I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say. -- Obama on Fox's "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08
Yesterday, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Obama Communications Director Robert Gibbs said that Obama would go to Iraq to see how he can withdraw:
MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski: "And, Robert, is your candidate - I mean, just this whole Iraq thing is now being revitalized a bit because of the book. But is your candidate going to go to Iraq? Is that in the plans?"
Gibbs: "Well, as he said yesterday Mika, it's under discussion about going overseas and going to Iraq sometime between now and the campaign.
You know, I don't think we'll be taking that trip with John McCain because as Senator Obama said yesterday, the work that the men and women in our military are doing over there is just far too important for them to be props in some sort of political stunt or photo-op.
You know, what they're doing over there is separated from their families, giving for their country. It's truly, truly amazing, and I think we would want to go over there and talk to them and see what sort of difficulties they're facing and see how it is that we can begin to carefully remove them and carefully bring them back to their families and bring them back to the United States."
You can watch it at the 2:00 mark in this video.
Why has Obama decided not to remain open to facts demonstrating the progress achieved by the revised strategy President Bush adopted in 2007?
In February 2008, Obama told CBS' Harry Smith that the President has to be "mindful of the situation on the ground and what the commanders say:"
CBS' Harry Smith: "If you are to be elected president and your commanders on the ground there and your Secretary of Defense said, 'Hold back; you can't be pulling these people out; we're going to create a civil war and a bloodbath,' what would you do?"
Obama: "My job as commander in chief is to keep the American people safe. But I firmly believe that we have to send a signal to the Iraqis that it is time to withdraw. We will not have a permanent base there. We will not have a permanent occupation there."
Smith: "Even if - "
Obama: "Within those constraints - "
Smith: "Even if it meant the beginning of civil war?"
Obama: "No, no, no. Within those constraints, I think there is going to be some flexibility. And obviously I would consult with commanders. We have to be mindful of the situation on the ground and what the commanders say." (CBS' "The Early Show," 2/4/08)
Last month, Obama said he would be stupid not to listen to General Petraeus:
I will listen to General Petraeus given the experience that he has accumulated over the last several years. It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say. (Fox's "Fox News Sunday," 4/27/08)