A apologize dear readers for having been away from the dance for a while. I must admit that the long primary season wore me out and I honestly don’t think anything of lasting substance is happening right now. I will say that Senator Obama’s world tour on the good ship lollipop must scare the wits out of the GOP. Nothing better than a youthful and energetic Obama traveling around the world, being welcomed like Patton in
A mini-flap arose yesterday when the Drudge Report announced that Senator McCain’s Iraq Op-Ed reply was rejected by the New York Times. This has given the vast right-wing idiocracy an opportunity to thump their chests like the modern day cavemen that they are and scream liberal bias. Liberal bias, liberal bias; the New York Times rejected the Op-Ed because they want Obama to win (like they don’t sell a whole slew of newspapers printing Maureen Dowd’s rants against Republican hypocrisy).
Could there be any other reason? The Op-Ed editor of the New York Times, David Shipley, stated that he would like to publish a piece from McCain but the draft submitted simply did not warrant publishing. He said that he would welcome another draft in the same format as Obama’s (i.e. outlining a plan going forward and defining what victory would look like). The McCain campaign took this as a rejection not of the writing and editing of the piece, but of the Senator’s position. I decided to do a little background research. I read the two pieces so I could judge for myself if one was worthy of publishing and the other not.
It will come as no shock to anyone that Shipley is right. Obama’s piece was newsworthy. He published ahead of a major speech on
Senator McCain’s read more like a review of all the things he was right about (the surge) and all the things Obama was wrong about (everything, after reading the pieces I think Obama might have been responsible for the Lindbergh baby abduction).
Here are the problems with the McCain response:
- It is a response, not a outlining of new policy
- It is loaded with political antagonism.
- It is really badly written (couldn’t find a writer that is smarter than a fifth grader, John?
The New York Times doesn’t exist to provide Presidential candidates with a tit-for-tat forum. They are in the business of printing All the News That’s Fit to Print. The McCain Op-Ed couldn’t reach the bar for that. Pretty sad considering the fact that Britney Spears smoking in front of her children qualifies in this day and age. They must have tripped over the bar. John McCain expected the newspaper of record to publish a piece which is not at all forward looking and simply attempts to trumpet the genius of John McCain. That isn’t even worthy of the Arizona Daily Star, get a blog for that bro!
I won’t pull a FoxNews and draw conclusions for you without providing substance to back it up. Here are the two pieces so you can do your own careful analysis.
Barack Obama’s Op-Ed on
My Plan for
The differences on
In the 18 months since President Bush announced the surge, our troops have performed heroically in bringing down the level of violence. New tactics have protected the Iraqi population, and the Sunni tribes have rejected Al Qaeda — greatly weakening its effectiveness.
But the same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true. The strain on our military has grown, the situation in
The good news is that
Only by redeploying our troops can we press the Iraqis to reach comprehensive political accommodation and achieve a successful transition to Iraqis’ taking responsibility for the security and stability of their country. Instead of seizing the moment and encouraging Iraqis to step up, the Bush administration and Senator McCain are refusing to embrace this transition — despite their previous commitments to respect the will of Iraq’s sovereign government. They call any timetable for the removal of American troops “surrender,” even though we would be turning
But this is not a strategy for success — it is a strategy for staying that runs contrary to the will of the Iraqi people, the American people and the security interests of the
As I’ve said many times, we must be as careful getting out of
In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably need to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were redeployed safely, and our interests protected. We would move them from secure areas first and volatile areas later. We would pursue a diplomatic offensive with every nation in the region on behalf of
Ending the war is essential to meeting our broader strategic goals, starting in
As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in
In this campaign, there are honest differences over
It’s not going to work this time. It’s time to end this war.
John McCain’s rejected Op-Ed to the New York Times (as reported in the Drudge Report)
In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in
Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in
Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.
Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in
The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for
To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of
Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.
No one favors a permanent
But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.
Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for
The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and
I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in