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Update on Battle-tested

Joe Wilson amplified his recent op-ed. Enjoy.

By Joseph C. Wilson

This article is adapted from a piece published in the Baltimore Sun on February 12, 2008

With the emergence of Sen. John McCain as the presumptive Republican nominee, the choice for the Democrats in the 2008 presidential election now shifts to who is best positioned to beat him, in what promises to be a more hard-fought campaign – and perhaps a nastier one – than Democrats anticipated.

Sen. Barack Obama’s promise of transformation and an end of partisan politics has its seductive appeal. The Bush-Cheney era, after all, has been punctuated by smear campaigns, character assassinations and ideological fervor.

Nobody dislikes such poisonous partisanship, especially in foreign policy, more than I do. I am one of very few Foreign Service officers who to have served as ambassador in the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, yet I have spent the past four years fighting a concerted character assassination campaign orchestrated by the George W. Bush White House.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the few who fully understood the stakes in that battle. Time and again, she reached out to my wife – outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson – and me to remind us that as painful as the attacks were, we simply could not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by bullying. To do so would validate the radical right’s thesis that the way to win debates is to demonize opponents, taking full advantage of the natural desire to avoid confrontation, even if it means yielding on substantive issues. Hillary knew this from experience, having spent the better part of the past 20 years fighting the Republican attack machine. She is a fighter.

But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being “disingenuous,” to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, “The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you.” Then McCain said, “Obama wouldn’t know the difference between an RPG and a bong.”

Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.

What gives us confidence Mr. Obama will be stronger the next time he faces Mr. McCain, a seasoned political fighter with extensive national security credentials? Even more important, what special disadvantages does Mr. Obama carry into this contest on questions of national security?

How will Mr. Obama answer Mr. McCain about his careless remark about unilaterally bombing Pakistan – perhaps blowing up an already difficult relationship with a nuclear state threatened by Islamic extremists? How will Mr. Obama respond to charges made by the Kenyan government that his campaigning activities in Kenya in support of his distant cousin running for president there made him “a stooge” and constituted interference in the politics of an important and besieged ally in the war on terror?

How will he answer charges that his desire for unstructured personal summits without preconditions with a host of America’s adversaries, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Kim Jong Il, would be little more than premature capitulation?

Senator Obama claims superior judgment on the war in Iraq based on one speech given as a state legislator representing the most liberal district in Illinois at an anti-war rally in Chicago, and in so doing impugns the integrity of those who were part of the debate on the national scene. In mischaracterizing the debate on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force as a declaration of war, he implicitly blames Democrats for George Bush’s war of choice. Obama’s negative attack line does not conform to the facts. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I should know. I was among the most prominent anti-war voices at the time—and never heard about or from then Illinois State Senator Obama.

George Bush made it clear publicly when lobbying for the bill that he wanted it not to go to war but to give him the leverage he needed to go to the United Nations and secure intrusive inspections of Saddam’s suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction sites. Who could argue with that goal? Colin Powell made the same case individually to Senators in the run up to the vote, including to Senator Clinton. It is not credible that Senator Obama would not have succumbed to Secretary Powell’s arguments had he been in Washington at the time. Why not? Obama himself suggested so in 2004. “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports,’ Obama said. ‘What would I have done? I don’t know.” He also told the Chicago Tribune in 2004: “There’s not much of a difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage.” According to press reports, Powell is now an informal adviser to Mr. Obama.

In his tendentious attack, Obama never mentions that Hans Blix, the chief United Nations weapons inspectors, declared that without the congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force the inspectors would never have been allowed into Iraq. Hillary’s approach—and that of the majority of Democrats in the Senate—was to let the inspectors complete their work while building an international coalition. Hillary’s was the road untaken. The betrayal of the American people, and of the Congress, came when President Bush refused to allow the inspections to succeed, and that betrayal is his and his party’s, not the Democrats.

