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John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Old 04-03-2007, 04:41 PM   #31
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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But here's where the Dems and Repubs split. In fact, here's where some Repubs and other Repubs disagree. What does finish acutally look like? Is is it a matter of duration? Are we looking for the number of casualties to subside? Are we looking for certain 'heads' to be removed and or captured? What will order look like for Iraq? And the bigger question is how long will it take? If someone said, it may take another 5-7 years to get things on track, do we have the wherewithal to undertake such a task?

Are we actually waiting for a complete and absolute presence of peace and cease fire before we say we've won the war on terror? I don't know the answers to those questions and many of our politicians are grappling with the same thing.

Look, many of the Dems are saying if we 'stay the course', as it were, are we just saying we waited as long as we could to satisfy both sides of the aisle. I think the argument for pulling out is, whether it's now or later, much isn't going to improve. So let's salvage what we have and begin to draw down the troop levels.
I disagree with a lot that you're saying.

A very good friend of mine recently came home from his year long tour in Iraq and continues to think that there is a lot of promise there. The military objective isn't this abstract concept that your portraying it to be.

We're giving contracts out to the local population to help set up the infrastructure, and providing them security while they attempt to rebuild the country, while teaching the locals how to facilitate growth, and stability.

We're helping speed along the progress of businesses by making sure they have reliable resources (electric, water, gas, etc...). The thinking goes beyond beating down insurgents, beyond taking the "heads" of certain leaders.

The theory behind it is that as the economy grows, the nation will realize who are the good guys. Quite frankly, the country is sick and tired of all the fighting. They're yearning for stability, yearning for consistency. They don't deserve a surge of troops, and then a total bail out... resulting in widespread chaos.

We attacked initially, I didn't support the war in Iraq. That doesn't mean that this is anywhere close to a parallel situation. We can't fix our mistake by bailing out, we can't let these people suffer because we ****ed up. It just isn't fair.

Ultimately, like I said earlier, It's about the economy:

If there are no places to work, no stability, no direction, then the youth will turn to what's in front of them. Instead of getting a job, raising a family, and working towards a better future, there will certainly be youths joining the insurgency. The problem will rise exponentially without economic success.

Conversely, if we do succeed, there is hope for a self sustaining democratic society. This isn't a lost cause. We aren't here dicking around. There is a clear cut plausible objective, and I think most people don't realize that. They watch the news, see the death, and lump it all into one big mess.

The biggest problem my buddy from Iraq had with the media, is that they don't report all the progress that's being made. We don't see the good, and get all fussy when someone suggests that it exists.

I'm not saying that the place isn't a war zone. I'm not saying that there isn't death and killing, because there absolutely is. What I am saying, is that there is a clear cut way to win, which is supporting the economic interests and hence produce stability and a self-sustaining government.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:50 PM   #32
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Everyone knows the Dems are a bunch of pussies. I agree about their half-assness.
Are you being sarcastic, because if you're not that's pretty ignorant.

All politicians are pussies. The two party system is flawed, and exists because there main goal is the sustain themselves.

When a politician is elected, his goal, from day one, is to get re-elected. By all means, corrupt or not, your job as a politician is to please your constituents and get re-elected.

That's really the biggest flaw with a representative democracy. If your electing someone, and paying them when they're elected, they'll do what they can to get re-elected. It sucks.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:00 PM   #33
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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I think the argument for pulling out is, whether it's now or later, much isn't going to improve. So let's salvage what we have and begin to draw down the troop levels.
If it's not going to improve, why don't we just leave?

The Dems know they cannot call for an immediate withdrawal without looking like a Kuccinich-esque wuss. So, out of concern for their own political necks, they let our troops slowly die over time for a cause that they themselves have already abandoned.

I disdain a lot of Bush for being so pig-headed, but I have equal disdain for the Dems who about as principled as crack-head in need of a fix.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:08 PM   #34
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Are you being sarcastic, because if you're not that's pretty ignorant.

All politicians are pussies. The two party system is flawed, and exists because there main goal is the sustain themselves.
On the whole, the Dem politicians (not voters) are bigger wusses than the Republican politicians. Don't get me wrong, the Republicans have just as many flaws as the Dems, but when it comes to the wuss factor, the Dems have that market cornered. The Dems have been fighting that "wuss" label for decades....and for good reason.

For example, Clinton was the consummate Dem - he'd do anything for a few points in the polls (e.g., he actually had his minions do a poll on where he should vacation). Bush, on the other hand, could care less what is in the polls and will do whatever he thinks is right - no matter how wrong he is. Republicans are more principled in my mind, even though I disagree with most of their principles.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:54 PM   #35
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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On the whole, the Dems are bigger pussies than the Republicans. Don't get me wrong, the Republicans have just as many flaws as the Dems, but when it comes to the wuss factor, the Dems have that market cornered. The Dems have been fighting that "wuss" label for decades....and for good reason.

