Democrats & Liberals Archives

Heck, Make It An Even Hundred

I wasn’t going to bother posting about this, because it looked for all the world as if John McCain’s campaign was dead in the water before New Hampshire. But since the semi-libertarians up in the Northern woods saw fit to entrust their votes to Ole Crazy Legs, I figured there’s something you should know.

Derry, NH, is a small town with little to distinguish it. I write from experience - I've been there before. But let's say, for argument's sake, that John McCain inexplicably wins the Presidency: then Derry is going to be remembered for his 'interesting' stance on Iraq.

Asked by a member of the audience what he thought of Bush now proposing that we stay in Iraq for fifty years, McCain interrupted the question with "Make it a hundred!".

A hundred years in Iraq. $100 billion a year. The small matter of a few hundred dead soldiers every 12 months, and the incidental collateral of a few thousand of the savage natives. Not much of a price to pay, really, is it? Not according to McCain.

The question on my lips is not why McCain is so completely out of touch with the country. It's not even how the maverick Republican became so damned mainstream (by which I mean, in Republican terms, insanely right-wing).

The real question is: what war are we fighting?

Who are we fighting now? Who is our enemy? Why are we there?

Bush declared Mission Accomplished years ago. From his jovial manner and dandy jumpsuit that day, we could infer that the 'Mission' was to remove Saddam Hussein from power. We did it. He's gone. Heck, he's dead. So what is our mission now?

Who are we fighting? If Al Qaeda, then why on only one front, when we claim that they're organized throughout the world? If Sunnis, then why not Shi'ites? If Muslims, then why not Buddhists?

I believe that the Democrats need to amend their language. They need to stop using this 'War in Iraq' phrase, because a war needs an enemy, and we really don't have one. We're just there. Fighting anyone and everyone we can shoot at, and who can shoot at us.

McCain's attitude - so cavalier, so thoughtless - demonstrates a fundamentally callous approach to one of the major themes of the election, and to the electorate at large.

I guarantee that his hundred year 'war' will come back to haunt him. And deservedly so.
B

Posted by Jon Rice at January 9, 2008 9:24 PM
Comments
Comment #242693

I can gurantee one thing, no matter who takes over the White House we will be in Iraq for a long time. If any candidate says different he or she is handing you a line of BS that would streatch around the world a couple of times.

Posted by: KAP at January 9, 2008 10:07 PM
Comment #242701

KAP…Excuse me if this is a dumb question but how could Obama, if elected, not retreat the troops? It’s seems to be his most specific message. Does he think he could just charm the dems to forgeting this message. I can’t stand the thought of nurse ratched for 8 years but at least she seems to understand the world is getting smaller and our presence is needed in the middle east.

To the original post, the last quote from Mccain in your link is the only reason I wouldn’t hate it if he was elected.

Posted by: andy at January 10, 2008 1:26 AM
Comment #242702

Jon,

So what? This in no way hurts McCain. There’s NO gaffe there. He supports the occupation of Iraq. He’s only expressed displeasure with Rummy’s post-invasion techniques. You’ll not see McCain backing off that statement.

OTOH, both of our Dem front runners have been damn wishy-washy about just how quickly or how much they’d draw down our troop presence in Iraq. I can’t help but feel that both Obama and Hillary are basically depending on charisma to solve the situation.

The sad truth is that with Richardson’s dropping out of the race the only presidential candidate with an “exit plan” is Ron Paul.

The even sadder truth is that too few Americans are having to personally sacrifice over this debacle! Hell, Iraq’s not even front page news anymore, even though at least NINE AMERICAN TROOPS DIED in the past couple of days rooting out AQI north of Bagdad!!!!!!!!!!!

It was more important to listen to drivel about candidates from both parties on the campaign trail. So help me, if I hear one more pundit talk about Hillary’s emotional breakdown I’m gonna’ puke green slime and my heads gonna’ do a 360!

And to top it off our super-duper congress is enjoying a nice raise:

http://tinyurl.com/2ycczm

Based on their performance I think they should all be reduced to minimum wage immediately!!!!!!!!!!

Iraq is now just a footnote. Wall street’s hurtin’, now we’re back to the old saying: “it’s the economy stupid”.

PS: I’m NOT calling you stupid. I’m just frustrated beyond #@!*(^&%% belief.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2008 1:41 AM
Comment #242706

So help me, if I hear one more pundit talk about Hillary’s emotional breakdown I’m gonna’ puke green slime and my heads gonna’ do a 360!

Thank you! What was so wrong with Biden…btw? This is the most I’ve followed an election and it’s been disappointing to say the least. Maybe it’s better for the dems but it’s a “who knows” for me.