Contrary to the myth of his campaign, 2008 is not the year for transcendental transformation. The task for the next administration will be to repair the damage done by eight years of radical rule. And the choice for Americans is clear: four more years of corrupt Republican rule, senseless wars, evisceration of the Constitution, emptying of the national treasury – or rebuilding our government and our national reputation, piece by piece. Obama’s overtures to Republicans, or “Obamacans” as the Senator calls them, is a substitute for true national unity based on a substantive program. His marginal appeals have marginally helped him in caucuses in Republican states that Democrats won’t win in the general election. But his vapid rhetoric will not withstand the winds of November. His efforts will be correctly seen by the Republican leadership as a sign of weakness to be exploited. While disaffected Democrats may long for comity in our politics after years of being harangued and belittled by the right wing echo chamber, the Rovians currently promoting Obama are looking to destroy him should he become the nominee. Obama’s claim to float uniquely above the fray and avoid polarization will be short-lived. He is no less mortal than any other Democrat–Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry–all untouched at the beginning of their campaigns and all mauled by the end. We should never forget recent history.

In order to effect practical change against a determined adversary, we do not need a would-be philosopher-king but a seasoned gladiator who understands the fight Democrats will face in the fall campaign and in governing.

Theodore Roosevelt once commented, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.”

If he were around today, TR might be speaking of the woman in the arena. Hillary Clinton has been in that arena for a generation. She is one of the few to have defeated the attack machine that is today’s Republican Party and to have emerged stronger. She is deeply knowledgeable about governing; she made herself into a power in the Senate; she is respected by our military; and she never flinches. She has never been intimidated, not by any Republican – not even John McCain.

Barack Obama claims to represent the future, but it should be increasingly evident that he is not the man for this moment, especially with Mr. McCain’s arrival. We’ve seen a preview of that contest already. It was a TKO.

  • http://nobloodforhubris.blogspot.com No Blood for Hubris

    Sharp wonkette progressive vs. timid centrist.

    How hard is that to figure out?

  • NB

    As the media has clearly shown us, being Hillary Clinton in America is far more challenging. And she has proven that she can take them all on and come out stronger.

  • John Stanton

    I’m not really fond of anybody from the crusty two party system but to those who say Mr. Obama is not battle-tested, a friend of mine points out that, “He’s a black man in America. How much more testing does he need?”

    I agree.

  • vee

    I am completely disgusted with Obama’s campaign pushing the idea that the Clintons are racists. Even after admitting that pushing the racism agenda was a “mistake,” Obama continues to go along with the storyline that helped him consolidate the black vote behind him. See the ABC 7- Politico video interview of Obama before Virginia at politico.com. He is still pushing the idea that the Clintons are racists. Also, looking at the ideals of his church, from the church web site, and the positions his minister takes, I believe the racist label is accurate for him. The pig comment was over the top, but I am really angry about the racism charges played up by his campaign for politico gain. I think that Obama is something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. -Sorry, I can’t stop making analogies.

    • barb

      The wolf in sheep’s clothing is an analogy that I think of every time I see a clip of him on TV. Everytime I hear about how he doesn’t take money from lobbyists, etc., etc. If there’s one thing that turns me off it’s his pure BS. I can’t help but wonder how much of his books, which he admits are somewhat fictionalized to make them more interesting, are fiction. Don’t you know everything in all those books is going to be under extreme scrutiny if he gets the nomination.

      I don’t get the thing about the Rezko land deal, he knew what was going on at the time and still went for the deal. Was he so naive, so enamored of living in the nice mansion, or just so dam arrogant that he thought it was okay for him to do this, no one would notice… or all of the above.

      Whichever, it doesn’t bode well to have a candidate so totally lacking in judgment on this matter as president.

      When Bill Clinton, when talking about the Iraq war said Obama’s stand was a fairy tale, well I think all these people that cried racist had it correct, the whole Obama cult is a fairy tale, I think he is going to be proven to be mythical. Going to be a lot of disappointed people around.

      Quite frankly the thought of him as president frightens me. I think we would have a candidate similar to GWB, admittedly more intelligent, but every bit as incompetent. Who will the puppet masters be, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry?

      He is a “made for public consumption” candidate if ever I saw one, bet whoever his “maker” is had no idea he had entangled himself in a real estate deal.

      • Salo

        Kerry and the Kingmaker role? ruh roh.

  • Cee

    OT:

    LOLOLOLOLOL! The media just reported that Condi is going to Kenya.

    As if they didn’t have enough problems.

  • vee

    McCain vs. Obama. I go with McCain. I am not going to vote for a racist pig like Obama who has spent his political career eating out of Rezko’s money trough whether it was for campaign contributions or a subsidy to buy the house he is living in. Obama was even willing to continue feeding on Rezko’s money while Rezko was being actively investigated for corruption. I am a lifelong Democrat and was opposed to the Iraq war.

