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Posted by on Jul 19, 2008 in Politics, War | 24 comments

Obama’s Magical Mystery Tour

He’s in Afghanistan today and will go on to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and England on what his campaign hopes will be a 21st century reprise of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour with its theme of “All You Need Is Love” but at the same time has the potential to be a gauntlet of political minefields and security nightmares.

Despite the advance secrecy, John McCain yesterday blurted out that Obama would be going “either today or tomorrow” and that “Sen. Obama is going to arrive in Baghdad in a much, much safer and secure environment than the one that he would’ve encountered before we started the surge.” Maybe so, but someone might remind McCain of the old World War II slogan, “Loose Lips Sink Ships.”

Physical security aside, Obama may get a warm reception in Baghdad if what Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has told the German magazine Der Spiegel about troop withdrawal is any indication.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • Holly_in_Cincinnati

    What secrecy? NPR was talking about Obama’s trip yesterday.

  • elrod

    The secrecy part had to do with his exact itinerary in Iraq. I think McCain’s comments were pretty innocent – he didn’t have Obama’s schedule.

    That said, Maliki’s endorsement of Obama’s 16 month withdrawal plan is a HUGE headache for McCain. What better endorsement of Obama’s Iraq vision than Maliki’s endorsement?

    As Ezra Klein said today, imagine for a moment if Maliki had rejected a timetable and dismissed Obama’s talk as domestic politics. McCain would, rightly, have a field day with it.

  • Silhouette

    It’s imperative that Obama be kept safe until after the November election where he will lose. If something were to happen to him now, the democrats would nominate Hillary Clinton and she would win in November. The GOP will spare no expense and man in black to keep him safe until the vote.

  • DLS

    Magical Mystery Tour? I’m surprised references to Moses plus Jesus weren’t included as well somehow. [rolling eyes]

    The main thing is, he had to go to Iraq, and this trip was a good idea. The Bush-bashing losers will of tend to worship his every word and idea and say it is all brilliant. I’m more interested to learn about the details and to see what he does after being elected, and how much it matches what he is promising now.

    And no, his tour is not like the Pelosi-and-Company intentional-intrusion-into-and-disruption-of-foreign policy disgusting tour they took to deliberately undermine Bush and the State Department several months ago.

    Silhouette, are you still paranoid or even delusional? Obama is likely to win, not to lose.

  • Neocon

    Actually I like seeing the Iraqis demanding the US get out of Iraq. That is making it easy for us and if GWB had any balls he would start pulling troops out now. We can no longer afford this war and the debt is monumental.

    I chastize Obama heavily because he wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan. I say screw em. Bring them all home and lets focus on balancing the budget, paying down the debt and getting our national security in order. 5 dollar gasoline and a huge addiction to foreign oil is not in our best interests.

  • DLS

    “That said, Maliki’s endorsement of Obama’s 16 month withdrawal plan is a HUGE headache for McCain. ”

    I discount it as PC, but obviously we know which candidate is preferred outside the USA. Same as I suspect is preferred inside the USA.

    I am “stationed” and work near Warren, MI, where McCain spoke yesterday at the GM Tech Center, and it was played on a local radio station so I listened (I was on the road). Only near the very end of his speech did McCain get *** ANY *** sound, any reaction from the audience (lukewarm applause). Nobody laughed at any of his jokes. He remains merely a plodder who is hoping to “survive” by being the public’s “default” candidate for those who are suspicious or wary of Obama.

  • DLS

    “That said, Maliki’s endorsement of Obama’s 16 month withdrawal plan is a HUGE headache for McCain.”

    To me Afghanistan is an even better excuse to leave. I’m not concerned about disaster in most of Iraq — that’s their fault, not ours at all — but I do fear seeing the oil fields get into the hands of terrorists or Iranian proxies. Nobody decent or normal in the West wants to see that.

    As for Afghanistan, I’d prefer we go in there and exterminate as many Talebs as we can, including those in Pakistan and their accomplices (even members of the ISI — eff ’em — that frontier zone and the criminals there even merit putting chemicals on the place as well as using nukes to wipe out cave complexes) but technically, yes, Neocon, you’re right. We can leave and any new attack on us at home engineered or supported from there could always be met with one or more missiles. Why do things the harder and more expensive way when we’re not obliged?

  • Rambie

    Seeing how Obama’s candidacy has brought out hidden racial attitudes all across this country, there may be someone out there who’d try something. Sil, it may even be a Hilary supporter instead of a right-wing nut job. j/k

    Elrod has a good point, I wonder how the GOP will try to spin that one as a negative for Obama. Or it’s another mis-translation, aka, Maliki’s position moves again.

  • SteveK

    I’m not concerned about disaster in most of Iraq — that’s their fault, not ours at all

    Incredible… simply incredible!

  • Rambie

    Is this some kind of physiological trick DLS? It’s funny that you’re already admitting defeat for McCain when November is still a long way off. Now, if I remember right, you were backing another in the primary, so are you being the GOP counterpart of Sil? LOL

    Wow, Neocon & DLS saying we should pull out of Iraq & Afghanistan?! Did you guys check your temperature?

