Obama on Guantanamo and the War on Terror

Sen. Barack Obama today named his National Security team and delivered a prepared speech on the war on terror and Guantanamo. I'm disappointed with it.

Three examples:

There are terrorists who are determined to kill as many Americans as they can. The world’s most dangerous weapons risk falling into the wrong hands. And that is why the single greatest priority of my presidency will be doing anything and everything that I can to keep the American people safe. (my emphasis.)

If you were hoping universal health care or creating more jobs or reducing our country's reliance on incarceration would be his greatest priority, this is a letdown.

On Afghanistan: [More...]

Afghanistan is sliding toward chaos, and risks turning into a narco-terrorist state....We need more resources in Afghanistan. I have been arguing for this since 2002, when I said that we should finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban instead of going into Iraq. I have called for at least two additional combat brigades to support our efforts there. I have also called for at least $1 billion in non-military assistance each year.

Sounds like we're headed for more war, just in a different country.

On Guantanamo:

I have confidence that our system of justice is strong enough to deal with terrorists; Senator McCain does not. That is not the same as giving these detainees the same full privileges as Americans citizens. I never said that, the Supreme Court never said that, and I would never do that as President of the United States.

As to constitutional rights for accused foreign terrorists on our shores, our federal courts and our criminal justice system are well equipped to handle their terror cases. There is no need to keep the suspects in military custody, cut off from lawyers --or to try them in secret military tribunals. They should either be tried in our federal courts or an international tribunal should be convened.

Think back to Richard Reid, the accused "shoe bomber" who pleaded guilty to all counts and received no promises of leniency or other sentence concessions. Reid had excellent appointed counsel and a U.S. District Court Judge presiding over his case. The proceedings were open to the media and public. Important court filings by both the Prosecution and the Defense were available on the Internet. The Government got the conviction and the life sentence it sought.

Our criminal justice system and federal courts have succeeded in trying and convicting numerous terrorists. We don't need military tribunal proceedings, whether they are held at Guantanamo or Ft. Leavenworth, KS. I

Trial by military tribunal is neither necessary nor fair. We can't trust in the integrity of a secret proceeding conducted by the military. If we can't trust in the integrity of the proceeding, we can't trust the end result.

Richard Reid's case proves we can provide even the most unlikable defendant charged with a heinous crime the same constitutional rights we provide to all defendants, and get a conviction and a harsh sentence fair and square. We should insist all such cases be tried this way.

Other examples of the federal court system working in terrorism cases include the first World Trade Center bombing cases, the Embassy Bombing cases, John Walker Lindh, the Buffalo Six and James Ujaamaa. Domestically, there are the cases of the Unabomber, Timonthy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.

Examples of where the criminal justice system was not being used initially or at all and which resulted in unfair treatment include Jose Padilla, Yaser Hamdi, and those arrested on material witness warrants and immigration violations and being held in indefinite detention.

In 2001, the Supreme Court, in Zadvydas v. Davis, et al held:

Once an alien enters the country, the legal circumstance changes, for the Due Process Clause applies to all persons within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanent....the aliens' liberty interest is not diminished by their lack of a legal right to live at large....

It doesn't get much clearer than that. They do have constitutional rights, including due process and the right to habeas corpus, to name a few.

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    Typical election boilerplate (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by otherlisa on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:27:36 AM EST
    I already don't like Obama so this doesn't particularly disappoint me. It's what the vast majority of politicians running for high office would say.

    I think one of my biggest problems with Obama is that he presents himself as "change," and just about everything he does indicates more of the same. That would be okay too, if I felt like there was some real commitment to fixing things, and a sense that he has an idea of how to do that.

    Agree, just platitudes and more of the same.... (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by NO2WONDERBOY on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:03:29 AM EST
    "...the single greatest priority of my presidency will be doing anything and everything that I can to keep the American people safe."  

     I have heard him use this same expression countless times (in the AIPAC being the most recent, he added the word Israel) when called to or making his position known on an issue. How many "single greatest priority...." can one have?

