John McCain’s Greatest Hits

From Crooks & Liars, a rundown of McCain’s top ten most bizarre public utterances. I’d also add this from his foreward to David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest: “No other national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war. If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone.” That’s not bizarre, of course; it actually makes a lot of sense. what’s bizarre is that McCain has abandoned his own common sense in order to remake himself into a clone of George W. Bush.

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Published in: on May 8, 2008 at 11:21 am  Comments (12)  

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  1. < < If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone. >>

    Actually, that statement IS a little bizarre if you think about it. If an entire nation and its elected government lacked the resolve for a war, why would troops even still be there to “carry it alone”? Why would democratically elected representatives of the people (including the president) ALLOW the troops to stay there, if the nation and the government lacked the will? I think it says something bizarre and disturbing about the state of our government (and perhaps about the apathy of the people) that such a thing could happen. If a clear majority of the American people truly believe we should leave Iraq immediately, then they should make their voices heard in the most unambiguous way possible. And I’m still not convinced that the election of 2006 was an unambiguous vote for withdrawal from Iraq. I think it was a referendum on the failures of the Bush administration in general, of which incompetent handling of the war was one of many. A majority of the same American public, in all its infinite wisdom, unambiguously supported the invasion of Iraq before and during its initial stages.

  2. ” And I’m still not convinced that the election of 2006 was an unambiguous vote for withdrawal from Iraq”

    Maybe, maybe not, but with polls consistently showing 60+% support for withdrawal, I think the message should be clear. If anything, the 2008 presidential election will be an unambiguous referendum, with both Democrats pledged to “immediate” withdrawal, and McCain saying it’s “fine with” him if the troops remain for a 100 years.

  3. If history is any guide, the odds of either remaining Democrat ordering an immediate withdrawal are very low. Call me an outlandish cynic, but I’m going to go out on a limb right now and predict that whoever is elected president is not going to do exactly what they said they were going to do as a candidate, and that includes important decisions about Iraq.

  4. What about Obamamamama?

  5. Eric, I agree with you completely. For one thing, you don’t have to know much about military logistics to know that you can’t get that many troops quickly in or out of anywhere (especially when you are primarily limited to air lifting). For another thing, no Democratic president can politically risk having a withdrawal that collapses into chaos and leads to a “Saigon Moment” that will be endlessly flogged by the GOP in 2010 (“Who Lost Iraq?”)

  6. < < For another thing, no Democratic president can politically risk having a withdrawal that collapses into chaos and leads to a "Saigon Moment" that will be endlessly flogged by the GOP in 2010 ("Who Lost Iraq?") >>

    True, but the interesting question to me is, what will the Democratic faithful do if Obama (or Clinton) is elected and then DOESN’T significantly change current policy in Iraq? It’s a question serious Democrats ought to be asking themselves, because it’s a real possibility.

  7. It depends. If President Obama is smart, he will make some dramatic initial gesture immediately upon taking office, such as ending stop/loss. Then, he’ll make a big deal out of summoning various military commanders to report on the best way to withdraw forces; next, he’ll withdraw some small but symbolic number and, again if he’s smart, going out of his way to welcome them home. Then and only then could he settle in to the long-term goal of removing all US forces. He will likely still be villified by some, particularly in the Left Blogosphere, but he’ll just have to live with that.

  8. “….politically risk having a withdrawal that collapses into chaos and leads to a “Saigon Moment” that will be endlessly flogged by the GOP in 2010″

    And any withdrawal that leaves Al Quada, Sadr’s army, etc still operating in a large capacity would be a “Saigon moment”

  9. ‘And any withdrawal that leaves Al Quada, Sadr’s army, etc still operating in a large capacity would be a “Saigon moment”‘

    By “Al Quada” I assume you mean “Al Qaida in Iraq,” an organization that didn’t exist before the invasion. Neither did Sadr’s Mehkti Army. And given that both of them are “operating in a large capacity” at this precise moment, five years into the war and over a year into the surge, do you mean that every day we continue with this policy is a “Saigon Moment”?

  10. No, especially when you consider that the number of fighters in the terrorist armies are a fraction of what they were before the invasion.

  11. “the number of fighters in the terrorist armies are a fraction of what they were before the invasion”

    Wow, that IS something, given that there were NO “terrorist armies” in Iraq before the invasion. What is a fraction of zero?

  12. We can start with the Iraq “Republican Guard”, under command of what was then one of the few major terrorist warlords of the era. Then we can move down to terrorists and terrorist organizations hosted, trained, supported, and funded by Saddam Hussein’s regime.


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