That will fill the Democratic Party ticket for POTUS with two U.S. senators who, in hindsight, demonstrated very poor judgement how to resolve the sectarian conflict in Iraq: Obama didn't care and wanted out in 16 months whilst Biden wanted Iraq federalised and carved up into three sectarian states. Obama's position on Iraq could be summarised (in his own words) as "opposed from the start". Biden tabled a bill that would require George Bush to have exhausted all diplomatic options before launching the war only to have his proposal shot down.
In contrast, GOP presidential hopeful, John McCain urged for a change in strategy once the insurgency and sectarian strife became apparent. McCain criticised the Administration's steady-as-she-goes approach and pushed for the surge. Eventually, the President came around and adopted General Petraeus' counter-insurgency strategy. Result? Well, when was the last time you heard about a car bomb killing and maiming scores in Iraq? Oh yeah, that's right. Not for some time...
On a more recent foreign policy issue? Obama blames the U.S. for Russia's invasion of Georgia saying it should be a better example. At the time when Russia was bombing the crap out of Georgian targets, Obama urged Georgia and Russia to show restraint (because Georgia was also invading Russian territory right?). What about slow Joe Biden? Well on 7 August 2008, Biden called for Russia to "immediately...restore calm" (as if Russia wasn't a belligerent). Then after his trip to Tblisi last week, Biden stated that:
I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism...The continuing presence of Russian forces in the country has severe implications for the broader region. The war that began in Georgia is no longer about that country alone. It has become a question of whether and how the West will stand up for the rights of free people throughout the region. The outcome there will determine whether we realize the grand ambition of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.
Much better than Obama, but still slow. McCain on the other hand, from the outset of Russia's aggressive and unprovoked action called for Russia to "immediately and unconditionally...withdraw...from sovereign Georgian territory".
Guess which presidential ticket I think is the better one? Oh yeah, the one that still hasn't announced a running mate. That's who.
I have no idea how these people got my email address, but here's a short "citizen journalist" account of the 2008 U.S. elections that was sent to me earlier this morning. "The media is controlling everything". "Manchurian candidate", "cult", "orator of Germany that rose in 1930" are words and phrases that are used to describe Barack Obama in this clip. In my opinion the way that this clip is put together kind smacks of borderline trutherism applied to Democratic politics.
Many pundits are opining that Russia's invasion of Georgia is a throwback its stately antecedent, the Soviet Union. Its new-found aggression is a result of its imperial ambition and desire to subsume its former satellite states. Or such is the talk. The customary allusion is made to Vladmir Putin having been a KGB operative who at various points was involved in repressing political dissent in the Soviet Union or doing cloak and dagger stuff in Europe. All of which is factually correct and all of which, I argue, is beside the point.
Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev is a business man. Not political apparatchik. And Putin, for all of his snooping around Eastern Europe in the 1980s for the KGB, demonstrated, during his presidency, that ideology matters little to his policies. Although the language that we hear from the likes of Medvedev, Putin and Lavrov and the theatrics we have witnessed at the United Nations Security Council are earily reminiscent of a bygone era, their policies share little with those fashioned by the likes of Krushchev or Brezhnev.
I argue that what we are now seeing is not so much a Russian regression to communism but rather Russia's progression to a mercantile market state. And in so doing, its evolution to a market state is occurring much faster (and started much earlier) than any other market state. And to its strategic advantage.
First a literary excursion to explain some of the concepts raised in the last paragraph.
Conservative Lion, George Will, enters the liberal Colbert Den, with surprising results (H/T:Hot Air):
One thing I would like to say is that whilst Will is right about freedom, humanity being hewn of crooked timber and whilst his delivery is decisive, it is cold. This is something conservatives (and libertarians) have to fix if we would like to have a political future.
Bold assertion. Where is the evidence? Well, in two recentposts, Anthony Watts and Basil Copeland looked into commonly used temperature records and found something quite startling: the rate of increase in global mean surface temperatures during the 1980s and 1990s was equivalent to the increase over the 1920s and 1930s. Not because of the massive increase in CO2 output over the latter half of the 20th century, but despite it. Therefore, there appears to be a exogenous factor driving Earth's climate (well, at least not CO2).
In his latest column, Phillip Adams demonstrates quite capably, without much assistance, that he is deranged. His fight with reality continues. He argues that Obama "is the Sidney Poitier of presidential politics" as cast in the movie In the Heat of the Night and implies that his detractors are evil white men. He even defends Obama's nutcase pastor, Jeremiah Wright. His church produced a sermon series on DVD titled "God Damn America". And that's just one of them. Hmmm...what to make of Adam's defence that "Obama’s candidacy is being destroyed by a couple of sermons in a local church".
He then launches into an attack on John McCain associating him with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Except that he isn't associated with either. He doesn't attend their churches. Nor did he get either man's endorsement (Robertson from memory endorsed Guiliani). More to the point, Adams gives no basis for his accusation.
We know less about Senator Obama than about any prospective president in American history. His uplifting rhetoric is empty, as Hillary Clinton helplessly protests. His career bears no trace of his own character, not an article for the Harvard Law Review he edited, or a single piece of legislation. He appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him. But there is a real Barack Obama. No man - least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father - can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife.