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Obama’s Surge Purge and Gas Problem

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s campaign scrubbed his presidential Web site over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop “surge” in Iraq, the Daily News has learned.

The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue Web page, which had described the surge as a “problem” that had barely reduced violence.

The surge is not working,” Obama’s old plan stated, citing a lack of Iraqi political cooperation but crediting Sunni sheiks – not U.S. military muscle – for quelling violence in Anbar Province.

The News reported Sunday that insurgent attacks have fallen to the fewest since March 2004.

So when reality doesn’t meet your ideas, just erase them. That’s change! (Or a retroactive flip-flop with a full twist to the right – “I was against the surge before I was for it”)

In other Obama/Iraq news, his latest plan for quitting Iraq turns out to be impossible, as ABC news asked the logistics questions of the military Obama should have asked before proposing an impossible idea:

Whatever nuance Barack Obama is now adding to his Iraq withdrawal strategy, the core plan on his Web site is as plain as day: Obama would “immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.”

It is a plan that, no doubt, helped Obama get his party’s nomination, but one that may prove difficult if he is elected president.

Physically removing the combat brigades within that kind of time frame would be difficult, as well.

The military has been redeploying troops for years, and Maj. Gen. Charles Anderson, who would help with the withdrawal, told us as we toured Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, “We have the capacity to do a minimum of two-and-a-half brigade combat teams a month — can we expand that capacity? Sure. Can we accelerate? It depends. It depends on the amount of equipment that we bring back. And it’s going to depend on how fast we bring them out.”

It is the equipment that is the real problem.

In the kind of redeployment that Anderson is talking about, the troops head home, but much of their equipment stays behind. Two combat brigades means up to 1,200 humvees in addition to thousands of other pieces of equipment, like trucks, fuelers, tankers and helicopters.

And 90 percent of the equipment would have to be moved by ground through the Iraqi war zone, to the port in Kuwait, where it must all be cleaned and inspected and prepared for shipment. This is a place with frequent dust storms, limited port facilities and limited numbers of wash racks.

While Anderson and his troops have a positive attitude, several commanders who looked at the Obama plan told ABC News, on background, that there was “no way” it could work logistically.

So Obama’s plan works, if we have the world’s largest garage sale and leave most of the equipment behind. That’s a great idea.

More change, this time from reality to fantasy. Of course, shouldn’t Obama have asked the feasability of his plan before he proposed his idea? Apparently not. If ABC News got the answers quickly, how hard could it have been for Obama to get the same answer? But unworkable ideas are what you get from a politician with no real experience.

Finally, we’ll predict (if the polls continue to slide away) Obama will flip-flop on increased gas production soon — with something like “It’s what I’ve been saying all along, we’ve got to increase supply to lower prices”. As McCain and Obama are now tied nationally, the gas price issue will continue to create problems for Obama — especially as Obama’s policies (if enacted) make the problem worse. If the polls continue to move away from him, he’ll be forced to once again flip-flop for political expediency (“that’s not the drilling I remember”).

For background on the gas prices issue, see Solving the Gas Crisis, Part I and Solving the Gas Crisis, Part II

We’ll see if that comes true, but we won’t be surprised to read one morning Obama suddenly reversed his energy policy and now embraces increased production (as soon as someone explains supply and demand), since it appears it’s costing him in the polls, and there’s still lots of room under the bus to join his commitment to public financing, FISA, NAFTA, Jerusalem policy, Iraq Surge and more (come to think of it, to paraphrase Roy Scheider — “we’re going to need a bigger bus”).

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