Krauthammer lays out his case for McCain

Read the whole opinion

[...]

First, I’ll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The “erratic” temperament issue, for example. As if McCain’s risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago.

McCain the “erratic” is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.

Nor will I countenance the “dirty campaign” pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed McCain supports “cutting Social Security benefits in half.” And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.

McCain’s critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What’s astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.

Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama’s most egregious association — with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed.

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who’s been cramming on these issues for the last year, who’s never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of “a world that stands as one”), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as “the tragedy of 9/11,” a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There’s just no comparison. Obama’s own running mate warned this week that Obama’s youth and inexperience will invite a crisis — indeed a crisis “generated” precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?

And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he’s been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.

The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.

Today’s economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I’m for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

Check out this classic

I was looking for this clip earlier but couldn’t find it. Hat-tip to DDR.

Obama- I think that the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated

From his interview tonight.

I guess that depends on how you define “nobody”:

Victor Davis Hanson

Michael Yon

David Petraeus

John McCain

George W. Bush

Just to toss out a few. More.

McCain Palin [video]

McCain picks Sarah Palin.

Interesting.

The best indicator of the effectiveness of the pick was the Obama Team’s first response:

OMG! We should have picked Hillary!!!!

Yeah – duh… No – actually it was this:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”

Ouch. I must have hit her them pretty close to the mark to get her them all riled up like that, huh, kid? - Solo 

Later they realized that probably seemed a little knee-jerk and issued the damage control reaction:

“We send our congratulations to Governor Sarah Palin and her family on her designation as the republican nominee for Vice President. It is yet another encouraging sign that old barriers are falling in our politics. While we obviously have differences over how best to lead this country forward Governor Palin is an admirable person and will add a compelling new voice to this campaign.”

Like I said above, interesting choice – certainly mixes things up with many pros and cons. Ed has a great rundown here. This is no doubt, one crazy election year!

Washington Post: [Afghanistan's] strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq. +Candidates on Iraq

Quite the editorial from the WaPo the other day (emphasis mine):

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki’s timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama’s. More significant, it would be “a timetable which Iraqis set” — not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki “wants some flexibility in terms of how that’s carried out.”

Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq’s rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.

[...]

Charels Krauthammer made the case about a year ago about the importance of Iraq. Yesterday, this Washington Post Editorial joins him.

Yet Mr. Obama’s account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is “the central front” for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country’s strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world’s largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama’s antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

I can’t usually stand Couric – but she deserves a great deal of credit here for actually asking the candidates tough questions about the war on terror:

Obama continues to insist that Afghanistan (the good war) is where we should be investing troops. What he doesn’t explain is why that would make any sense.
Also, for some reason he simply has ‘no idea’ what would have happened if the US had followed his advice rather than the surge. I have an idea: Iraq would have become a disastrous bloodbath – which is exactly where it was headed before the surge. In fact – this is exactly why the Iraqis are saying that “American troops are essential to maintaining the peace.” How is this such a tough hypothetical?

I have to give McCain major props here for cutting out all the ‘hypothetical’, ‘too difficult to know’ bullcrap. If you want to hear more of McCain’s statement you can check it out here. I especially appreciate this line, as Obama’s main talking point has been that McCain is basically Bush part 2 and all he wants to do is stay in Iraq:

I know those wars. I know conflicts. And I hate war. No one hates war more than the veteran who feels most plainly the loss of a veteran. And I know how to win wars.

[...]

We have succeeded in Iraq. We are winning. We will be making additional withdrawals as everybody acknowledged. We may have an advisory capacity as even Sen. Obama agrees. And we may have security arrangements that are in the interest of both countries. But the fact is victory is being achieved now. A stable society. Secure environment. Functioning government. Functioning legal system. All of the trappings of a nation where people can feel secure in their future in a free and independent nation. And that’s what we’ve succeeded in the strategy which will then mean we are winning the war and bring our troops home.

You can debate whether or not getting into Iraq was a good idea, but in my opinion – that will ultimately be determined by how we get out of Iraq. McCain thinks that victory there is possible, and that it is important not to leave until we reach that point. Obama thinks victory is impossible, and that we should get out ASAP.

We get to decide whose strategy would be best for America this fall.

NYTimes Rejects McCain’s Response to Obama’s NYTimes Op-ed

Here’s the NYSlimes reasoning:

The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.

It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.

Did Obama’s Op-ed from last week titled, My Plan for Iraq,  “define victory in Iraq?” No. But that’s because Obama does not believe any sort of victory in Iraq is ever possible and the New York Time knows it, and assumes that you know it. I guess, however, that the NYT thinks you aren’t smart enough to be able to figure out what John McCain’s plan is, or what victory in Iraq might be.

Of course, if you don’t know – it’s probably because the NYT has refused to print positive stories about Iraq, or anything that might actually show that we are making progress there – instead favoring 32 days straight of front page articles to cover what a few jackasses did in Abu Ghraib.