Posted by: andy at January 10, 2008 3:43 AM
Comment #242707

Here’s a fairly truthful article about the war in Iraq:

http://tinyurl.com/yqgzqc

I quote,”the Iraq debate now must share center stage with hot domestic issues like health care, the economy and immigration. In this week’s New Hampshire primary, exit polls showed Iraq took second place to the economy in importance for both Democratic and Republican voters.”

And this comes while we’re sending more Marines to Afghanistan, after already increasing the duration of TOD’s for Army and National Guard in Iraq! It’s way past time to reinstate the draft!

Too many Americans are showing their support with magnets and lapel pins. It’s time for every American family to show that support in flesh and blood! Or at least in $$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

Oh, and just how many combat ready troops do we have sitting on the side lines?

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2008 3:57 AM
Comment #242708

Andy
Any occupant of the White House can retreat the troops at any time. BUT WILL THEY? I think not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KAP at January 10, 2008 4:05 AM
Comment #242709

Andy,

I was a Biden supporter from the word go. I even contributed a few hundred dollars to his campaign, but that’s past history.

Now I’m backing Edwards but that also looks glum.

It’s pretty much come down to the Hillary and Barrack show. Hillary will win and she’ll be assailed in the media over Bill’s BS, and rightfully so!

The question is which Republican will be our next President?

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2008 4:09 AM
Comment #242710

“Any occupant of the White House can retreat the troops at any time.”

KAP,

Yep, just like Reagan after Beirut. To my knowledge that was the beginning of Islamic Jihad’s regarding us as “paper tigers”.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 10, 2008 4:18 AM
Comment #242715

KAP-
Let me be blunt with you: Bush is “doing a retreat” now, at a rate of a brigade a month until July. By midsummer, we should be somewhere in the neighborhood of an 100,000, if not less.

The real question is whether things in Iraq will remain as they are now, get better, or get worse. Kneejerk optimism aside, this is a practical question. While it’s arguable that the surge has succeeded in reducing the violence, the key question is whether that remains operative in our absence.

The political benchmarks and goals that were set up this time last year were intended to measure progress along those lines. The Bush Administration knew, though it didn’t really didn’t make a point of emphasizing it to people like you, that it would have to “retreat” for logistical reasons afterwards. To justify the surge politically, they had to promise that the surge’s end would not spell the end of the improvements in security, Especially given the additional strains that it would put on manpower.

The promised political reconciliation hasn’t shown up. What has shown up has been the Bush adminstration’s “bottom up” policy Which claims that by arming and support factions, making them stronger, rather than strengthening the central government, they’ll achieve the same result.

Will they now? Many observers look at such an approach and say that it will likely make things worse, essentially arming the sides in a civil war. Like the late, great flypaper strategy, where the Bush administration turned the terrorism lemons into terrorist-killing lemonade (now there’s an idea) the supposedly positive development seems to be nothing more than rationalized defeat of the policy in question.

The Bush Administration has made a business of making mistakes, then claiming them to be intentional policy, or the natural resistance to the working policy that the other side would mount. But Americans aren’t being fooled, at least not any longer.

We know what the original goals were. We know that a strong central government was necessary to keep things together, that a weak one with most of the power devolved to warlords, clerics and members of the government with their own private militias is not what we had in mind, nor what would help Iraq to heal, and become one nation again. Iraq will not remain peaceful if it remains in pieces, and nothing the Bush Administration is doing is even poised to resolve that problem, and staying in Iraq without a plan that can do so is just prolonging what is already a painful humiliation for Americans.

Nobody wanted to lose, especially not with the evil consequences that seem to be unfolding in Iraq. However, the Bush administration has put us in a position where what we could rationally devote to salvaging the situation in Iraq cannot get the job done, whether we want to win or not. Events in Iraq were unfortunately allowed to degenerate for long enough so that our available forces, no matter how well intention, could not achieve the desired objective.

This didn’t have to happen. You guys were too busy trying to prove that your way was the best way, though, to allow yourselves to make the humble, politically risky decisions that would have been necessary to stitch this situation up in time. You missed the best opportunities to win, and America saw it happen. We want no more of this humiliating failure, a failure we never sought, a failure we screamed at the top of our lungs to provent, a failure that never had to happen in the first place for a variety of reasons.

History will record not that this war was lost because of dissenters and critics, but that that this war, started as a choice by a group of leaders, was lost because of the choices of those same leaders, who were too concerned with looking like winners to do what it took to win, in time to make the difference. History will record that this was a defeat inflicted upon America not only by it’s own people, but by the very supporters of the war in question.

It will record that they applied plenty of strategies intended to win the war, but when they found those strategies backfiring, or being ineffective, they did not change course, or end them, they simply stubbornly persisted in them, and thereby aggravated the situations in question until America could simply do nothing to recover from their mistakes.

