By Robert Dreyfuss
Let's analyze that.
First, he doesn't reiterate that he is pulling US forces out. Instead, he appears to say that the key is to get Iraq to pay for the war, to get the Iraqis to use their surplus. That may appeal to budget-conscious US voters, but -- especially with the price of oil dropping fast -- Iraq, which is a poor, Third World nation with a devastated economy, isn't going to pay for the war.
Second, he says that he wants "the Iraqi government to step up," meaning, presumably, to fight its own war. That, of course, is exactly what President Bush can been saying, namely, that the US will "stand down" when the Iraqis "stand up." Problem is, the Iraqis need to be handed an unconditional timetable that doesn't depend on what they do or don't do. Iraq doesn't need President Obama to "asking" it to step up.
Third, and most troubling, Obama says that Americans will have to tighten their belts because of the "cost of the war in Iraq." Doesn't that mean that the war will continue?"