John McCain

Sunday Talk: … for John McCain! #GreatNews

attribution: none specified

John McCain (AS SEEN ON TV) might have lost the battle for the White House, but he’s definitely winning the “War onWar.” #TehSurgeIsWorking

If all goes according to plan—and why wouldn’t it?the U.S. could be operatingin Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere for another hundred… or thousand… or even 1 million years! #NeverGonnaGiveYouUp

And better there than here. #amirite

President B. Hussein Obama won’t say it, but there are some really scary dudes (Mooslims) out there hatin’ America—just because we’re beautiful. #2Sexy4Sharia

History has shown us time and again thatthose people can’t be reasoned with, nor can they be appeased; the only winning move is to bomb them back to the Stone Age. #PaintItBlack

Nevar forget; the fundamentals of this strategy are strong. #ReaganSmash

 

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Former Secretary of State James Baker; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Roundtable: Nia-Malika Henderson(Washington Post), Helene Cooper (New York Times), Republican Strategist Mike Murphy and Jim VandeHei (Politico).

Face The Nation: Secretary of State John Kerry; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); “The Roosevelts” Roundtable: Filmmaker Ken Burns, Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and Author Geoffrey Ward.

This Week: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA); Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna Brazileand Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd.

Fox News Sunday: Former CIA/NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Kristen Powers  (USA Today), Republican Strategist Karl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Major General Paul Eaton (Ret.); Lieutenant General James Dubik (Ret.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Rep. John Conyers (D-MI); Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA); Roundtable: Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Republican Strategist Lanhee Chen, S.E. Cupp (CNN) and LZ Granderson (ESPN).

 

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report on severe shortcomings in the state of mental health care for young people (preview); a report on the FBI’s 16-year hunt for Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and his girlfriend (preview); and, an interview with University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban (preview).

McCain Makes Revealing Slip on Fox: Obama Didn’t Want to ‘Arm ISIS’

Screenshot

Mediaite

Along with this good friend Sen. Lindsey Graham(R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) penned a New York Times op-ed this weekend calling on President Barack Obama to “confront ISIS now” and criticizing him for saying “We don’t have a strategy yet.” But asked by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren what the U.S. should do about ISIS Tuesday afternoon, his first response was two short words: “Kill ‘em.”

“They’ve got to be destroyed, and you’ve got to have a goal, the president does, and we have to have a strategy to fit that goal and policies that will implement it. We have none of the above,” McCain said on Fox. He called Obama’s recent comments about the “messy” world “one of most unbelievable comments ever made.”

McCain continued his push for war in both Iraq and Syria, saying the fight requires the “full weight of American air power” as well as “some more boots and support on the ground.” He added, “All this didn’t have to happen. We could have left a force behind in Iraq that would have stabilized Iraq. And we are paying an incredible price for the president’s leading from behind, whether it be in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya, or a number of countries in the Middle East. We are seeing the chickens coming home to roost.”

The senator proceeded to seriously misspeak when he described a 2013 meeting in the White House in which everyone on the administration’s national security team “recommended arming ISIS.” But, he explained, “the president, by himself, turned it down.”

What McCain likely meant to say was that Obama’s team, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wanted to arm the “moderate” Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, but Obama did not want to. Van Susteren neglected to correct his mistake.

As Obama decided at the time, the lack of distinction between the “moderate” rebels and the Islamic extremists, including ISIS, who were fighting Assad made the idea of arming any opposition in Syria an extremely risky proposition.

Ironically, this is an issue that McCain confronted personally when he made his unannounced trip to Syria last May. The senator posed in photos with men who were later identified as being responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims. As Jon Stewart put it later that week, “Oh my God, John McCain is literally palling around with terrorists!”

Here is one of the photos in question:

On the day that the video ISIS beheading U.S. journalist James Foley was released, the group VoteVets sent out a fundraising email claiming McCain had actually posed for photos with ISIS fighters in Syria. McCain has fought back hard against those claims, even pointing out that ISIS has labeled him a top enemy in order to prove his point:

While the claims that McCain “palled around” with ISIS fighters remain unfounded, his slip of the tongue on Fox News Tuesday afternoon demonstrates the complexities of the situation both two years ago and today in Syria and Iraq. On top of that, it bolsters Obama’s inclination to act prudently when it comes to the perilous situation in the region. The solution to this problem ultimately has to be more thought out than “kill ‘em.”

