Ever since Barack Obama appeared to be a real presidential possibility, the far right conservative talk show hosts, along with far-right independent, Bill O'Reilly, have said that Obama is about platitudes with no real policy.
I realize that the crack research teams on these shows may have not yet figured out the secret code for finding Barack Obama's website, but after months of trying out endless combinations of letters, numbers and symbols, or what we in the decoding biz call "sipherin'," I discovered that if you key in the letters, "B-a-r-a-c-k-O-b-a-m-a" (all in that order) followed by a "." and the designation, "com", you'll be transferred to a website which purports to hold the key to understanding Obama's policies, all of which are portrayed as words within structured sentences.
While I wasn't able to consume the entire concept of "reading" all of it, since Mr. O'Reilly again wrote in his column today
"...we simply don't know what the Senator's overall world view is. His rhetoric on Iraq and other trouble spots remains rooted in the past, and he has not yet clearly defined his future strategy."
Fortunately, I was able to copy and paste what the site calls "Barack Obama's Plan"...whatever that means, for Bill.
It's listed below and since I'm sure O'Reilly and the other Lords of Loud are far to busy to go all through the work of finding this or that site or, for that matter, this column, would you all mind forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks. I'm sure Bill, crack journalist that he is, will be forever indebted.
Barack Obama's Plan
Ending the War in Iraq
In 2005, he called for a phased withdrawal of our troops;
In 2006, he called for a timetable to remove our troops, a political solution within Iraq, and aggressive diplomacy with all of Iraq's neighbors;
In January 2007, he introduced legislation in the Senate to remove all of our combat troops from Iraq by March 2008.
In September 2007, he laid out a detailed plan for how he will end the war as president.
Bring Our Troops Home: Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.
Press Iraq's leaders to reconcile: The best way to press Iraq's leaders to take responsibility for their future is to make it clear that we are leaving. As we remove our troops, Obama will engage representatives from all levels of Iraqi society - in and out of government - to seek a new accord on Iraq's Constitution and governance. The United Nations will play a central role in this convention, which should not adjourn until a new national accord is reached addressing tough questions like federalism and oil revenue-sharing.
Regional Diplomacy: Obama will launch the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history to reach a new compact on the stability of Iraq and the Middle East. This effort will include all of Iraq's neighbors - including Iran and Syria. This compact will aim to secure Iraq's borders; keep neighboring countries from meddling inside Iraq; isolate al Qaeda; support reconciliation among Iraq's sectarian groups; and provide financial support for Iraq's reconstruction.
Humanitarian Initiative: Obama believes that America has a moral and security responsibility to confront Iraq's humanitarian crisis - two million Iraqis are refugees; two million more are displaced inside their own country. Obama will form an international working group to address this crisis. He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe-haven.
The Problem: Iran has sought nuclear weapons, supports militias inside Iraq and terror across the region, and its leaders threaten Israel and deny the Holocaust. But Obama believes that we have not exhausted our non-military options in confronting this threat; in many ways, we have yet to try them. That's why Obama stood up to the Bush administration's warnings of war, just like he stood up to the war in Iraq.
Opposed Bush-Cheney Saber Rattling: Obama opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which says we should use our military presence in Iraq to counter the threat from Iran. Obama believes that it was reckless for Congress to give George Bush any justification to extend the Iraq War or to attack Iran. Obama also introduced a resolution in the Senate declaring that no act of Congress - including Kyl-Lieberman - gives the Bush administration authorization to attack Iran.
Diplomacy: Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress.
Renewing American Diplomacy