Friday, August 15, 2008

McCain: Wrong on National Security

On the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington lays out some clear examples of why John McCain is dead-wrong on national security issues. In doing so, she rightly contends that "every day between now and November 4th voters should be reminded that:"
McCain has been among the most ardent supporters of the war in Iraq -- the most disastrous foreign policy decision in American history.

McCain falsely claims that, from the beginning of the war, he called on former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to resign. He should have, but he didn't.

McCain thinks it's "not too important" when American forces come home from Iraq.

McCain has repeatedly claimed that Iran was training members of al-Qaeda in Iraq, showing a fundamental misunderstanding of the key players in the war. He doesn't understand the difference between Shiites and Sunnis, and even after being corrected he still doesn't get it.

McCain falsely claimed that the surge was what led to the Anbar Awakening, even though the Sunni revolt against al-Qaeda in the province began months before Bush even announced his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

McCain falsely claimed at the end of May that American troops in Iraq were down to "pre-surge levels" (brandished as proof that the surge was "succeeding") -- even though two-thirds of the additional surge troops were still in Iraq. And, when called on his mistake, he refused to acknowledge that he was wrong.

McCain falsely claimed that the war in Iraq was "the first major conflict since 9/11" -- either forgetting about the war in Afghanistan or deeming it not major enough. This is not all that surprising, since McCain's policies on Afghanistan -- the real central front in the war on terror -- have been all over the map. Indeed, McCain first attacked Obama's policy on Afghanistan, then adopted it for himself.

McCain has a long history of paying lip service to supporting America's troops but voting against their interests. His handling of the new GI bill was the latest example of his hypocrisy: he consistently and vocally worked to defeat it, then, once it passed, tried to take credit for it.

Need more proof of why McCain is not "ready to lead"? Do you want a president who thinks there is an "Iraq/Pakistan border"? Who believes Darfur is in Somalia? And that Czechoslovakia is still a country?

McCain and his handlers believe that national security and terror will be their secret weapon come the fall -- and any day when their ability to deploy it is not undermined by the Obama campaign is a good day indeed. (Hence the celebrity distraction.)

This is why Obama needs to come out firing after his vacation. Over and over and over again. The myth of John McCain's competence on foreign policy has been allowed to take root over many years -- so it will take more than a few polite swipes destroy it.

And this is not just strategic thinking and acting on the Bush-proven tactic of going after your opponent's primary strength. It is also the essential truth of this campaign. The world cannot afford McCain in the White House. George Bush has brought us to the brink of disaster; John McCain's will undoubtedly take us over the edge.

Obama needs to make it clear to the nation that that's what this election is all about.

No comments: