Category Archives: Iraq Occupation
At least in NYC subways this morning. I actually saw one of these fake NY Times coverpages out of the corner of my eye, and was like, wow, Obama works fast. Then I went back to being crushed into somebody’s armpit and forgot all about it till a friend of mine told me about the prank later today.
However, as I understand it the premise is to hold Obama to his pledge to withdraw quickly.
The fake NY times paper that took over NYC’s morning commute is dated July 2009.
If the Iraq war isn’t over by that date, it’s going to be increasingly awkward – I’m sure we’ll be reminded by these brilliant guys who call themselves the Yes Men.
Checkout their self-titled movie.
Osama Bin Laden wants McCain to be elected President. He does. I said it.
The idea for this post came from watching Meet the Press today. John Kerry and Ted Thompson swung by, and I was reminded how a last minute message from Osama Bin Laden probably tilted the last election back to GW.
It’s worth thinking hard about.
Do you think somebody who was able to orchestrate the most devastating terrorist attack against us would somehow misjudge his effect on our presidential race? And, given that, does it not occur to you that he would attempt to tilt the race in a manner that he felt furthered Al Qaeda’s interests?
Do you think it was simply coincidence that he timed it a few days before the election?
Why so many people did not or do not understand about Al Qaeda, is that they want bellicose, simplified, and lone ranger massive military responses to its attacks.
They want the United States to use its military force against radical islamic factions in an as many countries as possible.
They certainly want us to stay in Iraq as long as possible, and all the more certainly want us to wage war against Iran.
In short, a McCain presidency would do exactly and precisely what Osama Bin Laden wants.
Now, this seems somehow wrong to say. The Republicans have gone forward insinuating that Obama would somehow be preferred by international terror networks, because he is somehow foreign, or in other words, because he is not white. So I hesitate to make the above titled proclamation about Al Qaeda’s preferences.
Yet, unlike the Republican talking point about Obama, my statement is actually true.
John McCain has said:
“I will follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell”
Although it might freak out the standing leader of a dictatorship (assuming they have no nuclear weapons) , that is not Al Qaeda. What John McCain doesn’t understand is that radical islamisists don’t care if they live or die.
I’ll say it again. Suicide bombers and their equivalents, do . . . not . . . care . . . if . . . they . . . live . . . or . . . die.
They are simply not scared by the supposedly big bad John McCain. They are not scared of anybody‘s threats – because they don’t care if they live or die.
All that they want, is to create instances where it is as easy as possible to engage in conflict with Americans forces as possible. They want to increase the possibility of Americans harming civilians, denigrating Islam, and otherwise changing public favor further against them.
Strategically, they want American occupation of Middle Eastern nations, it inflames the region and strengthens their ranks.
What Al Qaeda is afraid of, is a measured, thoughtful, informed strategic response to terrorism.
They are afraid of the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And, they are afraid of losing the Middle Eastern public’s support where an American President is engaging and winning the hearts and minds of the Middle East.
They are afraid of Barack Hussein Obama.
Any person who has taken a decent undergrad course on the Middle Eastern conflict/politics could tell you this. That’s why I am always so frustrated by John McCain and George Bush.
I don’t think John McCain has taken that course.
After writing this post, I looked over Osama Bin Laden’s previous statements on the eve of the election in 2004.
In a chilling way, the 2004 statements have come to pass:
We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah,” bin Laden said in the transcript.
He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, “using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers.”
“We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat,” bin Laden said.
He also said al Qaeda has found it “easy for us to provoke and bait this administration.”
“All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations,” bin Laden said
As part of the “bleed-until-bankruptcy plan,” bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States.
“Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs,” he said. “As for the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars. (via CNN)
Chilling because it is so true.
There’s been a lot of chatter about the idea. Here’s an interesting quote from the November New Yorker article on Hagel and the conflict in Iraq.
I was speaking with Hagel in early October, shortly before the second Presidential debate. He mentioned that Obama had just called him, and among the many things they discussed was Afghanistan. “Here we are, in a situation where we all agree that the mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan represents the biggest threat to our security and the world’s security, where the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and terrorist groups are reconstituting,” Hagel said. “Pakistan is right on the brink. Yet we do not have enough force structure to put into the location that represents the greatest threat to our security. Why is that? Because of a fatal, fatal error”—the decision to go into Iraq and then to commit an even greater number of troops in the surge. “It has consumed our capacity to deal with anything else in the world. It won’t be until sometime next year that you’re going to be able to give more troops to General McKiernan”—the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan—“whom poor Governor Palin in her debate kept referring to as General McClellan.” Hagel chuckled, and added that that war “was a while back.” (link)
What do you think? Good post-partisan cabinet appointee? Or do you think not?