Watch video below, via Fox News:

Joan Walsh On John McCain: ‘Cowardly’ Is Putting Palin A ‘Heartbeat Away’ from Presidency

Walsh

Joan Walsh |Screenshot

I’m not an Al Sharpton fan but I am a Joan Walsh fan.  Joan had some critical words for Sen. John McCain when she appeared on Sharpton’s MSNBC show…

Liberaland

On MSNBC’s Politics Nation with host Al Sharpton, Salon columnist Joan Walsh addressed Sen. John McCain’s (R) claims in which he said,, “It’s just been cowardly. It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.”

“You don’t say that about the commander-in-chief,” Walsh said.

Walsh went on to say, “This is a man, I respect him for his service, but if we’re going to talk cowardly, somebody tried to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency so that he hoped to hold onto his right-wing base.” Walsh added, “I mean, somebody that has a lot to atone for and a lot to think about and shouldn’t be tossing around words like cowardly.”

Walsh also slammed McCain for calling the President AWOL, saying, “You know what they do to people who are AWOL. This is, again, the extremism of this rhetoric.”

 

More from Liberaland:

John McCain Finds a Way to Blame ‘Cowardly’ Obama for MH17 Crash

Sen. John McCain | Screenshot

This simply sounds like sour grapes directed toward Obama supporters, but McCain and his ilk are not saying these things to upset Obama’s base.  Right-wing politicians are trying to stir up their Obama-hating base so they will come to the polls in 2014.  They’ll worry about 2016 after the mid-term elections.

Mediaite

When he appeared on MSNBC and CNN Thursday afternoon, shortly after news broke of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet that had been shot down over Ukraine, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) warned that if Russia turned out to be responsible, there would be “hell to pay.” But by the time he joinedSean Hannity on Fox News last night, he had turned his outrage directly at President Barack Obama.

“It’s just been cowardly,” McCain said. “It’s a cowardly administration that we failed to give the Ukrainians weapons with which to defend themselves.” He speculated that the Russian separatists who allegedly shot down the plane “may not even have occupied and had access to these weapons, which apparently they got at an airfield,” if the U.S. had intervened earlier in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia.

McCain then told Hannity what he would do in response to the deadly crash:

“First, give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves and regain their territory. Second of all, move some of our troops in to areas that are being threatened by Vladimir Putin, in other countries like the Baltics and others. Move missile defense into the places where we got out of, like the Czech Republic and Poland and other places. And impose the harshest possible sanctions on Vladimir Putin and Russia. And that’s just for openers.”

And just like that, the likely accidental shooting down of a Malaysian plane carrying mostly Dutch passengers by Russian separatists in Ukraine is President Obama’s fault.

Watch video below, via Fox News:

Mitt Romney is tan, rested, and ready to lose again, so let’s do this thing

Mitt Romney in the hills by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Mitt Romney in the hills by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Looks like that bogus Quinnipiac poll may be forcing Romney to come out into the spotlight…

The Raw Story

In a move that can be seen as either desperation or ‘we’re all gonna die anyway, so what the hell?’ conservatives are casting their eyes westward to a man — a stoic man, an honest and true man of values, standing knee deep  in the Pacific Ocean watching the sun go down on America — as their savior in 2016.

That man is a man called Mitt. Family man, businessman, gentle and attentive lover, and owner of both a car elevator and a losing career in elections.

Surveying the 2016 GOP field and falling into a pit of existential dread and despair where there is no light, no hope, no exit, nothing but a  bleak meaningless abyss of wretchedness and desolation, Republicans see hope in the sparkle of Mitt Romney’s eyes and the Earth-mother joy in life his wife Ann brings to the party.

So the ‘Why not Mitt?’ crowd is going to throw some shit against the wall and see what sticks. After all, that is what fan-mag Politico does.

In an article subheaded, “I’m absolutely serious,” a former George W Bush White House person you have never heard of states his case.

Pointing to a recent poll stating 45 percent [or 3 percent less than voted for him in 2012] of voters polled said the United States would be better off today with Romney as president, Emil Henry says that Mitt Romney was very well received indeed at a rave he threw for a bunch of his pals in Utah:

That was also the question on not just the minds but the lips of many at a recent private gathering in Utah known as the E2 Summit, Romney’s now-annual retreat for high-profile politicians, policymakers, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, top bundlers and, of course, a core group of long-time Romney loyalists.

Cancel the convention location search, nobody has to go to Cleveland, we have a winner!

