Back and forth

McCain: “I am told that Senator Obama would come back to Iraq if al-Qaida established a base [there]. I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It’s called ‘al-Qaida in Iraq.”
Obama: “I have some news for John McCain. There was no such thing as al-Qaida in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq. They took their eye off the people who were responsible for 9/11 and that would be al-Qaida in Afghanistan, that is stronger now than at any time since 2001.”

44 thoughts on “Back and forth

  1. Walter Sobchak on said:

    Senator Obama, tell us more about this time machine of yours that would transport us back to 2003, so as President you would NOT invade Iraq, thus keeping al-qaeda out.

  2. What Sobchak is getting at is what I will get at: we’re in Iraq now. Al Qaeda is in Iraq now.
    Okay, now what?
    How does leaving Iraq to the wolves make up for the (perceived) mistake of going into Iraq in the first place?
    Obama can claim wisdom for not wanting to get us into Iraq in the first place. But how is leaving it now wise? When will he defend THAT position, rather than spend infinite days replaying a decision made five years ago?
    Obama says he’s about the future. Perfect– give me a vision of the future that recognizes we are in Iraq *now*, and our enemies are in Iraq *now*.

  3. Al-Qaida does NOT have a base in Iraq. It is in Iraq and it is there because of our toppling Saddam Hussain, a miserable tyrant but not an AQ supporter.
    Senator Obama wants to leave Iraq because of two valid reasons: 1) Its the wrong war and 2) we cannot afford it.
    However, in the most recent debate, he also said that he would not unilaterally withdraw but “will call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we will initiate a phased withdrawal, we will be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.”
    So, if you are someone who wants our troops back and believes that we went to Iraq under false pretenses, how could you not support this position?

  4. So Obama wants to extricate us from the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history?
    The nerve of that man!
    Better we should follow John “100 years in Iraq” McCain. Right off the cliff.

  5. So, Obama’s plan is to pull the troops out of Iraq and then re-invade once something bad happens there? Smart policy. I’m sure nothing bad will happen after we pull out. He must be pretty positive of that.
    At least he was against the war! Good for him.

  6. And the only way to actually leave Iraq is by sneaking out in the middle of the night. We just can’t say when. Otherwise, the enemy will know.

  7. At the risk of injecting facts into this discussion, the majority of the Al-Qaeda lowlifes we’ve killed in Iraq are NOT Iraqi. So there’s no indigenous movement of Iraqi terrorists we’re creating, as the bumperstickers so often claim; instead, al-Qaeda members are coming to Iraq from many other places, notably Syria. So luring them to a place where it’s easier for us to kill them seems better than most of the alternatives… including flight school in America.

  8. The President of the United States has many powers, but he doesn’t get a magic wand that can make a U.S. Military presence in a foriegn country pull out completely overnight. It doesn’t work that way. Furthermore, the election of a president from a new party does NOT cause every general on the ground or officer in the pentagon to immediately be replaced and/or swap positions. A President Obama will be recieving the same basic facts and advice early on as a President McCain will.
    Bottom line: We’ll be leaving Iraq sooner than the Republicans will cop to, and later than the Democrats will cop to. It’ll probably come at the same relative speed no matter which side is in power when it happens. The only difference will be the rhetoric: President McCain will say “because of the Republican-supported surge, we can leave sooner! Shame on those Democrats for trying to stop it!” President Obama will say “because of Democrat pressure, the war is coming to an end! Shame on those Republicans for getting us into it!”
    And y’know what else? Yeah, we WILL be there in some for a long-ass time ALSO regardless of a winner. We still have active U.S. Military bases in Japan and Germany. John “100 years” McCain? He’s LOWBALLING it ;)

  9. The other thing people seem willfully blind to is that we will remain there because we need a base in that part of the world. Huff and puff all you want about oil and the Bushes and Halliburton or whatever, but as long as the world runs on oil (and if you’re reading this, you’re using oil being burned to make electricity) and as long as the middle east is a dysfunctional net exporter of violence to other countries, including ours, we will need a military presence in that region. Might as well complain about still being in Germany, or Korea, or Texas.

  10. “So there’s no indigenous movement of Iraqi terrorists we’re creating, as the bumperstickers so often claim”
    Where does this injected fact come from?
    One sure way terrorists are created is when people see their land invaded by foreigners who drop bombs on their families, or keep them in jail without recourse, or shoot them up on the roadside. Then it’s easier to get them to see America as a Great Satan. Capiche?

  11. At the risk of injecting facts into this discussion, the majority of the Al-Qaeda lowlifes we’ve killed in Iraq are NOT Iraqi. So there’s no indigenous movement of Iraqi terrorists we’re creating, as the bumperstickers so often claim; instead, al-Qaeda members are coming to Iraq from many other places, notably Syria. So luring them to a place where it’s easier for us to kill them seems better than most of the alternatives… including flight school in America.

  12. instead, al-Qaeda members are coming to Iraq from many other places, notably Syria. So luring them to a place where it’s easier for us to kill them seems better than most of the alternatives… including flight school in America.
    Posted by: Mgmax at February 27, 2008 08:54 PM
    It is pretty cool that you are happy to sacrifice American lives in Iraq. What realism! I wonder if you are there in Iraq, or are you one of those keyboard commandos, and a glorious internet General, or maybe an internet tough guy who thinks nothing of the world. I hope there is a person in your life that moves you casually about the chess board. I hope you are a pawn. I all ready know you are a dupe and a fool.

