March 26th, 2008 15:01 EST
John McCain Delivers a Major Foreign Policy Address
Sen. John McCain, 71, touts his foreign policy credentials at every campaign event, and today he delivered a major foreign policy address before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
We shouldn't assume that a distinguished military career and many years in the Senate is synonymous with foreign policy expertise. My 70-year-old neighbor served 20 years in the Navy and he doesn't know an iPod from a remote control or a Sunni from a Shiite.
Here are a few thoughts and observations about McCain's important speech:
"In a major address in California on foreign policy, the presumptive Republican nominee said, 'It would be an unconscionable act of betrayal, a stain on our character as a great nation, if we were to walk away from the Iraqi people and consign them to the horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide that would follow a reckless, irresponsible and premature withdrawal.'" [www.ABCNews.com]
Horrendous violence, ethnic cleansing and possibly genocide? That doesn't describe what may happen if we withdraw our troops from Iraq, that's an accurate portrayal of the present day reality in that occupied nation.
Turn on the TV and what do you see? The death and devastation caused by car bombs going off in Baghdad and video of al Sadr's army fighting the Iraqi army in Basra. Not exactly the democracy that was ostensibly one of the main reasons for invading Iraq.
Iraq is not a cohesive country-- only a dictator or an occupying army can keep its disparate parts together. Things will get worse when our troops leave Iraq, regardless if we leave tomorrow or a hundred years from now.
"McCain, who has supported the war from the beginning, pointed to what he said were signs of progress: a decrease in violence and civilian and military deaths, Iraqis returning to work, markets open and oil revenues increasing." [www.ABCNews.com]
Since the surge (troop escalation) there has been a decrease in violence, but it's not a result of Bush's brilliant military strategy or a sign that the Iraqis have a craving for peace and democracy. The death toll has dropped only because our government is spending millions bribing Sunni insurgents to fight al Qaeda instead of firing upon American troops. You can't buy long-lasting loyalty with filthy lucre and it's only a matter of time before the Sunni warlords once again start killing our soldiers.
"McCain also said there have been signs of political reconciliation at the local level, but he acknowledges, 'political progress at the national level has been far too slow...but there is progress.'" [www.ABCNews.com]
Political progress at the national level has been almost non-existent, the Shiite-led government has made only token attempts to reach out to the Sunnis. There is no military solution to the quagmire in Iraq-- a semblance of peace will only be achieved through diplomatic and political means.
"In his speech, he said he believes it is still possible for Iraq to become a stable democracy and it is in the geo-political interests of the United States to see that Iraq and Afghanistan attain that goal." [www.ABCNews.com]
You can't impose democracy with the barrel of a gun, there needs to be a longing and a desire for democracy in Iraq. The only problem is that in their history, going back thousands of years, the Iraqis have never had the slightest desire for democracy.
McCain's speech proves that we can't afford to elect as our Commander-in-Chief a warmonger who is perfectly content to keep our troops in Iraq for a hundred years. McCain is so oblivious to the reality in Iraq, that in his speech he failed to mention the 4,000 American soldiers who have been killed in Iraq.
McCain is as qualified as my elderly neighbor to be the President of the United States. It's imperative that we elect Sen. Barack Obama to the White House; he won't keep our young men and women a day longer than necessary in that God-forsaken part of the world.