Noting that the GOP field is “fractured” and filled with loons, untested loons, corrupt loons, and loser loons, Henry suggests that Romney is better than nothing and, besides, Morning  Caffeinated Anger Dad Joe Scarborough — who may or may not have had a hand in a rage-filled  explosion of lust and betrayal resulting  in a staffer’s death – says Romney is ‘da bomb,’ which is a phrase popular with middle-aged white men who consider themselves ‘hip to the kids lingo, yo.’

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who opened the conference in Utah, said it best: There is no Republican who can “fill the stage” better than Mitt Romney.

Again: YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO TO CLEVELAND IN THE SUMMER, REPUBLICANS. DO YOU WANT THIS GIFT-WRAPPED?

Lastly Henry notes that all the other Presidential failures (George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain) were “career politicians.”

Where Romney stands out versus every failed nominee of the last half century is that he, a lifelong businessman with just one successful four-year stint as governor of Massachusetts, is not a career politician.

This is true. Romney ran against Ted Kennedy for a Senate seat and lost in 1994. He then licked his wounds, saved the Olympics,  and came back and was elected governor of Massachusetts  in 2002.  Then he ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, only to lose to shouty Palin-annointer John McCain.  And most recently he ran against Barack Obama in 2012  and lost again giving him a career record of 1-3.

So while it is true that he is not a “career politician,” that might have something to do with the fact that people who vote cooperated and kept him that way by giving him a helping hand.

With one finger extended.

So, yeah, he’s your guy. His record speaks for itself and he’s totally due so you guys should do this thing.

After the last two elections, we expect nothing less.

‘Obviously blessed’ Hillary Clinton has released 30 years of tax returns. Romney? McCain?

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (L) and former U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney | Reuters

Daily Kos

Republicans have their queen of the 1 percent. In the wake of her flip comments about having been “dead broke” and not “truly well off,” the GOP and its conservative echo chamber are portraying Hillary Clinton as the reincarnation of Leona Helmsley. Hoping to provide additional fodder for the right, Bloomberg News suggested estate tax supporter Hillary is a hypocrite because of the ways the Clintons manage their finances to reduce their estate tax exposure. The right-wing research group America Rising notified its email list that Secretary Clinton “might be advised to take a lengthy sabbatical from her $200k per pop speaking tour and private shopping sprees at Bergdorfs to try and reconnect with what’s happening back here on Earth.”

Of course, it is the GOP hoping the American people slept through the last decade here on planet Earth. After all, it was President George W. Bush, then worth $21 million, who described his plan for life after the White House, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” And as it turns out, the Clintons have released more than 30 years of tax returns, which means their finances—unlike those of the Romneys and McCains—are no secret.

To be sure, Hillary and Bill Clinton are “obviously blessed.” As the New York Times reported during the 2008 presidential primaries, between 2001 and 2008 the Clintons earned a whopping $109 million, almost all of it from speaking fees and book royalties. But because almost all of their earnings are taxed as regular income, the Clintons disproved Leona Helmsley’s motto that “only the little people pay taxes.”

During that time, theClintons paid $33.8 million in federal taxes and claimed deductions for $10.2 million in charitable contributions…In releasing seven years of tax returns, plus a summary of income for last year, the Clinton campaign noted that the couple had disclosed all their income tax records since Mr. Clinton was governor of Arkansas…”The Clintons have now made public 30 years of tax returns, a record matched by few people in public service,” said Jay Carson, a campaign spokesman. “None of Hillary Clinton’s presidential opponents have revealed anything close to this amount of personal financial information.”

Certainly not John McCain or Mitt Romney. And while the details of their finances remained secret, their plans to dramatically slash their own tax bills were quite public, as you’ll see below.

Thanks to the wealth of his beer heiress wife Cindy, John McCain had the luxury to forget how many homes he owns. But with his proposals to cut income tax rates for the wealthy, slash the capital gains tax rate in half and eliminate the estate tax, President McCain would have delivered a massive windfall to his family for years to come.

Then, of course, there was Mitt Romney, the GOP’s once and possibly future White House hopeful. Worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars, the son of an auto company magnate ran on a platform of keeping as much of it away from Uncle Sam as possible.

Thanks to lax campaign laws that tilt the playing field in favor of the rich, Mitt was able to spend $45 million of his own money in his losing effort to secure the GOP nomination in 2008. Hoping to become John McCain’s running mate, he parts with the loss of a fifth of his net worth and over two decades of tax returns. As Brian Williams pointed out during a January 2012 debate, “You said during the McCain vetting process you turned over 23 years which you had at the ready because, to quote you, you`re something of a packrat.” But in 2012, the American people only get two because, as Mitt helpfully explained two years ago:

“I don’t put out which tooth paste I use either. It’s not that I have something to hide.”