    Also, I find very interesting that he would make this statement, "Afghanistan is sliding toward chaos, and risks turning into a narco-terrorist state....We need more resources in Afghanistan. I have been arguing for this since 2002, when I said that we should finish the fight against al Qaeda..." when he chairs the Committee for this region. But then again, he has not held one meeting since he was selected to lead that committee. When Senator Clinton confronted him on this in one of the debates, he gave the excuse that he had "been campaigning for president" as if that were a valid reason. He has notoriously neglected what were supposed to be his duties as Senator.

    More over, the part where he says he has "been arguing for this since 2002..." is ludicrous. In 2002 he was in the Illinois Senate, the same pulpit from where he declared himself against the invasion of Iraq, from where his pronouncement did not make any difference, now when he can have an effective input and achieve CHANGE, he has been noted for his absolute absence, and disassociation from a very potentially dangerous situation to the safety of the American people, that which is his single greatest priority


    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by BernieO on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:01:30 AM EST
    but he is smart to do this since the polls are showing that the public trusts McCain more than Obama on this issue and that may explain the closeness in the polls. ABC reported that only 50% think he is experienced enough and 46% say he is not, which is also bad for him - and it is probably foreign policy that is the biggest issue here.
    As for health care, I wouldn't count on much since he was not even willing to go for a mandate when both Edwards and Clinton did. He really does not seem to have any core beliefs, other than that he is the answer to our problems. But that is old news. The party must agree with him.

    Couldn't (5.00 / 4) (#70)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:19:06 AM EST
    agree more.  Barack Obama is a boilerplate politician.  He's going to singing the national security song because that is probably John McCain's greatest strength, not that matters much.  It looks to me like the die is cast and Obama is 44.  Sad, just sad.

    Oh, and his wife is singing Laura Bush's praises, going to use her for an example of First Lady behavior.


    Which was (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by Mike H on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:32:36 AM EST
    Yet another backhanded slap at Hillary, and yet another Obama praising Republicans.

    People expecting Obama to press for liberal causes are going to have serious buyer's remorse.


    His core belief is ... (5.00 / 5) (#95)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:03:00 AM EST
    "I wanna be President."

    Oh, sorry, I misread her comment (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by slinkerwink on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:37:36 AM EST
    and I didn't see that Obama said that keeping the American people safe would be his highest priority as President.

    I don't see why that has to conflict with healthcare, education, and the economy as some people seem to think it.

    Amen (5.00 / 0) (#92)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:59:15 AM EST
    That is such a great point.  National security needs to encompass our schools, our environment, etc..  That is hopefully where he is going.  

    Hopefully is right (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:31:59 AM EST
    I hope you guys stick around as this all progresses. It's fun watching you stretch like rubber bands.

    Stretch your (none / 0) (#178)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    rubber bands?  What are you talking about.  I am sorry you don't see that as education and healthcare as national security threats.  

    Non-responsive (none / 0) (#201)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:25:27 PM EST
    You're making it up to suit yourself

    There will be many WORMs on this--just wait. (5.00 / 0) (#159)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:41 AM EST
    Yeah, Safe Can Be Broadly Interpreted (none / 0) (#153)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:40:27 AM EST
    Economically safe, environmentally safe, etc.

    This is a 'national security' speech against an opponent whose strongest play is on national security so I'm not surprised by what he says here. I doubt very much when and if he's elected, he will govern as 'the national security' president, to the detriment of domestic priorities.

    Having said that, his comments about Guantanamo are disappointing. At least he challenges the military courts piece, but still doesn't go far enough. It doesn't change my support for him, but it will if he continues to hold this line once he is president with his party in control of both houses of Congress. Then, I'm betting he'll feel considerably more heat from people, including supporters. I'll be one of them.


    What do you expect? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by ROK on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:47:15 AM EST
    Until he names his VP choice (I hope Clark), he has to remind voters that he is tough on this front. Otherwise McCain will run with the already-tired theme of "I am the only one who can protect us" and it could even work (or scare people enough) if Obama did not make this speech and form this team.

