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John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Old 04-03-2007, 10:15 PM   #46
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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, 10:16 PM   #47
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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, 10:24 PM   #48
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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, 01:10 AM   #49
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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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Old 04-04-2007, 01:29 AM   #50
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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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.
Excellent post.

I think 20 years down the road when emotions subside, I think its going to be apparent that Bush did a lot of things right. Not saying that the right will outweigh the wrong or anything, just that his perception in history is going to be a lot different than his current perception of bumbling baffoon.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:07 AM   #51
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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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?
Thats incorrect even the 9/11 report said that Sadam had links to taliban but had no links to the 9/11 attacks. We captured one of the top leaders of the taliban very early in the war and they had training camps in Iraq. Now Sadam himself may not have supported them but he did allow these camps and activities to go on in Iraq. I guess you could say he turned a blind eye to them.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:16 AM   #52
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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I dis-agree 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.

Again, what does success look like and how long will it take? To sustain a government means that both Sunni and Shiitie will have to lay down the sword long enough to accomplish those means.

I have all the belief in the world that many of our soldiers are maintaining a positive outlook and some good things really are getting done over there. But it's not the soldiers I'm talking about it that are disgruntled, per se, it's the lawmakers that sent them there in the first place. They're the ones unhappy with the results and progress being made. They're the ones speaking out against the war and the current direction and this present Administration. Many of them feel they echo the sentiments of our country and the men and women who are standing in battle day in and day out.

Water, electricity, and gas? Didn't they have those things before we came over there to help them?
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:51 AM   #53
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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
This is near to my heart (as I fight the ants in my yard continously). While I am perverting your model to some degree Dmek, check this. I would go after the ants in my yard with whatever I have, as to do nothing, invites further, and more intensifying ant, attack problems. I will organize and execute the most logical strategy (and I do) based on the information available, and the resources at hand.
While I may not always have the perfect plan in mind, doing something, rather than nothing helps to reduce their number, or at least help to keep them at bay.
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:10 PM   #54
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

my whole point with the ant analogy was that we can turn Iraq into a diplomatic stronghold, and with all the other chaos that the rest of the middle east lives in every day, its really not going to do much to deter terrorism around the world
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Old 04-04-2007, 08:44 PM   #55
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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my whole point with the ant analogy was that we can turn Iraq into a diplomatic stronghold, and with all the other chaos that the rest of the middle east lives in every day, its really not going to do much to deter terrorism around the world
Any ideas on what would?
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:14 PM   #56
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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my whole point with the ant analogy was that we can turn Iraq into a diplomatic stronghold, and with all the other chaos that the rest of the middle east lives in every day, its really not going to do much to deter terrorism around the world
Yes, and my whole point is that if we leave a mess in Iraq, it would do a great deal to increase terrorism around the world.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:30 PM   #57
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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Any ideas on what would?
maybe if we would have stuck to the original plan, and captured bin laden.Afghanistan should have been given a deadline to hand him over, or else. now he sits in a cave somewhere laughing at g bush and the rest of the united states
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:40 AM   #58
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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maybe if we would have stuck to the original plan, and captured bin laden.Afghanistan should have been given a deadline to hand him over, or else. now he sits in a cave somewhere laughing at g bush and the rest of the united states
I meant it seriously. What are the ideas the "bring them home" crew have? I don't know of any but that is probably ignorance. I do know that if I don't know what solutions they have then they haven't done a good job of laying them out. Bringing them home is not a solution it is an action that provides no more national security than keeping them there. I'd just like to know besides bringing the troops home what are the follow up actions that will move us toward a safer country and world?


On another note: He sits in a cave and laughs a G Bush? The silliness of that statement is overboard dmek.
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Old 04-05-2007, 06:03 AM   #59
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

if you give the Iraqi security a time line on when the troops will be gone, it puts the pressure on them to be accountable for their own people. I'm a firm believer that people will usually react the way they are perceived. if you think someone cant handle something, and that is the expectation, then they probably will not. but if you expect someone to succeed, they will look at things alot differently
and I'm not sure why the cave reference is that silly. what do you think that bin laden is up to these days?
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:44 AM   #60
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Re: John McCain: What Went Wrong?

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if you give the Iraqi security a time line on when the troops will be gone, it puts the pressure on them to be accountable for their own people. I'm a firm believer that people will usually react the way they are perceived. if you think someone cant handle something, and that is the expectation, then they probably will not. but if you expect someone to succeed, they will look at things alot differently
and I'm not sure why the cave reference is that silly. what do you think that bin laden is up to these days?
I meant about terrorism ine general.

But as for Irag how does telling the enemy when we are going to stop a war with them make any sense? I mean did we tell Hitler, "Hey Adolph, we'll be gone by '46." It sounds dumb to me. Blast our performance all you want but the solution to Iraq isn't sometime dumb ass timeline. The solution is to do a better job which we can probably all agree Bush and his clan present dubious chances for.

And to say the Bin Laden is LIVING IN A CAVE and laughing at us is really over the top.
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