Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not Ready.

If Barack Obama is trying to position himself as the candidate of change and of the future, then why does he constantly revert to the past when the issue of Iraq is brought up?

(CNN) -- Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama engaged in a pointed exchange over al Qaeda in Iraq on Wednesday.

Sen. John McCain questioned Sen. Barack Obama's way of handling the war in Iraq.

McCain was in Tyler, Texas, and Obama was in Columbus, Ohio.

"I understand that Sen. Obama said that if al Qaeda established a base in Iraq that he would send troops back in militarily. Al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq. It's called al Qaeda in Iraq," McCain said.

"It's a remarkable statement to say that you would send troops back to a place where al Qaeda has established a base -- where they have already established a base."

McCain's comments come in response to remarks Obama made Tuesday night in a debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton. He was asked if the president would have to right to go back into Iraq in order to suppress an insurrection after downsizing the U.S. troop presence.

"I always reserve the right for the president ... to make sure that we are looking out for American interests," Obama said. "And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."

In a statement sent out by McCain's press office Wednesday said, "Is Sen. Obama unaware that al Qaeda is still present in Iraq, that our forces are successfully fighting them every day, and that his Iraq policy of withdrawal would embolden al Qaeda and weaken our security?"

Obama responded to the latest attacks from McCain, saying his comments were taken out of context.

Obama said the question he was asked during the debate was a "big hypothetical."

"I said, 'Well, I would always reserve the right to go in and strike against al Qaeda if they were in Iraq,' so you know, this is how politics works," Obama said at a rally in Columbus.

"McCain thought that he could make a clever point by saying ,'Well let me give you some news Barack, al Qaeda is in Iraq,' like I wasn't reading the papers, like I didn't know what was going on."

"I said, 'Well first of all, I do know that al Qaeda is in Iraq. That's why I've said we should continue to strike al Qaeda targets. But I have some news for John McCain, and that is that there was no such thing as al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq."

Obama continued to blast Bush and McCain, saying, "John McCain may like to say he wants to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but so far all he's done is follow George Bush into a misguided war in Iraq."

McCain in his statement said "the Democratic presidential contenders deny progress and see only gloom and doom. Where is the audacity of hope when it comes to backing the success?

"Big Hypothetical?" Not if you get your way and pull the troops out before the job is done Mr. Obama.

Yes, we know that Obama opposed the war.

We also know that he opposed the surge, and wants to abandon Iraq, throwing troops back in whenever Al Queda pops up in the region. Of course, this is similar to what we were doing pre-surge and it wasn't working.

Here's an interesting question that someone should ask BHO. Is it a good thing that we are in the process of handing Al-Queda a devastating defeat in Iraq?

Yes, we know that they weren't there before, but how is that relevant to the future of the country and to American national security?

This is just one more sign that Mr. Obama is a candidate of rhetoric and not ideas. When questioned about the future, he brings up the past and then goes to the old standby of being taken "out of context" when McCain makes him look naive.

The answer Obama should have given, the right answer, would have been:

"Well Tim [Russert], the U.S military is currently crushing the remaining elements of Al-Queda in Iraq, due to the surge strategy which I opposed and we are going to stay in Iraq until the Iraqi military is capable of quelling any Al-Queda presence in the country on their own so that the next President won't need to send more troops into that nation ever again."

Seriously, Barack, you are not nearly as prepared to play this game as your supporters and many in the media think you are. When the honeymoon is over and people start to see who you really are.....well, we can only hope the American people will have such an awakening before Election Day.

Oh, and by the way, don't you love how Democrats--like Chris Dodd--are so anxious to be seen as being on board the bandwagon with a winning candidate that they wait until the nomination is all but wrapped up to endorse someone? Or they switch from the candidate that they were supporting to the one who is ahead so as to save face, like Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. Whatever happened to loyalty? I'm sure Mrs. Clinton knows all about that, being a life-long Yankees fan. Oh wait.

I'm just wondering when these same Democrats will see the light and jump on the Iraq surge bandwagon.

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nK said...

I think its increasingly obvious that the biggest candidate McCain fears facing for the presidential election is Sen. Barack Obama. His increasing attacks on Sne. Obama than the other other Democratic contend, Sen. Clinton, are a sure sign that Sen. Obama does offer an alternative that America has crying for.

Continued jibes on 'audacity of hope' should be a reminder to all that 'change' in its self is what Sen. McCain and Sen. Clinton few are adverse to. They would rather settle for the 'comfortable' the status core of mediocrity.

Cape Town SA

Anonymous said...

Obama is for change, but in which direction. He wants to go back to the Great Society and the New Deal in which Government provides cradle to grave security. His ideology is OLD, Tried, and Not True. That will become more clear in the general election, in which his extreme leftist policies will show how incapable he is of reaching across the aisle to bring about that mythical unity of his dreamlike campaign.

Aaron said...

Today’s back and forth with McCain and Obama is about as clear an example as you are going to get. The differences…and the ramifications….to the candidates positions, are as contrasting to each other as night and day. It’s like a schoolyard line in the sand. Make no mistake about it, you should know who you stand behind on this, because there is no bigger issue at this time. You either understand the threat of Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and you are committed to hunting every last one down in Iraq and other countries, or you are first and foremost concerned with “ending the war,” and then going after terrorist bases that pop up.

