Part II: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’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

A Strong Military in a Dangerous World

In a dangerous world, protecting America’s national security requires a strong military. Today, America has the most capable, best-trained and best-led military force in the world. But much needs to be done to maintain our military leadership, retain our technological advantage, and ensure that America has a modern, agile military force able to meet the diverse security challenges of the 21st century.

While we agree Senator, how many more billions do you think we have to spend on the military and Iraq? Have you thought about asking the Iraqi’s for financial assistance, cuz we are broke guy.

John McCain is committed to ensuring that the men and women of our military remain the best, most capable fighting force on Earth – and that our nation honors its promises to them for their service.

We hope you have a bigger wallet than we do Senator. Darn it, wished I married a beer magnate’s daughter. Great tasting and less filling. Whoops, wrong beer, sorry.

The global war on terrorism, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threats from rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and the rise of potential strategic competitors like China and Russia mean that America requires a larger and more capable military to protect our country’s vital interests and deter challenges to our security. America confronts a range of serious security challenges: Protecting our homeland in an age of global terrorism and Islamist extremism; working with friends and partners overseas, from Africa to Southeast Asia, to help them combat terrorism and violent insurgencies in their own countries; defending against missile and nuclear attack; maintaining the credibility of our defense commitments to our allies; and waging difficult counterinsurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This is clearly talking the talk, and you do have a background in the military, so certainly we can respect your opinion on the matter much more than that of Obama. But these are all things we know and we are going broke defending ourselves.

John McCain understands national security and the threats facing our nation. He recognizes the dangers posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, violent Islamist extremists and their terrorist tactics, and the ever present threat of regional conflict that can spill into broader wars that endanger allies and destabilize areas of the world vital to American security. He knows that to protect our homeland, our interests, and our values – and to keep the peace – America must have the best-manned, best-equipped, and best-supported military in the world.

We agree to a degree Senator, but the primary reason we need the strongest military in the world is because our national interests are way too dispersed because we don’t use our own resources. We can’t go to war with the entire world every single time our national interest is threatened. We have to make it our national interest to not have to.

John McCain has been a tireless advocate of our military and ensuring that our forces are properly postured, funded, and ready to meet the nation’s obligations both at home and abroad. He has fought to modernize our forces, to ensure that America maintains and expands its technological edge against any potential adversary, and to see that our forces are capable and ready to undertake the variety of missions necessary to meet national security objectives.

As President, John McCain will strengthen the military, shore up our alliances, and ensure that the nation is capable of protecting the homeland, deterring potential military challenges, responding to any crisis that endangers American security, and prevailing in any conflict we are forced to fight.

This sounds like spending John. Big spending. If you are worried about the spending by Obama, we wouldn’t be talking about a military expansion.

Fighting Against Violent Islamic Extremists and Terrorist Tactics

The attacks on September 11th represented more than a failure of intelligence. The tragedy highlighted a failure of national policy to respond to the development of a global terror network hostile to the American people and our values. The 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing of the USS COLE indicated a growing global terrorist threat before the attacks on New York and Washington. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war against the United States hit home with unmistakable clarity.

America faces a dedicated, focused, and intelligent foe in the war on terrorism. This enemy will probe to find America’s weaknesses and strike against them. The United States cannot afford to be complacent about the threat, naive about terrorist intentions, unrealistic about their capabilities, or ignorant to our national vulnerabilities.

In the aftermath of 9/11 John McCain fought for the creation of an independent 9/11 Commission to identify how to best address the terrorist threat and decrease our domestic vulnerability. He fought for the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the creation of the U.S. Northern Command with the specific responsibility of protecting the U.S. homeland.

We are figuring this worked Senator along with other policies because we have not had a terrorist attack on US soil since. We think you should bring that up clearly in the debate, although we are thinking you may not want to because it might be seen as taunting the terrorists.

We admire your experience in this area and endorse a continuation of a plan that appears to be working.

As President, John McCain will ensure that America has the quality intelligence necessary to uncover plots before they take root, the resources to protect critical infrastructure and our borders against attack, and the capability to respond and recover from a terrorist incident swiftly.

He will ensure that the war against terrorists is fought intelligently, with patience and resolve, using all instruments of national power. Moreover, he will lead this fight with the understanding that to impinge on the rights of our own citizens or restrict the freedoms for which our nation stands would be to give terrorists the victory they seek.

But how do you address Guantanamo and what do you want to do with captured terrorists? Our legal system isn’t going to address terrorism. It will just make lawyers defending them rich.

John McCain believes that just as America must be prepared to meet and prevail against any adversary on the field of battle, we must engage and prevail against them on the battleground of ideas. In so doing, we can and must deprive terrorists of the converts they seek and counter their teaching of the doctrine of hatred and despair.

As President, John McCain will take it as his most sacred responsibility to keep America free, safe, and strong – an abiding beacon of freedom and hope to the world.

The battleground of ideas is getting pretty sparse right about now. We would like to see a few.

