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Old 01-19-2007, 08:30 PM   #31
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Chuck Hagel still has much of my respect as a man who sticks to his own guns, much more so than McCain.

I'll never forget when Chuck Hagel stated that the United States should stop its intervention in Kosovo in 1999 because it was going to create World War III with the Russians. Hagel is as much a Republican as Leiberman is a Democrat. But the media and the Democrats have yet to acknowledge that.
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Old 01-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #32
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and i'm sure it's McCain's sincere convictions based upon is incomparable experience that has caused him to stick to his guns on this -- not the fact that were he to side with the rest of Congress, and the American people, he'd be labled as such by the Dems (and they'd be right).

right now, McCain's prayer to avoid falling on his own sword is to go to the right of Bush, to say that he would have sent in more troops, earlier, and been more aggressive from the start, to say that if he had his way, and not these children in the White House, Iraq might not be in total chaos with nearly 2 million refugees.

so we'll see what he chooses to do. it's entirely plausible that he could still win the nomination -- though it's getting weirder, wiith Far Right candidates like Brownback saying they favor withdrawal -- and then, potentially, the presidency, and i think that divided government is nearly always a good thing, so a McCain presidency isn't a bad thing.

but the point remains: he's debased himself these past 7 years, and no more so than when he kissed the ass of a man he's rumored to despise (Bush) and held the hands of men he wants nothing to do with (Falwell, Bob Jones U, James Dobson).

McCain is as political as anyone else in Washington. his free pass in the media is a thing of the past.
McCain was already calling for more troops and doing these differently in Iraq in the summer of 2003! McCain like unlike the Democratic candidates, forms his support for various policies in regards to national security based on what is best for the country, NOT what would be best for him politically. That is one of the differences between McCain and his Democratic challengers. McCain shook hands with the man who beat him, nearly to death at some points, for FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS! McCain may have some disagreements with Bush on some issues, but they also agree on many different things. Say what you will about Falwell, and Bob Jones, but their nothing compared to a North Vietnamese prison guard unless you come from the Jane Fonda wing of the Democratic party.
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Old 01-20-2007, 10:29 AM   #33
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McCain was already calling for more troops and doing these differently in Iraq in the summer of 2003! McCain like unlike the Democratic candidates, forms his support for various policies in regards to national security based on what is best for the country, NOT what would be best for him politically. That is one of the differences between McCain and his Democratic challengers. McCain shook hands with the man who beat him, nearly to death at some points, for FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS! McCain may have some disagreements with Bush on some issues, but they also agree on many different things. Say what you will about Falwell, and Bob Jones, but their nothing compared to a North Vietnamese prison guard unless you come from the Jane Fonda wing of the Democratic party.

of course it's political! this is the only way for McCain to free himself from Bush's disaster -- by saying how he would have done things differently. and i think he would have done things differently. make no mistake, McCain is a far more serious individual than George W. Bush. however, McCain is still a chief Bush enabler and has debased himself, especially in the 2004 campaign, for the most political of reasons -- he needs the support of the Republican Party, many elements of which are uncomfortabled with him.

McCain is as political as ANYBODY in washington, whether it's what he's done to support Bush publically or in tailoring his own stance on Iraq so that it stands apart from Bush's own disasterous policies.

and McCain has sill AUTHORIZED torture; he voted to allow Bush to detain, for any reason at any point, ANY American citizen.

and i have no idea, whatsoever, why you're comparing the North Vietnamese with Fallwell and Dobson. what is the point you're trying to make? McCain's willingness to even countenance such elements of Christofascism, again, speaks volumes about McCain the politician, the man willing to make any and all compromises in order to gain higher office.

just like anyone else in DC. you'd do much better to disabuse yourself of the notion of McCain as some kind of exception, rather than just a skilled politician who's had a good long love affair with the media that's coming to an abrupt end, and a politician who's going to have a tremendous amount of explaining to do when it comes to the Worst Foreign Policy Mistake Since Vietnam.
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:20 PM   #34
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McCain is all of the above until he retires or becomes an independent
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and McCain has sill AUTHORIZED torture; he voted to allow Bush to detain, for any reason at any point, ANY American citizen.
Which provision is this under - I heard Amy Goodman ranting about it and a fisking of the claim.
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:39 PM   #35
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of course it's political! this is the only way for McCain to free himself from Bush's disaster -- by saying how he would have done things differently. and i think he would have done things differently. make no mistake, McCain is a far more serious individual than George W. Bush. however, McCain is still a chief Bush enabler and has debased himself, especially in the 2004 campaign, for the most political of reasons -- he needs the support of the Republican Party, many elements of which are uncomfortabled with him.