Of course, Mitt Romney had a lot to hide. For starters, few Americans would describe themselves as “part of the 80 to 90 percent of us” who are middle class, when just the “not very much” $374,000 he earned in speaking fees in 2011 put him in the top one percent of income earners. As I noted back in 2012:

It’s bad enough that the $250 million man Romney pays less than 15 percent of his income to Uncle Sam each year, a rate well below most middle class families. Worse still, the notorious “carried interest” exemption for private equity managers Romney wants to preserve taxes him not at the ordinary income rate of 35 percent but at the capital gains rate now half of what it was only 15 years ago. (As it turns out, most of Mitt’s millions each year come from his controversial former employer, Bain Capital.) On top of his Cayman Island investments and past Swiss bank accounts, Romney has created a $100 million trust fund for his sons – tax free. Thanks to some (apparently legal) chicanery on the part of his former employer, Mitt has also accumulated an IRA worth a reported $100 million. (The Romney camp even complained about that, worrying that recent tax code changes has “created a tax problem” for the former Massachusetts governor and asking, “Who wants to have $100 million in an IRA?”) And largely unmentioned, Mitt wants to eliminate the estate tax, a change that would not only save his clan over $80 million, but more than pay for the $45 million of his own money he spent on his 2008 campaign.

Neither McCain nor Romney paid anywhere near the Clintons’ 30 percent tax rate from 2001 to 2008. For his part, in 2012 Romney boasted that over the previous decade, “Every year, I’ve paid at least 13 percent, and if you add, in addition, the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.” Of course, if you added the Clintons’ $10 million in contributions to their own and other charities, why the number gets well above 20 percent—times two.As the Washington Post reported, in 2000 the Clintons were in debt to the tune of $10 million. Thanks in part to those stratospheric speaking fees, by 2004 those debts were paid off. Regardless, Hillary Clinton is going to need a better approach to putting her newfound status as “truly well-off” if she wants to succeed her husband in the Oval Office. She might start by borrowing from Bill’s script. As he put it in 2004:

“You might remember that when I was in office, on occasion, the Republicans were kind of mean to me. But soon as I got out and made money, I began part of the most important group in the world to them. It was amazing. I never thought I’d be so well cared for by the president and the Republicans in Congress. I almost sent them a thank-you note for my tax cuts – until I realized that the rest of you were paying for the bill for it, and then I thought better of it.”

Republicans trying to paint any Democratic presidential candidate as “out of touch” with every day Americans should think the better of it, too.

Neocons never learn: Why their new warmongering is so shameless

Neocons never learn: Why their new warmongering is so shameless

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (Credit: Reuters/Samantha Sais)

Salon

The same hawks who suckered us into war with Iraq are at it again. It’s time they be held accountable

This article originally appeared on The Globalist.

In the history books, the U.S. Republicans will never live down the fact that they “Iranified” Iraq, disrupting thousands of years of calibrating regional balance. That country long served as a buffer state for one purpose only — to suppress the implosion of the region. True, the Democrats who backed the invasion aren’t much better, because they were swayed by the idiotic “patriotic” fervor of 2003.

But at least they seem to recognize the error, even if it should have been visible at the time: Any U.S. leaders who take an action that, historically speaking, must inevitably hand Iraq to Iran and restore Iran as the dominant regional power needs to have their heads examined.

It is well known that John McCain, the former U.S. presidential candidate and prisoner of war, likes to pour oil into any fire he sees. It is in his nature to do so. The question is why we let him do so without at least first forcing him to pay penance for his past sins of warmongering.

BOMB, BOMB, BOMB

The senior senator from Arizona now wants to take his pyromaniac style of foreign policy into Iraq once more, echoing his “bomb, bomb, bomb” spirit of a decade ago. In that, he is guided not by any sense of patriotism, but by all the impetuousness of an anarchist that he can muster.

McCain is not only one of the chief propellants of the American pyromania that destroyed Iraq, but also one of the most senior still holding political office.

The most basic fact of the matter is this: Anybody who was out to topple Saddam Hussein — and thereby turn all of Iraq into a powder keg — at best showed complete ignorance of the history of the region.