Here’s John McCain’s rejected NYT piece in it’s entirety:

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

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 Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

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 Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

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 Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

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 U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

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 U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

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 Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

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 Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

So since the NYT wants McCain to clearly explain what ‘victory in Iraq’ means before they’ll publish his piece –  Why didn’t the New York Times reject Obama’s letter, since Obama clearly didn’t explain why victory in Iraq was impossible?

Perhaps it’s because the NYT figures everyone agrees with Obama, and thus no explanation was necessary…

Here’s a little reminder of the NYT past high standards for op-eds: All the Astrology that’s Fit to Print

Consensus collapses: APS re-opens debate on global warming -Update: APS position unchanged

I stole that headline from HotAir

The American Physical Society, an organization representing nearly 50,000 physicists, has reversed its stance on climate change and is now proclaiming that many of its members disbelieve in human-induced global warming.  The APS is also sponsoring public debate on the validity of global warming science.  The leadership of the society had previously called the evidence for global warming “incontrovertible.” …

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity — the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause — has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling.   A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton’s paper an “expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and “extensive errors”

In an email to DailyTech, Monckton says, “I was dismayed to discover that the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports did not devote chapters to the central ‘climate sensitivity’ question, and did not explain in proper, systematic detail the methods by which they evaluated it. When I began to investigate, it seemed that the IPCC was deliberately concealing and obscuring its method.”

Ed Morrissey notes the following:

The paper points out that the warming seen on Earth during the period under question matched the warming seen on other planets in the solar system, a point repeatedly made by skeptics over the last few years.  Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, and one of Neptune’s moons experienced the same climate shift at the same time, and Monckton assigns the blame not to SUVs or belching smokestacks, but to the only energy source all have in common: the sun.  Solar activity during the past seventy years, Monckton states, exceeded what had been seen for 11,000 years, which led to the warming activity here on Earth and elsewhere in the system.

UPDATE: The AFP has not changed it’s stance – though an internal subgroup has brought up questions as to the consensus. It will be interesting to see where that goes…

 And yet, there are still people talking about ideas like a global carbon tax… Here’s a recent comment from the Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid – talking about how “coal makes us sick”:

And here’s John McCain:

Here’s Barack Obama:

But what happens if it turns out that carbon emissions have little or nothing to do with causing global warming?

For your consideration - Here is a great overview of the counter argument against the assertion that burning fossil fuels is causing global warming:

Final question: Who exactly is hurt the most by high gas prices and crappy legislation brought to us by environmentalists? The poor. Think about that. For the middle class – $4.00 gas is crappy and inconvenient, but for the poor – it’s devastating.

Obama and McCain on Iraq [audio + video]

Here are two recent speeches from John McCain and Barack Obama. The audio is from conservative commentator Dennis Prager’s radio show. Obviously, he favors McCain, but I think he presents both candidates view fairly and accurately and asks some very valid questions that need to be answered (which will not be asked by the media who, in my view, love Obama) and understood by anyone who is concerned about the situation in Iraq and national security. You, of course, can make your own judgements, but if you are interested in what conservatives think – this should be helpful. If nothing else, watch the video at the bottom.

Since I’ve gone on and on about Barack lately, why don’t we start with John McCain:

-McCain and Obama had totally opposite views of the surge.

-McCain points out that Obama laid down his Iraq policy before meeting with Petraeus, visiting Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.
-Question: Why is Obama going to Iraq, if he already knows what he is going to do?

-Obama opposed the tactics of the surge – which are the exact counter insurgency tactics we need to use in Afghanistan.

-John McCain’s was critical of Bush and supported the surge long before it was popular.

Now – Obama’s speech that his just gave before leaving for Iraq (in one big chunk – 12 minutes or so):

-Obama claims that Bush and McCain don’t have a strategy for success in Iraq, rather a strategy for staying in Iraq.

If you made it through all that, here is a little break down of some of Obama’s statements on Iraq, the surge, and other national security concerns:

In my opinion, John McCain’s plan, at least makes some sense. I don’t have a clue what Obama actually believes about national security. Do you?

Immigration Concerns Misrepresented

When communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids, when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel, when all that is happening, the system just isn’t working, and we need to change it.

Terrorized? Nursing mothers torn from their babies? These are reckless exaggerations:

Federal immigration agents were searching a house in Ohio last month when they found a young Honduran woman nursing her baby.

The woman, Saída Umanzor, is an illegal immigrant and was taken to jail to await deportation. Her 9-month-old daughter, Brittney Bejarano, who was born in the United States and is a citizen, was put in the care of social workers.

I highly doubt that she was ‘torn’ from her baby. Not to mention – how does nursing a baby suddenly elevate one above the law? If you broke into a store, would you be ‘torn from your baby’ when the cops came to arrest you and you happened to be nursing? And as far as kids coming home to no parents – this happens if you are arrested for anything, not simply because you entered the country illegally.