Anonymous said...

If Obama gets the nomination, it will be interesting to see if anyone makes a political ad pointing out that while McCain was a POW in Viet Nam, Obama was a carefree druggie. How would the candidates respond to a challenge to take a drug test today??

Olayemi said...

As far as I'm concerned, Senator Clintor has not answered any question more intellingently than Senator Obama likewise Senator McCain.. The issue of Bombing Al-quaeda in Pakistan was a wrong judgement on foreign policies when Senator Obama said so not quite too long, later experienced recently was what the present administration did, isn't that easier?. The truth of the matter is the Al-aqueda ain't after Iraques par se, rather Americans and the way it's government handles foreign policies. True judgement of the future requires the visit of the past. The question is what brought Al-queda to Iraq, and why are they there? The absolute and frank answer is U.S, and it will be easier to bomb them the way they were bombed in Pakistan than sharing a never ending battle ground with them. Obama has the wisdom and Judgement to handles things and time is proving him right always!

Anonymous said...


How much does John McCain pays those poor kids to dress up like Young Republicans, stand behind his boring speeches and NOT fall asleep?


Anonymous said...

First of all, if you don't think past judgement is relevant in this debate, think again. Obama is right - al Qaeda wasn't in Iraq until we opened the door for them in 2003. As far as the present and future in Iraq go, the issue is the Shia and the Sunni being able to form a cooperative government. If that happens, they can very easily drive al Qaeda from Iraq. But as long as those factions continue to be at odds, al Qaeda can play both sides against the middle.

As far as the surge, it simply isn't a long term solution. In fact, when Bush proposed the surge, it was under the mindset that the increased security will allow the Iraqis to form a stable democratic government and then we could draw down troops. While levels of violence have gone down, the Iraqis still aren't making the progress they need to make. Bottom line - if the surge were truly working the way it was supposed to, we should be drawing down troops this summer. That isn't going to happen.

Anonymous said...

In his hypothetical response, Obama wants to go after Al qaeda.

In real life, Al qaeda is in Iraq and he has said he will withdraw in a year. Clinton has said she will withdraw but she has not put any deadline saying that she will get together with Pentagon and decide. So the difference is quite clear- ideological VS practical.

Also, if Al qaeda is in Afghanistan,which Obama agrees is true, why has he as the Chairman of the committee on NATO not held a single hearing since January 2007 as Clinton pointed out in the debate. What is he waiting for?

Anonymous said...

Go to London Times and spread the word that isn't out there - our media is unfairly influencing people in Obama's direction! London Times are continuing the story about Obama's connections to crooks - including Arab Billionaire and Rezko - with more details. This Clinton supporter will vote McCain rather than shaft this country down a cult leaders path!

Anonymous said...

In response to one of the anonymous comments (the blog itself doesn't really even deserve a response), Obama has a better grasp, or more likely, cares more about what the American people want. Polls show that most citizens want troops out of Iraq. So why is it so unreasonable to want to withdraw troops as quickly as possible?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone deny the Zarqawi was al Qaeda? He was in Iraq well before our invasion setting up al Qaeda in Iraq. He got medical treatment with the knowledge of Saddam's regime for wounds suffered in Afghanistan.

"Zarqawi fled Afghanistan during the U.S.-led war to oust the Taliban. He passed through Iran and then received medical treatment in Baghdad in mid-2002, U.S. officials have said."

Or as Historian Victor Davis Hanson calls it:

Al-Qaeda in Iraq?

"Sen. Obama did not understand that al Qaeda in Iraq is there and it was started by Zarqawi who was there in Iraq before we arrived. The problem is that Obama has not studied the war or the nature of Pakistan’s Waziristan, so he continues to make these astounding assertions—anytime he speaks off the cuff, in reaction to charges he is too vague, strange things can happen."

Obama is either dangerously ignorant or playing to his base. Either way, he'll do great harm to global security and our strategic interests. Our enemies will love him.

Anonymous said...

There are al Qaeda cells spread through out the world. The question dealt with al Qaeda bases. Zarqawi being in Iraq is irrelevant, unless you want to post some proof that he was in charge of al Qaeda bases in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Mccain hopes to make this election one dimensional. The US has more problems than IRAQ. People are losing their homes, energy cost are skyrocketing, the economy IS IN a recession, and the US population can not afford to continue to follow the same policies we've been following over the last 7 years.We can't afford to watch the highest paying jobs leave for third world countries.
Maybe OBAMA will bomb as a president, maybe he won't. But he should have the chance to try to take the country in a better direction. Regardless, we don't need a president who doesn't know anything about the economy nor has he attempted to give any indication of how he will get the economy back on track. We don't need a president who is "ONE DIMENSIONAL" and stake his entire campaign on one issue, the IRAQ WAR.

Anonymous said...

