Katie Couric got the quote of the week from the wall to wall Omaba coverage this week. See if Obama's answer belies my paraphrase in the subject.
Couric: But yet you're saying ... given what you know now, you still wouldn't support [the surge] ... 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.
First we should note why Obam felt the cost of the surge outweighed the gains. Money. No mention of the soldiers who died to finish the war in victory. They matter less to him than the fact he could have spent the money elsewhere. But let's forget that for a moment.
With this answer, Obama has officially called the surge a mistake. He says that we should have handed Al Qaeda the whole country of Iraq -and with it a monumental victory- for monetary reasons. I wonder how many voters agree with that "judgement."
But he didn't stop there. He says we should have left Iraq to Al Qaeda and sent more troops into Afghanistan. Why would we bother? If we've just given Al Qaeda the oil rich country of Iraq, why on earth would the terrorists stay in barren Afghanistan? As the Washington Post points out today "there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan." -- And the Taliban presently there would have run to take over the oil in Iraq like they have taken over the poppies in Afghanistan.
President Obama would have us chasing shadows in Afghanistan while Iraq burned.
McCain egged Obama into this trip because he was sure it would show Obama was not ready for prime time. With this answer Obama was kind enough to oblige.
I don't think many people in America agree with the senator that the surge was a mistake. And I don't believe the American people will vote for someone with this lack of "judgement." - It's now up the McCain campaign and the RNC to hang these words around his neck. I can only hope they are smart enough to do it.