McCain Thinks the War is Won

This guy is scary disconnected from reality.

August has a sharp one liner summing up McCain’s deranged view of Iraq (emphasis mine):

Meanwhile, on Earth, John McCain is now claiming that we won the war in Iraq. I know, I had no idea either, right? Especially since this victory is the type of one where the soldiers keep getting killed and don’t get to come home. I guess, like Barack Obama, I just don’t understand foreign policy at all.

We have got to keep this nut out of office.  The “confused” tag McCain is often pelted with isn’t a dig at his age, its a dig at his sanity.  And it hurts because its spot on.

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Witness Agains the War: An Introduction

We are two days away from the kickoff to the Witness Against the War walk.  450 Miles to protest the war in Iraq:

Witness Against War 2008 is a walk from Chicago to St. Paul to challenge and to nonviolently resist our country’s continuing war in and occupation of Iraq.

Our journey will begin in the City of Chicago, site of the 1968 Democratic Party convention in the midst of the Vietnam War. The walk will conclude on August 31 in St. Paul — in time for the start of the 2008 Republican Party convention in the midst of the Iraq war.

There’s more here.  The nonviolent protest will include civil disobedience.  It carries a simple message aimed at both parties: End the War.  The participants (including Helene!) will be taking part in a long and rich history of social activism for the best of causes:  Peace.

Good Reads

I’m starting a semi regular feature (ideally this will be once daily) listing interesting pieces of news and curiosity I come across.  Things that hit home, piss me off, or make really important arguments.  Thanks to Marco for the idea!

The anti-immigrant group the Minutemen and the racist CCC are formally working together now.  For an organization that has gone to lengths to protest accusations of racism, this is huge.  (Source: SPLC Hatewatch).

Kay clears up a lot of the smoke being blown around the Obama campaign (including noting that the abortion move I thought was a change was not).

This is heartbreaking.

Even the compliant Iraqis we put in power now want a timetable for withdrawal.

Jesse Helms remembered accurately.

McCain now having protestors who accurately compare him to Bush arrested.  Those ne’er-do-wells.

Its good to take time and remember the deaths of those brave enough to stand and fight.  In this case an activist journalist working in Mexico.

McCain’s short list for VP keeps getting crazier.

There is chess boxing.  It has a new world champion.  Sometimes the world is magical.

[Update:  You can find these posts here (rss feed here).]

Support Matthis Chiroux, Fight The War

Matthis Chiroux is a soldier in DC fighting back against the war.  His fight is attracting notice (AFP):

“I stand before you today with the strength and clarity and resolve to declare to the military, my government and the world that this soldier will not be deploying to Iraq,” Chiroux said in the sun-filled rotunda of a congressional building in Washington.

“My decision is based on my desire to no longer continue violating my core values to support an illegal and unconstitutional occupation… I refuse to participate in the Iraq occupation,” he said, as a dozen veterans of the five-year-old Iraq war looked on.

Minutes earlier, Chiroux had cried openly as he listened to former comrades-in-arms testify before members of Congress about the failings of the Iraq war.

The testimonies were the first before Congress by Iraq veterans who have turned against the five-year-old war.

Former army sergeant Kristofer Goldsmith told the landmark haering of “lawless murders, looting and the abuse of countless Iraqis.”

He spoke of the psychologically fragile men and women who return from Iraq to find little help or treatment offered from official circles.

Via his facebook group:

If everyone will give at least $1 it will let him continue his political work in Washington D.C for some time, please check out the group ans see the last post from Matthis, This is not charity money!
while we all do our regular business, Matthis is in d.C trying to stop the war with his very bare hands,
Please lend a hand and go to:
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_home
and send money to :
chiroux@googlemail.com.
if you want his private address

This is a slightly more direct link: Support Via Paypal.  His a voice we want heard in the halls of power.  He is a man of rare character and bravery, and it is an honor to support him.

Obama: Are We Entering Lesser of Two Evils Land?

I’m an Obama supporter.  I’m no PUMA:

I just can’t figure out why if it is soooo important for the Democrats to win that the fingerpointers don’t pick the Democrat most likely to actually win.  I mean, they still have a choice.  If they are so concerned , they can petition the party to have a fair and transparent convention and let’s see who persuades the largest number of superdelegates.    So what if the signs for the fall have already been made?  It’s just stationary.  Surely it is more important to pick the right Democrat, right?

I still think a Democrat who starts out with 50% of the general electorate against her, who refused to listen to reason on the Iraq war until it was far too late and who has exhibited essential weakness on Iran warmongering, would have been a poor choice.

So what’s my deal?

Obama recently decided to avoid public financingFine by me, although I admit, the idea of him going back on a campaign promise clearly tells me he made the promise for points, not for real.

He also seems to have increasingly bad taste in who he’s surrounding himself with:

Here are some statements by Ms. Rice in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq:

“I think he [then Secretary of State Colin Powell] has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.” (NPR, Feb. 6, 2003)

“We need to be ready for the possibility that the attack against the U.S. could come in some form against the homeland, not necessarily on the battlefield against our forces. And I think there, too, is an area where the American people need to be better prepared by our leadership. … It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It’s clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side.” (NPR, Dec. 20, 2002)

“I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses. The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics…We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions. (NPR, Nov. 11, 2002)

Of course, this sounds like Condoleezza Rice. But in fact all those quotes are from Susan Rice, Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton administration and now part of Obama’s newly formed “Senior Working Group on National Security.” The quotes are from an examination of the Working Group done by the Institute for Public Accuracy, here.

Obama also

Which leads me to the natural question.  If what he says can’t be trusted, he’s a mushy centrist at heart, and he’s hiring people with very questionable judgment, then who will we have in office in 2010?

The stakes are depressingly high this time around.  Ours is a country that arrests people wrongfully and tortures (there always seems to be a new angle on how we torture).  A country that goes to war without cause.  Our electoral system is a badly broken mockery of the principles of representation and liberty that ought to form the backbone of our daily experience as Americans.

Think about that last one for a moment.  As an American we ought to feel empowered.  Instead, be honest, we feel helpless and watched.

The leaders of the Democratic party and the candidates, all of them (even the ones who lost long ago), are smart people.  They ought to be working together even if informally to figure out how to draw a sharp line away from the failed and costly policies of the current administration.  Instead our party has been consumed by the supporters of two problematic candidates.

If we fail in November we are fucked.

If anyone over in Obama land is listening, he needs to make with the backbone.  He needs to make a cleaner break with the old politics we are so desperate to be rid of.

The decision to skip public financing is one I support: I want to win in November.  But poor decisions never occur in isolation of each other, and enough similar mistakes will create a credibility gap and fill it with the worst sorts of insinuations about motivation.

And please, go through the ranks, and dump the staff that don’t rise up to the expectations of rationality and compassion we expect from you.  There is no shortage of intelligent and caring people to draw from in the Democratic party.  You can do better.  And as a leader, if you do, we all will.

Dear Obama: Listen!

Please listen to Jamelle!  (US of Jamerica):

Obama’s little riff here basically sums up his foreign policy approach.  I actually wish he would use this language to challenge John McCain’s national security “credentials,” since it’s a pretty effective characterization.

Barack’s language is right on, and applies neatly to foreign policy.  From the difference between talking tough and needing to act out, to the wisdom of walking away and “saving it for when you need it”.  These points, especially given the state of our military and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran(Pending Cheney pressing a big red button while Congress just watches), hit home in an easily understandable way.

Hillary Voted for the War

She Voted For the War:

Consider; If the War in Iraq was currently popular with the American Public which side of the argument would Hillary Clinton be on?

They have an excellent point.