Tuesday, April 8, 2008

beware: talk of politics and war ahead...

notice: whenever i post about politics (rarely) i always tag it *hell.*

you can read the whole article, with links, about john mccain's misinformed notions on the recent 6 day battle in basra in particular, and on the iraq war in general, here. or read some frightening (to me) excerpts after the jump...

(by the way, that was fun googling for pics of wile e. coyote. i even found a silly game to play here. ahahahaha)


John McCain's public record suggests that he could well prolong the war for another century – not because he's the crazed militarist portrayed by Democrats, but through sheer inertia, bad judgment and blundering.

Too few Americans stopped to absorb the disastrous six-day battle of Basra that ended last week – a mini-Tet that belied the "success" of the surge. Even fewer noticed that the presumptive Republican nominee seemed at least as oblivious to what was going down as President Bush, who called Basra a "defining moment in the history of a free Iraq."

It was a defining moment all right. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's impulsive and ill-planned attempt to vanquish the militias in southern Iraq loyal to his Shiite rival, the cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was a failure that left Mr. al-Sadr more secure than before. The battle ended only when Mr. al-Maliki's own political minions sought a cease-fire.

Mr. McCain was just as wrong about Basra as he was in 2003, when he said the war would be "brief" and be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues. Or as he was in the 1990s, when he championed extravagant State Department funding for the war instigator Ahmad Chalabi, who'd already been branded untrustworthy by the CIA.

Mr. McCain told John King of CNN while in Baghdad last month that Mr. al-Sadr's "influence has been on the wane for a long time." When the battle ended last week, Mr. McCain said: "Apparently it was Sadr who asked for the cease-fire, declared a cease-fire. It wasn't Maliki. Very rarely do I see the winning side declare a cease-fire." At least the last of those sentences was accurate. It was indeed the losing side – Mr. al-Maliki's – that pleaded for the cease-fire.

Mr. McCain's bigger strategic picture, immutable no matter what happens on the ground, is foggier still. Like Mr. Bush, he keeps selling Iraq as the central front in the war on al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda was not even a participant in the Basra battle, which was an eruption of a Shiite-vs.-Shiite civil war. (Al-Qaeda is busy enough in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the actual central front in the war on terror.)

Mr. McCain is also fond of portraying Mr. al-Maliki's "democracy" in Iraq as an essential bulwark against Iran. But the political coalition and militia propping up Mr. al-Maliki are even closer to Iran than the Sadrists. McClatchy Newspapers reported last week that the Maliki-Sadr cease-fire was not only brokered in Iran but by a general whose name is on the Treasury Department's terrorist list.

"We're succeeding," Mr.McCain said after his last trip to Iraq. "I don't care what anybody says." Again, it's the last sentence that's accurate.

–Excerpted from a piece by New York Times columnist Frank Rich and printed in this form in the Dallas Boring News...


Annie said...

"I don't care what anybody says." Sounds hauntingly, disturbingly familiar. The man he wants to replace doesn't either.

cornbread hell said...

yeah. (sigh)

i try hard not to abuse this blog with political crap, but when i read his take on the recent basra thing i felt compelled to go on a mini rant.
having actually followed it, it does scare me that he may be the next *leader of the free world.*

i think another point well stated in the complete article is important, as well. the other candidates need to quit calling him a warmonger and just point out his misreading of international affairs.

did you know his son is in iraq? i respect sooo much. i don't think he's a bad guy at all, but presidential material? no. not so much.