McCain is as political as ANYBODY in washington, whether it's what he's done to support Bush publically or in tailoring his own stance on Iraq so that it stands apart from Bush's own disasterous policies.

and McCain has sill AUTHORIZED torture; he voted to allow Bush to detain, for any reason at any point, ANY American citizen.

and i have no idea, whatsoever, why you're comparing the North Vietnamese with Fallwell and Dobson. what is the point you're trying to make? McCain's willingness to even countenance such elements of Christofascism, again, speaks volumes about McCain the politician, the man willing to make any and all compromises in order to gain higher office.

just like anyone else in DC. you'd do much better to disabuse yourself of the notion of McCain as some kind of exception, rather than just a skilled politician who's had a good long love affair with the media that's coming to an abrupt end, and a politician who's going to have a tremendous amount of explaining to do when it comes to the Worst Foreign Policy Mistake Since Vietnam.
McCain has had differences with the Bush administration on Iraq since before the invasion of Iraq itself. Thats a fact! McCain has always pushed for a much larger force there. McCain will play the political game to a certain extent, but NOT when it comes to foreign policy and national security. This is his expertise and it is the area he has been consistent on for decades. In contrast, Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are still learning and are making their choices not simply on whats best for the country, but what is best for them politically. McCain has been consistent from day one in this area, so this whole idea that McCain has revised his position is simply fantasy BS.

Fallwell and Dobson may have views we don't like, but they did not torture anyone nearly to death like the Vietnamese Prison Guard did. People are shocked that McCain would shake hands with someone like Fallwell and Dobson, but that would not be a surprise if they knew he shook hands with person that nearly beat him to death. McCain does not hold grudges against people and seeks to work with a wide number of people across many political backgrounds in order to accomplish the most important goals for this country.

In the 2008 political race so far, McCain is an exception when it comes to experience and knowledge with regards to foreign policy and national security. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, are still learning about these things.

In the long run, anyone who opposed the removal of a regime that launched unprovoked invasions and attacks on four different countries, used WMD more times than any other country in history, violated 17 UN security council resolutions passed under chapter VII rules of the UN, violated the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement, failed to verifiably disarm of 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of nerve gas, 1,000 liters of Anthrax, 20,000 bio/chem capable shells, threatened and came close to seizing or sabotaging much of the planets energy supply which would have thrown the planet into its worst economic depression, far worse than what happened in the 1930s, murdered over 1.7 million people while it was in power! I can't wait to read the first book explaining why one of the worst and most threatening regimes in the history of the world should have been left in power.

Lets remind everyone the difference between Vietnam and Iraq. In Vietnam, over 5 million people died, in Iraq around 60,000 have been killed. In Vietnam, the United States lost 60,000 killed, and over 300,000 wounded. In Iraq, the United States has lost just over 3,000 killed, and 23,000 wounded. In terms of the financial cost to the United States, the United States was spending 15% to 20% of its GDP on the military and war related cost in Vietnam. Today, the United States is only spending 4.5% of its GDP on the military and war related cost, LESS THAN THE PEACETIME OF THE 1980s! Just some basic information you should keep in mind before making any more inflated comments about what Iraq is or is not.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:22 PM   #36
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McCain is all of the above until he retires or becomes an independentWhich provision is this under - I heard Amy Goodman ranting about it and a fisking of the claim.


[q]Mr. HARRIS: This whole debate turned on things that I think most citizens couldn't understand. You said you--severe punishment, pain should not be inflicted, but serious pain can--what can that possibly mean in concrete terms?

Sen. McCAIN: In concrete terms, it could mean that waterboarding and other extreme measures such as extreme deprivation--sleep deprivation, hypothermia and others would be not allowed.

Mr. HARRIS: That's what you say. What if the administration interprets it differently, as it is allowed to do under the provisions of this law? What if you disagree with the interpretation?

Sen. McCAIN: If we disagree with the interpretation, the fact is that those interpretations have to be published in the Federal Register. That's a document that's available to all Americans, including the press. And we in Congress, and the judiciary, if challenged, have the ability then to examine that interpretation and act legislatively. These are regulations the president would issue, we would be passing laws which trump regulations.

Mr. HARRIS: If you have confidence that those were--tactics were disallowed, why didn't you get it in the--in the actual law?

Sen. McCAIN: What we did, John, was we called--outlawed certain procedures, including some of those that you might think would be natural--murder, rape, etc.--but also cruel and inhuman--we included cruel and inhuman treatments, not as severe as torture but could still be considered a crime.

[Bob] SCHIEFFER: Well, we look at...

Sen. McCAIN: I'm confident that some of the abuses that were reportedly committed in the past will be prohibited in the future.

