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Can Iraq Sink Obama?

Could positive developments on the ground in Iraq force Barack Obama to reconsider his position on the war in Iraq? And, if so, how would such a reconsideration impact the current dynamic between Obama and John McCain?

A Saturday front page story in the New York Times, which blared "Big Gains for Iraq Security But Questions Linger," prompted the questions above and re-started a discussion among the chattering class about the potential political peril for Obama if the situation in Iraq improves significantly over the coming months.

McCain has already called out Obama for not traveling to the country in the last two years and Obama has seemingly conceded the point -- announcing he will travel to the country before the November election.

Intrigued by what a demonstrable change in conditions on the ground in Iraq might mean for the presidential campaign, The Fix put the question of the political impact of such a development to a panel of party strategists.

To a person, they argued that regardless of what happens in Iraq between now and November, Obama is likely to stick to his current position -- begin a draw down of American troops immediately and have all combat troops out of the country within 16 months -- and benefit politically from it.

Here's a sampling of what they had to say:

* Geoff Garin, pollster for Hillary Rodham Clinton: "At this stage, the down side risks for Obama are relatively minimal. The public has concluded pretty decisively that our involvement has gone on too long and has cost too much, and they want a president who will start the process of bringing our troops home. There has not been any change in voters' attitudes about the war or any improvement in Bush's approval rating on Iraq, despite media coverage of the situation in Iraq becoming more stable."

* John Weaver, former senior adviser to McCain: "In perhaps the surest sign life isn't fair, as Jack Kennedy said, the more improved the security situation in Iraq, the less attention it will receive, intensifying the spotlight on domestic economic events, thus helping the Democrats and Obama. Fair or unfair, the American people have made their determination about Iraq. That is why it is critical that McCain spend far greater time and attention offering a cogent and empathetic economic strategy."

* John Anzalone, Democratic pollster: "The reality is that over 60 percent of voters want the U.S. to start withdrawing troops and Obama is for that and McCain is against it. It is a huge contrast in this campaign and nothing is going to change public attitudes on that, including slight improvements on the ground in Iraq."

* Prominent Republican Consultant, granted anonymity: "The peril is for McCain. McCain is the security candidate. That is why he is needed. The less germane the security issue becomes, the less McCain is needed. On which other issues is McCain really needed?"

* Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way: "The relative success of the surge is actually irrelevant, because massive troop levels can't be maintained with our overstretched, small volunteer force. What Obama must say is that the improvements in Iraq give us the opportunity to draw down there to a sustainable level of around 50,000 troops. This would allow us to bolster the force in Afghanistan, which is in desperate need, and reset the army, which is on the brink of unraveling."

The situation in Iraq then, at least according to the party strategists we talked to, is a win-win for Obama.

A relative cessation of casualties in the country will remove the war as a top-of-the-mind issue for voters. An increase in violence is likely to raise questions about McCain's plans to remain in the country until it stabilizes and can govern itself.

Any one who follows politics closely understands that much can change in the run-up to a presidential election as voters begin to focus in on what really matters to them in choosing a candidate.

That said, there is scant evidence in polling to suggest that once the American people sour on a conflict overseas that anything -- including events on the ground -- will change their mind.

Way back in April 2006, we compared polling on Iraq to polling on Vietnam and concluded: "A look at past public opinion relating to extended military conflicts casts serious doubt on the Bush administration's ability to change how the war in Iraq is viewed by the average American. President Bush will likely leave office in 2008 with a majority of Americans convinced the war in Iraq was a mistake, but the bigger question is will he leave it with majorities in both houses of Congress, and, if so, how large will those margins be."

Those words are even truer today -- a trend that suggests that barring some sort of catastrophic change in Iraq, Obama will be on solid ground on the issue heading into November.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 24, 2008; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Charlie Black and the 'Terror' Card
Next: Democrats Try to Close 'God' Gap

Comments

Barry Hussein is what like to refer to as the Pied Piper. He wraps those big purple lips around his flute and plays his seductive tune while all the mindless gutter rats follow him around like he's the incarnation of the second coming. However, you know the conclusion of that little story is that all the little rodents drop off into the sea while dancing to his hypnotic tune.

Posted by: Nadeem Zakaria | June 27, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Did you see this post? What a straigthforward presentation of the threats we face.

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. "Very few people were true Nazis," he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."

We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor- kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and those who oppose them. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the "silent majority," is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people. The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered, slaughtered, and raped its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our posers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like the gentleman from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

In virtually every instance just cited, early on there were chances to stop the fanatics. German generals wanted peace and to assassinate Hitler. Britain would not support them and actually had meetings with Hitler coming away saying he was no threat. We ended up with WWII and millions killed. President Clinton was offered Osama Bin Ladden in 1996 by Sudan and he turned them down. Bin Ladden's 9/11 happened five years later.

Most people, including military personnel, think people around the world for the most part are peace-loving. But it's not them we have to worry about, is it? Silence in the face of tyrants and terrorists is just as damaging to the cause of peace as the fanatics. Demonstrating for peace is a good thing. Standing up to terrorists and fanatics before they become powerful is wisdom.

Posted by: WindyCity | June 26, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The latest Gallup poll through 6/24 has McCain and Obama tied 45 to 45. This is a sampling of likely voters that uses three times more responses than Newsweek. Polls from Newsweek, NY Times, and LA Times have been completely discredited and seldom reflect the final votes in elections. They are news organizations blatantly trying to turn the vote in favor of their candidate by discouraging other's supporters. In this case McCains. See the Gallup poll for yourself.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/108376/Gallup-Daily-Obama-McCain-Tied-45.aspx

16 points, right! If partisan news organization actually did legitimate polls they may actually regain some credibility.

Posted by: BrooklynBorn | June 26, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, I AM DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF THE USA. THAT´S WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT THE ELECTION OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AS AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT! AS A MATTER OF FACT, I CAN´T UNDERSTAND WHY THE AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC DELEGATES WANT TO BLACKMALE THE AMERICAN SOCIETY AND WANT TO JEOPARDIZE THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE ELECTION OF A JEREMIAH´S WRIGHT FELLOW.

IT IS NEVER RIGHT TO ELECT A JEREMIAH´S WRIGHT CANDIDATE. WHAT THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN REALLY MEANS TO THE WORLD? I AM SURE YOU KNOW THE ANSWER (OR AT LEAST GUESS IT)! YOU WILL SURELY FEEL SORRY AND DISAPPOINTED FOR THE INCOMING EVENTS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE USA NOW.

HOW COME WE DIDN´T REALIZE YET THAT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CAN´T BE AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT? HOW COME WE ALLOW AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVE TO BECOME AN AMERICAN ELIGIBLE AND QUALIFIED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? ARE WE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE AMERICAN FUTURE´S ROLE IN THE WORLD? ARE WE REALLY AWARE THAT THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA WOULD BE A POLITICAL DISASTER NOT ONLY FOR THE USA BUT ALSO FOR THE WORLD?

