Obama's 'Modest But Real Step' Makes Good Iraq Sense

Sticking to withdrawal policy ignores facts on the ground
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2008 1:28 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill, puts his hands together.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Charging that the Democrat's position had become “outdated,” the Washington Post editorial board applauds Barack Obama’s recent promise to “refine” his Iraq policy after consulting with commanders. His previous “strident and rigid posture”—that all combat forces be withdrawn during his first 16 months in office—ignores the successes of the surge, they say, including drops in violence and expanding governmental control.

It's a “modest but real step toward a responsible position on a conflict that, like it or not, involves vital US interests.” Indeed, Obama should stop worrying about offending an anti-war base: He “can’t afford not to update his Iraq policy.” With some space to maneuver, his upcoming Middle East trip should spark some mature talking points.