Category Archives: Iraq

Still worth it?

well no, i don’t think the $558 billion we spent on the war could’ve been better spent in this country.
why do you ask?

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Filed under Economy, Iraq

Top Ten Foreign Policy Myths

aka why i love the Nation:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20081006/myths

click on it to see why neither candidate is great when it comes to foreign policy, but john mccain would be an absolute disaster.

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Filed under Foreign Relations, Iraq

John Mccain just doesn’t understand foreign policy…

during the debates, john mccain wanted to pretend as if it’s obama who’s been confused about american foreign policy and america’s economic situation for the past eight years. he sniped:

I’m not prepared at this time to cut off aid to Pakistan. So I’m not prepared to threaten it, as Senator Obama apparently wants to do, as he has said that he would announce military strikes into Pakistan.

We’ve got to get the support of the people of — of Pakistan. He said that he would launch military strikes into Pakistan.

Now, you don’t do that. You don’t say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government.

i agree, you don’t say that sort of stuff out loud.

but then why did mccain sing “bomb bomb bomb iran” last year when asked about his position on the country?  because war is a joke?

And I’m — I’m — understand why Senator Obama was surprised and said that the surge succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.

It didn’t exceed beyond mine, because I know that that’s a strategy that has worked and can succeed.

nonsense.

as thinkprogress notes, mccain himself questioned whether the surge would work. he said, “I am concerned about it, whether it is sufficient numbers or not.”

and, “I am very nervous about this new strategy. I am very doubtful that we have enough troops. I don’t know if the Maliki government will be strong enough.”

furthermore, as i pointed out earlier in the year, mccain was against the surge before he was for it.  where was mccain’s self-proclaimed foreign policy experience when he consistently said that the situation was improving? or when we he said we should just stay the course? and who was being naive when, in 2005, he said that we’ll be out in a year?

but yeah, john, we’ll sit back and pretend like it’s everyone else who “just doesn’t understand”.

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Filed under Debates, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Surge

Lessons from Vietnam

mccain likes to say that his experience in vietnam gives him an insight into war that few can rival.

but what exactly were these lessons?

1) did he learn about the hazards of rushing to war? did he learn to question our leaders before the war began?

2) did he learn how difficult, no, how impossible, it is to fight an insurgency? how do you fight a guerrilla movement that blends into the civilian population? what do you do when the people oppose your long term presence in their nation? did mccain learn anything about  that?

3) did he learn how much wars cost in terms of lives and money? why did he think this war would pay for itself?

and finally,

4) did he learn the difference between avoidable and unavoidable wars? does he understand that when a nation is attacked you fight the people who attacked them and you continue fighting them until you win?

what lessons did john mccain learn from vietnam?

i can give him one: he learned that torture is evil.

that’s significant, and appreciated – even though, as i noted before, he’s unsure if water boarding constitutes torture– it’s still nice to see a republican who “gets” torture.

but obama “got” that torture was evil too.

so what does mccain’s vietnam experience bring to the table?

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Filed under Iraq, Torture, Waterboarding

The Case for Withdrawal: Part Two

a continuation of this post.

3) we can’t fund this war

at a cost of $350 mil per day, the iraq war is draining the american economy. bush hasn’t hiked taxes to pay for this war, instead, he’s cut budgets for education and research, and has borrowed heavily from foreign banks in china and the ME.

with this nation in a recession, with inflation running high, with oil prices skyrocketing, with the dollar depreciating, america cannot afford this war.

they lied when they said this war would pay for itself. they continue to lie when they say that we can afford to be in debt to foreign banks and foreign govts.

this war is bleeding us.


4) the war is not preventing terrorism

america’s presence does not prevent global terrorism. not only does this war strengthen the al qaeda narrative that america is an imperialist power occupying muslim land, it has created militants who are now well trained for urban warfare against a modern military and who are already using that training in other cities of the ME (see what’s happening in lebanon). it has also prevented america from becoming engaged in afghanistan and the rest of the wider muslim world.

the taliban is back in afghanistan, and all the gains america made with their ouster are being erased. al qaeda has a safe haven between the borders of pakistan and afghanistan, and america is too busy elsewhere to hunt down those responsible for 9/11 and bring them to justice.

worse, global terrorists continue to be unafraid of american power. last year, several suspected terrorists came up with a plan to blow up a dozen planes over the atlantic ocean.

clearly they are still trying to kill americans, and a multi-nation, coordinated police effort is necessary to stop them.

america got lucky and avoided that terrorist attack, but the longer we are in iraq, the shorter time we have before our luck runs out.

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Filed under Case for Withdrawal, Iraq

The Case for Withdrawal (Part One)

i know i haven’t updated the blog recently, but i thought i should at the very least, periodically explain why john mccain is dead wrong about his 100 years in iraq platform.

whether or not you were for or against the war in iraq from the beginning is almost irrelevant at this point. the major question is what to do with the situation now.

here are my first two reasons why america must set a timetable for withdrawal:

1) because it is illogical, immoral, and just plain stupid to arm militias during a civil war.

america has consistently shown that it does not and cannot understand the nature of iraqi society. once it invaded the nation, it disarmed the minority sunnis who ruled with hussein, and instead trained, armed, and funded the shia majority. to call this a colossal blunder would be an understatement.

it has then jumped around trying to plug in pockets of violence and has sat there as an entire neighborhoods have been ethnically/religiously cleansed.

no one knows up or down about iraq. heck few people in this country even understand the intricacies of american culture, e.g. the differences between rural and urban america, the differences among american minorities, the differences among urban gangs and militias, how on earth did anyone expect to understand ancient rivalries iraq?

it was stupid and arrogant to think that any outsider would.

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Filed under Case for Withdrawal, Iraq

Sunni? Shia? All the same to a Maverick

mccain,  the self-proclaimed foreign policy expert, has confused sunnis and shias on at least seven occasions…

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