  13. The other thing people seem willfully blind to is that we will remain there because we need a base in that part of the world. Huff and puff all you want about oil and the Bushes and Halliburton or whatever, but as long as the world runs on oil (and if you’re reading this, you’re using oil being burned to make electricity) and as long as the middle east is a dysfunctional net exporter of violence to other countries, including ours, we will need a military presence in that region. Might as well complain about still being in Germany, or Korea, or Texas.

  14. The chickenhawk argument! I never heard that one before. Thank you for reminding me that one of the core liberal values is that only the military is allowed to speak on military matters. Oh but wait… look at Jeff’s original post… Barack Obama contradicted John McCain, a WAR HERO, on the war in Iraq! What a chickenhawk! Maybe when Mr. Skinny Harvard Law Review puts on a uniform and fights for this country his wife hasn’t been proud of before, maybe then he’ll be allowed to run for president!
    Thanks for clearing this all up for me, Nicanor.

  15. Well, within the ironic context of buying into Nicanor’s militarism, it’s a reference to him not being a REAL man in the US marines, and thus unqualified to comment on military affairs, and, one supposes, ceding the election to McCain at the get-go. Since I don’t actually buy into his/her Starship Troopers notions of citizenship, no.

  16. “Thank you for reminding me that one of the core liberal values is that only the military is allowed to speak on military matters.”
    Unless the liberal is John Kerry, who is then smeared as a liar along with military brass for his obviously faked medals of valor. Wee!

  17. Kerry’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, which would have given Mussolini pause for its miltaristic demagogery, being a case in point.

  18. Milataristic? Because he said “reporting for duty”?
    And given Mussolini pause? How about Hitler? Or Hirohito?
    Talk about demagogic…

  19. Suppose McCain stands up at the Republican convention, pictures of him in his dress whites as a young man flashing on the screen, surrounded by a phalanx of fellow POWs, and he yells at the crowd “Lieutenant Commander John McCain, reporting for duty!”
    Just how batshit do you think you and D.Z. will go about the obvious fascist Republican takeover of Amerikkka?

  20. The life you have led is not in fact the totality of what is possible for you and if you could release yourself from bonds you don’t even see you’d then be able to see the world as it truly is.
    The structure of the mind bring forth the world.

  21. This is one example of why I do like Obama despite some reservations about him. When someone takes a shot at him, he doesn’t get all political, instead he just punches them right in the mouth. It’s refreshing. He did this same thing about a year ago with the PM of Australia in regards to the war (“If the war in Iraq is so important to your national security, how about you commit another 10,000 troops tomorrow?”)

  22. The chickenhawk argument! I never heard that one before. Thank you for reminding me that one of the core liberal values is that only the military is allowed to speak on military matters. Oh but wait… look at Jeff’s original post… Barack Obama contradicted John McCain, a WAR HERO, on the war in Iraq! What a chickenhawk! Maybe when Mr. Skinny Harvard Law Review puts on a uniform and fights for this country his wife hasn’t been proud of before, maybe then he’ll be allowed to run for president!

    Thanks for clearing this all up for me, Nicanor.

  23. Well, to give it more context, the PM of Australia insulted Obama pretty pointedly before he was even an official candidate, so the response was very appropriate.

  24. “Because that’s what we need, a president who alienates our allies.”
    When you say that, wash it down with some Freedom Fries.

  25. Well, within the ironic context of buying into Nicanor’s militarism, it’s a reference to him not being a REAL man in the US marines, and thus unqualified to comment on military affairs, and, one supposes, ceding the election to McCain at the get-go. Since I don’t actually buy into his/her Starship Troopers notions of citizenship, no.

  26. Kerry’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, which would have given Mussolini pause for its miltaristic demagogery, being a case in point.

  27. Suppose McCain stands up at the Republican convention, pictures of him in his dress whites as a young man flashing on the screen, surrounded by a phalanx of fellow POWs, and he yells at the crowd “Lieutenant Commander John McCain, reporting for duty!”

    Just how batshit do you think you and D.Z. will go about the obvious fascist Republican takeover of Amerikkka?

  28. That was kinda my point– funny to see the folks who insist Bush alienated the whole planet suddenly embracing being boorish to our allies.

  29. I think the people of Australia decided their PM was boorish too — and they booted his ass out for somebody less inclined to inhale Bush’s war fumes.

  30. “I think the people of Australia decided their PM was boorish too — and they booted his ass out for somebody less inclined to inhale Bush’s war fumes.”
    After the second-longest term in Australian history, mind you…

  31. That was kinda my point– funny to see the folks who insist Bush alienated the whole planet suddenly embracing being boorish to our allies.

  32. “I think the people of Australia decided their PM was boorish too — and they booted his ass out for somebody less inclined to inhale Bush’s war fumes.”

    After the second-longest term in Australian history, mind you…

  33. Despite the fact Bush’s Iraq strategy has led to his 19 percent approval. And that more than 75 perecrnt of the country wants us out. And why did McCain backpedal on his “100 years” comment?

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