Friday, September 26, 2008

Thoughts on the First Debate

As the debate went back and forth about the issue of Iraq, there was the question of who was 'more right' about the war. Who had the best judgment, the best predictions, and who supported the 'right' positions throughout and before the war. McCain attacked Obama's opposition to a troop surge, and how he thought it would be a miserable failure. Obama lashed back bringing up the point that he did not support the war before it began, and that McCain was in the camp that believed it would end swiftly, they would find WMD's, and that we would be greeted as liberators, none of which came true. As most people know, I believe the war in Iraq was a huge mistake for an endless number of reasons. McCain speaks of us leaving winners. We are "winning" the war. The problem is, the purpose of the war now has changed. Our original purpose was to attack Iraq because they 'may' have weapons of mass destruction that 'may' be used against the United States or given to terrorists. Also they 'supposedly' had ties to 9/11, which also was proven false, admittedly so by those leaders who supported the war originally. So when do we stop? This is the problem that arises when we do not address war with narrow goals. We need to be sure that we address war wisely. There should not be any question for the reasons we go to war; they should be so obvious that there is not a question of it. And we should leave as soon as these goals are accomplished. The Iraq war was unnecessary, wrong, and it is unclear when our 'job' is really done.

I hate to even address this issue and hear McCain and Obama talk about the financial situation. It is clear they know little to nothing about economics. It is actually painful to watch. The moderator was asking them about how their decisions will be affected by the financial crisis. Both talked about cutting different programs, this or that, shaving money here or there, but really they lack an understanding about what caused our financial situation. I think Ron Paul has a pretty good grasp (see post below). I can think of just a few places we could start cutting spending - abolish the Federal Reserve, end the War on Drugs, and end our expensive and unaffordable military imperialism.

On a side note, Ron Paul on the Federal Reserve (This will be a good video to watch to understand his statement - posted below - a little bit better):


jpberthiaume said...

I think McCain laid out a very clear goal for the war: we will win the war and leave the Iraqi people with a country they can secure and be proud of, and leave knowing we did the job we were there to do. Considering the success of the surge, there is reason to believe we could be out of there soon. However, a timetable is never a good idea in war. Deadlines don't work on that stuff -- they only lead to unfinished business. We still have troops in other places we have been, including Germany -- we may have troops in Iraq for a long, long time to come.

McCain was also very strong on the problems with the economy. Just as Ron Paul points out, spending is our biggest concern, and corruption stemming from earmarks.

DC said...

It's insane that we still have over 70,0000 troops in Germany.

Budsy Jean said...

What is victory in Iraq? Technically, the U.S. did win the war, and when Bush declared victory, he was correct. When it began, the goal of the war was to remove Saddam Hussain from power, which was based on a myriad of different reasons, such as WMD’s and human rights violations. Shortsightedness created the quagmire that we are in today.

I do have a problem with the U.S. trying to instill democracy wherever they see fit. Democracy is not a “one size fits all” form of government. We are very blessed to live in a country where our form of democracy seems to work and work well, for the most part. We have a history of the mindset that democracy is the best form of government, bar none. This is what we are told, what we are taught, and, essentially, what we have witnessed.

However, democracy, as instilled in our country, is not the best form of government for all countries, especially in countries where centuries of ethnic and religious differences have created chasms that will never be bridged, no matter how much we try to cram democracy down their throats. The U.S. view of this is, at times, narrow and egotistical.

That being said, again, what is a victory and who is victorious? Maybe Victoria? :-) There is no correct answer. McCain says that we will win. What is the benchmark of that victory? What specifically defines a ‘win’ in this instance? As correctly observed, it is an abstract concept. It should have been better thought out and better defined upon conception, and, when the goal was achieved, we should have left. Instead, we have another country to occupy.

I agree with you, DC. I think it incredible that we have troops in other countries. Although, based on some of the agreements that we entered throughout the years, we don't have a choice but to have troops in other countries. We have to honor these agreements, even in instances where the citizens of those countries denounce our presence.