The Two Faces of Our Commander-In-Chief

In a February 2009 speech, newly inaugurated President Barack Obama promised the faithful that come August 31, 2010 he would end combat operations for U.S Troops in Iraq, just in time for the mid-term elections.

In the interest of accuracy, Obama did not exactly say “just in time for the mid-term elections.” I added that. He just thought it.

And sure enough, when August 31, 2010, rolled around, Obama proudly announced in his Oval Office speech, “The American combat mission in Iraq has ended.” For a guy who could make the planet heal and the oceans stop rising, this was no biggie.

Unfortunately, this was no closer to the truth than many of the mindless, self-promoting statements he had been making about the war since before it even began.

Obama first went public in his opposition six months before the war started in his bellwether October 2002 speech at an impromptu rally staged by the Chicagoans Against the War in Iraq.

In 2008, Obama would tell Rick Warren at his Saddleback forum that he “was firmly convinced [in 2002] that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction.”

This point would have delighted Chicago’s anti-war crowd had he made it, but he did not. In October 2002, Obama conceded that Saddam “butchers his own people” and has “developed chemical and biological weapons and coveted nuclear capacity.”

Despite the WMDs, Obama dismissed the impending war as “dumb.” He saw it as the result of “a cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz,” the only two officials in the defense hierarchy cited, both Jews, “to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats.”

Aiding and abetting the neo-cons, of course, was the inevitable Karl Rove. As Obama told it, Rove was banging the war drum to distract America from, among other things, “a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.”

In reality, the Dow Jones had been fairly flat since July 2002 and would gain more than 10 percent in that very October of Obama’s discontent. “Worst” months would be of his own making.

In his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope, Obama repeated the claim that the “administration’s rationales for war were flimsy and ideologically driven.”

So imagine how shocked his supporters must have been to learn Tuesday that “no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.”

Our progressive friends also heard from Obama that America actually had “coalition partners who made huge sacrifices.” In Audacity and on the campaign trail, Obama had repeatedly scolded Bush for his “precipitous, unilateral military action.”

Obama also noted that America and its partners, including the Iraqis, were fighting “Al Qaeda,” and that we “took out”—as Obama so primly put it– “much of its leadership.”

This had to come as news to the left as well. In Audacity, Obama assured his fans that war against Al Qaeda met his standard for a justifiable war, but that attacking “Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not meet this standard, which is why our invasion was such a strategic blunder,” especially in that we acted “unilaterally.”

Even more shockingly, Obama’s progressive friends learned that those who died did do not so in vain but rather as an expression of “the values that have lived in the hearts of our people for over two centuries.” And as a result, they “helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace.”

In Audacity, Obama called the war “a botched and ill-advised U.S. military incursion into a Muslim country.” He lumped this in with other American efforts “that ignore the legitimate aspirations of other peoples, undermine our own credibility, and make for a more dangerous world.”

In the course of his Tuesday speech, Obama referred to the “surge” only once and that in reference to Afghanistan. He did not once credit it with the fact that there was still an Iraq to withdraw from.

Nor did he say, “Remember when I said, ‘20,000 troops aren’t going to do anything to increase security– I oppose the surge,’ or when Nancy said, ‘The surge has failed,’ or when Harry said, ‘The war is lost,’ well, we were just kidding.”

The troops still left in Iraq don’t appreciate jokers. They just wish they had a commander-in-chief they could trust.

A very recent letter from a family friend, a West Point grad, expresses some of their frustration.

“Dear Dad,” it begins as do so many such letters. “I am still extremely disgusted after watching all of the news reports regarding the last combat troops pulling out of Iraq–it’s such a crock.  It is honestly first-hand proof of a liberal news-media attempting to propagate a pro-Obama agenda.”

After citing one attack on his friends and comrades after another, this officer concludes, “I would love to hear some liberal media chump try to tell me that my platoon consisting of 3 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and 8 up-armored Humvees all with loaded .50 caliber machine guns is not a combat force.”

He adds, “Enough of that, it makes me mad just writing about it.”

Jack Cashill is the author of numerous books which reveal key elements in our society and its crises, his latest being Popes & Bankers: A Cultural Study of Credit and Debit from Aristotle to AIG.

He is also an independent writer and producer, and has written for Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, American Thinker, and regularly for WorldNetDaily.  Jack may be contacted at

This article was originally published in WorldNetDaily.


  1. Obama is a self serving a######!

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