A deep-seated sense of religiously fueled enmity throughout the ages has shaped life in West Asia for ages. Shiites and Sunnis, when pitted against each other, and then presented with an opportunity, have always been inclined to make a blood sport out of the pursuit of the other.

The crucial role that Iraq has traditionally played in that kind of highly combustible environment was that it served as a satellite buffer state that essentially separated the Levant and Asia Minor from Iran/Persia, providing a check on the expansion of empires from either direction.

Internally divided due to shifting borders and occupiers from repeated conquests, Iraq has often stood at the crossroads between large Western Sunni powers and the Shia Persian power to the east.

Even before the rise of Islam and its factions, the area was the dividing zone between western and eastern empires. Even Rome sometimes held Mesopotamia, during its long-running struggle with what is now Iran.

However, with the Cheney/Bush/McCain clan’s resolutely amateurish move into Iraq, that crucial buffer disappeared and turned itself into a wall of fire.

Their collective amateurishness is only superseded by the ahistorical U.S. foreign policy-making in the region.

THE UK GOVERNMENT FAILED

The whole Iraq episode and the current conundrum also show what a terrible ally the United Kingdom has been for the United States over the past decade or so.

True, the post-Empire UK has long made it a habit of punching above its weight class, usually by acting as America’s sidekick. But for all the immense ambitions that this points to, traditionally the UK government has at least usually been mindful of history.

To be sure, the British Foreign Office had enough smart people who knew about Iraq’s historic role inside the Muslim world as a buffer state — to keep religious emotions from exploding.

Evidently, Tony Blair was so eager to please his American master that this most critical advice was suppressed. Even if the American ally had been unprepared or unwilling to listen, it would have been all the more incumbent on the UK to speak out loud.

That is what good allies do. In fact, that is what Germany and its then-Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, did at the time, when he warned the U.S. government publicly of an ill-advised “adventure.”

Which is exactly how this all turned out to be. But that public courage, of course, didn’t keep Schroeder from becoming the U.S. political establishment’s favorite bête noire. Yes, it is true that once he left office, he made some distasteful career choices.

But that does not in any sense invalidate the character he displayed while in office, when he warned the Americans of the inferno(s) to come.

Tony Blair, meanwhile, the snake-charming, bomb-throwing sidekick to George Bush, is still in the good graces of many Americans. The only promising step of sorts toward penitence that Blair has made since then is that he has converted to Catholicism.

While that is very unusual for a (former) British leader, he is at least on the right track. He has much to atone for. It will take a long line of Catholic priests to hear all the confessions Mr. Blair still needs to make.

On the U.S. side of the disaster initiated in 2003, however, it seems that all such confessions of guilt will go entirely unspoken. If the recent round of cheerleading for re-invasion is any indication, McCain and friends are not only unrepentant but still actively in denial that they ever made any mistake in the first place.

Absolutely Nothing

Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing.
– Mitt Romney, “Ideas Summit,” 6/13/2014

mission accomplished banner 23423423.jpg

Larry Downing/Reuters|

This retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer has a lot to say to the folks beating the Iraq war drums once again.  The language is that of a military man…you can pass or you can read it.  It’s entirely up to you TFC friends…

Stonekettle Station

All we fought for in Iraq.

All we fought for in Iraq is on the cusp of vanishing.

That’s what Mitt Romney says.

We fought for. We fought for. We.

Oh, so it’s we now, is it, Mitt?

We.

I must have missed you over there, but it was a busy place. We. The guy who helped set up “pro-draft” rallies and yet somehow managed to avoid service in Vietnam is upset about losing what “we” fought for? We.

Yeah, fuck you, Mitt.

And you’re all welcome to quote me on that.

Somebody stepped into my office yesterday and asked how I felt about it.  He wanted to know how I felt about “losing” Iraq.

How do I feel about losing all we fought for?

I don’t know.

First, I’m going to need somebody to explain to me exactly what it was that we were fighting for.

What was it? What is it that we gained, according to Mitt Romney? And what is on the cusp of vanishing? What is that? No, really, somebody please explain it to me.

Because I’d love to know.

The Wikipedia says Operation Iraqi Freedom started on the 20th of March, 2003, which is just another reason why you shouldn’t believe anything you read in the Wikipedia (don’t, just don’t).  That’s not correct, the war began a day earlier.  See, I was there on the night the war reallystarted, at precisely 2200 hours, on the 19th of March in the Northern Arabian Gulf.  I was there when US Navy SEALs and Polish GROM stormed the MABOT and KAAOT oil terminals a full day before Saddam Hussein discovered that his time was finally up.  In point of fact, I had arrived there four months before, a few days before Christmas in December of 2002. From the day of my arrival (and before that really) to the day the war started, and for months after, I was a Navy intelligence officer working in support of the invasion force.  There’s not much I don’t know about the events leading up to war and the aftermath of the invasion.

