Monday, March 17, 2008

Someone Get Me a Map!

This puzzle of political double talk and confusing campaign "he said, she saids" has created a labyrinth so impenetrable that it is no wonder only 19% of Americans are satisfied with the direction of our country. Today, Hillary Clinton argued that she is the only candidate that will end the Iraq war. She rightly points out that former Obama policy adviser Samantha Powers remarked in a BBC interview that "He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator" thus further demonstrating the Obama camp's continued pattern of double speak on the campaign trail. (One must wonder in the light of three nearly simultaneous stories revealing that Obama's advisers and mentors do not share his proclaimed views - withdrawal from NAFTA, racial inclusion, and withdrawal from Iraq - if Mr. Obama is not really another politician vying for the most coveted trophy in American politics.)

Yet, Mrs. Clinton is not above this mantra, this continued theme, not of renewed hope and "change" but of talking down to the American people and to quote a one time presidential hopeful, of "playing on our fears." Although Clinton claims she will immediately withdraw troops from Iraq, she continues to straddle the fence. While she claims that she will "within 60 days of my taking office" begin to withdraw, she also has proclaimed a desire to leave special forces troops in the area, an idea that according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D- Minn.) "people are practical about." In the same breath however, Clinton claims that McCain has declared that he will leave troops in Iraq for another 100 years, not noting that McCain was in fact also referring to special forces troops who would be used in much the same capacity as Clinton wants - to "engage in targeted operations against al Qaeda in Iraq."

While the rhetoric on Iraq has reached its peak, the action seems to be one sided. While the Democratic contestants are arguing about what they will or won't do, only one candidate has actually taken the initiative to go visit Iraq and view the situation with his own eyes. As CNN recently reported:

McCain, who was in Iraq on Monday on a congressional trip, told CNN's John King that Clinton "obviously does not understand nor appreciate the progress that has been made on the ground. She told Gen. [David] Petraeus last year when he testified that she would have to suspend disbelief in order to believe that the surge is working. Well, the surge is working.

"So I just think what that means is al Qaeda wins. They tell the world that. And we fight here again and around the Middle East. And their dedication is to follow us home. All I can say is that this will be a big issue in the election as we approach November because at least a growing number of Americans, though still frustrated and understandably so, believe that this strategy has succeeded," he added.

At the present time, only John McCain's actions really seem to match his words.


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