New McCain video: I don’t like war

Is this effective? accurate? helpful?

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Posted by at 05:40 | Posted in Measure 37 | 17 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Tim

    I don’t think it makes any bit of difference whatsoever. He’s obviously trying to appeal to seperate crowds by coming off “general” like his opponant. Lots of words… hardly any breadth.

    I’m voting for him though. I may not like his generalness… but he is sure better than the alternative

  • David

    I don’t care much for McCain’s Alien Policy. I think that if you have been to war in any capacity, that this commercial is effective. It is certainly better than Kerry or The Tank Killer commercial done by Dukakis.

  • davidg

    Is this the same guy who jokingly sang “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”?

    The “straight talk express” guy speaks with forked tongue.

  • Alan

    Still better than “love, love, love, love Iran” and I am willing to hug any dictator as a way of secure a better world as provided by Obama.

    • dean

      Are those really the way you see the choices? Bomb them or hug them? No shades of gray?

      • David

        yep. You eliminate VERMIN

      • Charles moss

        Dean,
        How do you talk to a NUT JOB like the head of Iran? If you do I hope you talk him to death. Charlie

        • davidg

          You talk to them the same way we are talking to the North Koreans, the Syrians, Hamas, and the way we talked to Gaddaffi.

          It’s too bad we didn’t spend more time talking to Saddam before going to war. He didn’t have the weapons of mass destruction he was accused of, and he didn’t have the Al Quida connections either. The war was a big mistake.

          Talking isn’t always productive, but it sure beats mistakenly jumping into war as happened in Iraq.

          • John in Oregon

            > *You talk to them the same way we are talking to the North Koreans, the Syrians, Hamas, and the way we talked to Gaddaffi.*

            As they say, there is talking and then there is talking.

            In the late 30’s while the United States was neutral FDR sent a telegram to Hitler offering to serve as an intermediary. For a reward Hitler, in a speech before the Reichstag, thoroughly humiliated both the United States and FDR. FDR was a very intelligent man and wasn’t fooled again.

            That may well be why, prior to December 7 1941, a family member worked as graveyard shift supervisor at Douglas Aircraft building DB7B’s. Douglas had a contract that required aircraft be kept tested, flight ready and stationed on a line. The problem was that as fast as Douglas could build the aircraft, the thieving Canadians would throw grappling hooks from their side of the line and steal them.

            FDR’s policy on talk was simple. He was willing to talk any time, any place, for the purpose of accepting the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy, and Japan.

            Then Kim Il Sung sent troops into South Korea. Truman did not pick up the phone, he sent troops.

            Shortly after his election JFK net unconditionally in a summit with Khruschev in Vienna. Later Kennedy (a man I deeply respect) said himself that the summit was likely the cause of the Cuban missile crisis.

            Later Richard Nixon met with China. BUT only after intense negotiations with a clear understanding of the conditions, what would be discussed, and what the expected agreement would be.

            Next, 1985 in Geneva, Switzerland, Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan met, BUT only after intense negotiations with a clear understanding of the conditions, what would be discussed, and what the expected agreement would be. As the old actor said, “Trust but Verify”.

            Then in the late 90’s US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held unprecedented talks without preconditions with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Il, North Korea continued its clandestine nuclear weapons program.

            At the same time the UN conducted 10 years of talks with Saddam.

            With Syria the US State department has maintained low level ongoing discussions. [I am not talking about the humiliating photo-op Congressional and Senatorial visits.]

            Current North Korea talks are structured and 6 party talks including Japan, China, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, and the United States.

            For Gaddaffi the US State department has maintained low level ongoing discussions through intermediaries. Upon the fall of Saddam, Gaddaffi surrendered his nuclear weapons program and accepted responsibility for Lockerbie.

            We do not talk to Hamas (except ex-presidents) but have maintained low level ongoing discussions through intermediaries. Hamas knows what is necessary for direct talks.

