Thursday, May 15, 2008

Acting White: McCain Says Out Of Iraq By 2013

This is an open call to John McCain supporters. Please help me understand how this pledge appeals to your voting sensibilities. He clearly understands something about you that I don't. This war is costing American lives and bankrupting our economy, for the arguable promise of making us safer. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda continues strong, as does mid-east terror. Are there people who really think "Yep, five more years of this, that's what I want, sign me up"? I want to hear from you, please! (I even updated my drawing of the MAC-man to prove my good faith intentions).

James C. Collier


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Anonymous said...

No one wants five more years of war, that would be silly. That is not his promise; rather, he is saying that the pain and suffering, death and destruction, and physical and fiscal costs will not be devalued by abandoning the effort as was done 30 years ago.

You may agree or disagree, but it is dangerous to mis-characterize him lest you discount his personal experience, commitment, and history, and the high value his supporters place on those personal traits.

Voters think McCain is honest and honorable, as contrasted with Obama's real estate trickery, crooked connections, and Rev. Wright fantastic rantings.

Don't misunderestimate McCain's appeal to those tired of bullshit.

James C. Collier said...

Big Steve: Is not the waste of lives and money in a ill-advised war the real devaluation? It seemed that after 9-11, we needed a show of somebody's ass getting kicked, and Saddam's number came up (since that murderin' Bin Laden is so freakin elusive) - what other mission was there after they pulled Saddam's murderin' ass out of that hole? We're pulling out in a measured way to maintain the value of what exactly? FTR, Vietnam was a hole we should have never gone down and Geo.Bush and GHWB knew this in spades, thus his service dodge. ding.

James C. Collier said...

Big Steve: A little more...

RE: Questionable associates...
"Mr. Diamond [McCain's rich developer buddy], for his part, said Mr. McCain had only done his job. “I think that is what Congress people are supposed to do for constituents,” he said. “When you have a big, significant businessman like myself, why wouldn’t you want to help move things along? What else would they do? They waste so much time with legislation.”"

RE: Obama and Hamas...

"But given his own position on Hamas, McCain is the last politician who should be attacking Obama. Two years ago, just after Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections, I interviewed McCain for the British network Sky News's "World News Tonight" program. Here is the crucial part of our exchange:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that.""

Thanks Steve, your unwavering confidence in Senator McCain was helpful.

James C. Collier said...

Big Steve: Lastly...

Rev. Hagee's rant...

Hagee on Hurricane Katrina "All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Islamic Beliefs
Fresh Air host Terry Gross asked if Hagee believed that "all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews," to which Hagee replied, "Well, the Quran teaches that. Yes, it teaches that very clearly." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on African-Americans
The San Antonio Express-News reported that Hagee was going to "meet with black religious leaders privately at an unspecified future date to discuss comments he made in his newsletter about a 'slave sale,' an East Side minister said Wednesday." The Express-News reported:

"Hagee, pastor of the 16,000-member Cornerstone Church, last week had announced a 'slave sale' to raise funds for high school seniors in his church bulletin, 'The Cluster.'

"The item was introduced with the sentence 'Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone" and ended with "Make plans to come and go home with a slave." [San Antonio Express-News 3/7/96]

Hagee on Catholicism
"Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews." [Jerusalem Countdown by John Hagee]

Hagee on Women
"Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist." [God's Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, Sarah Posner]

"[T]he feminist movement today is throwing off authority in rebellion against God's pattern for the family." ["Bible Positions on Political Issues," John Hagee]

Hagee on LGBT Americans
"The newspaper carried the story in our local area that was not carried nationally that there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades. So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know that there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment." [NPR Fresh Air, 9/18/06]

Hagee on Iran
"The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty," Hagee wrote [in 2006] in the Pentecostal magazine Charisma. "Israel and America must confront Iran's nuclear ability and willingness to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. For Israel to wait is to risk committing national suicide." [The Nation, 8/8/2006]

ding. ding. ding. What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Mr. said it.

I'm not a supporter of McCain, but I also want to know what his supporters are expecting from him if he does get elected. It seems that his message is that he is not change much in the white house if he does get elected. One of the biggest issues right now is the war in Iraq. After all of the evidence given that the American people and members of congress were misled, he still supports the war? It just doesn't make sense. For this reason alone I am not going to vote for him. It would be controversial to pull out of the war, but the whole war is controversial to begin with.

I think that McCain is naive in thinking that democracy is wanted in the middle east. I think he needs to learn more about cultures outside the US.

Big Steve.......what politician doesn't have his hands dirty from something. Right now in the US we should be considering voting for the lesser evil. And right now, the lesser evil seems to be Obama.

Anonymous said...

Voters think McCain is honest and honorable, as contrasted with Obama's real estate trickery, crooked connections, and Rev. Wright fantastic rantings.

Not to pile on Big Steve, but most polls show that McCain is behind both Democratic candidates in the general election matchup. It's still early, but keep in mind that these polls were taken after the Rev. Wright fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Well, thats why we have elections...

For what its worth, I am not a McCain supporter -- I have a Ron Paul sign in my front yard and am going to his book signing tonight. My posting in response to James' challenge was to highlight that many voters think differently about the war and the candidates than he might think.

And as a Unitarian, I think all these reverends are crackpots, and that religion is the last thing that qualifies a politician for anything.