    • BernieO

      I think the racist pig charge is over the top, but you are right about Rezko. I cannot fault politicians for finding out that some of their supporters are less than honorable. They have to deal with the system that we have created for them. The American people for years have refused to support publicly financed campaigns arguing that they do not want their tax money going to politicians. The same people then complain when corporations and other influencers poney up. Now the Supreme Court has made any meaningful reform virtually impossible (Buckley vs. Valeo ruled that money=speech, giving a megaphone to the wealthy). But there is no excuse for continuing to deal with someone after it is revealed that there are serious questions about corruption.
      What I find even more galling is that Obama puts on his pious “I got ethics reform passed” schtick after these kinds of shenanigans. Want to bet that he did it to counteract the Rezko stench? Funny how the media overlooks this.

  • BernieO

    How often has anyone heard this? You can bet the media understands exactly how this worked but cannot be bothered informing the public. Another example of them allowing people to make decisions based on distorted information.

    “George Bush made it clear publicly when lobbying for the bill that he wanted it not to go to war but to give him the leverage he needed to go to the United Nations and secure intrusive inspections of Saddam’s suspected Weapons of Mass Destruction sites. Who could argue with that goal? Colin Powell made the same case individually to Senators in the run up to the vote, including to Senator Clinton.”

    • Salo

      they want a cartoonish pro war/anti war debate. And damn the historical reality.

  • http://www.despair.com/cluelessness.html Smilin’ Jim

    Yer lordship Mr. Olson,

    Was this version written especially for you?

    If so, congratulations.

    Keep me posted on how many recipes it draws if cross-posted to the Daily Kos.

  • S. Markom

    I think Wilson’s piece is brilliant and do agree with all that he says, but, I am sorry, I cannot agree with the characterization of Hillary Clinton.

    The Democratic Party is at a very critical crossroad given that this nomiating process will probably end up in a virtual dead heat by the convention. An honest and objective view of both of these candidates is that they are BOTH inexperienced, BOTH are having things read into them that are just not true, and BOTH will lose to McCain for different reasons.

    It is very possible that the convention will be deadlocked and the super delegates (party elders) will have to determine who is best to face McCain. There is only one candidate who could immediately step in, unite the party, and actually win by a lot. That person is Al Gore. With Hillary or Obama as a VP it would be a winning ticket.

    I realize this sounds like a sports fan suggesting mythical trades, but a deadlocked convention could become a reality and McCain as a candidate should not be taken lightly.

    • Salo

      keep dreaming. Gore will have no part in this clusterfuck . The media attacked him when he won his nobel and he’s decided to take the hint from them.

      • S. Markom

        Attack him on what?

        He won the popular vote in 2000 and now he more respected.

        I agree that this is a clusterfuck. It was not a very smart idea to punish Florida and Michigan by the very party that promotes the idea that every vote counts.

        But the reality is that Obama is not going to run-the-table and neither candidate will have the magic number of delegates. Therefore it will be a brokered convention.

        It will be the party leaders who will end up brokering this and serious consideration has to be given to a candidate who can win.

        • Salo

          he’s just attacked for being Gore.
          There’s no need for substance.

      • BernieO

        Not so. The media has actually treated Gore with more respect since he won the Nobel, except for the terminally cynical types like Frank Rich. They trashed him mercilessly in 2000, so to explain away their inconsistency their storyline has been that Gore had changed. Bob Somerby documented this inanity at dailyhowler.com.

        In case I am being too subtle, I will spell it out. The biggest problem facing our country is the media. There will always be irrational fanatics in any society but the majority of Americans are fairly moderate, reasonable people. If you look at the polls of where people stand on issues and it is clear that they do not agree with the right wing. Yet they have been voting for these guys for years. The reason for this is that they are constantly inundated with right wing propaganda and trivia which is gleefully repeated by our supposedly mainstream media.

        • S. Markom

          I agree with nearly all that you said but would embellish on the reason the media has become so tabloid and sensational.

          When there were a few major dailies and three major TV networks news was real news. With the diversification of communication and in particular the Internet those major dailies and those TV networks have continually lost viewers and therefore advertising dollars.

