Posted by: Tony Carson | 12 September, 2007

Koo-koo-ka-choo, Barack Obama

In one bold move … Our nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you.

Talk about a gutsy move, Obama says he would withdraw from Iraq by end-2008. This trumps his agreement to speak with the leaders of Iran and Syria. He fought that one off, can he get away with this one?

While he might have 70% of the population on his side, he won’t have all the Republican and his fellow Democratic presidential candidates, which means he won’t have the headlined.

‘Reckless,’ Irresponsible,’ ‘Ignorant,’ ‘Naive’ — you can see the keywords in those headlines already. They will be relentless. And he will have known that so, presumably, he will have all his arguments ready for the long haul, because on this he cannot possibly back down and retain any credibility.

Obama needed the killer issue to beat Clinton and this may be it. But can he withstand the onslaught? The coming weeks will tell — because he will be getting it, relentlessly, from all sides.

But what a tsunami of fresh air. By being the lightning rod for an entirely new approach to foreign policy — how else can it be interpreted — Obama can expect new adherents in droves. But will they be matched or surpassed by those running away from him influenced by the headlines?

And what of the other contenders, specifically the Democrats? Obama’s move shifts the centre of gravity on Iraq well to the left. Can Clinton still safely argue for her oblique measured withdrawal with the same confidence? No. She must take Obama’s move head-on and in doing so she risks everything.

Obama’s declaration of withdrawing from Iraq by the end of next year (ie. before the start of his(?) presidency) is the most exciting move in this endless presidential race but more than that, coming from a serious contender it is one of the boldest move in the inane chess game of US foreign policy in memory.

The recent headline that Obama Loads Up With 150+ Foreign Policy Advisers, Many Former Clinton Officials

has finally meant something.

Obama has put the spine back in the Democratic Party. Are the voters brave enough to support him?

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