In summary, I challenge everyone to recognize that as a moderate, disavowed by conservatives, McCain is far closer to the center than Obama, the most liberal of all 100 Senators. Do not be surprised when liberalism is rejected once again as in McGovern, Dukakis, Kerry, et al. I say again that Americans do not want their taxes raised.

Big Steve

Anonymous said...


I agree with you that invading Iraq was a bad idea, but that horse already left the barn. We can't change the past. We invaded, took down the government, and made a mess, and that's the reality we have to deal with.

The question is, what now? Just because it was a bad idea to go in in the first place doesn't mean the optimal course of action is to immediately withdraw. In fact, that is probably the wrost thing we can do. Withdraw now, and we pull the rug right from under our Iraqi supporters, which will in turn leave a power vaccum that Iran will promptly fill. A stronger Iran is the last thing we want.

If it can be done at reasonable cost, it seems to me that it would be far better first stabalize the place and enable Iraqi government government to solidify its authority and control of the country. That way we leave behind an Iraq that won't just become an Iranian protectorate and can maintain some balance of power in the region.


DJ Black Adam said...

As a former Marine who wants to see all the trrops home as soon as possible, I say that what McCain is saying is an outright lie, because it is not possible (with our current energy dependency on the Middle East.

Not gonna happen…Or at least not in the way we want it to end, that being “expeditiously”.

Politically, we have the democrats and the republicans, of which, neither is telling the American people the hard TRUTH. What is that TRUTH? Well let’s look at some of the facts.

Sure, we all know that the reasons given by the Bush administration to invade Iraq were shown not to be true. There were no weapons of mass destruction (not that Saddam wouldn’t try given the opportunity and ability) and no Al Qaida link. No matter how that is spun, it still comes out to a false predicate. So we went in, and that’s were the real problems began.

Fact is, Saddam was a human rights abuser, simple and plain. The world is better off without him. Sure, the US is hypocritical in regard to which “human rights” abusers we deal with and which ones we ignore, but let’s be real, we all know the main reason the U.S. gets involved in the Middle East is because of our dependency on oil and more forwardly, the people who make money off of that oil (Americans, Brits and Saudis).

Therein is where we find the reason that there will be no serious withdrawal from that region; OIL and the industrial corporate complex behind that oil. It’s like this, no one is making the auto industry make any real changes to fuel efficiency and they are still selling cars (i.e. Navigators, Hummers, Escalades, etc.) so they aren’t going to stop without motivation. The oil companies make record profits off of people fueling these vehicles, and the American people do not have the will to just say no and BUY cars that are more fuel efficient. This all compounded by the fact that our government is not seeking alternative fuel sources as aggressively as it should; and the American people are not compelling them to do so, as we should.

Basically, as long as we don’t eliminate the reasons why the Middle East is so critical to US geopolitical interest, we will have a strong troop presence in Iraq. Since the reality here is that we are NOT going to get off of Middle Eastern oil any time soon, we now we have a very serious military problem.

We invaded the country by the book for the most part, however; ignoring the Powell doctrine of “overwhelming force” has given us a big problem that will need to be fixed. Because Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. decided to try to save a few bucks on the invasion, they went in weak; as such we won the war but were unprepared to keep the peace.

We did not prioritize securing the borders, and even more crucial, we did not make sure the standard of living for the general population was a priority. What should have happened was that utilities, hospitals, school, etc., should have been rebuilt and online as soon as possible after we invaded and occupied. Because these two things did not happen not only was Al Qaida able to capitalize on the chaos and get into a country they were pretty much not in before our invasion; we also allowed for Shi’ite militias to form (and recruit from jobless disenfranchised young men) and seek revenge on the Sunni’s who had oppressed them under Saddam, and for Sunni militias to form to try to hold the power they had.

Now we are stuck in Iraq with the problems we have created and / or unleashed. Again, if Americans would stop buying oversized vehicles with horrible fuel efficiency we could walk away from this mess (even though we created it), and let them have their inevitable civil war, however; we aren’t changing our auto buying habits, and the auto companies are in no rush for us to kill their golden goose, so we will not allow that region to go up in flames.

Here is the hard truth. If we leave Iraq now, the Iranians will get a foothold in Iraq, which is a situation that is unacceptable to the US, Europe and the Saudis and others in the region. Ultimately we end up with a regional conflict that will be WWIII. If and when this WWIII happens, we will lose a lot more than the already too many 4,000 lives we have lost of our service men and women. I can assure you, that the draft will have to be reinstated, and the major players of the world will all be involved.

This is an avoidable situation, if we develop alternative fuel sources and demand better vehicles from the auto industry, while simultaneously keeping our troops in the region until those goals are attained. Sadly, I don’t see that happening.

What I see happening is we will either do a hasty withdrawel as we did in Vietnam, but more likely, we will stay there pinned for many years to come not willing to partition the country, and the country itself not willing to become even a loose confederation.

Either way, the minute we leave, Civil war will jump off, not just between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis (and the Kurds to a lesser extent), but within the Shi’ites. The question is, will we still be dependent on the oil of the region and have to redeploy a much larger force for a much bigger war?

I’m just saying…

stalepie said...

The price of oil has been rising since the Iraq War began, not falling. If we went to war for more oil, it isn't showing.

We need to tell auto manufacturers that we want to buy electric cars. And we need to build more nuclear power plants to provide the elecricity. Most of France and other countries in Europe run on nuclear power.

In my opinion Iraq can go screw themselves. I hate humanitarian wars. I do not care about the Iraqi people. I have never met an Iraqi person. The taxes for the Iraq War should be optional.