For example, Clinton was the consummate Dem - he'd do anything for a few points in the polls (e.g., he actually had his minions do a poll on where he should vacation). Bush, on the other hand, could care less what is in the polls and will do whatever he thinks is right - no matter how wrong he is. Republicans are more principled in my mind, even though I disagree with most of their principles.
What you call "wuss factor" I call understanding what kind of leadership role someone has accepted.

As a representative to lead this country, once your elected as president does that mean ignoring American opinion, and relying on the fact that you've been elected because of who you are, and that's how you'll lead.

For instance, if an issue such as making the Redskins the only team without a salary cap arouse to the president what is he to do?

Does he pay attention to what the country wants; ie using the polls to influence what his policy on the issue is going to be, or does he hold fast believing that the country elected him to make decisions, and he must make the decision that he thinks is right.

It's often a gray line politicians must balance, making policy based on there ideals vs. basing policy on what the people want. As is most cases, the best probably lies somewhere in between.

The president has been elected to represent the people, and the only real way that I know to understand what people want is by paying attention to polls.

The example you highligted points out something that isn't really a shocker. Bush relies on his "gut" to make decisions, as opposed Clinton who took into account what the country actually wanted. I guess your right, that's pretty "wussy".
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:08 PM   #36
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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The said part is that we keep putting them back in office. The American people do not care just go out and ask some people on the street whos, Chenney, Obama, Clintons I think they get more times than not, Newt etc... and you would be very surprised how many people have no clue. Then ask the ones with no clue if they are going to vote and for who?
Well a lot of that I blame the media for. They have the opportunity to give a more unbiased opinion, and balk every time. Why? Because we don't want it. We want theater, drama, comedy, etc...

We don't really, as a country, want to hear someones policies. We want to know why Edwards is running because his wife has cancer, or why Foley likes little boys, or why Al Gore's house uses tons of energy. So much emphasis is based on slandering one another we all get confused and decide to join a team. We even go as far as waving the flag for our particular party, proud to be a Republican, proud to be a Democrat, put bumper stickers on our cars, whatever. It's ridiculous.

The media has to step up and take charge. Don't report the story that gets you the most viewers. Stop reporting what's sexy, and start reporting what's happening. The media has such a huge responsibility to encourage diligent journalism and instead has pathetically settled for the flashy animations and the aesthetically pleasing graphics and sounds. I can't even watch the news anymore, and forcing myself to read both wash times/post makes the issue so very obvious: It's not about who's right and who's wrong... it's about who spins it the best.

I guess we're all still a big nationwide popularity contest when it boils down to it, and it's disgusting. I really hope we start growing up as a country.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:25 PM   #37
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

the biggest problem, in my eyes, with politics if today is that they fail to hear what the people are saying. the vast majority want this situation( i refuse to call it a war, because when fighting a war, the object is to win) to be over, one way or another. while i disagree with our president on why we went to Iraq, there had to be a clear cut objective to succeed. does anyone know what that is? it is impossible to win at something if you cant see the finish line. its time for the Iraqi people to stand up, and be accountable for their own country. for us to think that stabilizing Iraq somehow diminishes terrorism around the world is a joke
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:47 PM   #38
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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1)
the biggest problem, in my eyes, with politics if today is that they fail to hear what the people are saying. the vast majority want this situation( i refuse to call it a war, because when fighting a war, the object is to win) to be over, one way or another.

2) while i disagree with our president on why we went to Iraq, there had to be a clear cut objective to succeed. does anyone know what that is? it is impossible to win at something if you cant see the finish line. its time for the Iraqi people to stand up, and be accountable for their own country.

3)for us to think that stabilizing Iraq somehow diminishes terrorism around the world is a joke
Hey Dmek, I love reading your Redskins stuff, but I feel compelled to disagree with you here.

1) Yeah, I can kind of understand what your saying. They seem kind of like they're trying not to look bad instead of trying to voice their opinion. I think calling the war a win/lose doesn't really give truth to the situation at hand. There will be no end to terrorism, so that obviously isn't what's trying to be accomplished. There can be success, however, and as I posted earlier depends on the economic stability of the country.

2) I happened to agree with you on the section I highlighted in bold. Ultimately I was against the war from the start. There was no exit strategy, Saddam really wasn't a threat to us (why would he want to attack us, it would just get him killed), and he definitely had no links to the tali ban. In fact, a lot of the radical Muslims hated him because he was so westernized. He smoked cigars, lived eloquently, and his favorite food was "Cheeto's". It just didn't seem like a good reason to sacrifice human lives.

I don't, however, think that this debate can at all be applied to the current situation. To me it makes sense why a lot of people would want to bail out. It's frustrating to be in a war for so long, especially when a lot of us weren't for it. Right now, we need to do the smartest thing.

