Friday, July 25, 2008

Questions for Obama (and Obama lovers)

Article from syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell:

...As Well As Several Other Issues
By THOMAS SOWELL | Posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:30 PM PT

Here are some questions that Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson should be asking Barack Obama as they follow him on his trip:

Q: Before your trip to Iraq, you said that you intend to give the military a "new mission" — all of the combat troops withdrawn within 16 months. Why bother traveling to Iraq and consulting with commanders on the ground, if you've already decided on a new mission?

Q: In 2004, you called it unwise to announce a timetable. By 2008, however, you announce a 16-month timetable. Only a few days ago, your top campaign strategist stated that you were "not wedded" to that timetable. The next day, you reiterated your 16-month timetable, but added it's important not to "undo" our gains. Isn't this confusing?

Q: On Iran, you criticized President Bush for leaving all options on the table up to and including a "military option." And during the campaign season, you criticized Sen. Hillary Clinton for voting to call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terror organization. But you later said that, as to Iran, all military options are on the table, and said that you consider the Revolutionary Guard a terror organization. Did the facts change or the politics change?

Q: You announced support for a two-state solution between the Israelis and the Palestinians, with Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The next day, you reversed course, leaving the disposition of Jerusalem a matter to be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Can you clarify?

Q: You said you would sit down, without preconditions, with leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Kim Jong Il of North Korea. You later agreed to hold such talks only under prearranged conditions. You further stated that such talks would occur only when and if you choose to hold them. Again, please clarify.

Q: You point to Kennedy's 1961 summit with Khrushchev, held without preconditions. But Kennedy's secretary of state, Dean Rusk, advised against the meeting, and Kennedy later declared the talks a disaster. Many historians say that Khrushchev sized up Kennedy as a novice, which em-boldened Khrushchev in building the Berlin Wall and in putting missiles in Cuba. Is it wise to hold up the Kennedy/Khrushchev summit as a model?

Q: The Canadians recently agreed to accept 550 tons of yellowcake from Iraq. The Associated Press called it the remaining portion of Saddam Hussein's "nuclear program." David Kay, the weapons hunter, found no stockpiles of WMD, but maintained that Saddam Hussein possessed the intent and capacity to restart his chemical and biological program following the lifting of sanctions. Was President Bush, therefore, correct in saying that Saddam posed a "grave and gathering threat"?

Q: Before you joined the Senate, you said that you opposed this war. But you later said that you understood how and why your Senate colleagues voted for the war, that they were "privy" to national security information you did not have. You also said the vote must have been "difficult." Your nomination opponents Christopher Dodd, Joe Biden, John Edwards and Clinton — all in the Senate at the time — voted for the war. How can you be so certain that had you been in the Senate, you would have voted against the war?

Q: Some argue that if the United States does not attack Iran before they get a nuclear weapon, Israel will. Do you believe this is true? If so, what will the U.S. do, especially since many will blame the U.S. anyway?

Q: In stating your intention to end the Iraq War, you say it costs $10 billion per month. But you, as does John McCain, intend to leave a "residual force." Can you give us the size of that force, and provide a cost estimate?

Q: Since the surge, 15 of the 18 benchmarks have been met. The Sunnis, who boycotted Parliament, have now rejoined it. Polls show Iraqis more optimistic about their country's future than Americans are about ours. At the provincial level, oil revenues are being shared, and Iraq's oil production is at a postwar high. But for the surge, wouldn't things in Iraq now be substantially worse?

Q: You opposed the Iraq War and the surge. If you had gotten your way, wouldn't Nouri al-Maliki and other members of the Iraqi government, with whom you have met, be in exile, in jail or dead?

Q: New York Times reporter John Burns estimates that under Saddam Hussein — through war and terror — up to a million Iraqis may have died. Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein?

Q: We have not been hit on American soil in the seven years since 9/11. In the last five years, no major American facility in the entire world has sustained a terror attack. Does President Bush deserve any credit for this?

Q: Estimates for the monetary cost of 9/11 range from $600 billion to $1 trillion. Is it not possible, just possible, that Bush's actions — including beefing up Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, increased surveillance, and especially the war in Iraq — have prevented another 9/11?

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc


Gerard said...

You could make these same arguments against any position from any candidate in any time. That's my answer.

Except for the second to last question. Which irritates me. We had not terrorists attacks for a LOT more than 8 years BEFORE 9/11... you gonna give Clinton credit for that? Heh. Also, I have a Mars Invasion prevention rock I'd like to rent you for a few hundred grand a month... Question it's effectiveness? Have we been invaded by Mars recently? Well then, would you like to know where to send the check?

Evangelical political support has never brought us good. I'd like to think we are smarter than this.


rmwarnick said...

Questions for Senator McCain:

Why did you say Iran is training al Qaeda fighters? Isn't al Qaeda a Sunni group, while Iran's government is fiercely Shiite?

Can you point out the Iraq/Pakistan border on a map?

The Anbar Awakening began a year before the so-called "surge." How can you say it was a consequence of the "surge"?

You said the invasion and occupation of Iraq was America's first major military conflict since 9/11. What was our invasion of Afghanistan?

You said you wanted to occupy Iraq for 100 years. Now you say you will withdraw. Has your understanding of the situation changed or just the politics?

Paul Mero said... two wrongs Do make a right? :)

rmwarnick said...

I think Obama can rightly be accused of changing his position on a number of issues, however McCain is the clear leader on that score.

Lately, McCain has been adopting Obama's proposals on Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Yesterday, McCain told Wolf Blitzer he thought that the 16-month withdrawal timetable proposed by Obama was "a pretty good timetable."

The difference between the two candidates is that Obama seems to know what he's talking about. On a daily basis, McCain displays an appalling ignorance of foreign policy in general and Iraq/Afghanistan strategy in particular.

I was an enthusiastic McCain supporter in 2000. He could have been a good president to have on September 11, 2001 (I don't think he would have hid in a Nebraska bunker like Bush). Where is that guy now?

Anonymous said...

Obama is a complete idiot. A freak, a loser, a puffed up, big mouthed piece of garbage.

rmwarnick said...

I hope you watched McCain's incoherent interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. He even identified General Petraeus as "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff" (he's the CENTCOM commander).

Kevin said...


Did your forget about these before 9/11, during Clinton's term?
World Trade Center 1993.
Khobar Towers 1996.
Kenya Tanzania embassies 1998.
USS Cole 2000.

What did Clinton do? Bush has many faults, but most people agreed that deposing Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do, including leading democrats.

As soon as Mars looks like it's going to attack, I'm sure the pentagon will call you about that rock.

What does evangelical support have to do with the questions?

--Still waiting for answers to the questions Sowell asked...

Anonymous said...

You make so many assumptions about the facts in these questions that it is almost reprehensible. I am lover of Obama but he certainly cvan be no worse that GWB.

Regarding the lack of terrorist attacks on U.S. why have we never seen evidence of a prevented attack ?

So Saddam and potentially Iran are a threat to regional peace in the middle east - so what - I dont live there and I dont feel I should have to pay to make the middle east a safe place for Israel. Let Israel fight their own battles sans the USA.

It wasn't a surge of troops as much as a surge of bribery money to pay off the milita leaders that made a huge difference in Iraq - I can get anyone to cooperate and bring the violence down if I offer them enough money.

Ok enough of this silliness, the questions are rhetorical - yours and mine. The problem is that the president doesn't run the country - the puppet masters do. It doesnt matter which party wins because they are all republicrats - greed - corrupt - dishonest and full on evil bastards. yes that includes your precious Orin Hatch and Bob Bennett - corrupt - dishonest and liars to the end.