Last night I watched John McCain's life chronicled on an MSNBC with archival footage of his horrific torture and years of isolation in the infamous 'Hanoi Hilton' and his dedication to service for his beloved country once home on blessed American soil. This man has LIVED and LEARNED and therefore has the experience and knowledege, rather than the wishful thinking and fantasy dreams to actually do the right thing for our country. Obama's time may come, but not this time. He is too inexperienced to hold the highest office in the land, perhaps the world. We are living in a very precarious and extremely volatile world and who better to keep us safe than a man who has been there, done that..and KNOWS what he's doing. I'm afraid Obama is wearing blinders and may, if elected, have to learn on the job, that the world is not the nice, rosy, sweet, fair-minded place which he appears to think it is. Let's stick with reality here, folks. McCain, not Obama, is the right man for this dangerous time.

Anonymous said...

While I agree with a previous poster that this blog really doesn't deserve a response...

That being said, it will be interesting to see who's relevant and who's out of touch when (and if) Obama and McCain stand on the same debate stage.

To be president of the US, you really need to have more than one issue to run on--and a shaky one at that.

Anonymous said...

Look, Obama was asked a particular, hypothetical question, to which his reponse concerning al-Qaeda in Iraq was directed.

That question was,

"Suppose a stablized Iraqi government asks the United States to leave Iraq, and then afterwards, al-Qaeda re-establishes a base there. Do you as President go back into Iraq?"

When Obama responded, "that's a big hypothetical," he was telling the truth; the question was a big hypothetical.

McCain's taken the response out of context since then. Readers should know the context to any candidate's remarks, when the stakes are as high as they are.

Anonymous said...

Of course he's not ready but the masses up to this point have been brainwashed by his "Hope Fantasy." Obama's a power hungry politician like any of the others except that he's one with little grasp of how he'll be able to accomplish the things he talks about. The States is a great country and "Washington isn't broken" it's just been ruled by policies that are too extreme for 7 years. I don't know enough about Washington but I know that McCain and The Republicans will just obliterate him in November and not in the cordial ways Hillary has gone after him. This thing is gonna get ugly. Hillary's IT, guys, she's a democrat ready to lead. Otherwise it's 4 more for The Repubs.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note regarding the Dems constant barrage of "7 years of hell" comments. The economy and Nafta- What president signed it? The terrorist attacks of September 11 2001- Do you honestly believe it was planned because of or in response to President Bush being elected? Saddam Hussein and Al Quaeda- Are you really arguing that a tyrant who had already committed genocide on his own muslim countrymen wasn't doing everything in his power, up to and including supporting AlQuaeda and pursuing nuclear weaponry, to destroy America? Think for yourselves and stop swallowing any "political party" idealogy without question.I am not a member of either party and vote for the candidates merits, not the affiliation. Have a great day.

Shannonymous said...

1. If Obama was a "carefree druggie" he'd be dead right now. Instead he got clean. Just like our current president?!?!
2. Why so many anonymous posts? Is there one person out there debating him/herself?!? Be brave enough to identify yourself so it's not so hard to differentiate with who to argue with.
3. Why do so many of you right-wingers have such a hard-on for a war that has killed so many Americans and innocent civilians while accomplishing so little?!?!

dan said...

Whoa? " Accomplishing so little?" We have created a democracy in a nation once ruled by a vicious tyrant and liberated millions. That's not insignifigant, even in the short term.
As you know, I believe that in the long tern it will be even more important in terms of world history.

As for all of you anonymous posters, you really should put up a name of some sort, even a fake one, so that if someone wants to respond to your comment, they can direct it towards you.

liamascorcaigh said...

Read an very funny assessment of Hillary's readiness at

Anonymous said...

Why is no one challenging Obama's claim to have superior judgement? It takes a huge amount of self-confidence but also maybe not just a tinge of self-righteousness and arrogance to campaign on the theme that you are wiser than your rivals. If people would look at the smugness of Obama perhaps they would be a little slower to fall all over themselves to adore him.

Anonymous said...

I believe you have a valid point regarding obamania and his self-righteousness. Listen carefully to his debate answers and more importantly his demeanor when giving them. Remember the "I have to admit I give pretty good speaches" exchange? Just remember, a good shopper never buys a car because of the paint job, he always lifts the hood and pulls the dipstick.

Shannonymous said...

No, we love him. We don't care if he's smug. People really underestimate likeability, the feeling of being trustworthy and a good guy. People will ignore so much if they really believe you're like them and are looking out for them.

Anonymous said...

Blind love is truly foolish. I think that should obama receive the nomination, the honeymoon period for him will be short. You are already seeing that with what suprisingly little mrs clinton has been able to rough him up with. He has not had to truly flesh out his positions because both dems are basically interchangeable. Once the contrasts between both parties candidates are examined, hope and inspiration cannot win a debate, positions and idealogy will. Do not overlook the publics disdain for smug/conceited personalities. (reference G.H.W. Bush's watch glances in '92). Michelle Obama's pride statement and his once removed relationship to farrakhan adds to their elitist persona. Kerry couldn't overcome it and dems had G.W. to rally against directly. I wouldn't confuse the publics current, "love", for at best, infatuation, at worst passing lust.

Shannonymous said...

It is not foolish. It is faith. He is the only candidate I believe in and I am a pretty good judge of character.