Well, not much except for that one little detail.

Why.

All these years later, and I still don’t know why.

Oh, I mean, I know what they told us, sure, Saddam Hussein attacked America on 9-11.  Right? That’s what they said, that’s what the Commander in Chief told us. Saddam Hussein was in league with Al Qaida, remember? The son of a bitch and his stinking nation of terrorists attacked us. The Iraqis had it coming. And Georgie Boy was going to finish what his daddy started. Hooray! Right? That’s what they said.

Except those of us in the professional intelligence community looked at each other and thought, wait, what? How the hell did we miss that? Saddam and Osama bin Laden are working together?Buwah? But Rumsfeld, he had his own little extra-constitutional intelligence outfit staffed with his simpering cronies who he paid to blow smoke up his pinched grey ass until his colon resembled beef jerky and he sure didn’t have much use for us – after all, we were just the military he had.

Ours, as they say, is not to reason why, ours is to but do and die, right? At least that’s what Rummy told us and you know, you go into war with the Secretary of Defense you have, not the one you’d like to have. And if Rumsfeld says he’s got the real scoop, it must be true? Right? Sure, that justifies his contempt for us, sure it does.

Except, Rumsfeld’s little masturbation fantasy turned out not to be the case.

But hey, never mind that, Saddam Hussein was threatening us anyway, wasn’t he? Sure he was, in fact, that’s the first time you heard the phrase “Weapons of Mass Destruction” isn’t it? The bastard had nukes and germs and war gas and he was just itching to use them on America, wasn’t he?  Heck we even had pictures of “mobile weapons labs” to prove it, isn’t that what Colin Powell told the UN and the world? And by damn Saddam had been buying Yellow Cake uranium from Niger, right? Colin Powell wouldn’t lie to us, would he? He was a hero, a general, he wouldn’t send his comrades into war on a lie now would he?

Except all that turned out to be bullshit too, and Colin Powell was either a dupe of staggering proportions or he was the kind of Soldier who would fuck his buddy right in the ass without so much as a reach-around and I’ll leave it up to you to figure which one is worse.

But by the time we figured out we’d been ass-raped by Colin Powell, we were shoulder deep in Iraq, Baghdad was burning, Iraq’s army had thrown down their weapons and taken off their uniforms and had melted into the population, Saddam had vanished and his sons were dead, and the President of the United States had already declared victory from the deck of an American aircraft carrier.

And so, the objective became … what?

Hearts and minds and freedom and democracy and nation building and magic bunnies who fart sunshine and rainbows.

Unfortunately, it turns out we’re real good at the blowing shit up part, not so good at the magic bunnies part.

Which in retrospect, shouldn’t be all that surprising – given that in order to build a civilization it helps if you actually have some vague familiarity with the people involved.  Needless to say, we didn’t. And we didn’t care. To America, they were all little brown towelheads, sand niggers, raggedy-assed camel jockeys who ought to be grateful to America for burning down their shitty country.  Sunni? Shia? Turkman? Baathists? What’s that? What do you mean they hate each other? They’re all Muslims aren’t they? They’re all Aayrabs, right? What do you mean they hate each other? And it all fell apart, disintegrating into insurgency and murder and bloody civil war – just exactly as anybody who actually knew something about the region and its people and its history could have told you it would.  We lost less than a hundred soldiers in the actual war, the “peace” cost us nearly 5000 more.  And the Iraqis? Who the hell knows? A hundred thousand? A million? It’s impossible to tell.

And it turns out that freedom and democracy and magic flying bunnies were as elusive as Iraq’s supposed WMDs – or Colin Powell’s honor.

So, what was it again that we were fighting for?

They had no idea what we were fighting for, those saber-rattling Chicken Hawks, the cowardly connected wealthy weasels who’d managed to avoid serving in their own war, who kept theirchildren out of uniform, but just couldn’t wait to send us into one of their own making. They sent us off with parades and marching bands and cheering crowds … and brought the bodies home in secret, hidden away from the TV cameras and the public.

They had no plan and no idea what we were dying for, but they assured us what the war wasn’t about – it wasn’t about religion.

