Liberalscum Buster

November 1, 2008

Why I won’t vote for John McCain and why I believe you shouldn’t

Filed under: BARACK OBAMA, Bush, hillary clinton, John McCain, life, mideast, news, politics, war — gasdocpol @ 3:42 pm

By Lt. General (U.S. Army, Retired) Robert G. Gard, Jr., PhD, War in Context, October 26, 2008

The economy has become the priority issue for voters. But my principal reason for refusing to vote for John McCain has nothing to do with his admitted lack of knowledge of economics, although I did not realize the extent of his ignorance prior to his comments regarding the re-distribution of income. Since presidents encounter considerable constraints on their freedom to control economic programs and policies, this shortcoming is not critical.

It is, rather, the fields of foreign and national security policies, generally regarded as Senator McCain’s strengths, that in my view are his disqualifying weaknesses; and a president has considerable leeway to operate in these areas to the detriment, or benefit, of the United States.

I deeply respect John McCain’s service to our country; and I admire his bravery as a prisoner of war, described by a fellow prisoner as similar to that demonstrated by hundreds of other U.S. prisoners in North Vietnam who also obeyed the code of declining release before those captured earlier.

Unfortunately, however, Senator McCain has demonstrated clearly that he is a dedicated ideologue in the foreign/security policy area, unwilling to consider opinions or even credible evidence contrary to his preconceived notions. In addition, his temperament, marked not only by impatience but also by rude and sometimes hostile behavior, would discourage advisers from bringing to his attention views that might not be consistent with his preconceptions. A president with this combination of significant shortcomings would be a dangerous commander-in-chief, posing an unacceptable risk to the security of the nation.

Senator McCain has adopted, promoted and sustained the position of the so-called neo-conservatives and ultra-nationalists who believed that the United States should capitalize on American military superiority to spread democracy abroad. Overthrowing the Iraqi government was seen as the first step in transforming the politics of the Middle East by converting governments in the region to democracies friendly to the United States and its interests. Senator McCain reportedly has bragged in private conversations that he was the first neocon.

Since Senator McCain has made his positions on U.S. policy and military operations in Iraq a central theme in his campaign, it is useful illustratively to examine his stated views on this central national security issue.

Iraq and Related Matters

Consistent with the Project for a New American Century’s open letter to the President, Senator McCain co-sponsored the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act that changed the policy of the U.S. government from containing Iraq to overthrowing its regime. The Act also provided funds to Iraqi exile groups seeking regime change in Iraq.
In September 2000, the Project for the New American Century published a manifesto entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses. It advocated expanding democracy in seven countries in a five-year period: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. Randy Scheunemann, then a director of the Project, is Republican candidate McCain’s chief foreign/national security adviser.
Immediately following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack, well in advance of the Bush administration’s campaign to sell the American public on the invasion of Iraq, Senator McCain began a repetitive drumbeat promoting that course of action.
On the day of the 9/11 attack, during an interview with Dan Rather of CBS, he said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that there are other countries — Iraq, Iran, — who … involve themselves in state-sponsored terrorism.”
The next day, 12 September 2001, he said “It isn’t just Afghanistan; we’re talking about Syria, Iraq, Iran, … and others.” He added: “There’s a network [of states sponsoring terrorism] that is going to have to be attacked.”
Six days later, he said: “I think very obviously Iraq is the first country, but there are others – Syria, Iran, … who have continued to harbor terrorist organizations and actually assist them.”
On 20 September 2001, the Project for a New American Century sent a letter to the President, signed by Randy Scheunemann, urging expansion of the war on terrorism beyond Al Qaeda to Iraq, Iran, Syria and other countries. It stated that failure to make a determined effort remove Saddam Hussein would be “the equivalent of decisive surrender.”
On 3 October ’01, less than a month after 9/11, while speaking of military operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan on the Letterman Late Show, Senator McCain declared: “The second phase is Iraq.”
Senator McCain advanced misleading and even false assertions not only on Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction but also Iraqi ties to international terrorists, including those who committed the 9/11 attacks. On 29 October, he stated: “The evidence is very clear” that the claim made by “Curveball,” an exile discredited by U.S. intelligence, was valid: the alleged meeting of an Iraqi intelligence agent with Mohammed Atta, the leader of the 9/11 attack.
In December 2001, Senator McCain joined five other senators in signing an open letter to the White House stating: “In the interest of our own national security, Saddam Hussein must be removed from power.”
Addressing the crew of a U.S. warship on 2 January 2002, he said: “Next up, Baghdad;” the following month, he warned: “A terrorist resides in Baghdad. A day of reckoning is approaching.”
Along with Senator Joseph Lieberman, he agreed to serve as honorary co-chair of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a lobbying organization formed in 2002 by the chair of the Project for a New American Century to promote the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by military force. The president of the Committee was Randy Scheunemann.
Senator McCain actively supported Ahmad Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress exile group, who had been exposed as a charlatan not only by the CIA but also the Defense Intelligence Agency.
In voting for the use of force against Iraq, he called Saddam Hussein “a threat of the first order.” He spoke in favor of removing all members of the Baath party from the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military, decisions generally recognized as disastrous errors. Demonstrating a simplistic misunderstanding of the profound differences, he went so far as to predict that the U.S. occupation of Iraq would be remembered in much the same way as the liberation and rebuilding of Germany and Japan after World War II.
Speaking of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Senator McCain said: “There is no doubt in my mind … that we will be welcomed as liberators.” This despite dire warnings to the contrary from the National Intelligence Council and reports from the CIA, the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and even from organizations within the Department of Defense: the National Defense University and the Army War College, both having held conferences of experts on the likely results of an invasion. He had “no doubt,” because he was unwilling to give any weight to evidence that did not support his ideological commitment. He assured Wolf Blitzer during an interview on CNN: “We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting;” a flat assertion, without any reservation or qualification of probability, despite authoritative opinions of the likelihood of an insurgency.
Underscoring his ideological commitment, Senator McCain said in retrospect that even had there been no claims of Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction or of Iraqi connection to Al Qaeda, “there’s no question” that he would have voted to authorize the use of military force against Iraq.


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