          The reason you see sensational tabloid type stories is the need for these former news outlets to attract viewers and stem the erosion of ad dollars. Where I disagree with you is that it is both right wing and left wing propaganda that clouds the real news and any objectivity that once existed in the news media.

          • BernieO

            Until Olberman there has been very little left wing anything on cable, unless you count the Daily Show.
            The last truly liberal show was Donahue. When he was brought back his show was canceled even though it was the highest rated show on MSNBC. He was told he had to have two conservatives for every liberal, but even then the network was too afraid to stick with the show after 911.

        • Salo

          They were attacking him like howling monkeys when he got the prize.

        • Salo

          no, people think you are rational and reasonable. Bush is in power because of 300,0000 reasonable rational centrists, and nice normal non-ideological chaps like Colin Powell and David Brooks.

          • BernieO

            I am talking about ordinary citizens not the elite. They were led astray by the supposedly rational leaders like the MSM and guys like Powell. I would not consider Brooks in the middle just because he is more polite that most conservatives.

    • Lorelynn

      If you think Hillary is inexperienced, then you need to do some actual reading. She’s been working with legislatures and developing programs since Bill’s days as governor. She was as involved as Al Gore in the policy apparatus of the Clinton White House and was a principle in all of Bill’s campaign. The war room is her invention.

      Clinton may have a somewhat non-traditional resume, but that doesn’t negate the sheer volume of work she has done with legislatures and on policy, nor her time inside the White House assisting with the executive function.

      • BernieO

        She was the one who headed up the major educational reform in Arkansas which was no small task. She got the stake holders to come together to get the legislation passed. One of the most impressive things she did was to convince corporate bigwigs like Sam Walton of Walmart to support a CORPORATE TAX to help finance the much-needed reform. This was in the 80′s when the reform movement was just beginning so it was very cutting edge and had a lot of influence on states like Texas. Obama has never unified any groups comparable to the one Hillary had to bring together – teachers unions, corporations, taxpayers, legislators, etc.
        Her campaign has not done a good job of getting this information out.

        • S. Markom

          So why is she allowing herself to be villified for being on the Board of Wal-Mart?

          Hillary Clinton should have campaigned as a hardened, tough political figure with answers to issues that she believes in even if you don’t agree with all of them.

          People today want credibility and authenticity in the products they buy and now the people they elect. Hillary could have had the high ground but surrendered it to polling data and trying to be all things to all people. She failed and in her place came someone with maybe credibility and maybe authenticity.

      • S. Markom

        This is why she is losing.

        If she just spelled out exactly how involved she was with her husband’s administration instead of dancing around the edges she would have swept these primaries. “35 years” = of what?!

        I do think she was a co-President but unless they come clean with how much she was involved with policy then it is all smoke-and-mirrors.

        She has also done nothing substantial since becoming Senator of NYS. That was a mistake.

        I can go on with the litany of mistakes that HRC has made and sugar coating it will not get her a majority of the popular vote or the nomination.

        Unfortunately you seem to only read her press releases.

  • http://www.despair.com/cluelessness.html Smilin’ Jim

    “According to press reports, Powell is now an informal adviser to Mr. Obama.”

    Oh Christ, The Great Super-Dupe and Brzezinski, the enabler of militant Islamism and Grand Prophet who discounted its threat to the West.

    Might be still time to brush up on my Arabic.

    • Cee

      Jim,

      You mean the reformed Brzezinki?

      http://mkane.gnn.tv/blogs/24618/Video_of_Cheney_on_Gulf_War_1_Surprise

      Video of Cheney on Gulf War 1 – Surprise?!?
      Fri, 17 Aug 2007
      by Michael Kane