            Iran. The US does talk to Iran via low level ongoing discussions through intermediaries. The EU has point on Nuclear WMD with limited results and much frustration.

            The lessons seem to be;
            1] Unconditional talks never work.
            2] Conditional talks sometimes work.
            3] You just can’t talk to some.

            As to the other points > *He [Saddam] didn’t have the weapons of mass destruction he was accused of, and he didn’t have the Al Quida connections either.*

            1] England, France, Russia, Egypt said he did.
            2] We knew Saddam had tons of Anthrax
            3] Saddam used WMD on his own people.
            4] Saddam had significant contacts with Al Quida. [Not 911]
            Source, US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

            After Saddam fell we found;

            1] Saddam had mothballed his nuclear knowledge ready for restart.
            2] Precision explosives used for nuclear weapons.
            3] Saddam had 168 tonnes of yellowcake uranium.
            Source, Iraq survey group

            Lastly, we are finding some very interesting information in documents captured from Saddam currently unreported in the legacy media.

            > *The war was a big mistake.*

            History will be necessary to fully judge that answer. But I have to note the Iraqi people, Sunni, Shiia, and Kurd alike are rejecting Al Quida and Mahdi militia blood lust in favor of the rule of law. The first ever Arabic nation based on the rule of law!

            After experiencing extremism up close and personal then the rejection of extremism and the desire for the rule of law comes from the heart. Who would have predicted Iraqi Muslims volunteering join the Collation, to go to Pakistan to find and destroy Bin Laden?

          • dean

            John…on your 3 lessons learned:

            1) Unconditional talks never work.
            I would say you are using a very incomplete data set to draw that conclusion. “Unconditional” does not mean “unprepared.” It simply means not setting “Pre” conditions, as in, “you have to gree to X, Y or Z before we will talk to you.” Pre-conditions in the case of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran have led us where? The brink of another war.

            2) Conditional talks sometimes work.
            See above.

            3) You just can’t talk to some.
            Why? What is the fear? That we will give too much away? That they will prove to be intransigent? Neither is a reason to not engage in direct talks. we can learn from Israel on this one.

            As for re-litigating the justification for the Iraq war….bottom line is that Saddam was not a threat to America. He was at most a nuisance. This is true even if he would have had a nuclear bomb. And it is true for Iran. They are not a threat to us. They are a nuisance. And it is true for al Queda. Yes…they can kill some of us now and then. Maybe even a lot of us if God forbid they are able to buy a spare nuke from Russia or Pakistan. But they cannot bring our country down. Only we can do that to ourselves.

            The Soviet Union could have destroyed us in 1 hour notice. We negotiated with them, waited them out, pressured them economically, and eventually they collapsed from their inner contradictions. We waited China out and they became capitalists. Iran, Hamas, al Queda and the rest will do the same, only much sooner. As would have Saddam. Hastening his demise through war was a stupid mistake that has cost a lot of lives, limbs, friends, and money.

          • John in Oregon

            I am quite astonished at some of the things you said.

            > *Unconditional talks never work. I would say you are using a very incomplete data set to draw that conclusion.*

            You ought not make assumptions about what data set I might have used. Please draw upon your vastly superior data set and show one unconditional talk that produced a positive lasting outcome.

            > *You just can’t talk to some. Why? _What is the fear?_ That we will give too much away? That they will prove to be intransigent? Neither is a reason to not engage in direct talks. we can learn from Israel on this one.*

            1961 and the summit without pre-conditions should answer your question.

            At the 1987 conference assessing the Cuban Missile Crisis
            Fyodor M. Burlatsky, Speechwriter for Khrushchev;
            *”Mr. Burlatsky stressed that Khrushchev, who met Kennedy in Vienna in 1961, believed that the American President was ”very young, very intelligent, but not very strong.”* (NY Times)

            Paul Nitze, the assistant secretary of defense, said the Summit Meeting was *“just a disaster.”*

            Khrushchev’s aide, after the first day, said the American president seemed *“very inexperienced, even immature.”*

            An Unfinished Life
            Historian Robert Dallek;
            Khrushchev’s *”behavior irritated and frustrated Kennedy, since Krushchev did a good job of seeming somewhat unhinged, at turns, congenial then bellicose with the young president.”*

            Kennedy him self recognized the summit had been a total disaster.

