Jay Ambrose: If Obama was president, would he have made the right decisions?

More and more it looks as if we’ve won the war in Iraq, thereby giving the United States a crucial victory in the struggle against Islamic radicalism, and it is clear we wouldn’t have if the most important war protester in Denver this week had had his way.

That protester is not one of the street shouters waving a banner and thinking he has thereby made a profound, world-changing statement, but Barack Obama, who rode his opposition to the war to primary and caucus wins and finally to his moment of selection as the Democrats’ presidential nominee.

His position on the unpopular war was not the only thing leading to his triumphal hour at the Democratic National Convention, but the position undoubtedly was the sine qua non of his candidacy, and he did not stop with saying the war was wrong.

Early on, he proposed a U.S. troop withdrawal divorced from conditions on the ground, and he opposed the troop surge, saying at one point it wouldn’t work and insisting it would put more American lives in danger.

In fact, the surge in combination with new battleground tactics and other factors vastly reduced U.S. and Iraqi casualties and has helped get us to a remarkable point. Al Qaida in Iraq has been all but destroyed.

Aided by a population sickened of endless killings of Iraqis doing nothing but going about their daily lives, the Iraqi armed forces have grown in strength and have established order in increasingly large swathes of the country.

A confident Iraqi government has been negotiating with the United States about when we will go home. And we’ve already reduced the number of combat troops to pre-surge levels with more troop reductions planned for the fall.

Put Obama’s timetable in place and take away the surge he did not want, and we could now be facing a deteriorating situation with deep, dark tragedies lying in wait.

There are all the experts who think the war is an unmitigated disaster no matter how it turns out. But experts aren’t always to be trusted.

One of them is that we now have the upper hand in our confrontation with our terrorist enemies. A threat that could have consumed our energies and countless thousands of lives for much the rest of this century just might be abating because of decisions Obama would never have made and that John McCain would have.

Examiner columnist Jay Ambrose is a former Washington opinion writer and editor of two dailies. He can be reached at: Speaktojay@aol.com.OpinionUS

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Speaker of the Parliament of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar said his country and San Francisco face similar challenges on issues including COVID recovery and climate change.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Mongolian leaders meet with tech, film leaders on city tour

‘I really want San Franciscans to meet the new Mongolian generation’

Most Read