AS A MATTER OF FACT, OBAMA IS JUST DRIVEN BY THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SELFISH HIDDEN INTERESTS WHILE MISS HILLARY CLINTON AND MR. JOHN MCCAIN REMAIN AS THE ONLY RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY CANDIDATES WHO DESERVE TO REPRESENT AND TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD!

THE THREE MOST CONCERNING PROBLEMS FACED BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY NOW ARE EXACTLY THE SAME THREE MAIN ISSUES TO BE TACKLED BY THE NEXT AMERICAN PRESIDENT. HE WILL NEED TO COPE WITH THESE PROBLEMS AND TO SOLVE THEM IN THE SHORTEST TERM IN ORDER TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN POLITICAL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL GROUND IN THE WORLD! THESE PROBLEMS ARE:

1) THE NATO´S FINAL COALITION VICTORY AGAINST THE MUSLIM TERRORISM NETWORK IN THE WORLD; ISLAMIC REMAINING ENEMIES WILL HAVE TO BE KEPT UNDER SEVERE AND TOUGH CONTROL BY NATO´S MILITARY FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN, IN IRAQ AND IN THE STRATEGIC MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF CYPRUS;

2) A NEW AMERICAN IMMIGRATION POLICY IN ORDER TO STOP THE ILLEGAL REMITTANCE OF AMERICAN GOODS AND MONEY ABROAD PERFORMED AS AN OUTRAGEOUS ABUSE BY LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS, IN ORDER TO PUNISH AND TO BANISH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND IN ORDER TO PREVENT FURTHER IMMIGRANTS FROM COMING TO THE USA;
3) THE GROWTH AND EXPANSION OF THE NAFTA AS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE AMERICAN TRADE AGREEMENT. BY THE WAY, MERCOSUR REPRESENTS THE LATIN AMERICAN LEFTIST CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE MERCOSUR MEMBERS ARE UNITED WITH VENEZUELA, WITH CUBA, WITH BOLIVIA, WITH ECUADOR JUST TO CHALLENGE THE AMERICAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, TO THREAT THE AMERICAN COMMERCIAL INTERESTS AND TO REPLACE THE NAFTA BY MERCOSUR AS IF MERCOSUR COULD BE RECOGNIZED AS AN AMERICAN RELIABLE, QUALIFIED AND LEGITIMATE TRADE AGREEMENT! THAT´S WHY CASTRO, CHÁVEZ, MORALES, CORREA AND LULA WILL REMAIN ARROGANT, DEFIANT AND REVENGEFUL AGAINST THE AMERICAN LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD. THAT´S WHY THE POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL KEY TO WIN THIS COMMERCIAL BATTLE IN AMERICA IS THE NAFTA´S GROWTH AND EXPANSION THROUGH AN AMERICAN / MEXICAN TOUGH, SEVERE AND DEMANDING POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE AGAINST MERCOSUR´S CONSPIRACY.
THE NAFTA HAS TO BE A STRONG AND POWERFUL COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE IN ORDER TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN COMMERCIAL INTERESTS AT THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (W.T.O.)!
DEAR PRESIDENT, I MAKE A STRONG APPEAL FOR EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN; AS FAR AS WE ALREADY KNOW WE ALL NEED TO GET RID OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, TO GET FREE FROM LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS AND TO GET AWAY WITH OBAMA!

PLEASE, LET´S JOIN THE SAME COMMON EFFORT ON KEEPING THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE RIGHT FAST TRACK NOW! WE NEED TO FIGHT TOGETHER IN ORDER TO REMAIN UNITED ON STANDING UP FOR THE AMERICAN LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD! OTHERWISE IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO REACT AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL BE TROUBLED BY AN UNBEARABLE GOVERNMENT FROM NOW ON!

DOES BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA STAND FOR CHANGE? YES, SURE BUT CHANGE FOR WORSE!!! AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE AMERICAN ELECTION PROCESS IS NOT LEGITIMATE BECAUSE THE CANDIDATE OBAMA IS NOT EITHER QUALIFIED OR ELIGIBLE TO BECOME AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT! WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO CHANGE IS THE AMERICAN ELECTION PROCESS THAT ALLOWS SOMEONE LIKE HIM TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NATION IN THE WORLD.

Posted by: Francesco | June 26, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT, I AM DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT THE POLITICAL FUTURE OF THE USA. THAT´S WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACCEPT THE ELECTION OF BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA AS AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT! AS A MATTER OF FACT, I CAN´T UNDERSTAND WHY THE AMERICAN DEMOCRATIC DELEGATES WANT TO BLACKMALE THE AMERICAN SOCIETY AND WANT TO JEOPARDIZE THE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY THROUGH THE ELECTION OF A JEREMIAH´S WRIGHT FELLOW.

IT IS NEVER RIGHT TO ELECT A JEREMIAH´S WRIGHT CANDIDATE. WHAT THE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN REALLY MEANS TO THE WORLD? I AM SURE YOU KNOW THE ANSWER (OR AT LEAST GUESS IT)! YOU WILL SURELY FEEL SORRY AND DISAPPOINTED FOR THE INCOMING EVENTS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE USA NOW.

HOW COME WE DIDN´T REALIZE YET THAT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CAN´T BE AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT? HOW COME WE ALLOW AN AFRICAN AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVE TO BECOME AN AMERICAN ELIGIBLE AND QUALIFIED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? ARE WE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE AMERICAN FUTURE´S ROLE IN THE WORLD? ARE WE REALLY AWARE THAT THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA WOULD BE A POLITICAL DISASTER NOT ONLY FOR THE USA BUT ALSO FOR THE WORLD?

AS A MATTER OF FACT, OBAMA IS JUST DRIVEN BY THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SELFISH HIDDEN INTERESTS WHILE MISS HILLARY CLINTON AND MR. JOHN MCCAIN REMAIN AS THE ONLY RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY CANDIDATES WHO DESERVE TO REPRESENT AND TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD!

