Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain's Afghan Strategic Blunder

By Robert Parry
July 22, 2008

John McCain has denounced Barack Obama as being “completely wrong” on Iraq, but it was McCain who advocated what turned out to be the fundamental strategic blunder in the post-9/11 conflicts, the hasty – and premature – pivot from Afghanistan to Iraq.

Only weeks after the Taliban were routed from Kabul and the remnants of al-Qaeda had fled from bases in Tora Bora, McCain took the lead in urging the Bush administration to turn its attention toward Iraq.

Read on.

5 comments:

Bill from Saginaw said...

John McCain's sabre rattling endorsement of Bush's preemptive war doctrine in his February, 2002 speech at the Munich conference illustrates just how instrumental a cheerleader he was in helping launch what Barack Obama (at the same time) was publicly calling the proposed rush into a "dumb war" against Iraq.

Obviously, McCain's remarks provide grist for the standard MSM critique of who had better judgment back then, knowing what we all know now. More important, I feel Barack Obama should squarely develop as a campaign theme the inherent stupidity of the neocons' resurrection of the long discarded 19th Century notion of preemptive/preventative war in the first place.

I really do believe the American electorate is mature enough to handle a principled debate about the wisdom of the United States cavalierly threatening would-be evil doers with preemptive attack in the age of nuclear terrorism. How would John McCain respond?

Would McCain stick to his guns (literally), welcoming a test vote on which national security policy is more prudent, and which candidate is best trusted to answer the red phone at 3:00am? Or would he agree with Obama that preemptive war is folly, a rhetorical relic of past European militarism, thus alienating the whole right wing of the GOP base?

As Molly Ivins might put it, it's okay for grown ups to talk openly about such things. It seems to me opening up such a discussion would be both sound public policy, and smart partisan politics.

Bill from Saginaw

Robert B. Livingston said...

I am very disappointed reading essays like this which make me question just how independent the talented and sometimes admirable journalist Robert Parry really is.

We all know that the war in Iraq was a mistake based on lies.

But al-Qaeda was always an exagerated bogeyman-- a creation of the U.S. which, according to Eric Margolis, "never numbered more than 300 men."

There was never any real proof that Muslims were even involved on 9/11 (see Elias Davidsson).

We were propagandized to believe that the threat against us came from outside-- which perhaps even Parry partially and imperfectly knows was hardly the case.

Obama, like Pelosi-- even like Kucinich who once promised never to back a pro-war candidate (which he did by endorsing Obama)-- are all of a cloth: the real enemies according to persons like Mike Whitney and Margaret Kimberley.

Those who abet any of those who will direct us to further war crimes are as guilty as those who perpetrate them.

Sad to say-- I now read Consortium News with the same jaundiced eye with which I read other propagandizers in the establishment media.

So beat the drum for an alternative to the Right's megaphone-- just don't include me in your parade.

Propaganda is propaganda whether it comes from the Right or the so-called progressive Left.

RichM said...

Mr Parry concludes, "...McCain appears to have been 'completely wrong' in that judgment, a strategy that has damaged U.S. standing in the world and has played into the deadly hands of Osama bin Laden."

- That's true, but the real motivation for invading Iraq was control of oil, & establishing enduring US military bases in the region. These goals have now been largely achieved, with the agreement several weeks ago to grant 5 western transnational oil companies development rights to Iraqi oil fields.

So, with regard to the invasion's true motivations, the whole venture may actually seem a "success," despite its horrific cost & immorality. If you look at it the way the invasion's backers do, McCain's judgement would seem vindicated.

fact checker said...

OBAMA IS SAYING THE WRONG THINGS ABOUT AFGHANISTAN -- BY PROFESSOR JUAN COLE

Well, Mr. Parry....not that I'm a fan of John McCain, but it appears that there are two sides to the blunders.

One thing is certain...Obama may have been against the Iraq War (however, even he has admitted in a moment of candor, that he doesn't know how he would have voted had it actually been in the Senate at the time of the "infamous" vote), but he's obviously NOT against his own possible wars-in-the-making.

Great. Unilateral strikes within Pakistan are A-OK with Obama.

Has he considered that Pakistan is nuclear armed?

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