You guys have to learn that even those who intend to win and succeed can undermine the chances of their own success by their actions, that willpower, pride, and the stubborn commitment to do what’s right, if not tempered by wisdom, knowledge, and an open mind to what’s going on around you, can result in failures of astounding proportions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 10, 2008 8:40 AM
Comment #242718

I have a question for the group. Let’s suppose the mock attach by Iranian speedboats against our naval forces had resulted in one of our ships being hit by them with ensuing death of American sailors. What would be the response by:
1. President Bush
2. President H. Clinton
3. President B. Obama
4. President J. McCain
5. President M. Huckabee
6. President M. Romney

Posted by: Jim at January 10, 2008 10:27 AM
Comment #242721

Jon,

It is telling that you take this statement, out of context, and apply meaning to it that was not intended for political purposes.

We are still in Japan, 70 years after WWII. We are still in South Korea, we are still in Kosovo…

McCain made this point quite clearly, for those who wanted to hear. Instead, you see this ‘sound bite’ and assume that he is saying that we should be there, at current strength, in the same role, as we are now.

Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)

McCAIN: Make it a hundred.

Q: Is that … (cut off)

McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans …

Q: [tries to say something]

McCAIN: As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That’s fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day.

Now, I don’t want us there at any strength at all, but it seems a bit hypocritical to me to rail at this response and not see how it is wrong that we are still in Japan, German, Kosovo, South Korea, etc…

Let’s be honest in our opposition, shall we?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 10, 2008 11:02 AM
Comment #242726

KAP & KD
Edwards has a pretty specific exit plan.KAP,the same question came up about Vietnam. How can we possibly get out? Same answer: Ship or plane,either is good.

RH
McCain is an unabashed imperialist. He was just being honest,a rare trait.There is a cogent arguement for imperialism. I don’t buy it,but there is one.

Posted by: BillS at January 10, 2008 12:25 PM
Comment #242729

Rhinehold at least understands what McCain was saying here.

All he was talking about was the false notion of complete withdrawal. With the exception of Paul and Kucinich, I don’t think any candidate plans to close our newly built Taj Mahal Embassy or leave it undefended. He was stating the equally obvious and false argument that if Iraq is peaceful there will be no need to wihdraw and we can buy cooperation, by funding their defense.

Ron Paul correctly rejects these entangling alliances and military industrial complex boondogles.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 10, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #242741

Jim,

Your question is very easy to answer…

They ALL would declare war on Iran, congress would approve almost unaminously. Then, if things went badly, they would blame the last administration for not doing the right things when they had a chance.

There would be one major difference however.

If a Republican is in the White House and things went bad, the congressional dems would say that they meant to vote no, and were fed incorrect information and were lied to.

If a Democrat were in the White House, and things went bad, the congressional dems would say that they meant to vote no, and were fed incorrect information and were lied to by the Bush administration.

Posted by: cliff at January 10, 2008 3:51 PM
Comment #242742

Which viable Presidential candidate has a plan for withdrawal that is different than Bushs’ “phased withdrawal as things get better” plan?

Posted by: kctim at January 10, 2008 4:00 PM
Comment #242744

Cliff
Do you have any reason to make that assumption?

Posted by: BillS at January 10, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #242747

Jim
1.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up among cronies no matter what the cost.

2.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up amongest cronies no matter what the cost.


3.Shell Iranian navel bases.

4.Shell Iranian navel bases.


5.God only knows.

6.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up amongest cronies no matter what the cost.

Posted by: BillS at January 10, 2008 5:04 PM
Comment #242757

Jim
1.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up among cronies no matter what the cost.

2.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up amongest cronies no matter what the cost.


3.Shell Iranian navel bases.

4.Shell Iranian navel bases.


5.God only knows.

6.Sieze the oil fields and devide them up amongest cronies no matter what the cost.
Posted by: BillS at January 10, 2008 05:04 PM

Thanks BillS. I think both a President Obama or Huckabee are in the “God only knows” category. That really scares me as in a period of four years there may very well be a situation like the one I posed and I want to know that my CIC is prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect Americans and American interests.

Posted by: Jim at January 10, 2008 7:02 PM
Comment #242768

Well Jim, that would certainly be something new and different for us all to see. Not much doubt that this last 7 years have been the epitome of outstanding calls by the “CIC”.

Posted by: Jane Doe at January 10, 2008 9:37 PM
Comment #242778

Jim
I for one hope that in 4 years part of keeping Americans out of harms way would include not putting them there to start with. We are in the gulf to protect oil supplies. If we get serious about oil independance,those supply lines become less crucial to us and less of a potential target to adversaries.Same with protecting “American interest” unless you consider the oil conglomerates to be the only real American interest.
I would also like to see a diplomatic approach to Iran not involveing threats and postering.Our countries have been at each others throats for far too long.Our warships are off their coast. Their warships are not off ours. Are we not strong enough to sit with them in a serious dialog?
Iran is more democratic than most of our allies in the Mid-East. They are not expansionist and have not agressed on another country for hundreds of years. They assisted in getting the Talaban out of control of Afganistan. It was they that suggested the Afganis put the word”democracy” in their new constitution.They are a sophistcated ,proud people and their cooperation is the key to ending the jihadist scourge in the region,including Afganistan.