THE THREE MOST CONCERNING PROBLEMS FACED BY THE AMERICAN SOCIETY NOW ARE EXACTLY THE SAME THREE MAIN ISSUES TO BE TACKLED BY THE NEXT AMERICAN PRESIDENT. HE WILL NEED TO COPE WITH THESE PROBLEMS AND TO SOLVE THEM IN THE SHORTEST TERM IN ORDER TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN POLITICAL, MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL GROUND IN THE WORLD! THESE PROBLEMS ARE:

1) THE NATO´S FINAL COALITION VICTORY AGAINST THE MUSLIM TERRORISM NETWORK IN THE WORLD; ISLAMIC REMAINING ENEMIES WILL HAVE TO BE KEPT UNDER SEVERE AND TOUGH CONTROL BY NATO´S MILITARY FORCES IN AFGHANISTAN, IN IRAQ AND IN THE STRATEGIC MEDITERRANEAN ISLAND OF CYPRUS;

2) A NEW AMERICAN IMMIGRATION POLICY IN ORDER TO STOP THE ILLEGAL REMITTANCE OF AMERICAN GOODS AND MONEY ABROAD PERFORMED AS AN OUTRAGEOUS ABUSE BY LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS, IN ORDER TO PUNISH AND TO BANISH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND IN ORDER TO PREVENT FURTHER IMMIGRANTS FROM COMING TO THE USA;
3) THE GROWTH AND EXPANSION OF THE NAFTA AS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE AMERICAN TRADE AGREEMENT. BY THE WAY, MERCOSUR REPRESENTS THE LATIN AMERICAN LEFTIST CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE MERCOSUR MEMBERS ARE UNITED WITH VENEZUELA, WITH CUBA, WITH BOLIVIA, WITH ECUADOR JUST TO CHALLENGE THE AMERICAN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP, TO THREAT THE AMERICAN COMMERCIAL INTERESTS AND TO REPLACE THE NAFTA BY MERCOSUR AS IF MERCOSUR COULD BE RECOGNIZED AS AN AMERICAN RELIABLE, QUALIFIED AND LEGITIMATE TRADE AGREEMENT! THAT´S WHY CASTRO, CHÁVEZ, MORALES, CORREA AND LULA WILL REMAIN ARROGANT, DEFIANT AND REVENGEFUL AGAINST THE AMERICAN LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD. THAT´S WHY THE POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL KEY TO WIN THIS COMMERCIAL BATTLE IN AMERICA IS THE NAFTA´S GROWTH AND EXPANSION THROUGH AN AMERICAN / MEXICAN TOUGH, SEVERE AND DEMANDING POLITICAL AND COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE AGAINST MERCOSUR´S CONSPIRACY.
THE NAFTA HAS TO BE A STRONG AND POWERFUL COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE IN ORDER TO STAND UP FOR THE AMERICAN COMMERCIAL INTERESTS AT THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (W.T.O.)!
DEAR PRESIDENT, I MAKE A STRONG APPEAL FOR EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN; AS FAR AS WE ALREADY KNOW WE ALL NEED TO GET RID OF ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, TO GET FREE FROM LATIN AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS AND TO GET AWAY WITH OBAMA!

PLEASE, LET´S JOIN THE SAME COMMON EFFORT ON KEEPING THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND THE AMERICAN ECONOMY IN THE RIGHT FAST TRACK NOW! WE NEED TO FIGHT TOGETHER IN ORDER TO REMAIN UNITED ON STANDING UP FOR THE AMERICAN LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD! OTHERWISE IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO REACT AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL BE TROUBLED BY AN UNBEARABLE GOVERNMENT FROM NOW ON!

DOES BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA STAND FOR CHANGE? YES, SURE BUT CHANGE FOR WORSE!!! AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE AMERICAN ELECTION PROCESS IS NOT LEGITIMATE BECAUSE THE CANDIDATE OBAMA IS NOT EITHER QUALIFIED OR ELIGIBLE TO BECOME AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT! WHAT REALLY NEEDS TO CHANGE IS THE AMERICAN ELECTION PROCESS THAT ALLOWS SOMEONE LIKE HIM TO BE PRESIDENT OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NATION IN THE WORLD.

Posted by: Marcello Nocito | June 26, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama said it perfectly when he questioned Gen.Petreus earlier this year, they asked for more troops a year ago for the surge, they got them-the surge "worked" as far as the military goes-but then they say we need to keep the troops there to maintain security, so which is it? you cant have it both ways, I served there in 05' and did my duty the best I could, I have seen friends over there 3 times and counting-either end this motha or engage in a draft and get these obese couch potatoes over there and finish this once and for all

Posted by: joshtheVet | June 25, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I wish something, anything, will sink him!!

Posted by: afed27 | June 25, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The latest Gallup poll through 6/24 has McCain and Obama tied 45 to 45. This is a sampling of likely voters that uses three times more responses than Newsweek. Polls from Newsweek, NY Times, and LA Times have been completely discredited and seldom reflect the final votes in elections. They are news organizations blatantly trying to turn the vote in favor of their candidate by discouraging other's supporters. In this case McCains. See the Gallup poll for yourself.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/108376/Gallup-Daily-Obama-McCain-Tied-45.aspx

16 points, right! If radical Dems like Mile55 would quit posting this partisan garbage they would may actually be able to garner some credibility.

Posted by: BrooklynBorn | June 25, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So, now Charles Black is hoping for a major terrorist attack on American soil to give John McSame's campaign a "big boost". With this comment, I've got to ask will McSame go further than Bush in doing, saying, or hoping for anything that will help him win the White House. The latest Newsweek Poll showing that Obama has opened up a 16% lead over McSame must be correct for McSame to be this desperate. Here is the quote from Fortune Magazine: "We saw how that might play out early in the campaign, when one good scare, one timely reminder of the chaos lurking in the world, probably saved McCain in New Hampshire, a state he had to win to save his candidacy - this according to McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December was an "unfortunate event," says Black. "But his knowledge and ability to talk about it reemphasized that this is the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us." As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black." See http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/20/magazines/fortune/Evolution_McCain_Whitford.fortune/index.htm or http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/23/mccain-adviser-apologizes-for-terrorism-remark/index.html

Posted by: miles55 | June 25, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Do we have to have lives being lost on U.S. soil first for us to react? Virtually every war or mass killing of civilians had a turning point when it could have been stopped. When some German generals asked Britain to support the assassination plot against Hitler, Britain refused. Britain even held talks (Obama-like?) with Hitler and declared he was not threat. Sudan offered President Clinton Osama Bin Ladden in 1996. He turned them down. In the first instance, we ended up with WWII and in the other with 9/11.

Closer to home, ask the LA police if they should have stopped the formation of gangs early on instead of treating them like boys clubs that sometimes get rowdy. Now they've grown into the equivalent of uncontrollable, and organized, domestic terrorist groups.

I don't care if the number of fanatics and terrorists is a small percentage of the middle east population. How many did it take to pull off 9/11 again? The fanatics thoughout history have never needed huge numbers of followers to succeed. Just the silence of others. A silence that doesn't support peace, but allows it to be destroyed.

Posted by: JerseyBoy | June 25, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

There is a difference between strong national security and a stupid one. Obama knows that. Lord, have you ever tried participating in Chicago politics? It's a contact sport. Don't let his "peaceful" dialog fool you. He'll know when to break some legs once he's commander in chief. Enough of shoot 'em up cowboy diplomacy--embrace your enemies--it makes it easier to stab them.

