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President John McCain

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

President John McCain

Postby gargantua » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:08 pm

Given the foreign policy trends of the past few years, I've been thinking about what our foreign policy would look like if the 2004 election had gone the other way.

I suspect most Forons would regard McCain as a reckless, war-mongering idiot. Here's the thing: would it really be so bad if adversaries of the U.S. really believed that? If Assad really believed that the "red line" really meant we would actively intervene against him? Would the Russians really want to engage in a proxy war in Syria if they thought Crazy John McCain was in charge? Would the Iranians really risk an Israeli-US strike if they thought they really had to worry about what a McCain administration would do?

I voted for Obama in both elections. But as far as foreign policy is concerned, I am disappointed. I think McCain would have been more judicious about the use of force than he was portrayed. But we do have real adversaries in the world. And I don't mind them being afraid of what our President might do. Who is afraid of Obama? Take your time. You'll need it.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:56 pm

Now here's a thought: President Palin.

I am not sure why you're so disappointed in President Obama's foreign policy. It's one of the few areas where I am relatively satisfied with his performance.

1) We haven't gotten in another war. Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were ungodly costly and never did us a whole lot of good (if they have, please explain your reasoning). And it's doubtful they did the people there much good, overall, in spite of the right wing's insistence we absolutely had to "free" the Iraqi people (so they could fragment and fall into sectarian violence, I suppose).

2) To quiet the right, he offed Bin Laden. I wasn't personally convinced Bin Laden was functionally at the head of Al Q any more -- I think it had demonstrably splintered into several sub-factions -- but with Bin Laden dead, at least we couldn't argue about it any more.

3) I don't think there was any good response to what's been happening in the middle east, so I am pleased we haven't entangled ourselves more deeply in its regional flare-ups. My reasoning is there would have been no way to do so and end up with anybody on our side beyond those we were paying money to at any one time. Syria is a good example. Why should we take sides when neither side (or none of the several sides) would be a reliable ally when the thing ended?

4) I am pleased that Obama announced we are getting out of Afghanistan and not starting more wars for now. It's a new direction in foreign policy where we can focus on trade and humanitarian (disaster relief, for instance) efforts for a change. And while I find Obama's drone thing offensive on a human level, it's hard not to agree sending in two drones is more palatable domestically than sending in several thousand US troops with the inevitable casualties that would result.

5) Nobody will ever settle the issues of Israel and its neighbors except Israel and its neighbors. I don't have anything to say here except I am relieved we are not at war there as of this moment. I have no idea what to do about Iran's nuclear activity, but every day we are not at war there is, well, another day we are not at war there. (If you want a truly unwinnable war, try that one. The people of the middle east already showed us what they think of "shock and awe.")

6) If domestic natural gas helps us get off our dependency on foreign oil, "proxy wars" in the middle east's oil fields become less important and possibly even burdensome.

While in game theory it can be very valuable to be regarded as batshit-insane, I'm kind of glad we aren't taking that approach to our foreign policy if ony because one of the better game theory responses to a batshit-insane player is to yourself be batshit-insane. North Korea is a fine example, and we hardly need more (or larger) batshit-insane players.

I think Obama's general approach is to try to let other countries of the world step up and do their share so that the US is no longer 911 for the whole planet. To be 911 is too expensive, is a thankless task that results in fewer and fewer allies (we already saw that in Iraq), and is ever more unrealistic as the planetary economy shifts toward the emergence of China, South America, and even, in time, Africa. I believe Obama is ahead of the curve here and his approach, if followed consistently by the administration that follows, would result in a better and more stable balance of global power.

We haven't "won" a war since, well, Korea? Sorta. Not Vietnam. Not anything since. Have we learned nothing? Why would you even consider that getting into another one would be a good idea?

Having our adversaries be afraid of us is not my idea of a good goal. Staying out of unwinnable wars, keeping our own cities and ports safe, and rebuilding our economic soundness and prosperity (which helps bring stability in othe parts of the world too) make better sense to me.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby bdog » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:18 am

snoqueen wrote:I am not sure why you're so disappointed in President Obama's foreign policy. It's one of the few areas where I am relatively satisfied with his performance.

2) To quiet the right, he offed Bin Laden.

"To quiet the right"?

That's a pretty awful reason to carry out that operation.

Do you really believe that?

Who is Meade?
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Re: President John McCain

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:45 am

I believe in neutralizing threats, not in revenge killings.

