonder people don't read newspapers anymore. What a stupid column. "Oh no! Content that doesn't conflict with old content has replaced some old text! How awful!"

Huh? How much stupider could it get? Next you'll be parsing commas....

All this troop surge proves is that if you throw enough money and weapons and men into a war you can win it. I'm happy to tell you I did not once vote for this war mongering President and I'm ready to vote for someone with enough sense to admit the war was a mistake in the first place, and the courage to correct that mistake. How much would Americans have prospered if all that war money had been spent here in America on America's needs? Instead it was spent on a country where every man is against his brother, like a wild ass. (look it up)

It seemed to me that the key word here was substantial...

After reading the blog by "Factcheck" I felt compelled to respond anew. Apparently "factcheck" is unaware of world history or the scope of the issues confronting us. First of all, the fact that 35 iraqis died yesterday, while sad, does not prove "failure". Yesterday there were probably that many deaths in California. Should we cut and run from there too? Only a brain-dead simpleton would expect any war, especially in that part of the world, to eternally eliminate all violence. If "factcheck" would check his facts, he would discover that the adherents of radical islam are probably more akin to the Japanese Kamikaze than they are to a mere army. These are people who want to die, and they look forward to their own death in the service of their beliefs. So what is our response? John Kerry and Baghdad Barack said we should cut and run, and defend America by building more coffins, firehouses and hospitals. People of limited intellect failed to draw connections between the Islamic states, or to realize that radical islam is a cancer that will not "negotiate". It will win or it will die trying..because there is no fear of death. Before we invaded Iraq Saddam Hussein embarked upon a disinformation campaign to make the world believe he had nukes. Even his own generals thought he had them. We were all fooled, but who brought the war on? Us or the man who virtually invited attack? As for the liberals conveniently forget that VP Al Gore told the Senate (before Bush was ever elected) that Hussein had WMD's. So let's see, Bush lied but Gore didn't? How convenient. We held back through 14 UN resolutions prior to invading. When we invaded, the liberals brayed that we 'waited too long" and predicted that the invasion would get bogged down in the "spring sandstorms", remember those stories? Then we were told that the lower ranks were angry with the generals and there was disunity in the military. Remember those lies? Then we were told that the "REpublican Guard" was a superb fighting force and that we could expect a bloodbath for our troops. Remember those lies? Then we were told that the Iraqi elections (both Rounds 1 and 2) "had to be postponed because they were going to fail". Remember those lies?
The media and the liberal cowards, seditionists and scum who have worked to undermine our troops and undermine the success of the mission have been proven to be liars at every turn. Now, when confronted with success, they have to bad-mouth it or argued (fatuously) that the war was unnecessary. Really? And just when did Saddam hussein schedule the rise of democracy in Iraq?

Like FactCheck said...The surge has reduced not eliminated killing - is that a success when 35 Iraqis die in one day???...McCain/Bush thumping of Obama for suggesting we talk with Iran now appears hypocritical. McCain/Bush focus on Iraq instead of Afghanistan now makes Obama look like the leader with experience. McCain is too old, too easy to push to anger, too bitter to be a president with a finger on the "button"...

I'm not gonna talk about Obama's website or his opinion in '07 compared to now. What I want to talk about is "flip-flopping" and changing positions. Why does everyone get so worked up over this. Sure it would be nice to be 100% right all of the time. But, when information and intelligence changes don't you think that policy and opinions should change. Isn't stubborness and unwillingness to change one of the Bush administration's greatest faults? I guess people would rather have politicians pick a policy and beat it into the ground until the end of time--heaven forbid they improve their strategy or "flip flop". Grow up.


fine, the surge worked. lets declare victory now and bring all the troops home

Ask Troops in Afghanistan how well the surge worked. Heckuva Job.

Ever notice how the Democrats always start of with "the war was wrong", "Bush should not have started it", "I did not vote for it". Like these statements are going to help us now !! Wow--go democrats.

This election is going to fall along lines of ignorance.

If you think that you should never change your opinion on anything, you are by definition ignorant.

How is being wrong (which remember we're talking here about being wrong about a small part of the larger thing McCain was wrong about in the first place) and admitting it somehow a liability? Flip flop? It's how reasonable human beings act.

There's a lot of ignorance in America today. A huge portion of it is heavily behind the Republican candidate and will clearly just spew anything to try to win points with the ignorant masses. Fortunately, the center of the country is getting smarter and more refined every year. Your old tricks won't work anymore. Lying to the public now makes more people hate you than believe you. Good day, sirs and madams.

Oof! Looks like I stumbled upon a bunch of "haters", life is too short for reading this nonsense from Obama kool-aide drinkers...

This is all about Obama's understanding of foreign affairs and his judgment capabilities on solutions to foreign Affairs. Both of these skills he needs to have have been demonstrated by him as poor or just wrong most of the times.