It is stupid to go into a country where their politicians feel they can just shoot American soldiers whenever they feel like it. So much for your "surge."

We should leave Iraq and put the Israelis back in charge of babysitting the region for us. They are masters of the surgical strike. Otherwise, what the hell do we give them all that aid and support for???

I invite Republikans to follow the money trail to Iraq via Blackwater, Halliburton, etc. But that would be embarassing, wouldn't it?

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | June 25, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Most of the comments here are snide, infantile and off topic. Taxes...Muslims...cut and run...white evangelicals. Give me a break. The country is tired of the joke that the Republicans have foisted on this country for the last 7 years. Time for a change and Obama is it. The rabid right minority continue to diminish themselves daily.

Posted by: M Ravini | June 25, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

It is typical for rivals to help the other retire debt after primary process because it makes for party unity towards general election.

At the same time, it is reported that if only 20% of Hillary's 18 million voters sit out or vote McCain, Obama loses in November. That is only about 4 million voters.

Sources say, Al Gore may try to become the Dem nominee when Obama may be driven out by his own scandals unleased by media. Apparently Obama's only role is to rid Hillary, then self destruct so Gore will waltz in and claim the nomination in August.

What do you think?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

It is typical for rivals to help the other retire debt after primary process because it makes for party unity towards general election.

At the same time, it is reported that if only 20% of Hillary's 18 million voters sit out or vote McCain, Obama loses in November. That is only about 4 million voters.

Sources say, Al Gore may try to become the Dem nominee when Obama may be driven out by his own scandals unleased by media. Apparently Obama's only role is to rid Hillary, then self destruct so Gore will waltz in and claim the nomination in August.

What do you think?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yikes! So even just the very thought of that Cut & Run Surrender Monkey Democrat
Loser and Pathological Liar Cocaine Snorter
Muslim Extremist No Military Experience
Phony Barack Hussein Obama as Commander in
Chief of our US Miltary and President is
the most scary nightmare that I ever had
in my entire life,as clearly Obama is NOT
Qualified To Be Commander In Chief Or The
President of the US. Vote No Obama! NOBAMA!

Posted by: Ralphinphnx | June 25, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama was wrong and McCain was right. I want to know what Obama would do or say if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilty. Will, he support the raid or his muslim brothers.

*** The above posted by "truthhurts" - evidentually "truth" is on medication and cannot feel the pain - were it truly a fact that truth hurts, he/she should be in a world of pain with that post - it is riddled with lies.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

More people have signed up to FIGHT in Iraq and RISK their lives than the number of people who have showed up for anti-war pro-cut-and-run rallies.

We all have to respect the motives of the far left who care about our soldiers.


HOWEVER, the facts are that when it comes down to it, the AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT A STRONG NATIONAL SECURITY.


Obama represents weakness, and a cut-and-run policy which will only insure that we will have to go back in later and MORE people will die in the long run.


The Surge was the correct thing to do. McCain has PROVEN that he is able leader by supporting the Surge when it was not popular to do so. Senator McCain should be elected.

.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I like your changed tone of discourse and different writing style compared from the previous ones.

The Iran War will sink Senator John McCain as a result of the crack made by Charles Black.

Posted by: peace4world | June 25, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

By "conditions improving in Iraq" do you mean that we're finally going to find out that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons when we invaded? Otherwise, good news, though welcome, hardly alters the fact that Obama has been right and McCain has been catastrophically and irresponsibly wrong about Iraq.

Posted by: aleks | June 25, 2008 8:32 AM | Report abuse

They should have listened to Obama in 2000. If they listened to Obama in 2000, we wouldn't be on the urge of a 3rd war. How much are the American tax payers going to pay now.

Posted by: Jessie | June 25, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Obama was right all along. We shouldn't have invaded Iraq. Politcal success has not been achieved in Iraq which is the purpose of the surge but the war on the ground has gotten better. The problem is We spent 12 billion dollars on a war in Iraq on the ground where the ultimate goal wasn't achieved. How did America win? Secondly, the war in Afganistan is getting worst and we don't have enough troops there to take Al Qaeda Out or capture Osama Bin Laden. So what do we do, stay in Iraq like Mccain has said? Now Israel is threatening to strike Iran. What do we do if were fighting 3 wars In the Middle East? If we would have gone after Al Qaeda and had diplomatic talks with Iran it proberly would have stopped the influence of Iran in Iraq. Also, Israel wouldn't be on the urge of striking Iraq. But we'll neve know now, would we. Its a shame that we'll never know what diplomatic talks would have prevented if exercised by the Bush Administration. Thats what happens when the Radical Right Wing greedy Oil Men Republicans are running our country. They are more interested in drilling and oil than the welfare or financial situations of its own citizens. Vote Obama.

Posted by: DANA | June 25, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

ANY WAY THE IRAQ WAR GOES IS A WIN FOR OBAMA. OBAMA ALWAYS SAID THAT WE SHOULDN'T BE IN IRAQ, WE SHOULD BE GOING AFTER OSAMA BIN LADEN AND AL QAEDA. REMEMEBER THE SURGE WAS FOR POLITICAL PROGRESS AND SUCCESS NOT THE THE SUCCESS ON THE GROUND. IF THERE IS SUCCESS ON THE GROUND THEN GOOD WE CAN LEAVE, OS THATS A WIN FOR OBAMA. IF IT GETS WORST WE CAN LEAVE IS A WIN FOR OBAMA. REASON #1 IS TROOPS ARE CONTINUING TO DIE, # 2 WERE STILL SPENDING 12 BILLION A MONTH INWHICH WE COULD SPEND TO REBUILD OUR ECONOMY. #3 WE ARE TO FAR STRETCH WITH TROOPS TO ELIMINATE AL QAEDA AND CAPTURE OR KILL OSAMA BIN LADEN. EITHER WAR OBAMA WANTS OUT BECAUSE HE BELIEVES THE WAR IN IRAQ WAS A MISTAKE AND BECAUSE OF IT ANTI AMERICAN SENTIMENTS HAVE BUILT IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND WE STILL HAVEN'T CAMPTURED BIN LADEN. NOW WERE STARTING TO SEE THAT WE ARE SHORT OF TROOPS IN AFGANISTAN AND AL QAEDA HAS REGROUPED. DURING THIS REVELATION, ISRAEL IS TRYING TO STRIKE IRAN AND START A 3RD WAR. SO YES, BUSH AND MCCAIN WAS WRONG. IT IS A STRATEGIC BLUNDER WHICH HAS LIMITED US FROM STRIKING IF ATTACK SOMEWHERE ELSE. NOW WHAT DO WE DO IF ISRAEL ATTACKS IRAN. OUR TROOPS ARE ALREADY TO FAR STRECTCH AND EVERYWHERE, AND WHAT WOULD THAT MEAN FOR OUR ECONOMY? THIS IS TOO MUCH.