      A man who operates with precision and mastery in the dialogue of public policy decision making is Zbigniew Brzezinski; former National Security Advisor to President Carter (a Democrat), co-founder of the Tri-lateral Commission and registered Republican. In his now infamous book titled The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski laid out the geo-strategic importance of the Middle East and Central Asia as being the regions where the next major global conflict(s) would take place. In this book Brzezinski says the “imperial mobilization” necessary to commandeer the world’s remaining hydrocarbon reserves would be hard to embark upon without a catastrophic and catalyzing event on par with Pearl Harbor.
      A group of men who call themselves the “neo-cons” took up Brzezinski’s chessboard and created The Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In 2000 these men took the Whitehouse. The neo-cons also recognized that a “catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor,” would benefit their dreams of imperial mobilization. Well, the new Pearl Harbor they all publicly prayed for came and went, and just as they had predicted, it helped to speed up the process of American imperial mobilization.
      But now Brzezinski is singing a much different tune. When Israel embarked on its failed war in Southern Lebanon, Brzezinski publicly stated the following on numerous occasions:
      These neocon prescriptions, of which Israel has its equivalents, are fatal for America and ultimately for Israel. They will totally turn the overwhelming majority of the Middle East’s population against the United States. The lessons of Iraq speak for themselves. Eventually, if neo-con policies continue to be pursued, the United States will be expelled from the region and that will be the beginning of the end for Israel as well.
      Brzezinski publicly voiced this strong opinion on July 20, 2006 – about one week after Israel invaded Lebanon – at The New American Foundation American Strategy Program, where Daniel Yergin sits on the Board of Directors.

      • BernieO

        What a genius he is to recognize that the Middle East would be the center for global conflict. When I was in grade school in the 50′s (YIKES) I remember reading one of those newspapers for kids, maybe “My Weekly Reader”, that said the Middle East was going to be a major source of global conflict, possibly nuclear, for years. Maybe Zbig read that magazine, too.
        Now that I think about it, how far have we fallen? Can you imagine kids reading about that kind of issue now in elementary school? I went to a public school in a relatively poor, rural area so it was hardly elite.

      • http://www.despair.com/arrogance.html Smilin’ Jim

        In your distraction you confuse chastened & humiliated with reformed.

        Like Fukuyama, who suffered from sever tit in the wringer syndrome over the hash the neocons made of The End Of History, that goddamn Pole made a severe mid-course correction to save a disgraced career. Fukuyama published his Magnum OOPS!! , After The Neocons, and now Brzezinski has discovered the Middle East. All is symmetry.

        The character flaw in Fukuyama that loosed neocon unilateralism and that within Brzezinski that gave us the Afghanistan blowback still resides within those titanic egos. Think the Goyim’s Kissinger.

        He will fuck Obama in the same way he fucked Carter. We will be in the way again.

        It’s Brzezinski, by the way, not “Brzezinki”. It means like a white birch in Polish. I donno if it means he’s a Bircher, though. Not all registered Republicans are Birchers.

        • Cee

          In your distraction you confuse chastened & humiliated with reformed.

          Jim,

          I stand corrected.

          He will fuck Obama in the same way he fucked Carter. We will be in the way again

          You could be right.

          I’m prepared to roll the dice because I see what Hillary’s experience has brought us. Shit! I’m looking at people around her and thinking about the US taking on Russia because of Kosovo.
          Gawd!

          • http://www.despair.com/arrogance.html Smilin’ Jim

            What I write now is not a partisan slap at Obama, it is just something I find disturbing.

            Brzezinski has always been focused on Eastern Europe because I believe he is a Polish patriot, not an American one. This I believe rendered him blind to the danger of the radical Muslim movement he fostered as well as the radicalization of Iran, since he was primarily focused on putting it to Poland’s enemy, the Soviet Union.

            We are allocating resources again unilaterally to Eastern Europe. This is in accord with Brzezinski’s current line, although I don’t know if the Bush Administration is following him or someone else. The bottom line is that it has Russia very rattled. Putin is now talking about a restart of the arms race.

            We are in hock up to our ears (even Russia is now one of our creditors), dependent on some sworn enemies for energy and our Dollar may even be replaced as the preferred international currency by the Euro. Russia, on the other hand, is on the upswing and has enough energy to threaten Europe and some of it’s former Republics.

            Another arms race is a potlatch we can no longer afford. The last one brought the Soviet Union to it’s knees, this one could bring us to our knees.

            Other than that Brzezinski is a hellofa guy.

    • Nellie

      Not to worry Jim. Unlike Americans, many of the Middle East is at least bi-lingual, and speak some English, and many are multi-lingual.

  • http://homelessonthehighdesert.wordpress.com/ Ten Bears

    Once again we are left to chose the lessor of evils.

    • rjj

      Anybody noticed the deafening silence on:

      * Abortion
      * Guns
      * Queers
      * Race
      * God

      Anybody wonder why that is?