Obama is a liberal hack...period. He will say anything to get elected and retreat into the fetal position upon criticism. If he throws the race card one more time I'm going to scream.

He has no REAL experience. He just has uninformed opinion.

McCain at least has been around for a while...and knows the ropes...even if you dont agree with most of his policy.


I think what Obama said in 2007 still stands today. Yes, you possibly have some stabilization of civil order in the specific regions where the surge troops are located but what happens when those soldiers leave? Power vacuum...again - to be filled by the most brutal. And elsewhere in Iraq violence is still the norm with refugees (ordinary citizens) fleeing the country to find safety for their families.

Hey guys, I don't want to go back to Iraq, McCain will give me the greater chance of heading out that way so... :-(

War sucks, people will die both friendly and foe. And this war is worthless.

Let me get this right. Obama opposed the surge unilaterally at first, saw the results of the surge, and then began reworking his stance to fit the actual results? And what the heck is wrong with that?

I guess in the Bush/McCain world, a stance is a stance regardless of what the real world shows you, and anyone who deviates from any stance they've ever held is messing up.

Thanks for promoting the worst in politics.

Wow, Obama goes back on his word again in his apparent quest to become a right wing nutjob, what are the chances of that? This country is full of idiots who not only have no idea how our rights and livelyhoods are being stripped away by legislation, they are not intelligent enough to even understand. Obama has explicity lied many times now in the general election, and every position he has "refined" has been a move to the right wing, not the center - this is because all these issues and ideas he's "refining" were created by right wing nutjobs! I will have nothing to do with that horribleness, just because he's handsome and speaks well don't mean anything if he does the same bad things! I'm from Chicago and used to support him, no more, I'll write in my grandmother's name.

The Internet is proving to be the truth box, open it and see...

I think Obama should promise "under oath" to slash the gut of Government and expose "all" of it's lies, and agree to be severely punished if when in office he is found guilty of lies himself.

If this were the case now GW would be sitting in a cave next to Osama asking him where did "we" go wrong...

"Wake up America" Indeed, it's time to re-invent the wheel...

[ We The People For The People]

what has this surge really accomplished, is Iraq politically stable?In order for the surge to work we paid tribes so they would not attack Nato troops, Iraq is still a big mess.and will always be until the political side is accomplished, this is why Bush had the surge, until then dont brag about victory

Obama should not remove anything from his website but enhance it. Sure, throw more bodies into Iraq and there will be more 'control' but this only lasts as long as the United States can keep overwhelming numbers in the country. Now forget that the current Iraqi government is calling for us to leave next year, forget about the fact that our 'allies' have pretty much washed their hands of the entire debacle and are pulling out right and left. But do not forget that things are heating up in Afghanistan and that the Taliban is resurging in that country. Remember the Taliban? They really did aid and abet bin Lauden in attacking our country. Where are the troops going to come from to clamp down on that insurgency? Maybe Iraq, but then you have that seesaw effect because when troop numbers decline, violence escalates. These are the things that Obama should be hammering the BushMcCain group about.

"And, of course, it all originates from the deep South, where 1/3 of the people are illiterate. " Well MIkey, the Aryan Nation is based in Idaho and one of the OK City bombers was from Michigan. What does that say about the North? Mikey confirms my belief that bigotry is not confined to the South.

I love how Obama supporters are so blind to anything bad about their candidate they will make excuses, change the subject, deny, manipulate, accuse others etc. However don't think those of us not drinking the kool-aid can't see through these shallow and misguided attempts to cover your unqualified candidate's lies, shifts in position, and TIMES OBAMA IS WRONG PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

FYI by trying to cover his tracks even where he is wrong just makes you look naive and ignorant.

Obama has now conclusively shown he is unfit to be president. This isn't simply a case of trying to move toward the center. It's a case of his being proven 100% wrong about the most important policy decision of the campaign, then trying to Photoshop his way out of it by flat-out lying about his previous position (i.e., that Iraq was a lost cause and the surge would only make matters worse). The fact that he was wrong about the surge isn't necessarily disqualifying. The fact that he would try to whitewash the record in order to skirt responsibility for being wrong IS disqualifying. This is where his inexperience and, yes, arrogance really show. To demonstrate the maturity and judgment to lead, he needed to confess that he was wrong about the surge and explain why the American people should trust him not to make a similar misjudgment in the future. Trying to scrub his website clean of his prior, damning statements, or telling Gwen Ifill there was never any doubt we could bring Iraq under control, calls to mind the very worst moments of the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

How come the military officials, all the news media, even foreign nation media all say the "surge" in Iraq has worked to a large extent, and yet Obama and the democrats say no ? I am confused--will the real God please stand up ?

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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