One perquisite for commander-in-chief would be their record of public statements showing good judgment and maturity. So McBush has a problem, As Afghanistan boils, McCain keeps focus on Iraq
John McCain has called Iraq the “central front” of the war on terror, a crucible of America’s ability to defeat violent Islamic extremists the world over.
But with record US casualties in Afghanistan in June, a resurgent Taliban, and new reports of Al Qaeda regrouping in northwest Pakistan, Senator McCain is likely to face new questions about his judgment on the one issue – national security – where voters consistently give him higher marks than they do his Democratic rival.
McCain has resisted calls for more troops in Afghanistan and has rejected criticism that the Iraq war is detracting from efforts to secure Afghanistan. He labeled Barack Obama “naive” for saying he’d strike terrorist targets in Pakistan with or without the cooperation of President Pervez Musharraf.
And while McCain vowed more than a year ago to follow Osama bin Laden “to the gates of hell,” he has offered few details about how his approach to Al Qaeda might differ from that of the Bush administration.
The next commander-in-chief thinks the path to defeating all MiEast terrorism is through Iraq. A notion expressed over and over again by Bush supporters who after five years in Iraq have not offered up one cogent sentence to prove that assertion. The 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Egypt. Bin Laden is thought to be in Pakistan, a place that the McCain-in-chief thinks is off limits for pursuit. We’re not ever going to have an honest national debate on the best way to break the cycle of influence and violence of Middle-East radicals because the Right has so much invested in this false narrative, that Iraq is somehow the the straw that will break their back. When McCain like all good kool-aid drinkers keeps repeating that Afghanistan doesn’t matter nearly as much as Iraq he’s counting on a public that is woefully uninformed about where Al Qaeda is growing, McCain Campaign Wrong About Petraeus’ “Central Front”.
“If the public is not aware that Al Qaeda is cropping up in North Africa and Afghanistan and other locations, then McCain’s message might be accepted,” says Gordon Smith, a political scientist at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. “For those members of the public who are well informed, to hear him argue as if Al Qaeda exists primarily in Iraq might lead to questions of, ‘What’s he thinking? Where’s he getting his information from?’ ”
Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus have both claimed that a “democratic” Iraq will be a stabilizing force in the Middle-East. None of Iraq’s neighbors including U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia or Jordan are democracies and the only reason they’re stable is because their governments are some degree of authoritarian. Iran is obviously not close to being a democracy, but some of its leaders like Ahmadinejad, an ultra nationalist, like ultra nationalists everywhere are exploiting the Iraq conflict for their own political ends. As long as the McCainiacs want to stay in Iraq the more rhetorical ammunition for Iran’s more extreme elements, ‘The last straw’ for Ahmadinejad?
A European recently asked me who was leading Iran. The answer is clear. When it comes to essential questions of strategy, the constitution, approved by universal suffrage, confers final decisions upon the supreme leader. It is according to this principle, under which the main decisions taken by Ayatollah Khamenei in the last 20 years were applied, that we can judge the past and forsee the path of our diplomacy.
Despite the vastness of his powers, the supreme leader… only intervenes in extremely important cases, leaving those responsible for the state to solve the other problems themselves. Under Imam Khomeini just as under Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian diplomacy has worked on developing contacts with other countries…. By receiving the dignitaries and leaders of numerous states and by communicating with them, the leader has given undeniable examples of his crucial presence in Iranian diplomacy.
I spoke this morning with Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour about the letter, and he told me it was a “very important” signal coming from Velayati.
The main message? Don’t listen to the rantings of that Ahmadinejad fellow — the supreme leader is called “supreme” for a reason. “Khamenei’s not necessarily the micromanager, but he’s the macromanager, so all important issues go by him,” Sadjadpour said.
I’m not saying that Bush or McCain are the American Ahmadinejad, only that they use similar political rhetoric, wrapping up fear with nationalism. That’s the key difference between a CIC McCain and a CIC Obama. McCain wants to manipulate through fear, by continuation of this completely false narrative that a predominately Shiia country like Iraq will somehow fall under the control of a small number of radical Sunnis.
I didn’t think McCain had a plan to balance the budget. I still don’t since magic wands and wishful thinking do not constitute an economic plan
That comes as a surprise to reporters I talked to who say they have received e-mail messages from Fox News public relations staff that contained doctored photos, anonymous quotes and nasty items about competitors. And two former Fox employees said that they had participated in precisely those kinds of activities but had signed confidentiality agreements and could not say so on the record.
To even describe Fox as a news orgainization is outside the bounds of reality. Their viewers are the worse informed of any broabcast media, a source of shame for an actual news channel, but probably a point of pride for Fox and Conservatives. Another kind of mission accomplished. An uninformed public, a misinformed public is easier to manipulate for poiltical ends and that is Fox’s only purpose to promote a an extremist anti-American agenda.