Friday, November 30, 2007

Candidate Review - The Iraq War - John McCain

I'm listening to Dust Galaxy's "Sons of Washington" right now. Seems bizarrely relevant. "They say to turn the other cheek / as the fire their guns right down your street / Winter judgment comes on the Sons of Washington."

Anyway McCain has a detailed plan on winning the war on Iraq. He wants to see us bolster the troops, implement a new counterinsurgency program, strengthen the Iraqi armed forces and polices, create the security necessary for political process and stability, accelerate political and economic reconstruction in a secure environment, keep senior officers in place, call for international pressure on Syria and Iran, and win the home front. Very long plans.

Winning the home front has an interesting statement, exposing one of the weaknesses of how this administration has pursued this war.
The American people also deserve to know that the path ahead will be long and difficult. They have heard many times that the violence in Iraq will subside soon - when a transitional government is in place, when Saddam is captured, when elections are held, when a constitution is in place. John McCain believes it is far better to describe the situation just as it is - difficult right now, but not without hope.
The fact is, however, that if the American people had had a firm idea of what this war would cost, they might well have preferred a more measured response to Iraq, something that didn't involve the lost of thousands of American Troops. It was only by disguising the cost of the Iraq war that the Bush administration could get us to fight it.

I was about to complain about the lack of rational for why we had to make these sacrifices, but he put it in a block next to his very long plan.
"In Iraq our national security interests and our national values converge. Iraq is truly the test of a generation, for America and for our role in the world. Faced with similar challenges, previous generations of Americans have passed such tests with honor. It is now our turn to demonstrate that our power, ennobled by our principles, is the greatest force for good on earth today. Iraq's transformation into a secure democracy and a force for freedom in the greater Middle East is the calling of our age. We can succeed."
I don't know if this is convincing myself; it's a lot like saying we need to test ourselves in the arena of greatness. But the truth is that real people, both Iraqi and Americans, are dying in this test. I think he'd be better of explaining how a secure democratic Iraq, however unlikely, would be good for the United States, rather than just saying, in effect, "Buck up, America - this is our chance to be a "Greatest Generation."

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