As far as the Iraqi people standing up for themselves, it's kind of hard when radical Islamic groups are flooding in bombing everyone, while a civil war (that we catalyzed) rages on. That's just in-humane, and inconsistent with what our country stands for, there is still progress to be made in Iraq, and it's not a lost cause.

3) I don't quite know what your reasoning behind this is. Why is it a joke to think that stabilizing a tumultuous region in the middle east will reduce terrorism?
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:24 PM   #39
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

Rob, believe it or not, but I agree with most of your observations. In particular, I agree with your observation that politicians must walk a fine line between representing the people and offering leadership. With regard to Clinton, I actually think that he was a good President, but I don't think he could ever be called a great President in light of his lack of vision. Clinton and many Dems will never be considered great so long as they base their decisions almost solely on public polls. With regard to Bush, my biggest problems with him are that (1) he has a vision, but it is unrealistic and (2) he is stubborn to a fault. I wish he would be more willing to rethink his strategies, if not his goals. I wish he was more attuned to the general public.

In my opinion, great politicians are ones who understand and represent the people, but lead (as opposed to follow) them. The great politicians is one who is what JFK called "an idealist without illusions." Bush is idealist (in that he has a great vision), but he is surrounded by illusions. The Dems might be more grounded in reality (i.e., polls), but they will never be said to have a great vision and great ideals so long as they are so wrapped up in dumb short-sighted poll results.

Iraq is a good case-study. The Dems didn't oppose Bush's war plan because the majority of the U.S. public supported it and they didn't want to get hosed like they did after opposing the first Gulf War. Now Dems talk about how they were "lied to," but that's a load of BS. I have no clue how Dems can oppose Bush's pre-emptive war doctrine and then say that they supported the invasion of Iraq because they thought we needed to preempt the threat posed by Saddam's possession of WMDs. Now that U.S. public opinion has swung against the war, they have too.

Bush, on the other hand, has been overly reluctant to engage Iran and Syria about Iraq. Bush was also overly stubborn in refusing to acknowledge the existence of an insurgency. Bush was dumb in holding onto Rumsfeld for so long. And the list goes on.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:34 PM   #40
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

I want my politicians to understand the issues. Top to bottom, inside and out. They need to understand the problems, the potential solutions to problems and the potential problems with the solutions. Relying on the masses to direct policy is silly in many regards. The masses should direct the general direction of the country but politicians should make policy because they ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS. There isn't one person who is a member of this board who is even remotely qualified to make any type of national security decision. None of us have the requisite knowledge of the issues, know the problems, the solutions, the geopolitical ramifications, etc. Not to say we shouldn't have a say but politicians should never rely on the people to tell them what to do in those cases.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:14 PM   #41
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Are you being sarcastic, because if you're not that's pretty ignorant.
I mean what I said about democrats. When I say a bunch of pussies I mean they put their fingers in air to test the direction of the wind and they go as the wind blows. They are gutless compared to republicans. One thing do admire about the republicans is they stick together and to the issues they want to push.

Democrats don't even know how to negotiate. When the president says I will veto everything I don't agree it's time to up the game to a new level. Take the democrat's attempt to give the Medicare program the ability to negotiate drug prices. This is a moral issue, this is a free market issue yet they will sit by and let him veto the bill and get whatever he wants.

If you're not going to compromise, you're pretty much going to get it in my book. That's how real life is. Unfortunately, the democrats are a bunch of pussies. They can't stand up and say "if you veto all of our initiatives don't even bother sending yours our way."

Simply put, democrats don't know how to play hardball. They are fragmented based on which state they are from. The only reason why the hold power now is because the republicans f'ed up.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:15 PM   #42
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Rob, believe it or not, but I agree with most of your observations. In particular, I agree with your observation that politicians must walk a fine line between representing the people and offering leadership. With regard to Clinton, I actually think that he was a good President, but I don't think he could ever be called a great President in light of his lack of vision. Clinton and many Dems will never be considered great so long as they base their decisions almost solely on public polls. With regard to Bush, my biggest problems with him are that (1) he has a vision, but it is unrealistic and (2) he is stubborn to a fault. I wish he would be more willing to rethink his strategies, if not his goals. I wish he was more attuned to the general public.

In my opinion, great politicians are ones who understand and represent the people, but lead (as opposed to follow) them. The great politicians is one who is what JFK called "an idealist without illusions." Bush is idealist (in that he has a great vision), but he is surrounded by illusions. The Dems might be more grounded in reality (i.e., polls), but they will never be said to have a great vision and great ideals so long as they are so wrapped up in dumb short-sighted poll results.

Iraq is a good case-study. The Dems didn't oppose Bush's war plan because the majority of the U.S. public supported it and they didn't want to get hosed like they did after opposing the first Gulf War. Now Dems talk about how they were "lied to," but that's a load of BS. I have no clue how Dems can oppose Bush's pre-emptive war doctrine and then say that they supported the invasion of Iraq because they thought we needed to preempt the threat posed by Saddam's possession of WMDs. Now that U.S. public opinion has swung against the war, they have too.

