Jul 15, 2008

McCain vs Obama on Iraq

The majority of Americans still believe McCain would make a better commander-in-chief than Obama, and yet listening to McCain talk about Iraq, just a few minutes after Obama's speech on the subject, is like listening to a child trying to score points of its parent. Obama was mature, nuanced, over-arching, confident in his grasp of detail, grave, impressive. McCain was kicking at shins, haggling over battlefield strategy — 'I was right about the surge where Obama was wrong,' etc. No-one, particularly Obama, ever doubted for a second that if you poured America's military resources into another country, you could suppress that country's levels of civic strife. What you would be creating, on the other hand, is a country that is wholly dependent on another for its long-term stability. That is what Obama opposes: indefinite occupation. And yet McCain continues to cast it in terms of a "war" between two nation states, any withdrawal from which would constitute "surrender". "I know how to win wars, I know how to win wars," he kept repeating. (which ones?) He's playing a dangerous and manipulative game with national pride. We are not at war with Iraq. They are technically our allies; and they are now on the point of asking us to leave. Either he is talking down to his audience (he was in a town hall), or he really believes this stuff. As with Bush, it little matters, in the end.

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