[/q]



essentially, McCain voted to authorize the president to do whatever it is he sees fit in regards to the detention and "interrogation" of suspects.

and we all know what the Bush administration's record is on this.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:26 PM   #37
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Lets remind everyone the difference between Vietnam and Iraq. In Vietnam, over 5 million people died, in Iraq around 60,000 have been killed. In Vietnam, the United States lost 60,000 killed, and over 300,000 wounded. In Iraq, the United States has lost just over 3,000 killed, and 23,000 wounded. In terms of the financial cost to the United States, the United States was spending 15% to 20% of its GDP on the military and war related cost in Vietnam. Today, the United States is only spending 4.5% of its GDP on the military and war related cost, LESS THAN THE PEACETIME OF THE 1980s! Just some basic information you should keep in mind before making any more inflated comments about what Iraq is or is not.


and the second you show any remote grasp of any facts regarding Iraq that extend beyond decontextualized, highly convenient numbers regarding blood and treasure -- neither of which you seem to care about -- then i'll continue this discussion on Iraq.

until then, this thread is about McCain.

and i know several people who work for McCain, and who work for Sen. Kyle, who, firstly, think McCain is a preening asshole, and KNOW that your wishful thinking about some sort of Saint McCain are total and utter crap.

the most dangerous place in Washington DC is the distance between McCain and a news camera.

and your wildly inflated comments about the direness of the Saddam threat to the "global energy supply" are claims more manufactured and cherry-picked and fantastical than any offered by the Bush administration.

and army that was so weak and decayed that it collapsed in less than a week in March of 2003 was no threat to the "global energy supply."
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:01 PM   #38
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and the second you show any remote grasp of any facts regarding Iraq that extend beyond decontextualized, highly convenient numbers regarding blood and treasure -- neither of which you seem to care about -- then i'll continue this discussion on Iraq.

until then, this thread is about McCain.

and i know several people who work for McCain, and who work for Sen. Kyle, who, firstly, think McCain is a preening asshole, and KNOW that your wishful thinking about some sort of Saint McCain are total and utter crap.

the most dangerous place in Washington DC is the distance between McCain and a news camera.

and your wildly inflated comments about the direness of the Saddam threat to the "global energy supply" are claims more manufactured and cherry-picked and fantastical than any offered by the Bush administration.

and army that was so weak and decayed that it collapsed in less than a week in March of 2003 was no threat to the "global energy supply."
Really, so why do you think Bush Sr. rushed over 500,000 troops to Saudi Arabia in the last half of 1990? The largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world since WORLD WAR II?

Do you know how many divisions Saddam used to overrun Kuwait in 12 hours on August 2, 1990? TWO

Do you know how far Saddam's forces would have to penetrate into Saudi Arabia to be at the edge of the planets largest oil field? 20 miles

Saddam's forces were much smaller in 2003 than they were in 1990, but he still retained over 400,000 troops nearly 3,000 tanks, 2,000 artillery pieces, thousands of armored personal carrier's, several hundred combat aircraft.

Kuwaits standing forces in 2003, roughly 10,000 troops and 200 tanks. Prior to the large deployment of US troops to Kuwait, there were only a few hundred US troops stationed in country keeping a low profile.

Do to the fact tha the United States for various reasons could not maintain a large deployment of US troops in either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, the probability of success for a Saddam invasion of Kuwait is based on the forces he had versus anything Kuwait or Saudi Arabia could muster at the time.

In 1994, Saddam sent two divisions to the border with Kuwait and positioned them to attack. The United States was forced to rush over 140,000 troops into the region, but it took two months to complete the entire deployment. Saddam's forces could have invaded the country and done unaceptable damage before enough US troops could have arrived to drive out the invasion.

The end of most sanctions and the weapons embargo after the year 2000, gave Saddam the opportunity to start rebuilding much of his military force. If they situation had played out for several more years, US forces would have been facing a much better equiped military force, with increased capabilties for attacks into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as the ability to inflict far more casualties on coalition forces.

If Saddam were not the threat you claim him to be, the United States military would not have been practicing for the invasion of Iraq since 1991. Every year, US armored forces deployed for training in the deserts of California where the national training center is located war gamed such a situation. Of all potential wars studied and trained for by the military, a war with Saddam was seen as the most likely do to the threat that he posed to the region and his past behavior.

The State Department agreed with the military assessment and while National Security officials who did not agree with the war like Richard Haass, even he maintained in the 1990s that the country the United States was most likely to go to war with was Iraq.

One of Bill Clinton's top National Security experts on Iraq, Ken Pollack strongly felt that the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam was necessary given the situation. Bill Clinton himself believed the invasion was necessary as well, regardless of what he might say about it now.

To allow Saddam to remain in power without any of the key tools of containment in place would have simply been insane.
Sure Saddam's military was defeated in an invasion that lasted 3 weeks, by a total of nearly 200,000 coalition troops in and around the region. But that total number of coalition troops normally allowed to be stationed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia was a tiny fraction of that figure. Most of the time, Kuwait and Northern Saudi Arabia were in a dangerous position given the military balance on the ground in these area's. In addition, the near complete end of sanctions and the weapons embargo meant that Saddam could start to rebuild much of his forces, further endangering these area's just across the Iraqi border, and making any sort of US response far more difficult and costly. All this, without even touching the issue of WMD.

