Pure Horserace: War, Terror Aren’t Mixing
Posted by abu ameerah on Thursday, April 26, 2007
(CBS) Despite four years of efforts, is it possible that even President Bush’s own Republican Party remains unsold on the argument that the war in Iraq is a part of the overall war on terror?
Since the very beginning, opponents of the Iraq war have argued that the two are unrelated — despite the president’s insistence that Iraq is a central front in the battle against terrorism. Increasingly, however, it’s apparent that the two aren’t closely linked in the minds of voters. You don’t need polls to demonstrate this growing reality; just look at recent events and behaviors on the presidential campaign trail.
When Sen. John McCain “officially” kicked off his presidential bid on Wednesday, he paid scant attention to his steadfast support for the war in Iraq. When he did briefly touch on it, McCain sounded more apologetic than hopeful, focusing on the acknowledgement of mistakes made and lessons learned.
–All this from a guy who quotes a Beach Boys song to answer a question regarding a possible future military attack against Iran. “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb-Bomb-Iran…”
Although McCain allowed that “a little progress” is being made as a result of the troop surge he supports, he focused most of his remarks on what has gone wrong. “America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed, unless we have a realistic and comprehensive plan for success, and unless all relevant agencies of government are committed to that success,” McCain said. “We did not meet this responsibility initially. And we must never repeat that mistake again.”
–How about if the United States actually goes to war on the premise of the TRUTH? Remeber that? I suppose it disappeared when Bush and Co. come to office.
A bitter rival of President Bush’s during the 2000 presidential contest, McCain has become the 2008 candidate most closely associated with this administration as a result of his embrace of the war. While he has also at times been harshly critical of its conduct, McCain has yet to find a way to shake the Iraq association — which has at times caused him public embarrassment. The Arizona senator still finds himself answering questions about his shopping trip to a Baghdad market.
–“Shopping trip” … sounds like a typical NeoCon load of crap to me. Did he go to IKEA Baghdad or the one in Fallujah?
To top it off, McCain continues to find himself an underdog in the polls (at least nationally. as he performs at or very near the top in key early states). The latest CBS News poll on the race showed him far behind Rudy Giuliani, getting just 25 percent support from GOP primary voters to Giuliani’s 47 percent.
And what is Giuliani’s strength? Why, strength in the face of terrorism of course — a point proven in dramatic fashion over the past day. According to The Politico’s Roger Simon, Giuliani launched a direct attack at Democrats over the war on terrorism in New Hampshire on Tuesday, saying that a GOP loss in 2008 would lengthen that fight. “The Democrats do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us,” the former New York City mayor said.
And Democrats responded immediately. Sen. Barack Obama accused Giuliani of turning the threat of terrorism into “the punch line of another political attack,” adding, “America’s mayor should know that when it comes to 9/11 and fighting terrorists, America is united.” In a statement from her campaign, Hillary Clinton said, “there are people right now in the world, not just wishing us harm but actively planning and plotting to cause us harm. If the last six years of the Bush administration have taught us anything, it’s that political rhetoric won’t do anything to quell those threats.”
–I find Barack Hussein Obama to be an annoying public figure. I can’t stand how he panders to the Christian-Right in this country. Barack…are you a Democrat or a moderate Republican in disguise?
From a standpoint of their support for either the war in Iraq or the war on terror, there is little separating these two Republicans other than the public association of McCain with Iraq and Giuliani with terrorism. Both have their problems, past and present, with the traditional Republican base — but for now, Giuliani appears to be the favorite of the party. That, combined with the rapid responses of the two leading Democratic candidates suggests very few voters are connecting Iraq with the war on terrorism these days. —Vaughn Ververs