Obama’s new Iraq position

Barack Obama strongly and eloquently opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, but his careful positions on what to do about it now have been disappointing to some in the antiwar movement who have pushed for a speedy withdrawal and no permanent military bases in the country.

But over the course of this year, his stance for peace has gotten stronger. During his Nov. 14 speech in San Francisco, Obama said, "As president, I will end the war in Iraq. I will bring our troops home. They’ll be home in 16 months. I will close Guantánamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the unfinished fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan. And I will lead the world against the common threats of the 21st century."

Did he mean a full withdrawal from Iraq, killing current plans for lingering military advisors and a massive, permanent military base? That’s something Obama hasn’t said yet, so we pressed his California communications director, Debbie Mesloh, on the question.

She told us, "Barack Obama will make it clear that the United States will not build or seek permanent military bases in Iraq."