Saddam had to go, and the majority of the US military, as well as anyone else tasked with assessing the threat, agreed. A perfect example of cherrypicking is simply sighting the US victory over Saddam in 2003 as being an example that Saddam was not a threat. Such a statement suggest a near total ignorance of the challenging security issues faced by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United States in regards to containing Saddam as well as dealing with a repeat of August 2, 1990. Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD after nearly 12 years and the crumbling of sanctions and the embargo are facts to often ignored by those that opposed the removal of Saddam.

Asserting that Iraq is the worst debacle in US history is NOT a fact. Nor is saying that Iraq is currently in a Civil War, or that the insurgency is rising etc etc. Those are perfect examples of blind assertions unsupported by facts. In regards to actual facts, you be better off to start with some as opposed to these wild assertions.

Wow, you know some people who worked for McCain who don't like him. Thats it, he is done. They say he is an a-hole? I mean, they must know everything there is to know about McCain. Nevermind, what several dozen men who lived with McCain under probably the most difficult circumstances any human can endure have to say about him. Sorry, but I'll take the opinion of several military officers who lived with McCain under incredible circumstances for five years as well as what we factually know about McCain's career any day over what some staffer has to say. Your never going to beat McCain in the national election by attacking him personally.

No matter how you stack it, McCain is way ahead of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards in experience and knowledge on foreign policy and national security issues. The Democrats are putting up the wrong people if they want to challenge McCain on these issues.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:40 PM   #39
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[B]
Asserting that Iraq is the worst debacle in US history is NOT a fact. Nor is saying that Iraq is currently in a Civil War, or that the insurgency is rising etc etc. Those are perfect examples of blind assertions unsupported by facts. In regards to actual facts, you be better off to start with some as opposed to these wild assertions.

[q]There is no mistaking the anguish of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Sitting in his Senate office, he is uncharacteristically subdued, his voice at times almost inaudible.

Although the Bush administration this week finally embraced his long-standing call to send more troops to Iraq, McCain believes the way it has handled the war "will go down as one of the worst" mistakes in the history of the American military.

"One of the most frustrating things that's ever happened in my political life," he said, "is watching this train wreck."


McCain, an all but announced presidential candidate, offered those assessments toward the end of a lengthy interview Thursday night. No politician in the United States is more clearly identified with President Bush's new policy, and no politician has more to lose if it fails. Democratic opponents have already coined a name for the troop "surge": the McCain Doctrine.

McCain made it clear that he supports Bush's plan to send more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq as the only way to prevent that country from slipping further into chaos. "I cannot guarantee success, but I can guarantee failure if we don't adopt this new strategy," he said.

But he also voiced deep frustration over what the war has done, both to this country and to Iraq. "I think many things that have happened in the world that are unfavorable to the United States are the result of our weakness in the Iraqi conflict," he said.

Asked how the war may affect his candidacy, McCain shrugged off the question. "I can't think about it or worry about it," he said. "I have to do what I think is right."

On the night of Bush's speech, he told CNN's Larry King: "I would much rather lose an election than lose a war."

The risk now is that both could be lost.

As a forceful advocate for a policy that appears to fly in the face of the message voters sent in November, the politician who has long played for the center of the electorate now finds himself isolated on the right.

"The war is going badly, and he is now the leading public advocate of more of the same or even much more of the same," said Ron Klain, a Democratic strategist and chief of staff to then-Vice President Al Gore. "That's an odd place to be."

At a time when many Republicans are voicing opposition to Bush's plan, McCain is not budging. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of McCain's closest friends in the Senate, explained the political stakes in the simplest terms. "If we're successful, he'll get the benefit," Graham said, referring to Iraq. "If we fail, he'll get the blame."

Two Democratic presidential candidates, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, have cast McCain as the architect of the troop increase. MoveOn.org's political action committee plans television ads in Iowa and New Hampshire next week attacking McCain on the issue.

Would the Arizona senator describe the new policy as the embodiment of a McCain Doctrine for Iraq? "No, but I am willing to accept it as a McCain principle," he said Thursday night. "And that is, when I sign up, when I raise my hand and vote to go to war, that I want to see the completion of the mission."

McCain said the policy's defenders must work harder to change public opinion. "I admit that this is a challenge to us," he said. "But I can make the counterargument that withdrawal means defeat and chaos." Advocates for withdrawal, he said, must explain why that would not result in even greater chaos.

"What happens when Americans are no longer there?" he asked. "I think you could see some pretty horrific scenes on television sets in America."

It is a considerable irony, given their histories, that McCain's political future is now so closely tied to the president's ability to bring the Iraq war to a successful conclusion.

The two battled bitterly over the 2000 GOP presidential nomination. In 2004, they brokered a rapprochement that appeared politically beneficial to both: Bush gained the high-profile support of the Republican with the broadest appeal to independent voters, and McCain gained respect and admiration from conservative Republicans who had opposed his candidacy in 2000 and who are critical to his hopes for the nomination in 2008.