Posted by: LARRY | June 25, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Can Iraq Sink Obama?

No. Should the conditions in Iraq move in a continual positive manner, than it would be advisable for the troops to be removed. Things have changed tremendously for quite a bit of situations since Obama has become the democratic nominee for the President. People home and abroad have shown significant up swings in a lot of misdoings already, since Obama has become the nominee. The world to some extent have engaged in positive attributes at a high. What I foresee for the candidates is for them to concentrate moreso on the economy and other issues, because once the troops come home, their will be a great need for jobs and living issues here at home, with the already high unemployment rates, the medical care and the likes. So their strategy needs to be focused to other concerns to combat aide for our needs at present.

Posted by: Nisey01 | June 25, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I DON'T THINK SO BECAUSE OBAMA WANTED TO GET OUT OF IRAQ BECAUSE WERE SPENDING 12 BILLION DOLLARS A MONTH IN IRAQ AND BESIDES IRAQ MAYBE BETTER ON GROUND BUT THATS NOT THE PURPOSE OF THE SURGE. THE PURPOSE OF THE SURGE WAS FOR THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT TO ARRANGE HOW THEY WERE GOING TO SPLIT THE PROCEEDS OF THEIR OIL WITH THERE TRIBAL GROUPS AND DEFEND ITS COUNTRY WITHOUT AMERICAN TROOPS POLICING THEM.
SECONDLY, OBAMA WANTED TO LEAVE IRAQ BECAUSE IT DISTRACTED US FROM THE REAL TERROIST IN AFGANISTAN WHICH IS GETTING WORST AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TROOPS IN AFGANISTAN TO TAKE OUT AL QAEDA. NOW IRAQ IS GETTING BETTER ON THE GROUND THERE GOVERNMENT HASN'T AND THE WAR IN AFGANISTAN HAS GOTTEN WORST AND WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TROOPS TO TAKE IT ON. BESIDE ISRAEL IS TRYING TO START A 3RD WAR IN IRAN. SO HOW COULD OBAMA BE WRONG. HE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. GET OUT OF IRAQ, ELIMINATE AL QAEDA, CAPTURE OSAMA BIN LADEN, AND START DIPLOMATIC TALKS WITH IRAN. IF WE WOULD HAVE DONE THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE WE WOULDN'T BE FACING UNFINISHED BUSINESS IN IRAQ, WE WOULD BE TALKING WITH IRAN AND HAVE DEFEATED AL QAEDA AND ISRAEL WOULDN'T BE ON THE URGE OF STRIKING IRAN.

Posted by: GREG | June 25, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

A German's View on Islam

> >

> > A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II,

> > owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many

> > German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our

> > attitude toward fanaticism. "Very few people were true Nazis," he

> > said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more

> > were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the

> > Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let

> > it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had

> > lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost

> > everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my

> > factories."

> >

> > We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that

> > Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of

> > Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified

> > assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff,

> > meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish

> > the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

> >

> > The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.

> > It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one

> > of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who

> > systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout

> > Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic

> > wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor- kill. It is

> > the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.

> > It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape

> > victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill

> > and to become suicide bombers.

> >

> > The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the

> > "silent majority," is cowed and extraneous.

> >

> > Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live

> > in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the

> > murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.

> >

> > China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese

> > Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

> >

> > The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a

> > warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way

> > across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the

> > systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by

> > sword, shovel, and bayonet.

> >

> > And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it

> > not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?

> >

> > History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all

> > our posers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated

> > of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their

> > silence.

> >

> > Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up,

> > because like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one

> > day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will

> > have begun.

> >

> > Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs,

> > Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and

> > many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until

> > it was too late.

> >

> > As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the

> > only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

> >

> > Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just

> > deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the

> > passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself

> > a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands,

> > world wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before

> > it's too late.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

SAY GOODBYE TO VIRGINIA (AND MISSOURI AND THE REST OF THE SOUTH) SAY GOODBYE MY BABY...

ABC NEWS:

Obama Clashes With Christian Conservative Leader
Obama Reaches Out to Evangelicals; Dobson Slams 2006 Speech on Religion
By JAKE TAPPER and JENNIFER DUCK
June 24, 2008
Barack Obama says his Christian faith will help him reach white evangelicals who traditionally vote Republican, but some religious leaders are resisting the call.

A conservative religious group criticizes Obama's 2006 comments on morality."I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused ideology," James Dobson, leader of the Christian group Focus on the Family, said Tuesday in his daily radio show.

Dobson spent much of his show picking apart a 2006 speech from Obama, D-Ill., on why liberals and conservatives need to be more tolerant about faith.

"I can't simply point to the teachings of my church, or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all," Obama said in that speech.

Related
The Note: GOP Hits on Obama May Battles 'Unforced Errors' on MessageDobson called that a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution," but Obama, in exclusive comments to ABC News on Tuesday, insisted Dobson is misrepresenting his words.

"I have no idea what he's referring to. Anybody who's read that speech will tell you that I extol the need for people with religious faith to express their views in the public square, and I don't interpret the Bible in the ways he's referring to," Obama said.


"Either he didn't read the speech or he's just trying to score political points, and either way, I don't think it's a particularly useful way to talk about these issues," Obama told ABC News.


Reaching Out, Drawing Fire
Obama is not polling any better with white evangelical Protestants now than Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., did in 2004.

Posted by: SCOTT | June 25, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

More people have signed up to FIGHT in Iraq and RISK their lives than the number of people who have showed up for anti-war pro-cut-and-run rallies.

We all have to respect the motives of the far left who care about our soldiers.

HOWEVER, the facts are that when it comes down to it, the AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT A STRONG NATIONAL SECURITY.

Obama represents weakness, and a cut-and-run policy which will only insure that we will have to go back in later and MORE people will die in the long run.

The Surge was the correct thing to do. McCain has PROVEN that he is able leader by supporting the Surge when it was not popular to do so. Senator McCain should be elected.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

More people have signed up to FIGHT in Iraq and RISK their lives than the number of people who have showed up for anti-war pro-cut-and-run rallies.

We all have to respect the motives of the far left who care about our soldiers.

HOWEVER, the facts are that when it comes down to it, the AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT A STRONG NATIONAL SECURITY.

Obama represents weakness, and a cut-and-run policy which will only insure that we will have to go back in later and MORE people will die in the long run.

The Surge was the correct thing to do. McCain has PROVEN that he is able leader by supporting the Surge when it was not popular to do so. Senator McCain should be elected.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

Inside sources say the Anglo Dutch oligarghy who controls worldwide elections plans to install corporate fascism agenda (privatization of U.S. government for big $$$) and the following orchestrated scenarios may occur between now and November's elections....

