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Friday, July 25, 2008

"A respectful campaign."

That's what John McCain said that he wanted.

That's hardly what he's delivering:
Q: It almost sounds like you're saying he'd sell out his country to win an election.

A: I don't know. I do know — no, wait a minute, so I do know, I do know that he used the war for political reasons because no one, no one would refuse to acknowledge, no rational observer could refuse to acknowledge the success of the surge. And he still advocates a course that because of the left of his party, Moveon.org, etc., he still advocates a surge — excuse me, a date for withdrawal — that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and General Petraeus say is very dangerous. Very dangerous — not wrong, but dangerous.

Wait, I thought he was wrong, too. I guess all those slurs can get mixed up in one's head. But there's no way McCain's leaving without using his new favorite line (emphasis mine):
Q: Does that mean it's the same as putting politics ahead of country?

A: It means ... I said, I will repeat my statement again, that he would rather lose a war than lose a campaign. Because anyone who fails to acknowledge that the surge has worked, who has consistently opposed it, consistently never sat down and had a briefing with General Petraeus, our commander there, would rather lose a war than a political campaign.

Anyone, senator? Like, perhaps, these veterans?
As a veteran of a fifteen-month combat tour in Iraq at the height of the surge, it is incredibly offensive to see John McCain make off color remarks about Senator Obama's view on Iraq, claiming he "wants to lose" there. By bolstering his political rhetoric, he forgets that many veterans of the war in Iraq would like to see a reallocation of forces to Afghanistan to combat genuine threats to our national security. Would John McCain be so cavalier to say that I want to lose in Iraq, a place where many of my friends left their lives and limbs?

Alex Horton
Austin, TX
Iraq veteran

The message of "losing" being offered by Senator McCain is a lie. There is no compelling United States interest in Iraq that is worth the treasure and time that our nation has been asked to pay. The police action in Iraq has done nothing other than to show the world that America is weak and afraid--of admitting mistakes. In this case, over 4,000 men and women have died because of the cowardice and lack of integrity of our political leadership.

Senator McCain has to stop following this folly. He has to show strength and admit that the strength of America is in its willingness to champion reason over fear. There is no possible cost-benefit analysis that can justify the abandonment of the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to police a sovereign state that no longer desires our presence.

George Zubaty
Louisville, KY
Iraq and Afghanistan veteran
2001-02 and 2003-04

I don't know what Senator McCain is talking about. How is staying in Iraq for 100 years winning, while responsibly removing our military from a sovereign country--at their request--losing? Wasn't leaving the whole point?

Ernesto Estrada
San Francisco, CA
Iraq veteran
Marine Corps

No, Marine. It wasn't the point for everyone, apparently.

The Republicans don't really want to "win" in any common sense, because that would mean that we'd have to leave Iraq.

And when we're sitting on the top of so much oil in what might as well be our 51st state (with all the trillions we taxpayers are pouring into it), what's the hurry?

It's evidenced in their "withdrawal plans", which are as substantial as a sheet of toilet paper. In order to get to "victory" as far as McCain sees it, we'll have to be there for much, much, much longer:
Q: How will we know when we've won in Iraq? What's victory look like?

A: It looks like a success of any counterinsurgency, which is a stable government, a military that is functioning effectively to provide security for the people, the political and economic progress. What you have seen has succeeded. The major cities in Iraq are now calm. Al-Qaida is on their heels but they're not defeated. You've got the economic, political and legal system moving forward and functioning effectively.

Again, the emphasis is mine. That's because, as McCain would say, no rational observer could refuse to acknowledge the overall failure of our imperial occupation (the war was easy - the occupation's been a bitch). No rational observer could possibly think that Iraq or its major cities are now "calm".

Meanwhile, the MSM, learning nothing from their complicity during the run-up to Iraq, allows McCain to call Obama half a traitor all day while his obstinate support of the war (and misstating of the facts on the ground) goes largely unchecked outside of Olbermann, Maddow and a few columnists. "Fair and balanced", my ass.


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