At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain offered lavish praise for Bush as a wartime president. Bush, he said, "has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time. . . . He has not wavered. He has not flinched from the hard choices. He will not yield. And neither will we."

McCain said he has no regrets over the role he played in helping Bush win reelection, given his belief that the administration has so badly mismanaged the war. "Did I support the strategy? No, I didn't," he said. "But I certainly didn't see his opponent, who was advocating withdrawal, as advocating any kind of viable proposal," he added, referring to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

His differences with the administration, he said, were well known as far back as 2004 -- his lack of confidence in then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his belief even then that the administration needed to send more troops to Iraq. "Every hearing, every opportunity that I had -- my staff has compiled it already a hundred times where I said, 'This is not going right. You've got to get more people on the ground here,' " he said.

McCain has long tried to balance his advocacy for the mission in Iraq with his criticism of the administration, always putting some distance between himself and the White House. He did the same in the days before Bush's prime-time speech Wednesday night. "There are two keys to any surge of U.S. troops," he said at a forum at the American Enterprise Institute. "To be of value, the surge must be substantial and it must be sustained."

Does the new policy meet those tests? McCain offers an equivocal answer. He said he has been assured by Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the president's choice to take over command in Iraq, that 20,000 additional troops should be enough, but that if they are not, Petraeus can ask Bush for more.

"He tells me, 'I think I can do it with this number,' " McCain said. "So I'm supposed to be a Monday-morning quarterback? I'm not going over there and command. I'm only sitting here trying to figure out the best way we can win this conflict."

His advisers dismiss suggestions that McCain has shrewdly left himself room to argue that Bush's plan for more troops was not substantial or sustained enough to ensure success. They, like the possible candidate, see the perils of his position -- but potential benefits as well.

"At the core of the issue is who he is, and that's what generates his popularity," said Rick Davis, one of McCain's top political advisers. "It's that he puts principle ahead of politics, that he tells it like he sees it regardless of the political ramifications."

McCain's character was shaped by the previous great conflict that divided America -- the Vietnam War -- and is being tested by the current conflict, which has done the same. A prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain is now a hostage of a different sort -- his political future tied in part to the president, the Pentagon and an Iraqi government in which he has limited confidence.

McCain, who has helped broker many deals between Republicans and Democrats over the years, sees no opportunity to do so on Iraq. He opposed the only bipartisan plan on the table -- the report of the Iraq Study Group, which called for the withdrawal of most combat forces by early next year -- and finds himself at odds with most Democratic friends (one exception being Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, reelected as an independent) and longtime Republican allies such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

"We've either got to do what's necessary, in my considered view, that can lead to success in Iraq, or withdrawal, which in my view is going to lead to catastrophic consequences," he said. "I don't know where you find a middle ground there."

[/q]





McCain is far more sober and realistic about Iraq than you've ever been. ever.

understanding that Saddam posed a regional threat is not the same thing as the fantastical Arab Hitler you're squealing about, and again, you continue to write in Manichean circles where if you didn't support the "train wreck" of an invasion -- as John McCain says -- then you support Saddam Hussein controling the "global energy supply," you're never, ever going to win any converts, because your logic isn't just falty, it's absurd.
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:49 PM   #40
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No matter how you stack it, McCain is way ahead of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards in experience and knowledge on foreign policy and national security issues. The Democrats are putting up the wrong people if they want to challenge McCain on these issues.


and what you still don't get is that all of McCain's "experience and knowledge on foreign policy and national security issues" have led him to support and be the poster boy of The Worst Foreign Policy Mistake Since Vietnam that the American people soundly rejected in November of 2006, that over 2/3rs of them oppose, and that McCain himself has called "a train wreck."

what good is all that experience if it leads you into something as politically and militarily disasterous as Iraq?

justify it all you want (i'm sure this isn't the last time we'll have to endure the same paragraphs and non-responses you've been cutting-and-pasting for years), but the fact remains: you're trying to make a political justification for McCain's "experience" as a selling point, when it is precisely this "experience" that has him forever tied to what is widely regarded -- again, argue it isn't, and that's an argument you're not about to win with the American people, as well as most Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans -- as an all-out DISASTER.
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:47 PM   #41
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[q]There is no mistaking the anguish of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Sitting in his Senate office, he is uncharacteristically subdued, his voice at times almost inaudible.

Although the Bush administration this week finally embraced his long-standing call to send more troops to Iraq, McCain believes the way it has handled the war "will go down as one of the worst" mistakes in the history of the American military.

"One of the most frustrating things that's ever happened in my political life," he said, "is watching this train wreck."


McCain, an all but announced presidential candidate, offered those assessments toward the end of a lengthy interview Thursday night. No politician in the United States is more clearly identified with President Bush's new policy, and no politician has more to lose if it fails. Democratic opponents have already coined a name for the troop "surge": the McCain Doctrine.

