I'd rather be blogging the Elements of Style

I'm trying to stay away from writing about stupid blog-fights over Obama and McCain, mostly because there's still nearly four months until the election and they're, you know, stupid blog-fights which will be forgotten in a few days time. Plus, with his failure to filibuster the FISA-gutting reforms, I'm not in such an Obama-defending mood. But this one is annoying me.

James Gordon Meek, of the New York Daily News, writes,
“Barack Obama's campaign scrubbed his presidential Web site over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq, the Daily News has learned. The presumed Democratic nominee replaced his Iraq issue Web page, which had described the surge as a "problem" that had barely reduced violence.”
Various right-wing bloggers link to this story to say that Obama "purged" or "disappeared" the surge criticism from his website. These people are either illiterate, or liars, or both. Here's what the section of the Barack Obama Issues page for Iraq under discussion said about the surge on July 8 before it was purged:
The Surge: The goal of the surge was to create space for Iraq's political leaders to an agreement to end Iraq's civil war. At great cost, our troops have helped reduce violence in some areas of Iraq, but even those reductions do not get us below the unsustainable levels of violence of mid-2006. Moreover, Iraq's political leaders have made no progress in resolving the political differences at the heart of their civil war.”
Here's what it says now
Inadequate Security and Political Progress in Iraq: Since the surge began, more than 1,000 American troops have died, and despite the improved security situation, the Iraqi government has not stepped forward to lead the Iraqi people and to reach the genuine political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge. Our troops have heroically helped reduce civilian casualties in Iraq to early 2006 levels. This is a testament to our military’s hard work, improved counterinsurgency tactics, and enormous sacrifice by our troops and military families. It is also a consequence of the decision of many Sunnis to turn against al Qaeda in Iraq, and a lull in Shia militia activity. But the absence of genuine political accommodation in Iraq is a direct result of President Bush’s failure to hold the Iraqi government accountable.”
Both versions of the website then go on to discuss the strain this has put on U.S. military resources. Apparently, the old version qualifies as criticism of the Surge, but the new one doesn't, according to, I believe, the Humpty Dumpty rule of interpretation.

P.S. Don't tell the Daily News, but this isn't the first time Obama has updated his Issues page for Iraq. And, as right wing bloggers tell me, updating your web page is the same thing as having always been at war with East Asia.