Part I: Obama Versus McCain on National Security, Obama’s Position

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

Since 9/11, there has been much political talk about national security. There is much talk by the Democrats about the failings of the Bush administration and much talk from the Republicans accusing the Democrats of being soft on security issues.

Before we begin discussing the issue, we would like to make one salient point, we have had no significant terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11. We consider that, regardless of what either side claims or says, a very important statistic.

The positions on both sides are lengthy. Unlike some issues, where the two sides seem to avoid the issue entirely or only gloss over it, this issue appears to draw major attention.

Obama’s Position is the most lengthy, here it is dispersed with our comments.

“After 9/11, our calling was to devise new strategies and build new alliances, to secure our homeland and safeguard our values, and to serve a just cause abroad,” Barack said. “Just because the President misrepresents our enemies does not mean we do not have them. When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won.”

How does the President misrepresent our enemies? Would it be to affiliate with terrorist organizations like the Weather Underground?

“Obama declared that the war in Iraq and Bush’s failed foreign policy had made us less safe than we were before 9/11, and outlined a new, comprehensive strategy to fight global terrorism:

By refusing to end the war in Iraq, President Bush is giving the terrorists what they really want, and what the Congress voted to give them in 2002: a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences…

When I am President, we will wage the war that has to be won, with a comprehensive strategy with five elements: getting out of Iraq and on to the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan; developing the capabilities and partnerships we need to take out the terrorists and the world’s most deadly weapons; engaging the world to dry up support for terror and extremism; restoring our values; and securing a more resilient homeland.”

If Bush is giving terrorists what they want, why have there been no major terrorist attacks on US Soil since 9/11?

“The Senator’s plan has already drawn glowing reviews from leading foreign policy experts.”

Mind giving us one that isn’t a Democrat supporting your candidacy or one of your advisors?

Lee Hamilton, former Democratic Congressman, Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, Co-Chair of the Iraq Study Group, Member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council:

Senator Obama presented a thoughtful, substantive and comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. This is an important contribution to the national dialogue on this leading issue.

Did you expect a top Democrat to support McCain, or were you hoping we wouldn’t look it up?

Major General Scott Gration (USAF-Ret); Commander, Operation Iraqi Freedom’s Task Force West; Director Strategy Policy and Assessments, United States European Command:

Defending America will require taking the fight to the terrorists, and drying up support for terrorism and extremism worldwide. Senator Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy shows that he is committed to developing the capabilities required to defeat terrorists on the field of battle, and that he has the vision to defeat the terrorists in the battle of ideas.

Isn’t Gration one of your political advisors? Would you expect him to speak negatively of your plan acting in that position?

Samantha Power; author of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide; Founding Executive Director, Harvard University Carr Center for Human Rights Policy:

At a time when Americans are despairing over the Bush Administration’s handling of terrorism, Barack Obama has offered us a smart, tough and principled way forward. Where Bush overstretched our armed forces and sent them into an unnecessary war, Obama would heed the military’s pleas for counterinsurgency resources and beefed-up civilian capacity. Where Bush lumped US foes together, Obama would pry them apart. And where Bush threw out the rule-book, Obama would again make America a country that practices what it preaches.

A clearly liberal author? Wow, we would not expect her to support a liberal agenda.

Do you have anyone of any consequence at all that is not completely biased towards your campaign backing your strategy?

Let me also say that my thoughts and prayers are with your colleague, Haleh Esfandiari, and her family. I have made my position known to the Iranian government. It is time for Haleh to be released. It is time for Haleh to come home.

Aren’t you just following the dozens of calls for her release since her initial detention?

Thanks to the 9/11 Commission, we know that six years ago this week President Bush received a briefing with the headline: “Bin Ladin determined to strike in U.S.”

It came during what the Commission called the “summer of threat,” when the “system was blinking red” about an impending attack. But despite the briefing, many felt the danger was overseas, a threat to embassies and military installations. The extremism, the resentment, the terrorist training camps, and the killers were in the dark corners of the world, far away from the American homeland. Then, one bright and beautiful Tuesday morning, they were here.

And you were just ending your tenure with a radical group working alongside terrorists.


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