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McCain vs. Reality

I think that we have a great opportunity to look at two candidates and see where they stand (Obama’s OpEd, McCain’s Rebuttal). Neither candidate is perfect.

Senator Barack Obama did speak out forcefully against the surge. He said that he didn’t think that it would control the violence. What he didn’t know was that there was a huge push in the Sunni community to decrease violence and to push out Al Qaeda. Without the cooperation of the Sunni tibial leaders, the violence would not have been quelled with a modest increase in troop levels (the surge).

Senator John McCain never acknowledges this fact. The other thing that John McCain leaves out of his discussion of the Surge is the purpose of the Surge. The purpose was to create an environment where the Iraqi government could reverse de-Bathification, create a fair oil-sharing law, and have national reconciliation.

It is important to mention that we are paying for some militia forces in Iraq to tow the line. It is unclear what will happen when those payments stop. They have to stop some day. McCain does not mention this at all. It is as if it doesn’t matter or even factor into the current “peaceful” situation.

So, Senator McCain is correct in saying that our troops have performed brilliantly. He was wrong about everything else. I don’t think that he is misleading because he doesn’t know what it happening. I think that he is misleading because he is wedded to a strategy to stay the course in Iraq.

Obama has a strategy that follows the will of the American people and makes us safer. Any strategy that focuses attention on getting the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden is a strategy that I can support.

By |2008-07-23T14:13:07-04:00July 23rd, 2008|Election 2008, Iraq|Comments Off on McCain vs. Reality

McCain's Rebuttal OpEd

Now, it order to be fair, I’m posting Senator John McCain’s article. This article is less of a thoughtful discussion and more of a “He’s wrong and I’m right” position paper. The New York Post published this article. I find this interesting. The crown jewel of the Murdoch empire would be the Wall Street Journal, but McCain’s article isn’t published there. Instead, it is published in the tabloid daily of the New York Post.

The New York Times has their response to NOT publishing McCain’s rant.

(Emphasis added is mine.)


EDITORS’ NOTE: The New York Times wouldn’t print this oped from the GOP candidate.

AS he took command in Iraq in January 2007, Gen. David Petraeus called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation is full of hope – but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due mainly to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on Jan. 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted. Perhaps he’s unaware that the US embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.”

Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks:

* More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists.

* Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has found the will to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City – dispelling suspicions that he’s merely a sectarian leader.

The surge’s success hasn’t changed Sen. Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. (more…)

By |2008-07-22T23:57:20-04:00July 22nd, 2008|Election 2008, Iraq|1 Comment

Are We Not Listening to Obama?

Great OpEd in the New York Times on Senator Barack Obama. It clearly needs to be read –

We have to have a talk about Barack Obama.

I know, I know. You’re upset. You think the guy you fell in love with last spring is spending the summer flip-flopping his way to the right. Drifting to the center. Going all moderate on you. So you’re withholding the love. Also possibly the money.

I feel your pain. I just don’t know what candidate you’re talking about.

Think back. Why, exactly, did you prefer Obama over Hillary Clinton in the first place? Their policies were almost identical — except his health care proposal was more conservative. You liked Barack because you thought he could get us past the old brain-dead politics, right? He talked — and talked and talked — about how there were going to be no more red states and blue states, how he was going to bring Americans together, including Republicans and Democrats.

Exactly where did everybody think this gathering was going to take place? Left field? (more… )

More later… I have a couple of trauma patients to take care of.

By |2008-07-11T08:39:09-04:00July 11th, 2008|Election 2008, Energy, Iraq|2 Comments
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