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A paragraph from Glenn Greenwald's new book.....
The central animating principle of the two Bush/Cheney terms has been that Islamic radicalism is not merely a threat to be managed and rationally contained, like all the other threats and risks the United States faces. Rather, it is some sort of transcendent ideological struggle -- a glorious War of Civilizations -- comparable to the great ideological wars of the past. As such, it will engage all of America's military might and the bulk of its resources, as the United States navigates an endless stream of enemies and wars that subordinates all other national priorities and that assumes a paramount role in our political life. That was the central theme of George Bush's presidency, and it is the central theme of John McCain's worldview now. Link
John McCain from the ABC GOP debate from 1-06-08, rebroadcast on CNN....
John McCain says, "the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists".
George W. Bush says...." "We fight for this day, because the security of our own citizens depends on it. This is the great ideological struggle of the 21st century -- and it is the calling of our generation. All civilized nations are bound together in this struggle between moderation and extremism." Link
When progressives say that a John McCain presidency would be a 3rd term of George W. Bush....the above is what we're talking about.
No one, really, on either side simply dismisses Islamic radicalism. Both Republicans and Democrats recognize the risk of radical Islamic suicide bombers.
However, to inflate Islamic radicalism into some equivalent danger with a nuclear Soviet Union or the heavily militarized fascist state of Nazi Germany is preposterous. Yet, that is exactly what both Bush, the Junior, and McCain, the Aged, would have Americans believe. In this fantastical evalulation of America's threats, if you've heard one of these two neo-conservative Republicans, you've also heard the other.
The acceptance of the Bush Doctrine, alone, disqualifies McCain from becoming president. John McCain fully agrees with Bush's Doctrine of pre-emptive wars. Despite revisionist attempts, this Doctrine is as extreme and radical as the insane beliefs that Islamic homiciders hold. A foreign policy Doctrine which endorses unilateral attacks against ANY nation, at ANY time, with or without provocation, is the Doctrine of a rogue state.
My personal belief is that Bush, the Junior, made up this pre-emptive Doctrine in order to sell his own personal war of choice. W. had very little justification for unilaterally attacking Iraq. Sure, specifically cherry picked intel could be twisted into some facade of danger. But attacking a country that posed no real direct threat to America still appeared to be quite a stretch. Voila! the new Bush Doctrine of pre-emption appeared in October of 2002.....allegedly some high-minded, overarching new principle for 21st century America.....realistically only a fig leaf to dress up an American rogue leader's, and his neo-con buddies', imperialistic bloodlust.
The transcendent challenge facing the United States of America is not radical Islam.
The transcendent challenge facing the United States of America is the threat from within of radical, extremist military doctrines, advocated by American radicals and extremists, just as dangerous as any Islamic radical. Just ask one of the dead Iraqis.
Sadly, John McCain is one of these American extremists.
To demonstrate how blinded John McCain is in foreign policy and military matters, areas allegedly his fields of expertise, let's review McCain's '100 years in Iraq' comment. I understood what McCain was getting at with his Korean War comparison. He wasn't telling Americans he wanted our soldiers to be fighting and dying for a hundred years. McCain's error in judgment here, and it's a very bad error, was his total lack of appreciation for what basing our military permanently inside of Iraq means.
The strongest bitch Islamics have with the U.S. is our basing of American troops inside of their countries. They believe, in their religious ignorance, that our troops presence defiles Islam. Ron Paul pointed out that Osama Bin Laden gave as an excuse for 9-11 our troop presence inside Saudi Arabia. John McCain, by stating that he doesn't care if our troops are in Iraq for 100 years, is telling Muslims all over this globe that America will do whatever it wants and could care less if Muslims are offended by it.
McCain's '100 year Iraq war' comment was no different from George W. Bush's ignorant, frat-boy comment, "Bring it on." And the sad part is, John McCain is totally oblivious to any of this. America, under George W. Bush, has given Muslims a stronger argument to recruit new young ignorant Muslims to resist the 'infidel' crusaders. We are even more vulnerable to attacks simply because we've poured more fuel onto the whacked out Muslim jihad inferno. McCain dismisses all of this dynamic out of hand. Like George, the Younger, he is clueless.
If you support the Bush foreign policy of pre-emptive wars, if you still believe that there's something to "win" in the totally broken country of Iraq, if you think the past 5 1/2 years of American military adventurism with it's extremely high price tag is the way forward...than by all means vote for John McCain. When it comes to these critical issues John McCain is the stay the course guy.
And just imagine....you can tell your grandkids you voted for a 3rd George W. Bush term as president.
UPDATE: Mr. Straight Talk has some non-divisive bumper stickers and buttons that folks can purchase....