I said I don't think Bin Laden was actively in charge of the many cells and fronts of his organization any more. While the only way to substantiate that would be to read all the intelligence reports (which is not going to happen), I think the information that he was putting his writings on a thumb drive and having some guy take them out of his compound and down to some public computer to send them off pretty much rules out the idea he was functioning in real time as the general of an army.

All of which shows he had been effectively neutralized and was holed up in his compound, which we had located, and wasn't going anyplace without us knowing, and wasn't communicating with his own forces without us knowing. What more could anybody want?

To the right, revenge killings are a big thing -- it's sort of a tribal concept, from what I can tell -- and they weren't going to shut up until we had Bin Laden's head.

It was easier to just shut them up once and for all. The fact that having done so we have not seen militant activity die out shows conclusively that it goes on of its own accord under other leadership, or even with little coordination at all, and was not dependent upon Bin Laden.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:15 am

McCain is very hawkish concerning the Syrian conflict. If he was president, would he put U.S. troops on the ground? Maybe he only talks that way now because he knows that Obama won't do that. He also rattles his sabre at Iran.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby wack wack » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:33 am

I had the same thought... how does anyone suggest John "we MUST help Syria NOW, on the way to storming Iran!" McCain would be "more judicious" with the use of force?
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Re: President John McCain

Postby Talon Newsman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:49 am

♪♫ Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran... ♪♫
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Re: President John McCain

Postby gargantua » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:03 pm

Clearly, the Palin VP choice was disastrous, and so obvious that I didn't mention it. Partly because since McCain's still alive, so she would be kept occupied doing inconsequential things like most VP's. Secondly because my intent was to focus on how our foreign policy would be different.

I certainly didn't think the war in Iraq was a good idea. And as for Afghanistan, I would have preferred that we had just driven Al-Qaeda out, turned around, and left.

My perception of Obama is that he draws "red lines" (chemical weapon use in Syria), and when the liine is crossed, there are no consequences. I think that the Iran's, and North Korea's and Syria's of the world have gotten the message that Obama will not use US military power, period.

I see at as a matter of having a credible deterrent to bad behavior. I sure as hell don't want to go around starting wars. But I would prefer that our adversaries have a sense that we will protect our allies and our interests. I'm just not feeling that from Obama, and I don't think they are either. Long-term, I think that increases the risk for greater conflict.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby wack wack » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:47 pm

gargantua wrote:My perception of Obama is that he draws "red lines" (chemical weapon use in Syria), and when the liine is crossed, there are no consequences. I think that the Iran's, and North Korea's and Syria's of the world have gotten the message that Obama will not use US military power, period.


I do agree about the "red lines" issue. For all the conservatives try to pin on him, this is what embarrasses me as an Obama supporter. First, you just don't make ultimatums like that, it's irresponsible and foolish. Then, to not back them up... repeatedly... ugh.

Got no defense here.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:55 pm

Obama is just a terrible negotiator. He's done it over budgets (though there was nothing he could have done that would have moved the Republican intransigents, who were not negotiating at all but rather grandstanding), and he does it with foreign policy. He needs to just leave this stuff to his secretary of state. He does tend to pick pretty good staff given a chance.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:57 pm

gargantua wrote:My perception of Obama is that he draws "red lines" (chemical weapon use in Syria), and when the liine is crossed, there are no consequences.

The White House has finally responded. But exactly what action will be taken is to be seen.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:50 pm

gargantua wrote:Clearly, the Palin VP choice was disastrous, and so obvious that I didn't mention it.

Don't worry about Sarah. She got her old job back.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby gargantua » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:02 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:
gargantua wrote:My perception of Obama is that he draws "red lines" (chemical weapon use in Syria), and when the liine is crossed, there are no consequences.

The White House has finally responded. But exactly what action will be taken is to be seen.


See? NSA probably filled him in on this thread and our bitching actually worked! Thanks, NSA!
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Re: President John McCain

Postby you must be joking » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:58 pm

Pigs will fly and snowballs will freeze in Hell before John McCain gets elected as President.

He's too old, too out of touch to lead this country.

And you can forget Jeb Bush as well.
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Re: President John McCain

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:05 pm

you must be joking wrote:Pigs will fly and snowballs will freeze in Hell before John McCain gets elected as President.

He's too old, too out of touch to lead this country.

And you can forget Jeb Bush as well.


You should really read past the title of a thread before commenting.
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