    Good move imo...

    The problem (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:47:49 AM EST
    is that a speech isn't really going to help Obama.

    Why not? (2.00 / 0) (#118)
    by Mike H on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:33:47 AM EST
    Pretty speeches got him where he is today.

    if Obama were really tough on national security (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:19:50 AM EST
    he would have done his Senate job on Afghanistan.
    But he couldn't tear away from promoting HIMSELF long enough to hold at least one hearing on Afghanistan.
    And notice - except for Hillary, Senate Dems didn't complain about Obama ignoring Afghanistan. They were too busy pushing Obama and bowing to him while complaining that Bush ignored Afghanistan.
    Obama is the perfect tool to continue business as usual in Washington.

    Obama is BushLite the more he speaks the (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by thereyougo on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:35:58 AM EST
    more of the same old same old.

    Soon we won't be able to distinguish him from McCain.

    Change? heh. try again.


    Don't be so hard on Obama; The essense of Change (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:57:58 AM EST
    ...is Change!

    Like saying he'd take public financing if the Repub candidate agreed--and then changing his mind and saying public financing is "broken."

    Like being the first major party presidential nominee since public financing was enacted to opt out of the general election public financing.

    (My source is a polisci prof on WNYC, but must double check this. Others have opted out of public financing for the primaries, but all have used it for the general. As Paul Lukasiak says in above thread, the point of public financing is to limit the amount spent, not to merely provide funds. This will become obscene by any measure this year. The primaries were obscene in terms of amounts spent. So many places all that money could have done so much good.... And I realize, yes, it would not all be available for funding good things, but I know I can't donate to causes ahd charities bcz I donated this year.)

    Now, the worrisome part is he's used Republican Lite talking points on many issues, but especially SocSec and healthcare. The R's call SocSec a "broken system"--so what will Obama do about SocSec? About Medicare, when he gets around to telling the public he realizes it has severe financial problems?

    I for one do not want to place any bets of what Obama will actually do. Scary.


    I'm not sure of why (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by standingup on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:49:40 AM EST
    but McCain seems to be having some success at putting Obama on the defensive with national security issues.  Is there something in the polling that might be behind this shift?

    It is funny (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:43:53 AM EST
    that McCain challenges him to go to Iraq, and Sen. Obama lets his challenge die down, and then he decides to go.  Maybe it was his intention to go for a long time, and I missed it, if so, I'm sorry.  If not, then it does seem like a cave-in to me.  Not that going to Iraq is a bad idea, but no visiting dignitary is going to "learn" anything from a two or three day visit to the Green Zone (except to drum up some military votes, which is probably the real purpose anyway.)  I don't say that cynically, the Dems have a real chance of winning a lot of Military votes, especially among the non-career folks.  Wes Clark would really help to seal the deal with his Foreign Policy heft.



    McCain wanted to take him (5.00 / 0) (#84)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:49:41 AM EST
    personally to Iraq to visit, as if he needs him to show him around, and THAT is what was rejected.

    He will go and he should but NOT with McVain holding his hand.


    That is my memory (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:53:44 AM EST
    I thought McCain's offer to escort Obama was a genuine one and a good move for McCain.  Obama being educated by McCain and guided through would not have been politically good for Obama though. I approved of the offer and would have liked to have seen this happen. All politics aside.

    Why does he need (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by samtaylor2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:03:57 AM EST
    McCain to educate him.  McCain isn't a general on the ground.  He doesn't have any amazing insight into this conflict.  What he wanted was a photo op of Obama getting "schooled" by him.  Obama needs to go by himself and get his own photo op that makes him look 1000 times more presidential then McCain.  In truth, neither candidate needs to go to Iraq.  It is not like they can see the progress first hand, that would be just sorta dangerous.  