Scenario I
1. Obama gets rid of Hillary
2. Obama is rid of via his own scandals
3. Al Gore is installed as Dem nominee
4. Billionaire Bloomberg is installed as GOP VP

Scenario II
1. Both DNC and GOP parties are destroyed and Bloomberg emerges as Independent candidate as knight on white horse take advantage of country's disgust with Scenario I's orchestrated political upheaval, confusion and chaos.

Scenario III
1. Bush/Cheney orchestrates Iran war and cancels November's elections and install martial law and dictatorship. They don't leave office.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Sources say, Obama campaign confirms Al Gore has been designated as the ``heavy-weight'' to handle the thorny relations with both DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Senator Hillary Clinton. The sources confirm that a virtual state of war exists between the Obama campaign and Howard Dean, over the DNC chairman's savaging of the party's finances, and his jealous attempts to hold onto power, in the face of Obama campaign demands that the main DNC functions be relocated to Obama headquarters in Chicago. There are also reports that a true ``falling out'' is unfolding between DNC Chairman Dean and billionaire George Soros.

Sources also confirm that the general oligarghy's plan is to have Al Gore become the Dem nominee at August convention. The oligarghy simply used Obama to stop Hillary Clinton from winning the Democratic Presidential nomination, and once that has been accomplished, they intend to throw Obama overboard, through any one of the many scandals they have set to unleash, through such British media operatives as Rupert Murdoch. The very same ``Beaverbrook'' press apparatus that built Obama up, to unseat Hillary Clinton, is prepared to bring him down. The problem for oligarghy remains, however, that Hillary Clinton is not altogether out of the race, as her legions of loyal supporters have shown, by their efforts to force an open convention in Denver. Were Obama to be brought down, Hillary Clinton would remain the only legitimate alternative--in the eyes of the vast majority of Democratic and independent voters. It is no secret, in Democratic Party inner circles, that Al Gore is positioning himself to step into the vacuum, if Obama is forced out before the late August convention in Denver. Gore is the oligarghy's ``ace in the hole,'' to assure that Hillary Clinton, with her 18 million backers, is blocked from the nomination.

While some of Senator Obama's leading campaign operatives understand that they are now in a battle with Howard Dean, there is no indication, as of yet, that they understand the threat posed by oligarchy's asset Al Gore. A 900 pound fox has just been given the keys to the Obama hen-house.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Iraq can only sink McCain, unless damaging evidence is offered that Iran or Al Qaeda in Iraq is trying to take over the Iraqi government.

Obama was opposed to the Iraq War in the beginning and has been a strong proponent for articulating an exit strategy from Iraq. Nearly 2/3rds of Americans want out of Iraq.

John McCain, the military and media seems to be so enamored with the idea that the surge alone has lowered violence in Iraq. As far the media reports show, the Sadr army and other sunni/shia factions are still armed. Al Qaeda in Iraq is on the "run" because many of Iraqi sheiks and feudal leaders are now on the US military payroll.

What happens with the US and Iran relationship in the next two to four months, especially concerning uranium enrichment? As the Bush administration leans heavily towards military intervention in Iran, the Sadr Army and other Shia clerics will get more anti-American and violent towards US forces and any Iraqi supporting forces.

If things are truly getting better in Iraq, then no excuse for sustaining large levels of US troops in Iraq can be articulated. Therefore, McCain's strong national defense creditials mean less and less.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | June 24, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Barry can torpedo John any time he wants over the Iraq fiasco. All he has to do is reveal just how much money in bribes it has cost to buy quiet in Iraq for the last 15 months.

Posted by: ceflynline@msn.com | June 24, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama was wrong and McCain was right. I want to know what Obama would do or say if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilty. Will, he support the raid or his muslim brothers.

Posted by: Truthhurts | June 24, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

In a very narrow sense McCain was correct about the surge. It is something Obama has to deal with. No opponent is without some positives. As your experts pointed out though: Iraq can either improve and become less important or it can deteriorate and chip away at McCain's one positive point. However, there are more foreign policy threats than Iraq. Obama wins by expanding the scope of the foreign policy debate.

Team Obama should be far more concerned with McCain's offshore drilling stand. Not because offshore drilling is the winning issue this fall, but because it starts to restore the shine on why people like McCain: he speaks the unpleasant truth to power. Whether or not the individual voter supports offshore drilling or not, in worrying economic times McCain is out front saying we need to make some hard decisions. Meanwhile Obama says, it won't make that much difference, it will take too long, you're destroying the environment. But not once does he say what he'll do for the economy. All I hear from him is the same old Democratic energy platform. The platform that is always 20 years away from the glorious clean power future (kinda like the cure for cancer.) After years of brown-nosing the President's policies, I'm hearing the old McCain again. The one I liked. Meanwhile it seems to me Obama is going into his shell, trying to run out the clock. Or as I prefer to call it, McCain's only real hope.

If Obama doesn't like offshore drilling, he may want to make a visit to the Canadian oil sands, or support coal to diesel plants or support nuclear power. No one doubts that a Democrat is pro-green, pro-alternative energy, but with $4/gal gas he may want to advocate a two-pronged approach to energy policy. If he is serious about those Clinton voters everyone is wringing their hands about that is.

Posted by: muD | June 24, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

This whole Iraq thing is so simple. Who gives a damn if we win, lose or draw there. This whole thing was a mistake from the beginning. When you dig yourself a hole that you can;t get out, the first thing is to stop digging.As of right now, we are still digging, deeper and deeper. First things first, let's tell those people we are going home. Secondly, let's do it ASAP and bring all our people and our equipment out of there. We have been there long enough. It will than be up to the Iraqis as to what kind of a country they want. They can have a beautiful country where all their needs are met because of the oil they have or they can have the hell hole they have today. It's up to them.

Posted by: Opa2 | June 24, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama wants to treating terrorism like a public crime. It will get far more than 3,000 innocent American men, women, and children killed.

You don't put terrorists into the American court system. We tried that with the World Trade Center bombers who had four years in court. We eventually found out in 1997 that Bin Laden was responsible for the bombing. By then we had passed on Sudan's offer in 1996 to turn him over because Clinton and Berger said we didn't have enough evidence to convict in in court. Response to terrorism has to be immediate, not a never-ending maze of court cases and procedures.

How our world would be different if the Democrats didn't want to give every terrorist his day in court. 3,000 lives lost on 9/11 would have been averted, probably even Afghanistan and Iraq.

As usual, we won't react until after the next attack, when it's too late to save innocent American lives. Then President Obama will give the terrorists their day in court. No one killed on 9/11 got to plead their case for living.