            In an interview with James Reston (NY Times) only minutes after the summit Kennedy said the meeting had been the *“roughest thing in my life.”* He went on: *“He just beat the hell out of me. I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas we won’t get anywhere with him.”*

            The Reporter and the President
            John Stacks;
            *”In fact, the Vienna summit meeting went so badly from the American point of view that Kennedy asked for a final, private session with Khrushchev to try to salvage some mutual understanding between the two nations.”*

            So what were the results of the 1961 Summit with no pre-conditions?

            1] A little more than two months later, Khrushchev gave the go-ahead to begin erecting what would become the Berlin Wall.
            2] The following spring, Khrushchev placed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
            3] More to follow!

            Those were the immediate results, but the fall out wasn’t yet over.

            Speaking to James Reston immediately after the summit. *”Kennedy went on to say that to counter the battering by Khrushchev, which he attributed to the Soviet leader’s underestimation of Kennedy’s resolve, the United States would have to stand more firmly against the Soviets’ demands in Berlin and against the mounting Communist insurgency in _South Vietnam.”_* (John Stacks)

            Reston wrote later that he was *”speechless”* when _Kennedy mentioned Vietnam,_ since that troubled country was at that point nowhere near the heart of the Cold War conflict and, in Reston’s estimation, did not carry much weight in the superpower tug-of-war.

            Ever afterward, Kennedy’s remark to Reston was seen by historians and by Reston himself as the moment marking the beginning of America’s long slide into the tragedy of Vietnam. (John Stacks)

            JFK was well prepared for that Summit Meeting _without pre-conditions._ A summit meeting which produced the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crises, and the Vietnam war. These kinds of _”talks”_ have the ability to shape future events in _unpredictable and dangerous ways._

            John Fitzgerald Kennedy had the wisdom and character to recognize a disaster. _Can the same be said of either of the current Presidential Candidates?_

            Dean you said > *Saddam was not a threat to America. He was at most a nuisance. This is true even if he would have had a nuclear bomb. And it is true for Iran.*

            And then you said > *God forbid they are able to buy a spare nuke from Russia or Pakistan.*

            Which is it. A Gnat on the butt of an elephant or God forbid a danger?

            Back to your first comment > *Saddam was not a threat to America. He was at most a nuisance. This is true even if he would have had a nuclear bomb. And it is true for Iran.*

            I was totally amazed when I saw you had said that. Are you truly unable to think anything Saddam or Iran could do with WMD to bring down the EU, America, and even China? Not even one? I can think of several.

            You said > *[E]ventually they collapsed from their inner contradictions. We waited China out and they became capitalists. Iran, Hamas, al Queda and the rest will do the same…*

            So let me get this straight. From the 83 Marine barracks bombing, the 93 WTC bombing, the Cole, and the embassy bombings, al Queda was on the path to collapse on 9-11-01. And after 9-11 al Queda has grown stronger until;

            The New York Daily News
            Paul Cruickshank, June 8th 2008

            “But few are aware a tectonic shift has taken place beneath the headlines in the wider war on terrorism – one that could within a few years significantly lower the likelihood of terror returning to New York’s streets.

            This is because Al Qaeda has gotten itself into hot water with the one constituency that it cannot afford to alienate: its fellow jihadists.

            Over the past year, a growing number of very consequential figures in the jihadist ovement have publicly and vociferously repudiated Osama Bin Laden. And that is costing Al Qaeda the hearts and minds of many of those radical-leaning Muslims who might otherwise sympathize with the terrorists.”

            *So Dean since you think we should talk with Iran unconditionally.* You should be able to answer the following simple and basic questions.