Bush, on the other hand, has been overly reluctant to engage Iran and Syria about Iraq. Bush was also overly stubborn in refusing to acknowledge the existence of an insurgency. Bush was dumb in holding onto Rumsfeld for so long. And the list goes on.
Yeah, I apologize for the semi-sarcastic tone that may have come across.... I just had gotten out of a Chem test and just started ranting... If I was rude, my sincere apologies.

As far as singling out the democrats over the war issue, your absolutely right that the democrats bailed out, but everyone ducked and covered after that whole debacle. That's the reason many political analysts thought Obama had an advantage over the other candidates because he wasn't in office during the vote. He doesn't need to say that he was "misled", or "lied to".

Granted, there was some misinformation presented to congress by the white house, but there is no need to go there.

I guess my whole issue was that IMO singling out one party as being worse than the other, or wussier, or whatever isn't accurate. They're all from the same bloodlines, and the probably 90% of the leaders of both parties are rich corrupt pricks that hire publicists and P.R. people to form there opinion.

What ever happened to all the Teddy Roosevelt's in the world?

At any rate, I don't want to sit here and dissent for no reason. There is something we can do about it, and that's get money out of politics. Which has always been my biggest motivation for supporting McCain. I want to see that attitude spread, and I want that to become the cool thing to do. He's trying to do something about the corruption, removing pork, lobbyist reform, etc, and it's a start.

Is he perfect? No! He's far from it, but I like a lot of what he's trying to do.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:16 PM   #43
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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3) I don't quite know what your reasoning behind this is. Why is it a joke to think that stabilizing a tumultuous region in the middle east will reduce terrorism?
if you have an anthill in your backyard, and step on it, killing all the ants, have you succeeded in killing ants in your neighbors back yard? I'm not sure if my analogy hits home, but securing such a small player in the grand scheme of terrorism doesn't even put a nick in the world wide terror network that surrounds us every day
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:24 PM   #44
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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if you have an anthill in your backyard, and step on it, killing all the ants, have you succeeded in killing ants in your neighbors back yard? I'm not sure if my analogy hits home, but securing such a small player in the grand scheme of terrorism doesn't even put a nick in the world wide terror network that surrounds us every day
Yeah, but at the same time, if you run up to the ant hill, hang the queen, stir the ants all around and piss off all the other ant hills and leave. Your house will be infested with ants. Lot's of pissed off ants.

Simply put, I don't think you can argue that a world with a stable Iraq isn't a lot safer than a world without it.
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:10 AM   #45
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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if you have an anthill in your backyard, and step on it, killing all the ants, have you succeeded in killing ants in your neighbors back yard? I'm not sure if my analogy hits home, but securing such a small player in the grand scheme of terrorism doesn't even put a nick in the world wide terror network that surrounds us every day
Well the theory is that building a stable democracy there is the begining of stabilizing the entire region. I would definitely agree that the key to eliminating muslim terroristism is stabilizing the ENTIRE region and we have to start somewhere. Now the question is whether Iraq was the right place. I tend to think it was but we have so totally done a crap job. I have little problem with the start of this because I believe it was the right place to start. I have huge problems with our execution on this deal. I still think if we get the right people making the decisions we can do a better job and move toward the goal of stabilizng Iraq and creating a foundation for stabilizing the area.

Politically that was Bush's BIGGEST HUGEST GIGANTIC ENORMOUS BLUNDER. This invasion was not about WMDs, Saddam, Iraqi sponsored terrorism or anything like that. This has been about one thing the entire time. Creating a successful democratic Iraq that could be a springboard to improving the entire region. When this war started that was the reason and it still is today. But Bush and the rest of his buffoons decided to "sell" this war for all the other reasons and not a one of them was totally sustainable. They f*cked that up and I remember thinking when this started that they were f*cking it up. People paid close attention to politics at the time knew this was the major reason but the Bushites didn't go with that propaganda. They "sold" this as a regular old war with an assumed, yet undetermined, timeline and clear winners and losers when anyone who really saw this for what it was knew this was something that was going to be a long term deal. A real long term deal. To this day I don't understand why they sold it any other way. To me I can't understand why they thought selling it for the real and legitimately good reasons was a bad idea. Even if it takes more work to sell it then at least you haven't created a false sense of expectations and such. That is totally what they did and it is now killing them politically. If they had sold it properly none of this would be going on. All they'd have to say is "Well we told you this was going to be hard and take a long time. And we laid out for you what we were trying to achieve and right now we are right on track." Instead it's a quagmire that Americans weren't prepared for and we want out. All because they didn't let everyone know what we were really getting into.
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