Oh no, sir, we weren’t fighting to eradicate Muslims, it wasn’t about Islam.

The Evangelical Christian religious extremists who started this war told us it wasn’t about religion.

Heh heh, riiiiiight. And Vietnam was really about containing communism. Sure.

Maybe they should have had Colin Powell tell that whopper to the UN, but he’d quit by then and was suddenly as invisible to America as those flag draped metal boxes arriving at Dover Air Force base in the middle of the night.

Americans who a few years before had been proudly waving their little flags as Johnny marched off to war were suddenly all shifty-eyed, they slapped a $5 dollar made in China magnet on the bumper of their giant gas-sucking SUVs, Support Our Troops, and with sardonically raised eyebrows complained to each other over the pumps about the immorality of a war fought for oil.

But that wasn’t true either, was it?

Iraq’s oil fields, the ones we fought and died to preserve on orders from the White House, the off-shore terminals the SEALs and the GROM risked their lives to save on that night back in 2003, the precious Iraqi oil that was going to pay for the war and pay to rebuild the country we’d blown up, well, that oil is nowhere to be found today, is it?

So, tell me again, what exactly is it that’s on the “cusp of vanishing?”

I mean it sure isn’t peace.

It’s not freedom for the Iraqi people, despite the war’s idiotic name.

It sure isn’t regional stability.

It’s not the end of terrorism or the near universal hatred of America in the Middle East.

And now that Halliburton and KBR and Blackwater and Dick Cheney have made their billions and cashed out, it isn’t even about long term economic investments and American business.

Hell, it’s not even about cheap gas.

So, go on, enlighten me. Because even though I was there, I’ve got no goddamned idea what it is that we’ve lost in Iraq beyond the 4,487 men and women we shipped home in metal boxes, beyond the 32,223 wounded and maimed, beyond the trillions of dollars we spent in our rage and our drive for revenge and our lust for blood.

Today, John McCain and Mitt Romney and the rest of the conservative war machine are railing against the President.

McCain stirred from the yellow fog of his bamboo cage and proclaimed in his best Old Man Yelling At Clouds voice, “We won Iraq! Obama lost it!”

Really Johnny Walnuts? Tell me, what did we win? And what have we lost? Please be specific, because I’d really like to know.

We no more “won” Iraq than McCain’s own father “won” Vietnam.

McCain claims he “predicted” the sectarian violence now tearing Iraq apart. Really? Where the hell was clairvoyant John McCain back in 2003 when he voted along with the rest of them to send us into war? And later, where was his great predictive ability when Iraq began tearing itself apart? I guess he was at a Dixie Chicks concert, he must have been out in the lobby ordering a plate of Freedom Fries when his pal George W. Bush let Iraq disintegrate into civil war.

And so here we are.

The same old motley cast of characters, the warhawks and the chickenhawks and the billionaires and the simple-minded saber-rattlers and the same old hate-filled pundits, they just can’t wait to jump back into Iraq.

Mitt Romney, John McCain, one who never served and one who damned well ought to know better, men who both wanted to be President of the United States and who both lost to Barack Obama, they just can’t wait to send other people’s kids back into the meat grinder.

Here’s my question.

Why?

Why, John McCain?

Why, Mitt Romney?

Why, conservatives?

This time you fuckers goddamned well tell me why.

What’s the goal? What’s the objective? Is it to end terrorism? Is it to enforce peace at the muzzle of a gun? Is it it to make defense contractors rich? Is it for jobs? Or is it for magic flying bunnies who shoot rainbows and cheap gasoline out of their little assholes to the sound of Yankee Doodle Dandy?

Or, or, is it just because you hate Barack Obama?

That’s it, isn’t it?

It is.

You sons of bitches one and all, you simpering capering madmen, this time at least have the courage to face the cameras, to look into America’s eyes, and tell them that their sons and daughters will be dying because you John McCain, because you Mitt Romney, because you Dick Cheney, because you Donald Rumsfeld, because you George W. Bush you lying bastard, because you conservatives hate Barack Obama and for no other reason. Go on, tell us, go on. Wave your little flags and beat your fleshy chests, roll out the marching bands and tell us just how many more American soldiers should die. Go on, put a number on it. Ten? A hundred? Fifty four thousand? How many of us have to die? How many more bodies will it take to satiate your mindless hunger for blood and revenge? How many more American lives are worth your insane hatred of the president? How many? How much further into debt should we drive our nation, another trillion dollars? Two? Ten? A hundred? Put a price on it you insane sons of bitches, go on, give me a number, write me a check. Tell me how much you’re willing to pay, show me the goddamned money. How many more years? How many? One? Five? Another decade? Fifty? What is it? Don’t wave your hands and make some vague prognostication, give me a number, how many lives, how much money, how many years? You look us in the eye and you fucking tell us.