            1] What motivates Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs of Iran?
            2] What do Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs of Iran want?
            3] What does Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs of Iran fear?

          • dean

            John…

            1) Nixon going to China. No pre-conditions and a diplomatic opening that arguably led to them becoming a capitalist society.

            2) What did lack of “pre-conditions” have to do with Kennedy’s failings in 1961? Maybe lack of preparation. Maybe naivete. But “pre-conditions?” As in they have to agree to something of substance before we even meet to discuss what to agree on? That is simply negotiating to negotiate, and is a waste of time.

            3) Al Queda had nothing to do with the Marine barracks bombing. Al Queda did not exist in 1983. That was Hezbollah, a Shia organization that had and has nothing in common with al Queda even today. You are making the same mistake McCain makes by mixing up our enemies and thinking they all work in concert.

            Yes…Iran, Hamas and al Queda will eventually collapse due to their own internal contradictions. Medieval minds cannot prevail in a modern world. To the extent they gain authority (Iran and Hamas) they are unable to deliver the goods to their people and can only maintain power through isolation and intimidation. That holds the fort for a while, but they fall behind everyone else and atrophy.

            Yes…as media stories have reported…al Queda appears to be losing steam in large part because they have brutalized the very people they say they are defending. Their frame is to narrow. Tent too small. Thus they have to many enemies. Their main hope is in demonizing us and making themselves the ones who stand up against us, and we have unfortunately played that part all too well.

            I don’t pretend to know what motivates Irani leaders. But I assume they want to stay in power, want to extend their power,and want to survive and advance their world view, just like everyone else. Just like us.

            What do they fear? Loss of power. Erosion of their authority. Internal democratic organization. Rapid transition to a non-fossil fuel based economy in the western world. And apparently women with long flowing hair dressed in short skirts.

        • dean

          Charles, I’m not a diplomat and I don’t know “how” to best talk with Iran, but I think it was Winston Churchill who said “better to jaw jaw than to war war.” I have enough confidence in our nation that we are smart enough to not give away the store through negotiations. We are still in 2 unresolved wars on Iran’s borders, so I would think there is a lot to talk about.

          As for the comment about “eliminating vermin.” Iran has 70 million people. Are they all “vermin?” If not…how do we “eliminate” those we consider bad from those who may be on our side, or who may be simply innocent?

  • wookie

    Funny, my memory is jogged by the use of the word “vermin” to describe human beings.

    Oh, that’s right. The Nazis used it to refer to Jews. Very nice!

  • Martha

    I think it will be effective. The average voter doesn’t know, nor care to know, much about candidates beyond what they say about themselves in their commercials, and what the media says about them in the week before the election.

    Accurate? Well, it seems to me its pretty easy to be “accurate” when giving an opinion about your own feelings. So he says he takes war seriously. Some may be arguing against this; I do not. Someone may beat their child daily and still be said to take child abuse seriously. He is seriously dedicated to beating his children. So too is McCain serious about never ending military action not just in the middle east, but the world.

    Helpful? Not really. Unless it counts that it will convince a whole bunch of people who can’t think outside of the terms of the tv commercial anymore. Until, I suppose, the next commercial comes on and says something different.

    • Eddie

      I love how a statement averring that someone is prepared for military action to last as long as it takes has somehow been transformed into preferring said action to be neverending.

      Argue the position all you want, but can we keep from altering it to make it something it isn’t?

      And yeah, I’m not an Obama supporter…. I went to Pomona, it would be impossible for me to vote for someone from Occidental.

  • wookie

    Since we’re talking about war and some (like our current President) are quick to try to accuse others of “appeasement”, does anyone recall that Bush’s grandfather (Senator Prescott Bush) was the CEO of a major bank that was seized by the US Government during WW2 for helping the Nazis?

    Irrelevant? It’s in the genes. The current Bush has bankrupted the US with this war. Don’t you think the Chinese love that?

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