Daily Archives: March 7, 2008

McCain’s Baghdad Market Walk

Remember this? Last year, back in April, McCain took a walk through a Baghdad market, proclaiming great success for the surge. He called it proof that one could walk freely in Iraq. Yet he was flanked by a 100 soldiers and a few helicopters. The security procedures were abnormal, as one Iraqi said.

Do we seriously want to entrust the security of our nation when he’s so willing to blatantly lie about the war in Iraq? Can we trust his judgment?

Here’s him on Meet the Press shortly after that event:

Note all those quotations about the great success we’ve been having, year after year. He says he made criticisms, but even as late as December 2005, he was saying we should “stay the course.”* McCain is no different from Bush on the Iraq War. It’s a case of massive delusion.

The surge has been a strategic failure. It has not hastened the day our troops will come home. There has been no political reconciliation. The elections have been postponed time and time again. Oil production is still down. At least violence is down, but part of this is because we are bribing Sunnis to not kill us. Will McCain continue this extortion of the American people?

If the surge was such a success, why are they now recommending a “pause” in the troop reductions? To capitalize on what “successes” we’ve had, I’m so sure they will say. Our troops are already doing extended tours; our military is being stretched beyond what we should be doing. Yet they want a pause? I remember the Lt. Col. in charge of ROTC at JHU saying the surge was a “necessary evil.” He recognized the stresses it would place on our troops. Yet here we are; we want a “pause.” They want a pause because the surge has failed to achieve any of its strategic objectives.

McCain wanted the surge. He wants to continue our occupation of Iraq, regardless of what the Iraqi citizens think themselves. He’ll support the “pause,” which will stretch our military resources. He said tax cuts were irresponsible during a time of war, and yet now he supports those very same tax cuts. He has, along with the rest of the right wing, put on a happy face about the situation in Iraq for years now. In April 2007, he used his irresponsible, escorted Baghdad photo-op as proof that one could simply stroll around Baghdad.

McCain has lied about Iraq and will continue to lie about Iraq. We cannot trust his judgment on this issue. That is why I cannot support him for president.

This Baghdad Market walk is not ancient history. Bring this up with any undecided person you encounter. Use this event to counter McCain’s image as a straight-talker. Use this to prove that Obama’s judgment on Iraq is preferable to McCain’s judgment.

*Note to self: Any video clips where McCain says “stay the course”? That would make a great montage.

McCain’s Words Problems

As I listened to McCain’s speech on March 4th, when he had finally clinched the nomination for the Republican Party, I thought, “Wow, this speech is vapid.” To me, it seemed like a right-wing cliche beads strung together haphazardly.

Then, I came across the same critique of McCain on education. Blogger Matthew Yglesias says, “Strolling through John McCain’s policy proposals is a fascinating experience . . . lurking behind every link is a nearly-astounding level of vacuity.”

I agree with Christopher Hitchens that cliche is a problem in politics. Hitchens touches lightly on Romney, but most of his criticism is levelled at Obama. To be honest, I think Obama has less of a problem than McCain. Obama has the wonkiness to back up some of his rhetoric. McCain doesn’t.

To comment on cliche in general: We’ll unfortunately never eliminate our cliche-driven politics until we eliminate cable television. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

I should go through the speech and prove what I said about it.

Possible memes against McCain… he doesn’t care about the details, he’s less wonky than Obama. Then again, that opens Obama up to the pointy-headed intellectual charges. How about: as incurious as Bush?

Sorry about the kitchen sink notes. That’s why I shouldn’t brainstorm aloud. But if I don’t write this down, then I’ll never get anywhere.