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Andrew Sullivan, Then and Now

June 30, 2008:

McCain himself disowned the Swift Boat nutters in 2004 as "dishonest and dishonorable." I find both attempts to smear the war records of people who volunteered to fight for their country to be repellent. But the far right is too invested in the politics of Vietnam to take the high road.

August 17, 2008:

I've now heard it countless times. McCain has used what appears to be an intensely personal moment in a prison camp as a reason to vote for him in a campaign ad. As he tells it today, it was the pivotal moment in his struggle to survive in the Hanoi Hilton. And yet, in his first thorough account of his time in captivity, in 1973, the story is absent. The story is also hauntingly like that recounted by Solzhenitsen, as told in Luke Veronis, "The Sign of the Cross":

Leaving his shovel on the ground, he slowly walked to a crude bench and sat down. He knew that at any moment a guard would order him to stand up, and when he failed to respond, the guard would beat him to death, probably with his own shovel. He had seen it happen to other prisoners.

As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.

As Solzhenitsyn stared at the Cross drawn in the dirt his entire perspective changed.

I have one simple question: when was the first time that McCain told this story?

And he didn't stop there.  He has continued on today here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

That's 12, count 'em, 12 posts to date so far from the same guy who said back in June, "I find both attempts to smear the war records of people who volunteered to fight for their country to be repellent. But the far right is too invested in the politics of Vietnam to take the high road."

Um ... so does this mean Andrew's on "the right" again, or is it a confirmation that he's a far leftie?  Hell, I dunno anymore. In fact, I don't think he even knows.

Read more at SisterToldjah.com

Clintonista Lanny Davis on the Iraq War

I know. You're probably thinking "What do I care what Lanny Davis thinks about the Iraq war?" Well, normally I would agree with you, but after reading what he wrote for the Washington Times (yes, the WaTimes), I think you'll agree with me that his opinion is worth reading, considering he at one point was an anti-Iraq war Dem. He's still a Dem of course, but his opinion on the Iraq war has significantly changed. Here's a bit of what he wrote:

But ... then came my first moment of doubt.

I saw on TV in early 2005, in their first preliminary democratic elections, long lines of Iraqis waiting to vote under the hot desert sun with bombs and shrapnel exploding around them. Waiting to vote!

And then there was that indelible image - an older woman shrouded in a carpetlike cape, smiling gleefully and holding her purple finger in the air for the TV cameras, purple with ink showing that she had voted.

Smiling! In the middle of war! At U.S. troops standing nearby!

[...]

Wow, I thought. Is it possible I was wrong?

Is it possible, I wondered, that Iraqis truly did want democracy and freedom and the right to vote and government of the people, just as we Americans do? And were willing to fight for it, with our help?

Wouldn't that be a good thing? Even a great thing?

Maybe another democracy, however imperfect, other than Israel in the Middle East could lead to more moderation, possibly other democracies? Democracies that could serve as bulwarks against al Qaeda-type of terrorist states?

Then in 2005-06 came the increased violence from the Sunni insurgents against American kids, then the sectarian civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites, with young Americans caught in the crossfire. My certainty in opposing the war and supporting a deadline for getting out re-emerged.

And then in early 2007 came the surge, which so many of us in the antiwar left of the Democratic Party predicted would be a failure, throwing good men and women and billions of dollars after futility. We were wrong.

[...]

Surely we owe the Iraqis who helped us, whose lives are in danger, immediate immigration rights to the U.S. Yet the shameful fact is that most are still not even close to having such rights.

Surely we owe the al-Maliki government and the Shi'ite and Sunni soldiers who put their lives on the line against Shi'ite and Sunni extremists and terrorists at our behest some continuing presence and support and patience as they strive to find peace, political reconciliation - and maybe even the beginnings of a stable democracy.

The only question is, for how long?

Forever? No. 100 years? No.

But for how long? I don't know.

I just know I can't get out of my mind that lady with the purple finger held up, smiling into the camera. If getting in was a mistake, then getting out - how and when - is not so simple as long as there is hope that she can someday live in a democratic Iraq that can help America in the war against terrorism.

Continue reading "Clintonista Lanny Davis on the Iraq War" »

Let's Talk "Big Oil"


The nation is grumbling about fast-rising gas prices and Congress is trying to "solve" the issue via "solutions" that have proven in the past to only make matters worse.

I confess this isn't my area of expertise, but I know a bad solution when I hear one and the 2008 version of the Carter policy on windfall profits is certainly that. I almost think that Democrats in Congress attempted this latest farce of a gas "policy" knowing it wouldn't pass, in an effort to make Americans so miserable having to pay so much for gas that they'd be forced into buying hybrids or cars with exceptionally good gas mileage.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Bill Steigerwald had an interesting piece today that discussed "Big Oil's" answers to the recent grilling Congress gave them about their record profits.

Continue reading "Let's Talk "Big Oil"" »

WaPo on Iraq: The US "May Be Winning This War"

The WaPo acknowledges what the NYT (and Barack Obama) refuses to:

THERE'S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks -- which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington's attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have "never been closer to defeat than they are now."

Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained "special groups" that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. It is -- of course -- too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments -- and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the "this-war-is-lost" caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

[...]

If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq's 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.

Continue reading "WaPo on Iraq: The US "May Be Winning This War"" »

Does Barack Obama Ever Stop Lying?

Add another one to the list:

Sen. Barack Obama, the leading Democratic candidate for his party's nomination, is very fond of telling receptive audiences the story about how last May he walked right into the automotive lion's den of Detroit and told those industrialists they were going to have to shape up, change the way they do things and start making more fuel-efficient vehicles to protect our environment.

"And I have to say," the straight-talking Obama tells his chuckling followers, "that when I delivered that speech, the room got really quiet. [Laughter] Nobody clapped."

Well, in honor of Obama's return campaign visit back to Michigan this week, someone -- perhaps Republicans, perhaps someone closer to home politically -- assembled videotape of Obama's oft-told tale and spliced it side by side with videotape of that actual Detroit speech.

You'll never guess what. The room wasn't quiet at all. Obama, in fact, got a loud round of applause. And at the end of his address the camera's view of him at the podium is partially blocked because the audience of local businesspeople and automotive executives was rising to give him a standing ovation.

Continue reading "Does Barack Obama Ever Stop Lying?" »