    Well, at least DLS’ Afghan plan would kill more AQ/Taliban fighters on the way out. To use Neocon’s words, if GWB had any balls he would start bombing right away. There’s nothing of value in Afghanistan anyway, right? So why not just leave it a radioactive waste land?

  • runasim

    “I’m not concerned about disaster in most of Iraq — that’s their fault, not ours at all — but I do fear seeing the oil fields get into the hands of terrorists or Iranian proxies.”

    Meaning 1) it’s the iraqis’ fault for inviting us to invade and unleash sectarain violence.

    Meaning 2) Blood (ours +anyone’s standing in our way) for oil is a legitimate foreign policy

    Kinda makes you reel in amazement, that.
    —————————————————————–

    re al Maliki: don’t forget the Iraqi elections are coming up, too. He’s campaigning, too, and getting rid of Americans is a good talking point.

  • DLS

    “Kinda makes you reel in amazement, that.”

    Or make other sillly emotional exclamations.

    We are not to blame for everything that other people do in Iraq or anywhere else. I am not going to waste time on the other illogical statements you have made.

    Sorry to disappoint you. It hasn’t stopped others from continuing to misplace blame and to be illogical. Nor from jumping to other illogical conclusions such as to imagine I believe nothing in Afghanistan is worth anything when I’ve neither stated nor implied anything of the kind. [sigh] The suffrage should be qualified and weighted for quality…

  • DLS

    “Neocon & DLS saying we should pull out of Iraq & Afghanistan?! ”

    Nobody has said we should stay there forever. We all want most or all of our troops out and we know we have to get out; we simply shouldn’t be stupid and beg for as much disaster as possible as well as appear cowardly and weak by withdrawing 100% completely, which only the demented demand. Even Obama [gasp] wants us to leave in an orderly manner. Retaining bases with permanent stationed troops (Obama opposes this) is not inherently wrong in any way; there will be a need for a military presence there unless we already plan to make more trips back there from our own shores in the future. There will be trouble there; it is certain. Not only with Iran but with terrorists going crazy throughout the Middle East (not limited to Iraq, just at the forefront of the news currently there).

    Shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan first to wipe out the Taliban is the perfect pretext for withdrawing earlier rather than later or more slowly than we otherwise would and should.

    I’m not advocating chemical use on the frontier zone of Afghanistan and Pakistan where the worst criminals continue to thrive, but I wouldn’t shed one tear or express stupid Outrage! [tm] about it if it happened, and it says a lot worse about those expressing such reactions than it says about me (nothing unusual; normality) if they find it upsetting in any way, even if they’re too immature or incompetent or morally defective to realize that. (There is no valid objection to using nuclear weapons where they are the best means for attacking things like cave complexes and other similar places; neutron bombs used in some of the frontier zones even are acceptable if you are dispassionate and truly moral rather than demented about approaching the need to kill terrorists where they are found and fighting us. The only objection to underground bursts of nuclear weapons in place of partial attacks with other weapons and exposing many western soldiers to unnecessary harm or death is political, not moral or military or anything else.)

  • DLS

    “Incredible… simply incredible!”

    We aren’t responsible for everything that goes wrong in Iraq and for the actions and decisions and feelings of everyone in Iraq under every conceivable situation at all times.

    Grow up, Steve.

  • DLS

    “The secrecy part had to do with his exact itinerary in Iraq.”

    I wonder if so many ignorant people will think about this and then try to think for a change before demanding an explicit, announced-to-the-entire-world-including-the-terrorists troop withdrawal “time table” (schedule). [sigh]

  • DLS

    “I chastize Obama heavily because he wants to escalate the war in Afghanistan. I say screw em.”

    1. We do need to wipe out the Taliban.

    2. We can be safely suspicious, or cynical, and know that the first part of this would be removal of our troops from Iraq; Obama might not continue the plan (keep his promise) by re-deploying them all (or any of them!) in Afghanistan once they’re out of Iraq. I could easily see him bringing some of the first troops directly home for PR reasons.

  • DLS

    “It’s funny that you’re already admitting defeat for McCain when November is still a long way off.”

    As you apparently neglected to observe this, I was admitting defeat for McCain before Super Tuesday. Before Super Tuesday I was saying we all had to get used to saying “President Clinton” but since then it has changed to “President Obama.” FYI.

    “if GWB had any balls he would start bombing right away”

    Taliban positions? Yes, though we’d want to grasp some military rationale for this and other actions and by itself it might be seen as being as bizarre as the diplomatic overture to Iran the administration is now making.

    Of course, that might be a diversion prior to bombing Iran, but I doubt it, and if that happened, I’d not be among the idiots screaming outrage but want to know why.

  • Neocon

    Rambie I have always been opposed to the war in Iraq and Even Afghanistan. You just become convinced that because I use the Neocon tag and Oppose most everything Obama stands for that Im a war mongering Neocon. I am a democrat turned libertarian who is opposed to these wars and PRO balance the budget and pay down the debt.