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2008 2:43 AM
Comment #242779

Jim et al
Here is a big,beautiful site about Iran. It covers everything from ancient and modern history to recipes,carpet designs,religions,politics,languages,art, whatever. Even if you hate them it is a good idea to know your enemy.

http://www.iranchamber.com/

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2008 2:59 AM
Comment #242790

Rhinehold

Amen. Yours is an honest approach. We will keep our troops in volatile places either until they are not volatile or we have abandoned the position of leadership that has prevented world war since 1945.

McCain is right (in this one area, at least) and Mr. Rice has both misrepresented McCain’s statements and the nature of the situation we face in the world.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 11, 2008 10:50 AM
Comment #242796

Lee
What planet are you from? There has been near constant warfare since 1945. These wars were kept limited by nuclear weaponry and some semblance of a balance of power.Our troop deployments have most often been in the pursuit of American expansionism,used when we could not get proxies to do the fighting. Our borders have not been threatened since ww2 by military incursion.
You might add that we will keep troops in hostlie areas so long as rich people do not have to pay for them in taxes and the lives of their sons.
Take up the White Man’s burden—
Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2008 12:46 PM
Comment #242797

BillS,

Just some good logical prehistorical revisionist reasoning…

AND the fact that it’s never the dems demn fault…

Posted by: cliff at January 11, 2008 12:47 PM
Comment #242799

BillS,

And what planet are you on?

Did you even read what Lee said?
There has not been a world war. Yes, there will always be war, to think that war will cease in the world as it is now is ludicrous.

Please remember that Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

Posted by: william at January 11, 2008 12:53 PM
Comment #242804

BillS,
William stated the first rebuttal well enough.

A cousin and a nephew of mine, both white and from moderately prosperous families, have served two tours in Iraq. Another nephew, also white and properous, may yet be called to serve in the theater. I know numerous families far more proserous than ours who have sent children into the teeth of this war and others. Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but people I know put their treasures where their mouths are.

Your comments are deeply insulting.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 11, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #242810

Lee Jamison:

I haven’t taken McCain’s words out of context at all. As has been shown in other comments on this posting, his quote went on to talk about how we’ve been in South Korea and Japan for half a century or so.

So what? Are we fighting in either country? Did our presence in S.Korea lead to great relations with the North? Is Japan’s self-imposed moratorium on a standing army thanks to our presence?

Of course not. Contextually, McCain’s comment was as blase and throwaway as it’s possible for a politician to get when describing the tens of thousands of deaths that would result from enacting his policy.

Put THAT into context, if you can.

Posted by: Jon Rice at January 11, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #242824

Jon,

As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.

Again, I don’t think we should be there now, let along 100 years from now, but quit trying to distort what he said.

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 11, 2008 5:00 PM
Comment #242825

Right Lee
And rich folks in Texas are jumping up and down to get their tax cuts repealed. When are the Bush twins signing up?

William
War is not a constant. In anthropological terms it is an aberration. See:Margerat Mead

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #242827

Rhinehold:

McCain said “As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”

Americans are being harmed, wounded and killed right now. McCain doesn’t want to bring them home right now. How can I be twisting his words, when he’s twisting them himself?

You want me to put this into context - but that short quote in my original article is all the context you need. McCain’s political mewlings speak even louder than his big dog words.

Posted by: Jon Rice at January 11, 2008 5:34 PM
Comment #242842
Americans are being harmed, wounded and killed right now. McCain doesn’t want to bring them home right now.

But that wasn’t the question asked, was it? He was asked about 50 years from now. He said he saw no problem with it as long as no one was dying. Obviously at some point he will say that enough is enough and we are past that point. I think we were past that point the minute we overthrew Saddam, but that’s just me. He has a longer view. But that does not mean it will be 100 years AS THE SITUATION IS NOW. At least, you cannot take that from what he said because it counters it.

Perhaps it’s not that you are taking him out of context but just can’t comprehend english?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 12, 2008 12:15 AM
Comment #242853

I would add to Rhinehold’s comment, he was also demonstrating that most Americans don’t object to our presence overseas as long as soldiers aren’t dying.

His point was the objections to our presence in Iraq are related to soldiers being killed, not the length of time we are there.

I object to our presence overseas irregardless whether soldiers are dying or not. I do not object to diplomatic and strategic placement of troops as a rule, but feel that most of our overseas positions are little more than govenmental and bureaucratic waste.

Posted by: googlumpugus at January 12, 2008 6:09 AM
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