    He doesn't need McCain specifically (none / 0) (#125)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:42:41 AM EST
    but Obama certainly needs someone to educate him. Has he ever served in the Armed Forces?  Does he even really understand the language used?  I don't think so.  I see your point about Obama not being viewed as being educated by McCain, and I actually made that point.  However, on a personal note, all politics aside, I would have liked to have seen the combined trip.  Recall, Obama's mantra for unity and post-partisanship etc. I never underestimate or devalue McCain's POW years.  I think there is no greater motivating factor to stay involved and educated about these issues.

    Note, pundits note that both will make the trip to Iran to garner military votes.  I am not that cynical, yet.  


    Afghanistan (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:06:40 AM EST
    I first started paying attention to the Taliban after the embassy bombings.  By 2000 I was reading commentaries (with which I agreed) that Afghanistan probably represented a unique nexus that called for international intervention.  If you were serious about the drug war, they were the main supply of heroin at the time, if you were concerned about terrorism, they were providing sanctuary for terrorists and if you were concerned with human rights they were single-handedly the worst.  

     Now, it is a notoriously difficult region to govern, for demographic and geographical reasons.  So I was a bit skeptical about the initial military intervention...too soon.  But regardless, the Taliban was a serious threat.  Something had to be done, which was the main reason I defended the invasion even though I had friends and family who adamantly opposed it.

     Afghanistan represents the real front on the abstract "war" on "terror," to the extent it can be reduced to a portrait of conventional warfare, which is minimal.  Iraq was an unnecessary, devestating and horrible distraction.


    The first quote about terrorists sounds just like (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by imhotep on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:08:05 AM EST
    Bush's script.  I don't understand why he is pandering to the far-right fear-mongering and 'fraidy-cat types.
    Oh!  He needs some votes from them.
    I never believe what a politician says on the campaign trail.  He is hinting at what his Iran policy will be and I can only hope that it's juzt talk.

    Re: "Letdown" (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by creeper on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:16:34 AM EST
    I think this is only the first (or second...or third) of many to come.

    Is that $1 billion for private contractors? (5.00 / 6) (#21)
    by catfish on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:37:19 AM EST
    $1 billion in non-military assistance each year.

    Can he break down what the $1 billion will be spent on?

    And if he's so concerned about Afghanistan, why didn't he call a single oversight hearing for his European Subcommittee, of which he chaired?

    Yes I am bitter. And I miss Hillary. We don't just have two wars to deal with and an energy crisis that's decimating businesses in Santa Rosa and raising food prices, we've got crazy Katrina-level floods in the midwest, and more firestorms forecast for the summer. We need all three brainy Clintons in the White House.

    Amen (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:47:00 AM EST
    to that.

    Frankly, Obama just doesn't have what it takes and McCain has bad ideas on how to handle the problems. Wowee! What a great election. It's Bush's third term vs. Carter's second term. Which is worse?


    Wrong. (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:20:25 AM EST
    Bush's third term v. Reagan's third term.

    Reagan (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:29:15 AM EST
    already had a third term. It was called Bush I.

    I'm not disappointed about his words on (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:39:07 AM EST
    Afghanistan but I am about Guantanamo.

    For the leftists who are dissappointed (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:41:18 AM EST
    It's worth noting that he might be guilty here, as well, of over-amplified and over-heated rhetoric about national security.

    That he doesn't really mean it.

    Hey.  All politicians do it.

    But on the off chance one lurker happens by TL, someone who worries about terrorism, and scenarios described above, someone who would agree with Obama here (if he really meant it), I now feel I've let the cat out of the bag.    Ooooooops.  Butterfingers!

    The man didn't mean it.

    Yeah! (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:44:41 AM EST
    Cuz he's gonna meet with everyone we hate and talk to them!  And everything is going to be fine after that!  

    Terrorism?  What terrorism?  All  you have to do is be open to talk and negotiation and terrorism is, um, like a video game!  Yeah!  Terrorism is like a video game!


    Maybe he thinks (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:51:20 AM EST
    meeting them for tea will do some good.

    No wait.  That does no good at all.  Meeting soemone for tea doesn't count as diplomacy.