McCain made it clear that he supports Bush's plan to send more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq as the only way to prevent that country from slipping further into chaos. "I cannot guarantee success, but I can guarantee failure if we don't adopt this new strategy," he said.

But he also voiced deep frustration over what the war has done, both to this country and to Iraq. "I think many things that have happened in the world that are unfavorable to the United States are the result of our weakness in the Iraqi conflict," he said.

Asked how the war may affect his candidacy, McCain shrugged off the question. "I can't think about it or worry about it," he said. "I have to do what I think is right."

On the night of Bush's speech, he told CNN's Larry King: "I would much rather lose an election than lose a war."

The risk now is that both could be lost.

As a forceful advocate for a policy that appears to fly in the face of the message voters sent in November, the politician who has long played for the center of the electorate now finds himself isolated on the right.

"The war is going badly, and he is now the leading public advocate of more of the same or even much more of the same," said Ron Klain, a Democratic strategist and chief of staff to then-Vice President Al Gore. "That's an odd place to be."

At a time when many Republicans are voicing opposition to Bush's plan, McCain is not budging. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of McCain's closest friends in the Senate, explained the political stakes in the simplest terms. "If we're successful, he'll get the benefit," Graham said, referring to Iraq. "If we fail, he'll get the blame."

Two Democratic presidential candidates, former senator John Edwards of North Carolina and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, have cast McCain as the architect of the troop increase. MoveOn.org's political action committee plans television ads in Iowa and New Hampshire next week attacking McCain on the issue.

Would the Arizona senator describe the new policy as the embodiment of a McCain Doctrine for Iraq? "No, but I am willing to accept it as a McCain principle," he said Thursday night. "And that is, when I sign up, when I raise my hand and vote to go to war, that I want to see the completion of the mission."

McCain said the policy's defenders must work harder to change public opinion. "I admit that this is a challenge to us," he said. "But I can make the counterargument that withdrawal means defeat and chaos." Advocates for withdrawal, he said, must explain why that would not result in even greater chaos.

"What happens when Americans are no longer there?" he asked. "I think you could see some pretty horrific scenes on television sets in America."

It is a considerable irony, given their histories, that McCain's political future is now so closely tied to the president's ability to bring the Iraq war to a successful conclusion.

The two battled bitterly over the 2000 GOP presidential nomination. In 2004, they brokered a rapprochement that appeared politically beneficial to both: Bush gained the high-profile support of the Republican with the broadest appeal to independent voters, and McCain gained respect and admiration from conservative Republicans who had opposed his candidacy in 2000 and who are critical to his hopes for the nomination in 2008.

At the 2004 Republican National Convention, McCain offered lavish praise for Bush as a wartime president. Bush, he said, "has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time. . . . He has not wavered. He has not flinched from the hard choices. He will not yield. And neither will we."

McCain said he has no regrets over the role he played in helping Bush win reelection, given his belief that the administration has so badly mismanaged the war. "Did I support the strategy? No, I didn't," he said. "But I certainly didn't see his opponent, who was advocating withdrawal, as advocating any kind of viable proposal," he added, referring to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).

His differences with the administration, he said, were well known as far back as 2004 -- his lack of confidence in then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his belief even then that the administration needed to send more troops to Iraq. "Every hearing, every opportunity that I had -- my staff has compiled it already a hundred times where I said, 'This is not going right. You've got to get more people on the ground here,' " he said.

McCain has long tried to balance his advocacy for the mission in Iraq with his criticism of the administration, always putting some distance between himself and the White House. He did the same in the days before Bush's prime-time speech Wednesday night. "There are two keys to any surge of U.S. troops," he said at a forum at the American Enterprise Institute. "To be of value, the surge must be substantial and it must be sustained."

Does the new policy meet those tests? McCain offers an equivocal answer. He said he has been assured by Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the president's choice to take over command in Iraq, that 20,000 additional troops should be enough, but that if they are not, Petraeus can ask Bush for more.

"He tells me, 'I think I can do it with this number,' " McCain said. "So I'm supposed to be a Monday-morning quarterback? I'm not going over there and command. I'm only sitting here trying to figure out the best way we can win this conflict."

His advisers dismiss suggestions that McCain has shrewdly left himself room to argue that Bush's plan for more troops was not substantial or sustained enough to ensure success. They, like the possible candidate, see the perils of his position -- but potential benefits as well.

"At the core of the issue is who he is, and that's what generates his popularity," said Rick Davis, one of McCain's top political advisers. "It's that he puts principle ahead of politics, that he tells it like he sees it regardless of the political ramifications."

McCain's character was shaped by the previous great conflict that divided America -- the Vietnam War -- and is being tested by the current conflict, which has done the same. A prisoner of war in Vietnam, McCain is now a hostage of a different sort -- his political future tied in part to the president, the Pentagon and an Iraqi government in which he has limited confidence.