Bloggers whose views I often admire from all over the blogosphere are ripping into Powell and writing off the man as, it almost feels like, some sort of useless hack.
Look people, Colin Powell gave a dishonest speech before the United Nations that was disgusting, and helped make the case for a pointless war in Iraq. Here it is again for good measure, so that it can even be fresh in your minds:
I lost respect for the man during that UN speech. But, some members of the progressive blogosphere are taking it too far for several reasons:
1) Colin Powell Made A Subtle Effort To Stop The War
It just so happens that during the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, I was living off my parents while working part-time as a bartender and for-little-profit-entry-level-employee. I also had like three friends still living in my old neighborhood. The point being that during my many leisurely hours I watched CNN and other news stations. Throw in a little Discovery Channel and History Channel, and that’s basically all that I did. During that time it was crystal clear to me that Colin Powell was furthering a subversive public campaign to throw up the red flag of caution. If you watched what Powell said, and then watched the Dick, or Bush, it was as if it was two administrations. Now Powell would ultimately agree with Bush, but from what he also said, and the way he said it, it was clear that he was a man with reservations who was trying to get them across.
2) Once the President Made Up His Mind Powell Played The Good Soldier
And yet, at one point, Powell pulled a 180. It was like night and day. After the President said we were going in Powell was lock step behind him. Many on the left believe he should have resigned. But that’s not what soldiers have been trained their entire life to do. Soldiers follow orders, especially from the commander in chief. Sso long as they are not committing war crimes (the act of going to war was not a war crime). If they don’t, they get court marshaled. Now Powell could have just resigned, but my point is that the backdrop to doing so was his experience in the military, and that experience made it a more complicated decision.
3) For Those Of You Falling All Over Yourselves To Condemn Powell . . . Take A Break
Do you really believe that Powell, had he been President at the time, would have gone into Iraq? This is the guy whose entire military doctrine is grounded in making sure you have an exit strategy from a conflict. If you think Powell is smart, or have the same sense of the man as I feel I do, you don’t actually think that he woudl have done it if he was running the sow. So why did he give that speech? The fact is that it was is job to do. The alternative, and some may think this a trivial burden, was to as the first African-American Secretary of State, simply throw the administration that appointed you under the bus. That’s what it would have meant, and the precedent it would have set, fair or not, is a pretty big business.
4) Powell Said What I Have Heard Few Public Figures Say in Recent Months
If you still have the grudge about the UN Speech that it was his job to give, I understand your point of view. But before you throw Powell under the bus, you should pause a moment to consider this statement during his Meet the Press endorsement of Obama:
I’m also troubled by, not what Sen. McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said, such things as, “Well, you that know Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America
If there are other well know public figures going on national shows and saying that, they aren’t getting their message across, or they just don’t exist.
I don’t forgive Powell for what he did, and I can’t forget what he did. However, Colin Powell is still a man that America would benefit from listening to.
If America had done so before (albeit by way of subtle statements undermining his commander in chief ) we would not be in Iraq right now.
Lets’ not make the same mistake twice because Powell made a mistake in carrying out orders, that he was duty bound to carry out, that he would not have given.
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
– Abraham Lincoln
The overall consensus, supported by the polls, is that Obama won the first debate:
“Who won the debate polls” are notoriously subjective, of course, so take them for what they’re worth. But according to three post debate polls, respondents think Obama got the best of things tonight:
CBS News: Obama won 39%, McCain won 25%, Draw 36%
Insider Advantage: Obama won 42%, McCain won 41%, Undecided: 17%
CNN: Obama “did better” 51%, McCain “did better” 38%
However, as noted by the above article, who won is hard to define.
You could judge it like a high school debate team, take into consideration expectations, take into consideration each candidate’s area of expertise etc. etc. etc.
At the end of the day Obama’s victory stems from the fact that this was supposed to be McCain’s best subject matter.
There’s room for improvement by Obama, but he successfully destroyed the idea that he cannot go toe-to-toe with McCain with ease.
Congratulations Obama and company!