    I can't believe you guys are up (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 04:25:18 AM EST
    I'm up having a litter of puppies, I expected to be alone :)

    You can have puppies? (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:04:55 AM EST
    Modern medicine is amazing.



    pictures (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:24 AM EST
    or dont tease us

    Okay, give em a couple of days to recover (none / 0) (#202)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:56:49 PM EST
    Hey! (none / 0) (#37)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:13:43 AM EST
    Tea is a very important part of hospitality in that part of the world.  Don't you be disrespecting people's culture.  

    It's what he said (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:21:55 AM EST
    About what he said about NAFTA.

    He admitted yesterday that he demagogs issues.  Who's to say he's not demagoging this National Security Issue?


    Politicians tend to demogog issues (none / 0) (#146)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:27:33 AM EST
    especially during elections.
    Name me one politician who hasn't.

    I think we agree (none / 0) (#147)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:30:54 AM EST
    obama is demagoging the national security issue.

    Pols are pols.


    We agree. Politicians demogog. (none / 0) (#186)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:32:18 AM EST
    Politicians pander. It's not even limited to politicians..it's human nature.

    I guess I don't understand the shockshockshock.


    So I'm a Dem and Afghanistan IS important (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by catfish on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:44:38 AM EST
    to me. As is health care and a renewable energy policy and all the stuff Jeralyn mentioned.

    I just heard a talk by the woman who wrote Kabul Beauty School which was fascinating but it struck me, why doesn't Obama (or McCain) talk about women's rights in Afghanistan? He could court the woman vote that way could he not? Bush himself talked about women's rights the other day in a press conference with Gordon Brown, I had to do a double-take but he did it.

    Bush has talked about girls being able to (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:43:50 AM EST
    school and other women related issues in Afghanistan all along. Of course, he was hyping this to detract  from the lack of more progress there but it was definitely one of the areas he stressed.

    I don't expect women to become of value (5.00 / 2) (#168)
    by thereyougo on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:08 AM EST
    to the campaigns is when they'll flock to support either candidate.
    I don't expect it.  Hillary for all her 18 mil voters got little worthy of recognition from Obama and the media, anytime soon.

    Look at what happened at the latest photo op where a few women with head scarves got close to Obama and were told to step aside , but later got apologies.  This shows at least 2 things. One is how deep his sensitivities are about being painted a Muslim  lest people associate him. Two: he's thrown everyone who have stood in his way  under the bus, he'll spare no one and nothing to get at the presidency - even women.

    Obama's campaign is being focused on image image image folks, the substance is out and the soudbytes are in.

    What a sham of a country we've become


    It was baloney from Bush (none / 0) (#187)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:33:57 AM EST
    and I would take it as baloney from Obama.

    Bush doesn't care whether girls can go to school in Afghanistan, or are harmed for trying to. It's an easy, cheap pander.  He's done nothing domestically or internationally to help women.  It was just another excuse to saber-rattle.

    Obama's yet to do show any different, so another speech from him, this time on the human rights violations against women in Afghanistan, would mean as much as Bush's.


    Laura Bush was just there. Not baloney (none / 0) (#200)
    by catfish on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:51:49 PM EST
    from Bush. Yes Bush is a dork but it was not baloney from Bush. Less than a third of the girls there can attend a school and learn how to read. That just ain't right, even Bush can understand that.

    in fairness to sen. obama, (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:59:02 AM EST
    it's the first duty of every president to ensure the safety of the country, and defend it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    fail that, and the rest becomes moot.

    i would also tend to agree that afghanistan, which essentially declared war on us by refusing to extradite those responsible for the destruction on 9/11, should have stayed our primary focus in that region.

    because assets were unnecessarily diverted to iraq, afghan farmers have gone back to their cash crop, opium poppies. you can thank bush for the increase in heroin on our streets.

    terrorists are criminals. our judicial system has amply demonstrated its ability to provide fair and open trials, with all the rules of evidence, and get convictions for guilty parties. what is sen. obama afraid of?