McCain, who has helped broker many deals between Republicans and Democrats over the years, sees no opportunity to do so on Iraq. He opposed the only bipartisan plan on the table -- the report of the Iraq Study Group, which called for the withdrawal of most combat forces by early next year -- and finds himself at odds with most Democratic friends (one exception being Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, reelected as an independent) and longtime Republican allies such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

"We've either got to do what's necessary, in my considered view, that can lead to success in Iraq, or withdrawal, which in my view is going to lead to catastrophic consequences," he said. "I don't know where you find a middle ground there."

[/q]





McCain is far more sober and realistic about Iraq than you've ever been. ever.

understanding that Saddam posed a regional threat is not the same thing as the fantastical Arab Hitler you're squealing about, and again, you continue to write in Manichean circles where if you didn't support the "train wreck" of an invasion -- as John McCain says -- then you support Saddam Hussein controling the "global energy supply," you're never, ever going to win any converts, because your logic isn't just falty, it's absurd.

Well, I'm sorry you don't understand basic geography, or the size and strength of Saddam's forces versus Kuwait and Saudi Arabia prior to the deployment of the invasion force. Why do you think Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 required the United States to send over 550,000 troops to Saudi Arabia, the largest single US military deployment since World War II? Why do you think when Saddam deployed two Republican Guard divisions to the border with Kuwait in October 1994, the United States sent over 150,000 troops to the region? Do you think it was to protect the Arab monarchies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia?

Whats absurd is you still don't understand the fundamental US security concerns in the region, where much of the planets oil comes from and the close proximity Saddam was to such oil reserves, as well as what would happen to the global economy if such reserves were seized or sabotaged. This is not a fantasy, its a fact!

In 2002, with sanctions and the weapons embargo almost gone, Saddam still not verifiably disarmed, gaining Billions of dollars on the black market ever year, his proximity to the worlds vital resources and the substantial size of his military, with the potential now for rapid growth in re-arming his military, the possiblity of the development of new WMD to add to the large stocks of unnaccounted for WMD in his possession, with essentially the end of sanctions and the embargo, it was obvious that Saddam had to be removed to insure the security of the region and the planets most vital resources that are so close in proximity to Iraq.

McCain agrees with those points as do the majority of the military and security community tasked with assessing these threats. This is not about winning any converts to anything. Its just the basic facts in regards to the security risk in the region there.
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Old 01-21-2007, 05:34 PM   #42
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and what you still don't get is that all of McCain's "experience and knowledge on foreign policy and national security issues" have led him to support and be the poster boy of The Worst Foreign Policy Mistake Since Vietnam that the American people soundly rejected in November of 2006, that over 2/3rs of them oppose, and that McCain himself has called "a train wreck."

what good is all that experience if it leads you into something as politically and militarily disasterous as Iraq?

justify it all you want (i'm sure this isn't the last time we'll have to endure the same paragraphs and non-responses you've been cutting-and-pasting for years), but the fact remains: you're trying to make a political justification for McCain's "experience" as a selling point, when it is precisely this "experience" that has him forever tied to what is widely regarded -- again, argue it isn't, and that's an argument you're not about to win with the American people, as well as most Democrats and an increasing number of Republicans -- as an all-out DISASTER.
McCain was not President the last four years. His idea's on what to do once Saddam was removed from power differed from Bush.

The majority of American people did not oppose the war or Bush's conduct of it until 2005. Its not the first time a majority of the people in the USA opposed an important conflict in the countries history, that people and history would later vindicate. Nationbuilding and counterinsurgency are long term task that often become unpopular domestically, which is what insurgencies often depend on to achieve victory. In addition, the mass efforts of liberals to de-legitamize the war have no doubt had a heavy impact. But provided the United States does not withdraw from Iraq prematurely, it will achieve its objectives there, and the opinion polls will reverse from where they are now.

If you can call the current Iraq war a disaster, then you can call almost every war the United States has ever been involved in a disaster.

The difference in experience and knowledge on national security between McCain and Clinton, Edwards, Obama, is further shown in what the candidates plan to do next in Iraq to insure stability there.

McCain understands the situation and wants to add more troops as he has advocated since the summer of 2003. He understands that the United States military must remain in the country and continue to fight Al Quada, Sunni insurgents, and any other group that opposes the newly formed Iraqi government composed of representitives from every part of Iraqi society. Nationbuilding and counterinsurgency are long term tasks that require many years to complete. The Iraqi military needs the full support of the coalition military for at least another four years. It takes time to grow and properly train such a force, especially under these circumstance. Once that is completed though, the coalition will be able to withdraw much or all of its forces.