Effective Missile Defense

John McCain strongly supports the development and deployment of theater and national missile defenses. Effective missile defenses are critical to protect America from rogue regimes like North Korea that possess the capability to target America with intercontinental ballistic missiles, from outlaw states like Iran that threaten American forces and American allies with ballistic missiles, and to hedge against potential threats from possible strategic competitors like Russia and China. Effective missile defenses are also necessary to allow American military forces to operate overseas without being deterred by the threat of missile attack from a regional adversary.

We don’t think Russia and China will be nuking us any time soon. Korea maybe, but we think we have enough deterrents against them, considering several of our missiles could blow away their entire population.

John McCain is committed to deploying effective missile defenses to reduce the possibility of strategic blackmail by rogue regimes and to secure our homeland from the very real prospect of missile attack by present or future adversaries. America should never again have to live in the shadow of missile and nuclear attack. As President, John McCain will not trust in the “balance of terror” to protect America, but will work to deploy effective missile defenses to safeguard our people and our homeland.

With all due respect Senator. We have enough missiles.

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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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Obama Versus McCain: The Iraq War. Obama Told You So

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

So many people in our lives say, after the fact, “I told you so”.  Does it ever help your current situation or make you feel better?  Or does it just make you feel bad about yourself and wish what had gone before never happened?  More importantly, did it ever make what had gone before any different?  We will leave you to deal with these rhetorical questions.

Obama’s approach on this issue is to use exactly that tactic, “I told you so”.  To tell not only McCain, but all citizens, Republicans and Democrats (including Biden) that believed in the war at the time that he (Obama) voted against it.

But the fact is, it doesn’t matter what our decisions were 7 years ago.  9/11 happened, we reacted, it’s over, we are there.  We believe the candidate that should be favored with respect to this issue is the one most prepared to deal with it in the “now” not yesterday.

Vietnam and Korea were American disasters because we did not have the conviction to attack and destroy an enemy that was vastly inferior.  Iraq was not the case.  The US wiped out the Iraqi Army in weeks with almost no casualties.  And we proved something in the process.  That wiping out a nation’s leadership leaves us, by the nature of our government, responsible for that nation.  As Colin Powell put it, “if you break it, you own it“.  And after billions and billions of US dollars spent, indeed we do.

But what do our politicians really want to do now, in 2008?  It seems Obama wants to bail and leave it up to Iraq to solve its own problems.  It seems as though John is saying stay the course, but there is little indication there is a plan as to when it will be over.  With McCain it seems like we could just police Iraq forever.  With Obama, we see some light at the end of the tunnel, but that light might be a bus headed right for us as we emerge.

This is a lose-lose for both sides.  The Iraq war was entered into not as the Democrats would currently have you think.  It was not based on a lie.  It was based on 9/11, an attack on us by radical Muslims and the belief that Iraq was the most rogue of the Muslim nations and had to be held accountable for harboring weapons of mass destruction and for supporting terrorism.  No one now seems to recall, but Saddam was doing his best to avoid UN Inspections and did indeed appear to be hiding military secrets.  Fact is, he just turned out to be a deluded lunatic that lived in a hollowed out tunnel after the war babbling to himself.

Now, what we realize is that even if Saddam Hussein was as dire and evil as he was depicted, the result of deposing him was an unstable Iraq.  Imagine an America where US troops had to circle the streets daily to maintain order.  Imagine what would happen if a nation stepped into our world and destroyed our government, regardless of whether it was led by Republicans or Democrats, introducing total anarchy.  Would you want that government to stay and help restore order or would you want them to get out so you could?  Sounds like the latter is the answer, but the only thing protecting you from the criminal elements is the very occupation force you despise.  So, as Colin Powell presciently pronounced, once you depose the government, you become the government.

One interesting cause of war is what it does to a President’s approval rating.  People think this is unique to Bush, and he is the worst President ever, but facts prove otherwise.

Bush’s approval rating is an abysmal 31%, but from CNN polling director Keating Holland we find… “Bush’s approval rating five years ago, at the start of the Iraq war, was 71 percent, and that 40-point drop is almost identical to the drop President Lyndon Johnson faced during the Vietnam War,”.

“Johnson’s approval rating was 74 percent just before Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in 1964, which effectively authorized the Vietnam War. Four years later, his approval was down to 35 percent, a 39-point drop that is statistically identical to what Bush has faced so far over the length of the Iraq war,”.

America wants a fast victory, and war just doesn’t work that way, especially not occupations.  The estimates at the time of the start of the war were that it would take 5 years or more to resolve things, but it is like a car payment.  The first year, you love the car.  The second year, you start disliking the payment and by the fourth year, you want to get rid of it.

The fact is, however, Iraq has gotten much better.  A tactic called “The Surge” endorsed primarily by George Bush, against the advice of his generals and advisors, has worked.  Bush sent 5 brigades of additional man power to Iraq and the violence has been reduced dramatically.  Rumsfeld and General Casey were sent packing and Bob Gates and David Petraeus replaced them.  And regardless of what the Democrats claim and what the public believes, in this instance, Bush was right.  “The Surge” has been a huge success and that will make it very difficult for any dramatic change by a new President whether it is Obama or McCain.