    Im a fiscal ultraconservative. I believe that a strong nation lies in its hefty bank account and not its ability to borrow.

  • DLS

    Too many lefties have been bizarre and rabid whenever “neoconservative” is used in any way, even in older senses that have nothing to do specifically with wanting to convert the Middle East into a set of pro-Western Western-style democracies by force for their own good.

  • DLS

    “Im a fiscal ultraconservative. I believe that a strong nation lies in its hefty bank account and not its ability to borrow.”

    I’ll accept higher taxes if they’re for a truly good purpose and we impose overdue sanity with spending by Washington. (We’re going to get hit with higher taxes no matter what as part of saving Social Security and Medicare.)

  • Rambie

    DLS & Neocon, I was being sarcastic this morning but I’ll still take the bait.

    “Nobody has said we should stay there forever. We all want most or all of our troops out and we know we have to get out; we simply shouldn’t be stupid and beg for as much disaster as possible as well as appear cowardly and weak…”

    Well, I guess 100 years (McCain) isn’t technically “forever”, but longer than most people’s life times. Whoever said anything about forever or even withdrawing in a “stupid” or “cowardly” way? That’s right, it was the Republicans who branded ANYONE who asked about exit strategies as a “coward” or my favorite “Surrender Monkey”. Don’t play dumb now, you may not give me the credit DLS, but I know you’re smarter than that.

    “As you apparently neglected to observe this, I was admitting defeat for McCain before Super Tuesday.”

    No I didn’t. I said, “…if I remember right, you were backing another in the [Republican] primary…” Clearer for you now? I know you never liked McCain because he was too liberal for you and that you’ve been whining about the Republicans loosing for over a year now. That’s why I asked if it was really a psy-op. Again, it was a sarcastic remark.

    “I’m not advocating chemical use on the frontier zone of Afghanistan …”

    Really? You didn’t say that? Well, let’s read what you said again: “As for Afghanistan, I’d prefer we go in there and exterminate as many Talebs as we can, including those in Pakistan and their accomplices (even members of the ISI — eff ’em — that frontier zone and the criminals there even merit putting chemicals on the place as well as using nukes to wipe out cave complexes)…”

    You’re right, you said chemicals AND nukes. The sad thing here DLS, is that we’re more in agreement than disagreement on the issue. Finishing off the Taliban, AQ and even helping rebuild Afghanistan was my main reasons for NOT starting the Iraq war. There is plenty of “Outrage! [tm]” waged by both sides. I’m sorry if you seem to only see it coming from one side.

    Neocon: “…You just become convinced that because I use the Neocon tag and Oppose most everything Obama stands for that Im a war mongering Neocon. I am a democrat turned libertarian who is opposed to these wars and PRO balance the budget and pay down the debt.”

    I didn’t mean any insult to you Neocon. I was in support of going after AQ and the Taliban in Afghanistan but was always against the Iraq war.

    I was in amazement that now two of the conservatives that post here are now talking about leaving Iraq and Afghanistan when -as stated above- any previous talk of such was an instant accusation of being a coward, or “soft on terrorism”, “surrender money”, etc.

    I wonder if Joe kept any of the old comment threats prior to moving to the newer site design. If so we could have a little data mining party.

  • Neocon

    Actually Rambie I did not join this community till after he switched to discus so you can find I believe every post Ive ever posted here.

    I doubt that you will find much in the way of support for the war but every post I have made here is open to see in the disqus icon next to my name.

    I assume you are confusing me for a conservative because I reject Obama and his legislate and regulate mentality. Im still trying to see where he has advocated balancing the budget.

    ‘We’re not going to be able to dig ourselves out’’ of Bush-era deficits in the next year or two, said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of six Democratic rivals sharing a debate stage for the final time before Iowa’s leadoff Jan. 3 caucuses.

    Perhaps not, but thats not very comforting and certainly leaves the road wide open to nearly anything in the future.

    Everyone has their key components that flip their switch. Mine is a balanced budget, fiscal responsibility and now paying down the debt.

    I advocate pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan, trimming the military to the toon of about 100 billion per year and asking for budget cuts of 5 percent across the board. In addition I would favor some small tax increases as well as a small 5 percent national sales tax exclusively to pay down the debt.

    We have a 3 trillion dollar budget I think in all that we can cut spending enough to balance the budget.

    • Rambie

      Sorry, Neocon, that last comment of mine -about looking at past comments- was directed at DLS not you. It got pushed down when I was editing my comment and ended up at the end instead of part of my discussion with DLS.

      I agree with you, we need to balance our budget and some hard decisions are in order to make that happen. However, I don’t think McCain is going to be the man to balance the budget.

  • Don Quijote

    We aren’t responsible for everything that goes wrong in Iraq and for the actions and decisions and feelings of everyone in Iraq under every conceivable situation at all times.

    Actually, WE ARE!!! specially the idiots who put GWB in the White House.

    It’s a sad day when we make Saddam look good.

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