      Or why the folks for whom these things are policy issues are touting Obama?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6a6rmNCcvms

    • CK

      What’s is the rental for the lesser of the two evils?

  • Mr.Murder

    IMO the idea of talking with Iran or North Korea can do good.

    We need Iran to step up if there’s any plan to stabilize the region.

    North Korea is a valuable hedge to China, along the lines of classic Kissinger triangulation. Opening market to them could leverage items from our own domestic production to better return rates. No problems, only opportunities, etc.

    The emphasis is upon the timing of those statements. The result must be weighted with what the overall approach of the world community, and our aims as a leader there, were determined to be. You could go more into detail on that item as well, and should.

    As for the war, or the post ‘mission-accomplished’ phase,

    I’ve always said the AUMF secured a diplomatic solution, and Bush chose war anyways. Rumsfeld said Iraq “had better targets” than Afghanistan. Instead of taking Saddam’s offer to go in exile to heart, we decided to unhinge the basic tenants of Iraqi society and create the massive refugee crisis that threatens stability to allies, and others in the region. You noted how the inspections process was once again attached, as qualification for action. That was not followed, procedural trespass by the Bush invasion occurred.

    To place this at the foot of anyone aside from the commander in chief, when he claims that as justification for nearly every act and scandal he’s taken part to this day, is being patently obtuse.

    The extent to which you’ve invested personal political capital for our country and persons in the world community should certainly be heeded. It is sad to see the political discussion manipulated to a point you had to take one side of the opposition, and perhaps, have limited future opportunities to serve the public sector abroad once again, in the immediate future.

    Thanks for sharing your insight,
    Amb.Wilson.

    • Salo

      unhinge the tenets! Dagnabit! Although we made the tenets of Iraq homeless and refugees.

      Concering Saddam:

      Bush wanted to hang him, and then transform Iraq with the

      Hope

      of

      Changing

      the Game in the Middle East.

    • Mr.Murder

      Thanks for the item, my spellchecker replaced tenets….

      • Salo

        My spelling is rubbish so no worries.

    • SirScud

      “Mr. Murder”, I associate myself with your observations and am disappointed to see Amb. Wilson practising historical revisionism while claiming that Obama supporters are “Rovian.” Is this not the essence of the Rovian politics of distortion and dissembling that we all seek to transcend? And what about these claims about the interference in Kenyan politics, and shady real estate deals? Are these not simply a variation of the “swift boating” of John Kerry, under a different political banner? The good ambassador’s conjecture that no one but Clinton can do political battle with the Republicans, whoever their candidate is, doesn’t pass the smell test. We, the people of the Democrat Party, are the team that will overcome the fascists and theocrats that have usurped control of our country, and we will choose the best ‘quarterback’ to lead us; we do not need, nor do we want another oligarch, be it a king or a queen; regardless of political persuasion.

  • Salo

    What will happen with McCain i that he will begin to morph into Churchill and the media will abet the process.

    McCain’s bio is very similar to that of Winston Churchill. POW, Cavarly Officer, illustrious military family, Maverick reputation (Churchill was detested by the Tory elite) and a very Hawkish philosophy that brooks no thought of defeat.

    All McCain needs to do is hire Noonan to Hope Monger about victory in Iraq and he’ll probably pull off an upet win over Obama.

    I now invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of the steps taken and declare its confidence in the new government.

    The resolution:

    “That this House welcomes the formation of a government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion.”

    To form an administration of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary phase of one of the greatest battles in history. We are in action at many other points-in Norway and in Holland-and we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. The air battle is continuing, and many preparations have to be made here at home.

    In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.

    I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

    You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

    You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs – Victory in spite of all terrors – Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

    Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal.

    I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.”

    Winston Churchill – May 13, 1940

    Note how Churchill used Optimism and Hope in the darkest moment of European and World History?

    McCain can easily do the same thing if he uses someone clever like Noonan. If McCain avoids specifics and is as vague as Churchill was, he’ll clean Obama’s clock.

    Alter a few nouns and and switch the nations out and McCain can actually sell a very very good case for fighting it out for another four years in Iraq.

    • Mr.Murder

      McCain as Churchill, who himself got mired in quagmire trying to colonise Iraq.

      A political pundit actually made a Churchill analogy to McCain in the recent cycle, and it went overlooked for the most part. The short term memory of the MSM serves itself well.

