I am doing my best to steer this blog away from constantly focusing on the elections, but sometimes I can’t help it. And this is one of those days. The press is thoroughly enjoying itself following Obama around the Middle East in his efforts to pose as a commander-in-chief.
In response, McCain has met with Bush 41 and has reiterated his beliefs that Obama is wrong on Iraq and that the U.S. must stay the course so that we can win the war. Win in Iraq? What is McCain talking about?
We all know that McCain needs the war to continue. War is his claim to fame. No war, no McCain. He was once in an endless war as a prisoner, so keeping a war alive is his forte. Furthermore, his family has spent three generations as top rank officials in the U.S. military. He consistently defers to General Petreus and his mantra is that U.S. policy in Iraq should solely be dictated by the conditions on the ground. Finally, and because the surge — what he believes to be his surge — is working (meaning that it creates the atmosphere whereby our soldiers can continue to remain in Iraq), we should stay.
Here are the obvious problems. First, why are we still fighting this war? What is there left to win? If the purpose was to remove the threat of Sadam and his WMDs (as McCain originally argued in Congress when he voted in favor of the war), then we can pull out tomorrow. There is absolutely no reason to go from dethroning Sadam and verifying that there are no WMDS to occupying a foreign sovereign. If the purpose was to build a democracy via a U.S. military coup, then haven’t we already achieved that? Are any of our regional allies a democracy? Isn’t Maliki now saying that the U.S. troops should leave within a framework similar to that of Obama?
Heck, John, even Bush 43 is starting to follow Obama’s lead on a time horizon and on talking to the Iranians.
Next, why is a country (the U.S.) with a civilian government and a military that is subject to a civilian mandate constantly deferring to what the military has to say? Can you explain that to me, John? Why the fascination with General Petreus? Yes, he appears to be a good general and under his command the U.S. occupation is now withstanding significantly less casualties and threats. Nevertheless, U.S. foreign policy cannot be dependent on one lone military general, even if his name sounds heroic.
Finally, the whole “we can’t leave Iraq because of terrorism” doesn’t fly either. We all know that there was a never a connection between Iraq and terrorism and that the majority of the terrorists who entered as so-called insurgents have since fled back to Afghanistan. So why not fight in Afghanistan?
To prove that I am not totally one sided on this, here is where I also am not overly confident in Obama’s Afghanistan proposal. Does anybody remember the Soviet’s Afghan sojourn? How about the Taliban? It isn’t easy terrain. We have to be careful about the lessons of the past, and most of them tell us to steer clear of Afghanistan. Nevertheless, Obama needs to sound like he’s a tough guy, so people don’t think he’s a pansy or a commie by pulling out of Iraq. That’s the whole reason why he is playing the shift focus thing. (By the way, McCain is now calling for the same).
So while Obama is out there hogging the spot light, McCain is back home whining Billary style — “the press is nicer to Obama” and “The New York Times wouldn’t publish my article.” Dude, it sucked. Come on! It is a miracle the press pays any attention to McCain’s none sense in the first place. The whole General Petreus-riding and war-mongering thing is just too silly for prime time.
The press is keeping this alive as much as it can with the Bob Dole look alike. Today was actually the first time that I have even seen the press allude to McCain’s own gaffes, any of which would have been aired as scandalous were Obama to have uttered them.
So my recommendation is this. Let’s all sit back and relax. Let Obama do his world tour and let the world like him. McCain can continue his boy crush on Petreus and his favorite subject — war war war — and the press can continue giving him a healthy dose of air time above what he’s deserves. The press can even keep spinning the polls and data so that we — cattle that we are — think it’s going to be close and tune in.
Then when Obama wins, we can all celebrate: Americans, Iraquis, Europeans, you name it. The next day, we can get back to our lives of distrusting Obama like we have done with every other president in our history.