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McCain, Obama, Clinton, Petraeus

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Election 2008
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Posted April 5, 2008 3:30 PM
The Swamp

by Mark Silva

Gen. David Petraeus' return engagement on Capitol Hill next week will be of particular interest to a few of the senators on committees hearing his testimony: Sens. McCain, Obama and Clinton.

McCain, as the AP's Liz Sidoti points out today, "will get a chance to argue that last year's U.S. troop buildup has been a success and withdrawal would be a mistake. (and) Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will have an opportunity to ask why the United States is still fighting more than five years after the invasion. ''

All three presidential contenders serve on Senate committees that will hear and question the military commander in Iraq on Tuesday. McCain and Clinton serve on the Armed Services Committee; Obama on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Petraeus will arrive on Tuesday at a time when the administration is shaping its war strategy for the months ahead -- presumably to conform with Petraeus' call for a pause in the drawdown of troops while the miltiary assesses the lasting effects of the "surge'' that President Bush ordered last year.

With a presidential election seven months away, Bush's successor will inherit a war that has claimed the lives of more than 4,000 U.S. military men and women in five years.

"Overall, it's a remarkable success — overall with significant challenges ahead," McCain told The Associated Press recently as he predicted what Petraeus will say about the troop-increase strategy and what he says he believes himself — even though the year of the buildup was the bloodiest yet for U.S. troops.

"It is time to end this war as quickly and responsibly as possible," Clinton, a New York Democrat, said recently.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat, also wants a quick end to the war. On Friday, he said: ""We still don't have a good answer to the question posed by Sen. (John) Warner the last time Gen. Petraeus appeared: How has this effort in Iraq made us safer and how do we expect it will make us safer in the long run?"

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John McCain has demonstrated over and over again that he does not understand even the most basic of facts about his signature issue, the Iraq War.

Sen. John McCain, traveling in the Middle East to promote his foreign policy expertise, misidentified in remarks Tuesday which broad category of Iraqi extremists are allegedly receiving support from Iran.

He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda...

McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."

Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."
Al Qaeda in Iraq is of course entirely dominated by Sunni extremists who view all Shiites as heretics. The rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq and everything it has done there has been shaped by it's contempt for Shiites. The course of the insurgency, down to and including the "Sunni Awakening", has reflected that fanatical hostility that Al Qaeda brought to bear inside Iraq. Iranian involvement in financing and supporting Shiite militias in Iraq came partly in reaction to the rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

This isn't just a minor slip. This betrays a profound lack of foreign policy expertise, a shallowness so extreme that if the remark had been made by Barack Obama, say, it would have called into question his viability as a presidential candidate.

So you should expect the "serious" thinkers of the traditional media to dismiss the gaffe as 'trivial'. We are not allowed even to consider the possibility that John McCain is a foreign policy lightweight...not with all those splendid crazy Neocon foreign policy advisers he's assembled....the same nuts who worked for BushCo and gave us the Iraq disaster.

Think Progress reported that McCain made the same crazyassertion on Hugh Hewitt's program.

McCain is a horrible candidate, I can't wait for the general election!

During the primaries McCain only won the election because of the win it all system in the GOP. While he frequently won all the delegates, he seldom won a majority of votes. He won 30% in Michigan and only 36% in Florida. Are the numbers of Alabama 37%, Tennessee 32% and South Carolina 33% evidence of a strong southern strategy?

He must also face the issue of age in an election where 71 isn't an enviable number. Will Joe Liebs be around every time he has impromptu questions? Will he be able to maintain his smile when faced with hostile crowds? How often will the American voter see his temper surge through videos of him berating his opponents?

The mood of the country has changed. An unending war, an economy in recession, his ties to lobbyists within his staff will march full face forwardafter the conventions. Support groups have raised $400M alone to defeat him. GOP leaders in Congress are retiring in droves because of their fear of defeat.

I would remind people that despite the current spike in the polls , McCain is vetted on only one issue, the war. And his position is contrary to the wishes of the electorate. So, contrary to the contention in the MSM that McCain is pulling away, the battle has yet to be entered. Despite the division between the Obama and Clinton camps, both have a very strong base of voters around the country. What is McCain's base?

When it's all over and done, I can see a realignment in politics away from red and blue. The Bush dynasty has created a new era in politics. This will not be driven by subtitled issues of gay marriage and supporting the troops. The tide has turned and it will not elect another candidate that represents the past. McCain is an accident waiting to happen.

Is it possible that the good senator has the beginnings of Alzheimer's? At his age, the erratic temper could easily be a sign of it. If Americans elect someone of his age with that flaring temper of his they're ASKING FOR IT!!!

Nothing to do to save his life
call his wife in
Nothing say but what a day
how's your boy been
Nothing to do, it's up to you
I've got noting to say but it's O.K.

Good morning good morning
good morning a

Going to work don't want to go
feeling low down
Heading for home you start to roam
then you're in town

Everybody knows there's nothing doing
Everything is closed, it's like a ruin
Everyone you see is half asleep
And you're on your own, you're in the street

After a while you start to smile
now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing has changed it's still the same
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.
Good morning good morning
good morning a


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