In contrast, Clinton, Edwards, and Obama, all advocate a premature withdrawal of US forces. They want to threaten a government that has only been in office 8 months and remove the forces fighting the insurgents and Al Quada from Iraq within a year, regardless of the capability of the Iraqi military that would be forced to replace it. This is simply illogical, and will create the DISASTER so many mistakenly inflate Iraq to be at the moment. Prematurely withdrawing the US military from Iraq is not a plan that will stabilize Iraq. It will make the liberal wing of the Democratic party happy and ensure that each of them has a shot at the nomination, but it will do NOTHING to stabilize Iraq. Stability in Iraq requires the continued presense of coalition forces until the Iraqi military is of a size and capability level that it can replace those coalition forces.

The laughable thing is, is that you would have to believe that conditions in Iraq are FAR better than I think they are to logically support the policy being advocated by Clinton, Edwards, and Obama.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #43
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Whats absurd is you still don't understand the fundamental US security concerns in the region, where much of the planets oil comes from and the close proximity Saddam was to such oil reserves, as well as what would happen to the global economy if such reserves were seized or sabotaged. This is not a fantasy, its a fact!

yes, silly, the US absolutely sent troops to protect the monarchies of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. they're the ones who give us cheap oil.

what's fantasical is the fact that containment had worked, was working, and if Saddam had stepped over the border into Kuwait, as he did in 1991, an actual inernational coalition would have been there to stop him.

that's HUGELY different than some cowboy-assed invasion executed with absolutely no regard to international opinion -- in striking contrast to Jim Baker's diplomacy in 1990 -- and complete fuck up of an occupation.

there were many, many good reasons why Bush 1 never marched into Baghdad in 1991. and we're seeing them all now.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:27 PM   #44
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[B]

If you can call the current Iraq war a disaster, then you can call almost every war the United States has ever been involved in a disaster.

what a laughable, thoroughly indefensable statement.

what can you possibly mean?



[q]McCain understands the situation and wants to add more troops as he has advocated since the summer of 2003. He understands that the United States military must remain in the country and continue to fight Al Quada, Sunni insurgents, and any other group that opposes the newly formed Iraqi government composed of representitives from every part of Iraqi society. Nationbuilding and counterinsurgency are long term tasks that require many years to complete. The Iraqi military needs the full support of the coalition military for at least another four years. It takes time to grow and properly train such a force, especially under these circumstance. Once that is completed though, the coalition will be able to withdraw much or all of its forces.[/q]


we'll even sidestep your total misunderstanding of what the Iraqi government is and isn't, and let's focus on the fact that if you actually paid any attention to what McCain has been saying, he supports the current surge as a final effort. he said on Meet the Press this morning -- after saying how "deeply disappointed" he's been in the occupation and blaming the "lack of success" and "mistakes" on the Bush administration and bashing them for their optimistic statements ("last throes!") that, ironically, have been even less fantasical than your rosey pronouncements -- that the current "surge" is a "last chance." McCain slams the Bush's, and YOUR, more-of-the-same policies. he stated that it was a "failed policy" and a "mistaken belief" that the Iraqis would be able to take over control of their country and we're currently seeing a "steady deterioration of the situation and if we continue as we are within months we will see a total breakdown in Iraq. we cannot afford it. ... it was a failed policy, it was pursued too long, we now have a new strategy. ... i believe we can succeed ... there is no doubt that the policy that was pursued wasn't going to work."

http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?...ideo_m_edpicks

this is it for McCain. if this doesn't work, he's out too.

the biggest mistake is more of the same. the current situation is untenable, and McCain knows this.

i find it strange how you'll support McCain, but only when you think that McCain is advocating more of the same, which he isn't, and McCain himself is seeking to distance himself from Bush, despite your claims that the two men are saying the same thing. when they're not. McCain disagrees with Bush, and disagrees with you, both in your assessment of what is going on in Iraq and in your assessment that the current status quo is somehow an effecitve method of nation building.

it boggles the mind.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:36 PM   #45
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Saddam had to go, and the majority of the US military, as well as anyone else tasked with assessing the threat, agreed. A perfect example of cherrypicking is simply sighting the US victory over Saddam in 2003 as being an example that Saddam was not a threat. Such a statement suggest a near total ignorance of the challenging security issues faced by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United States in regards to containing Saddam as well as dealing with a repeat of August 2, 1990. Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD after nearly 12 years and the crumbling of sanctions and the embargo are facts to often ignored by those that opposed the removal of Saddam.


i'm going to make one more point one last time, then i'm not touching the specifics of Iraq in this thread, unless it has to do with McCain.

simply supporting the idea of Iraqi regime change does not in any way whatsoever support or justify the manner in which Saddam Hussein was removed in 2003.

simply because the removal of Saddam Hussein might have been in the best interests of the United States and perhaps the Middle East, it does not follow that the Bush administration's illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 was good for the United States and the Middle East.

and as we've seen, the manner in which the invasion happened, followed by a disasterous post-war occupation and the inability of US and Iraqi forces to quell growing sectarian violence, has created a situation more dangerous than the one with Saddam Hussein in power.
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