Posted by: JerseyBoy | June 24, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes Iraq could sink Obama. It could also sink McCain. It could very well sink our country.

Can you imagine the good we could have done with the 4000+ lives we lost and the $20 BILLION DOLLARS we have spent there?

Iraq could sink us all.

Posted by: Susan | June 24, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Despite republican dreams, commitment to the current Iraq strategies will lose in November.

Posted by: vcsmith | June 24, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The Fix is apparently grasping for a headline & lede that will attract hits.

With all due respect, this is not your best work.


Posted by: bsimon | June 24, 2008 4:19 PM
-------------------
Well said. You can tell we are getting into the lazy days of summer. I think Chris needs some time off to recharge.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | June 24, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The Fix is apparently grasping for a headline & lede that will attract hits.

With all due respect, this is not your best work.

Posted by: bsimon | June 24, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain can't win. To McCain and Bush, "victory" in Iraq means winning the right to stay there forever in permanent bases. What proportion of the American people want that? 15 percent?

Posted by: Bud0 | June 24, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

after wading thru all the nonsense on the fix(CC-registration and a moderator please!) i would nominate this for post of the day.

So if things improve or stay the same, the focus turns to the economy - Bad for McCain

If things get worse, the focus goes to Iraq, but negatively for the Republicans - Bad for McCain

Seems like all of the sources mentioned in the blog entry agree on this. Why is it about sinking Obama?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 24, 2008 3:39 PM

Posted by: jay spartan | June 24, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been getting some great polls lately, opening a lead in New Mexico, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire while trailing by only one in Alaska. Ful roundup: http://thecampaigndiaries.blogspot.com/2008/06/monday-polls-why-cant-every-day-have.html

Posted by: Dan | June 24, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Think about 1908, the year our anonymous coward at 3PM choose as his (or her) year of the wonderful life.

To start with, women couldn't vote, and wouldn't for another 12 years until the passage of the 20th amendment to the US Constitution. That amendment was pushed and forced on the ruling male class by determined, persistent, hard-headed women, and passed by....politicians who voted for it.

I don't know if the United States had the largest middle class in the world or not in 1908, but I do know that mills in the South still 'employed' children for labor.

It took activists and politicians to pass laws to force companies to give kids back their childhoods. And mom stayed home to raise the kids? Mom stayed home alright, and washed laundry by hand, hung it out on the line to dry, canned food, raised chickens and chopped off their heads, sewed her own clothes and worked in the fields when she had to. The iron was heated on the stove, which probably burned cobs for cooking. At least that's the way it was in the Midwest and the South. In the Mountain West it was a little tougher.

According to The Tax Foundation, Congress enacted the first income tax in 1862 to support the Civil War effort. In 1868 Congress started (again) taxing tobacco and distilled spirits, and eliminated the income tax in 1872. It was revived from 1894-1895, and in 1916 the 16th amendment to the Constitution made the income tax permanent for both individuals and corporations.

In 1908 fountain pens were beginning to catch on, the first skyscraper was built in Manhattan (47 story Singer Building), the 46th star was added to the flag (Oklahoma), and New York City made it illegal for women to smoke in public. Men, of course, could smoke wherever they wanted to.

An electric panel from that era has a 5 amp breaker. It would take three of those houses to run my hand-held circular saw. Houses that had electricity had maybe a light in each room, maybe a plug somewhere. We can barely keep up with our own electrical consumption now if we have 150 amp panels; most new houses have at least 200 amps.

In 1908 there were few paid fire departments, so the cost of supporting that public service was born mostly by volunteers, and by the people who died or were made homeless (17,000 in Chelsea, Massachusetts). There weren't many pesky fire regulations either, another savings, but not for the 173 children and two teachers killed by fire at Collingwood Elementary School in Cleveland on March 3, 1908.

And we didn't have a lot of fuel and road taxes then either, that's true. Of course, Henry Ford just rolled out the first Model T in October, and carriage maker William Durant formed General Motors that year. Dirt roads mostly; more savings in taxes because the interstate system which did cost billions wasn't begun until the 1950s.

On March 7th, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Breith announced to the city council that "Women are not physically fit to operate automobiles."

And there were saving on airline taxes and airports too. 1908 saw the first one hour plane flight (Orville Wright), the first plane fatality (Lt. Thomas Selfridge, US Army, flying with Orville Wright who was only slightly injured in the crash from 150 feet), and the first passenger flight.

If you could afford it, you could get to Europe on the Lusitania in about 4 ½ days, one of the faster of the cruise ships.

Of the 26 taxes our intrepid critic listed, 7 of them were phone taxes of one sort or the other. Now, I agree that it has gotten out of hand. But 100 years ago, in 1908, you couldn't make a cross country phone call; that would come in 1915. You couldn't call Europe; the cables wouldn't be laid until 1956. You would be able to call on a radio-telephone by 1927, but in 1908 you pretty much called locally, on a hand crank phone and talked to the operator. And that mostly in the cities. So, there probably wasn't much to tax there.

I'm sure our critic just made an inadvertent error in listing the Workman's Compensation Tax, because 1908 was actually the first year for that one.

In 1908, the golden year our critic choose for nostalgic memories, there were race riots in Springfield, Illinois, and across the U.S a total of 89 blacks were known to have been lynched. According to 'Teaching History Online, "Between 1865 and 1965 over 2400 African Americans were lynched in the United States. Even after the passing of the Civil Rights Act (1964) lynching continued in the Deep South."

Again, activists and politicians forced change where it wasn't wanted by some.

I'm tired of taxes too, tired of politicians giving lip-service to truth and lining their pockets with lobbyists' loot. But out of all that messy business, we have fire departments, somewhat better race relations, interstate highways and public services too numerous to mention.

Posted by: 1908 | June 24, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

So if things improve or stay the same, the focus turns to the economy - Bad for McCain

If things get worse, the focus goes to Iraq, but negatively for the Republicans - Bad for McCain

Seems like all of the sources mentioned in the blog entry agree on this. Why is it about sinking Obama?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 24, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

What's next - talk about race non-stop and the threat that is impending from the Repubs.

I refuse to acknowledge victory in Iraq. I demand we talk about what a victim I am.

Posted by: snObama | June 24, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Would Obama ever backtrack on his Iraq position? No way! He's a different kind of politician. If he did that, people might ask what's next, he renegs on a pledge to stay within the federal election funding system?

Oh wait...

Posted by: JD | June 24, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Yea.....Either way it looks bad for McCain. Like his old advisor said, people already made up their mind. He is not strong on really any other issue. Also, if it's going so much better, than lets start pulling out responsibly. Not stay there for a long time as he McCain says.

Posted by: The Oracle | June 24, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

bucky - indeed, it seems his judgment is quite questionable. Especially if you include his entourage of perverts and delinquents. without judgment and experience, what's left - empty promises, runaway spending and higher taxes.

