by Patrick Appel
Bernstein asks why liberals don't trust Obama on Iraq:
Case in point is the news that the last of the "combat troops" have left Iraq. Now, those reluctant to celebrate this development certainly have strong grounds for doing so, with 50K troops remaining, plus private security forces and civilians, so more American casualties are certain (although the pace seems to have slowed again in the last couple months). And I can certainly understand a reluctance to celebrate a retreat, even if it's orderly and good policy (as Obama's supporters presumably believe). ...
[But it] does strike me that few liberals, at least few liberals who are speaking up right now, really appear to trust that Obama on Iraq. I'm not sure why -- is it because of Obama's policy in Afghanistan? The disappointment of 2007, when a Democratic victory in 2006 failed to produce rapid results? The residue of Obama's defeat on Gitmo? His other policies on secrecy and rule-of-law issues? Something inherent in liberals when it comes to trusting even liberal pols? I don't know, and perhaps I'm reading things that aren't there, but I just don't see much trust there. Support, yes, when he does something they like, and perhaps even general support. But trust? Not really.
Those advisers are likely to continue to patrol the streets with Iraqi units in the embedded Military Transition Teams (MiTTs at least that was the term when I was last there), and the United States isn’t going to commit 4,500 SOF solely for the training mission. There will still be counter-terrorism operations in coordination with the Iraqis that could also result in American casualties.