I can fully understand why immigrants want to come to this country to escape poverty, oppression, whatever. In fact, I think that’s a great thing. I also don’t think we should just nab illegal immigrants and ship them back to wherever they came from. However, in America we have laws and we have methods for becoming a citizen legally. Perhaps the punishment and method of enforcing these laws need to be reevaluated. But I highly doubt ICE is ‘terrorizing’ illegal immigrants. In fact, I bet what really happens is nothing like this absurd portrayal Sen. Obama is describing. If he can’t tell the difference from ‘terrorizing,’ and enforcing the law, that would seem to me like a big problem. Ed Morrissey elaberates:

“The ICE raids workplaces when they have probable cause to suspect an employer of hiring illegal aliens. They arrest workers who have false IDs and/or cannot prove their identification. The ICE takes pains to find children who have been in school when these raids occur and no other guardian can be found…”

Overstating the immigration issue is an equal party offender, by the way. John McCain constantly whips out the following ‘God’s children’ argument:

also:

I know many of you are Democrats, and many of you would usually vote for the presidential candidate of that party. I know I must work hard to win your votes, but you have always given me a respectful hearing, and I appreciate it. I know many of you were disappointed and hurt by those who used the debate on immigration last year, not to respectfully debate the issue, as most did, but to denigrate the contributions of Hispanics to our great country. I denounced those insults then, and I denounce them today.

This, also is ludicrous. When you are talking about illegal immigration, who’s claiming that they aren’t ‘God’s children’? Who’s denigrating the contribution of Hispanics? These are complete non-sequiturs. Both candidates are painting this issue as if the American public degrade Hispanics to somehow less than human. What a total load of bull-crap.

Most Americans have raised legitimate concerns about securing our borders, laws being enforced, having a common language, and making sure that immigrants to this nation actually desire to become American citizens (as opposed to simply, living in America). It’s irresponsible to cast these concerns as somehow bigoted and anti-latino. How are we, ‘denigrating the contribution of Hispanics,’ by showing concern about these issues?

The immigration debate is an important one that people feel strongly about. Perhaps we do need to rethink our immigration policies and procedures. But talking about them in ridiculous emotional overstatements, and claiming border patrol agents are ‘terrorizing’ people, does absolutely nothing to help people understand what really needs to be done.

And for the last time: Being Anti-Illegal Immigration is not the same as being Anti-Immigrant. I welcome people to this country – but they need to enter in a legal fashion. That’s doesn’t seem like a ridiculous request.

Socialism FAIL: Demanding More of Something You Think Sucks

In general I would be willing to bet that in one way or another, most people feel that the American government is broken and/or failing in many ways. Try topics such as: Energy Independence, Border Security, Education, Welfare Reform, Social Security, etc… 

So here’s the ten million dollar question: Why do we want more government? Why do we think that giving more money to government and expanding or creating huge new government bureaucracies would fix these problems? 

If we are are upset with the direction that Social Security is heading, how can we possibly think that the government could handle the massive and vastly complicated healthcare and oil industries? 

Consider the following audio:

And this isn’t something necessarily exclusive to Barack Obama. President Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy is a classic example of a crappy one-size-fits-all big government fail. Many of McCain’s ideas (especially concerning environmental issues) are also thinly veiled ‘government solutions’. What evidence do we have that positively support big government solutions?

The government is supposed to serve the people. In what other instance would we think more money would fix crappy service?

Situation one – You go to a restaurant and you get terrible service: the waiter is rude, they don’t bring you what you ordered, and then an hour later when they do it’s cold and soggy – is it logical to leave a huge tip and decide to come back to that restaurant more often?

Situation two -You take your car in to be serviced and it takes twice as long for them to fix it as they first quoted you, and they charged you twice the price even though they don’t really fix the problem – Should you agree to pay twice your promised price? Should you return to that business with a larger problem or recommend it to friends?!?

With government programs, it’s an even more absurd situation. Once a government program is in place YOU ARE FORCED TO PAY THEM more money through taxation for FAIL-tacular service.  That crappy restaurant you went to…oh well, the community has decided that that’s where you are going to eat and spend your money. Those jerks that screwed your car over…too bad, the votes are in and that’s where the collective has decided you will be required to take your car…

Don’t be fooled – big government solutions are what Socialism is all about. The government takes a huge amount of your hard earned money so the elected few can decide how and were to waste it. (Note who has the deciding power there.) Whose judgement on how to spend your own money would you prefer: Yours, or Washington’s? Would you rather take money from your own wallet and choose how to spend it – or be forced to pay into the collective and let the community vote how you should spend it? The latter is exactly what you will get with Socialism.

Also, in my opinion, it is important to remember that just because you are fed up with the current government, this does not mean anything new would be better. I find this to be the huge problem with Sen. Obama’s campaign on ‘change’. Again, what change? Is increasing taxes so we can throw more money into the morass of government bureaucracy a good change from the current government? Is that really a change at all?

To me, this is a major concern in this years election. Which candidate is promoting the most government based solutions (aka: Socialism or Epic FAIL) to problems? That candidate will be receiving a fatty ‘No Thank You!‘ from wtc. Hopefully the other candidate will be open to criticism if they propose similar crappy big government solutions.

 

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