      RIP-Steve Gillard, whose online writing always compared this point. Gilly was one of the few who had a complete grasp of the historical perspective that occupation entailed within Iraq.
      Myself, I was reading from Richard Halliburton’s diary at the time, and looking at the pictures of him standing atop Mesopotamian ruins, smiling in the sunlight, with brick laid base reliefs on buildings of Babylon.

      Churchill tried to establish the Iraqi foothold in the shadow of the Ottoman empire following its collapse in the wake of WWI. BP established oil concessions around Tikrit, somehwat east and west of there, with oil wells, and a connection with the trans Turkish railroad, as a key supply point.

      One of the wells there was so rich that at 50 feet depth it formed two lakes of oil, and still made as many barrels full as they could get to load in a day. The oil there was so in abundance it would seep to ground level in ponds and marshes.

      So now we are there again, establishing footholds for BP and Exxon north, south, east , west and southwest, somewhat, of Tikrit.

      Only Richard Halliburton isn’t flying a RAF fighter bomber biplane around, showing Iraq’s first King Faisal the topography for where oil would best be found.

      • Salo

        The Tory party never really went away and their agenda was absorbed by American policy makers.

        Iraq policy has been contant (remarkably so) since the discovery of Crude Oil there.

        Bomb, strafe, occupy, withdraw, set up puppet bomb strafe, occupy withdraw set up puppet.

        It won’t be changed a President, only continued.

      • CK

        With PROFUSE apologies that this link goes through the Grand Orange, here is a link to all 37 of Steve’s writing on colonialism.
        It should have been made into a book but death intervened.
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/3/143541/2578

        And here is a link to another fine reporter on war and its purveyors.
        http://www.exile.ru/articles/list.php?IBLOCK_ID=35&SECTION_ID=156
        Gary Brecher the war nerd.

    • simon

      Note how Churchill used Optimism and Hope in the darkest moment of European and World History?

      You’re right, the problem, though, is the Republicans actually believe this stuff, unable to truly identify the cause of a problem, the lifesaver of denial keeping them afloat for one more day.

      But you can’t win a war on brutal denial, especially a coward denying what he fears most.

      Iraq,and the Middle East are NOT recreating the dynamic of world war two, the motivations are different.

      So how can you even begin to approach a problem, when the people in charge of identifying and solving said problem are intellectual cripples, fearful of academic innovation, brilliance or risk, fearful of themselves, their own truths, and actual, blood spilling terrorists?

      Right, you bomb Iran, and then you torture.

      Look at the Kos battle, the dynamics of his “community,” and you have a better understanding of WHY Bush and Cheney have had such problems dealing with threat.

      Koskrew is spinning round in circles, victims of their own obdurate, simplistic behavior, just like all the other Rovian disciples, a simple reactionary approach to problem solving, smug in their superiority as symptomatic of their in inherent inferiority, dependent upon technology as a security object, courage in a computer, ultimately, though, with no real idea of HOW the world around them functions, and manipulates them.

      And don’t call them effete, either.

      They’ll try to draw you into a flame war, using all the old Rove PR techniques. Play as you want, in fact, see if you can manipulate them into a specific action, ie if I call Obama gay, kos will:

      threaten to sue?
      send a googlebomb?
      call all kossacks to “troll” Larry’s site?
      whine?
      wonder about that erotic dream he had three nights ago, about himself and Obama, in the White House, and ask himself, “am I gay?,” before pushing it out of his mind, turning with a renewed burst of energy to attack Larry, and Larry’s site, kausekos don’t take no shit!

      He was in the army, doncha know, he ain’t no pussy…

      Well, you get the idea.

      If you’re really bored, you can even make bets with your co workers.

    • LuigiDaMan

      I don’t think it will be an “upset.” I think the polling will begin to change once Mr. Kumbaya is annointed. He will start to drop as people look at the race seriously. The small, zealous contingent of the Dem party that is championing Obama will suddenly be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people who will vote for “ABO” — Anybody But Obama.

      I’m not sure I can take four more years of Republican life.

      I live in Ohio and the average “Joe” might vote for Hillary (he has a mother, after all), but all hell will freeze over before he votes for someone named Hussein. Mark my words: If its Obama vs. McCain, it won’t be close. They’ll kill us.