Obama - the campaign about nothing.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 24, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse


Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax & lt; BR>Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registrati o n Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

And I still have to 'press 1' for English!?!?!?!?

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times!!!!! YOU can help get it there!!!!

GO AHEAD - - - BE AN AMERICAN!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 24, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

It all boils down to whether the Corporate run media will report the facts in Iraq. The whole point of the surge was to give the Iraqi government "breathing room" so they could reach the goals and benchmarks that were set to get a self sustaining government up and running. So far very few of these goals have been met. But the Corporate Media keeps saying the violence is down, but never reports on the fact that they still don't have a functioning government. So, once again, the media will play a huge part in electing another president. Hope those donuts with McCain are worth it.

Posted by: DJShay | June 24, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Everyone with even the slightest bit of intelligence knows that McCain would love o see the USA attacked again. It would give him the chance to advance the neo-con's fascist agenda.
Besides, according to the statements he made in Viet Nam, he hates the USA.

Posted by: DWayne | June 24, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is, on the seminal issue that Sen. Obama was forced to address in his 3+ years in the Senate, he was decidedly wrong. Obama wanted to declare defeat in Iraq and bring our troops home in early 2007. He opposed the surge and predicted that it would result in an utter failure. McCain, on the other hand, was its foremost proponent. As even the NYT now realizes, McCain was right and Obama was wrong. American voters will come to see that now is not the time to rescue defeat from the jaws of victory. While they are not strong supporters of the war, a majority does not favor immediate withdrawal. I eagerly await Sen. Obama's visit to the fertile crescent where he will witness undeniable progress. His refusal to reassess a situation is a concerning predictor of his actual behavior in the Oval Office. Thankfully, I believe that he will not be afforded an opportunity to stifle the fragile process in this critical region.

Posted by: buckybacker97 | June 24, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As long as our troops are on the ground and in danger in a way that overstretches our military, Obama's approach to Iraq will have popular support.

Regardless of "gains on the ground", the fact is we have bitten off more than we can chew. GHWB did Gulf War I with minimal investment of troops and complete reimbursement afterward. Sadly, W didn't pass the management course in school, so we're stuck in the same part of the world, with over 5000 dead and billions of dollars down the toilet.

It will be a challenge for McCain to make that look like a success.

I don't think Obama will have a problem with this.

-Midwest Mom
http://ilfamilypolitics.blogspot.com

Posted by: Midwest Mom | June 24, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Winning Gulf War I certainly didn't help George I win re-election in 1992, and winning WWII couldn't keep Churchill in power in 1945. Even though Churchill had been a spectacular wartime leader (unlike you-know-who), Britons knew the war was going well and would soon be over, and they were ready to move on. Churchill didn't get a 'gratitude vote.' The best thing that could happen for Barack would be a total collapse of the bad guys in Iraq and peace and prosperity bursting out all over the place.

Posted by: John Abdenour | June 24, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The dubious assumption of sustained improvement aside, this leaves no valid argument for McCain. Either the situation isn't improving despite our best efforts and we shouldn't maintain a sitting-duck army of occupation, or the situation has improved and we needn't maintain an imperialist army of occupation.

Posted by: FlownOver | June 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Can Iraq sink Obama?

Let's hope that some reality intrudes to cause that. I think the Seinfeld candidate has run his course. It's all downhill from here. But thanks for disposing of clinton for us.

Posted by: kingofzouk | June 24, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Scrivener - your dissent has been noted. The black helicopters will come for you next.

Posted by: Franconia | June 24, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The public realizes it was snookered into getting into Iraq. Consequently, it is not going to believe that things are getting appreciably better anytime soon. Republicans are reaping what they sowed.

Posted by: John Dillinger | June 24, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

OBAMA TAUGHT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
WILL HE LIVE UP TO HIS RHETORIC?

WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES STAND ON THE
RESURGENCE OF KKK-STYLE VIGILANTISM
ALL ACROSS AMERICA?


Obama now says he'll work to eliminate the telecom immunity provision when the FISA bill passed last week by the House reaches the Senate... but he also says he may end up voting for the bill anyway if his effort fails.

Obama can be forgiven for flip-flopping on public financing of presidential elections. He correctly argues that his private fund-raising is even more democratic, since it's built upon millions of small contributions from (mostly) average citizens.

But Obama can't be given a pass on his apparent equivocation on issues involving warrantless surveillance and other as yet unknown government programs that jeopardize constitutionally guaranteed rights. Obama used to tout his constitutional bona fides in his stump speech. Now, as the nomination appears to be his, he's doing the old soft shoe.


OBAMA BACKTRACKS AS THE NATION LEARNS OF
THE EVILS OF "GANG/COMMUNITY STALKING"

Obama's transformation into the great equivocator comes just as word has begun to surface of widespread, organized vigilantism in American cities, towns and counties coast to coast -- a veritable resurrection of Ku Klux Klan- like harassment, intimidation and even physical and psychological abuse of American citizens they deem undesirable, or whose political or social views do not comport with their twisted world view.

It's called "GANG STALKING" or "COMMUNITY STALKING" ... organized bands of self-righteous extremists, the evil twins of the "town watch" brigades, who are taking the law into their own hands while public officials appear to be ignorant of their law-breaking, or choose to look the other way.

These are nothing less than organized terrorists who spread false rumors, ruin reputations and careers, stalk and intimidate, commit unlawful burglaries and acts of vandalism, sabotage and worse, in a twisted, ongoing campaign to bypass the judicial system and enforce their view of what might be called a new world order.

Dozens of internet sites detail the plight of individuals and families who have been falsely and maliciously targeted by these community stalkers, whose fascist credo is summarized in four frightening words:

"Indentify, Vilify, Nullify, Destroy."

Read more here:

http://www.usenet-replayer.com/faq/alt.abuse.recovery.html

The mainstream media has yet to expose the resurrection of vigilantism in America, and to explore why authorities on all levels have failed to take action -- allowing this creeping fascism to fester and spread.

Will someone please ask mainstream journalists why they have not pursued this story? Why they have not questioned public officials about the increasing number of reports of gang/community stalking, and the extreme measures being they are employing against their "targets"?

Have John McCain and Barack Obama heard reports about gang/community stalking -- and what are they doing to ensure that the rule of law prevails over extra-legal, neo-fascist vigilantism?

Chris Cillizza and Washington Post staffers, I entreat you to research this subject and inquire of the candidates. Because gang/community stalking is nullifying the rule of law as well as the electoral process in America. And people are being destroyed.

Do it now, while there's still a chance that principled public officials and well-meaning but oblivious civil libertarians can take action to stem the abuses and restore civility and the rule of law.

Posted by: scrivener | June 24, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

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