Sure, let’s go back to Iraq.

Oh, yes, let us do that.

I’ll dig out my uniform and strap on my pistol and gird up my sword and ride into battle yet again.

Just so long as Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, and every single one of those powdered, Botoxed talking heads at Fox News are in the vanguard. That’s right, you cowards, you put on a uniform and you lead the charge this time around. The Koch brothers and Mitt Romney can pay for it, every goddamned penny, we’ll bleed them until they’re dry and then we’ll pull the gold fillings from their teeth to pay for it right along with the rest of their Wall Street cronies. You fuckers got rich off the last one, you can damned well pay for this one. And when you run out of money, we’ll take your blood, fair’s fair.

Strap John McCain into the cockpit of an A-4 Skyhawk and let him fly air cover.

If he gets himself shot down and taken prisoner again, well, you know what? Fuck him, leave him to the enemy because frankly his hate and bile and raging insanity have done more damage to this country than Bowe Bergdahl ever did.

The terrorists can keep him.

You want to go to back to war? No problem, this time, you go first.

Back then, as an officer, mine was not to reason why.

But this time, well, this time I’m a civilian. And as a citizen of the United States, this time I demand to know why.

So, you saber-rattling sons of bitches, you look me in the eye, and you tell me.

Peace love and understanding tell me
Is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But Lord knows there’s got to be a better way

War what is it good for
Absolutely nothing…

– Edwin Starr, “War” 1969

 

 

MCCAIN CALLS FOR EMERGENCY BLAME GAME ON IRAQ (Humor)

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Sen. John McCain |No attribution listed

The New Yorker

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Citing the deteriorating situation in the war-torn nation, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) on Saturday called for Congress to convene an emergency blame game on Iraq.

“This is a dire crisis,” McCain said. “It’s time to roll up our sleeves and do some serious finger-pointing.”

McCain said that he hoped Congress would act swiftly to assign blame to a long list of culprits he identified, including President Obama, the Joint Chiefs, the media, and everyone who did not vote for him in the 2008 election.

The Arizona senator stressed that the blame game must be “rigorous and far-reaching,” but said that it would exempt those in the Senate who voted to invade Iraq in 2003. “That’s ancient history,” he said.

Concluding his remarks, he offered these words of reassurance to the Iraqi people: “As long as I have breath, I will use it to find fault with others.”

HuffPost Reporter Confronts McCain: Does ‘Victory’ in Iraq Mean Endless War?

Mediaite

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein had a rather testy exchange Friday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“I just want to nail down what it means to have it won,” Stein told the senator at the start of his question. “When we were debating the war [in Iraq], I thought the idea was that we would put up an Iraqi government that would be self-sufficient and an Iraqi military that could protect. We spent $25 billion propping up the military, and it folds, even despite having much greater numbers than ISIS.

“So I’m curious: What is the definition of victory? What is the definition of winning? Does it mean having a residual force basically without end date? I’m just a little bit confused. I want to know what victory is to you.”

The senator wasted no time snapping back, hammering Stein for his “confusion”:

I think you are confused because you didn’t know what happened with the surge where we basically had the country pacified. We had a stable government in Baghdad, and we had the conflict basically — for all intents and purposes — won. We still got troops in Bosnia, a residual force would have stabilized the country. Most military experts will tell you that. So I’m sorry about your confusion, but the facts on the ground were that al Qaeda had been defeated almost completely and with the residual American force and at that time, a strong Iraq. Now, [Iraqi PM Nouri] al-Maliki is very weak. Maliki got worse after we left. And again, I knew this was going to happen, because we didn’t leave that force behind. And so I’m sorry about your confusion, but anybody who was there will tell you we had the conflict won.

“I guess I shouldn’t myself confused, because it would be used against me,” Stein remarked. He then pressed once more: “What is the end date for our forces in Iraq? Is it open-ended? And if that’s the case, because we need to have a residual force there to prop up the Iraq government indefinitely, is that how you see it?”

In return, McCain cited residual American troops stationed in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Bosnia as having successfully stabilized regions American forces have previously occupied.

Watch the exchange below, via Mediaite:

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