    I concur (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:27:51 AM EST
    I am more than a little troubled by his aversion to the use of our criminal process for terrorists.  It worked (and continues to work) for domestic terrorists (as Jeralyn is well-aware), it should be sufficient for foreign terrorists.

     Additionally, as a purely political matter, it isn't as if criminals have many effective barriers to conviction if they are factually guilty as is, these days, and I think most Americans are probably comfortable with them being tried, period.  No need to create a system that resembles (or is) a show trial.  


    I hate to bore the newly minted (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:35:28 AM EST
    Transformational Change Democratic party with minutia and solutions, but I've heard that farmers in afghanistan aren't totally thuggish, that they're moderates, growing poppy is quite the financial decision, and that a corporate stranglehold over seed price (for food crops) is part of the problem.

    Perhaps this is something Obama can address when he's taking on those corporations.

    Because he has accepted no money at all from lobbyists he will be quite free to do so.


    no newly minted anything here, (none / 0) (#60)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:44:18 AM EST
    but your facts are wrong.

    Transformational Change Democratic party with minutia and solutions, but I've heard that farmers in afghanistan aren't totally thuggish, that they're moderates, growing poppy is quite the financial decision, and that a corporate stranglehold over seed price (for food crops) is part of the problem.

    prior to the invasion by the soviet union, and then their ouster by the taliban, who took over the country, afghanistan was famous for its opium poppy crop.

    one of the few positive results of the taliban takeover was the near complete eradication of it, under pain of death. with the defeat of the taliban at the hands of us, and warlords pretty much taking over, opium poppy is once again the primary cash crop. not because seeds for food crops are controlled by big corporations, but because opium sales pay more than do sales of wheat. lots more per bushel.

    it's a simple econ 101 calculation.


    I say they're moderates (none / 0) (#83)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:44:48 AM EST
    who would gladly grow food if growing food paid as well and you seem to have a big problem with that.

    But then I fail to see how your point is any different.


    in fairness to us - (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by Josey on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:30:20 AM EST
    Sen. Obama did not perform his duty as a senator -appointed to chair the Afghanistan committee. Perhaps that committee assignment was another gift from Reid to merely boost Obama's foreign policy cred, since Reid and other senators haven't complained about his lack of leadership on Afghanistan. The committee assignment would look good on his Empty Suit resume. But with the Dem Establishment backing him and a media fawning over him, Obama didn't need to conduct even one hearing.
    Dems hypocrisy on national security continues...

    My reply... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Jackson Hunter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:00:44 AM EST
    to all of the Constitution shredding Regressives would be this:

    How many times should Richard Jewell have been waterboarded?

    If the Olympic Park Bombing had happened in '04 at some other event, with all of the 9/11 hysteria at the time, you could have heard the shrieking war cry of a million deranged demons DEMANDING that he be treated as a "terry-ist" and sent to Gitmo pronto.  And it would have happened.  And he would have been given the same treatment as any other terrorist (or unlucky schmo who was rounded up because someone wanted a bounty, which is the majority of them, but don't worry, after years at "Club Gitmo" they'll be terrorists soon enough upon release.)

    How would have SNL made a funny skit out of that?  We need to get rid of these (non)rules that allow this garbage and get back to winning hearts and minds, instead of freaking drowning them.

    My thoughts at least.  (I hope this isn't considered a thread hijack, that wasn't my intention.)


    Some questions... (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:20:35 AM EST
    I'm not disappointed, but not because I agree with him. I guess I see a lot of what he says as politician-speak. I've long since stopped believing that he means all of what he says. I'm sure that in front of a group of uninsured, his single greatest priority will be health care. In front of anti-war activists, he won't talk about Afghanistan. In front of the Amnesty International, he'll talk about the fair trials all the detainees will get. The week after that, on FOX News, he'll walk all of it back and note how all the previous groups are criticizing him and how this means he's doing what's right, not what's popular.

    Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC, he refers to Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki as "President Maliki". A small flub, but I kind of expect our future prime minister/president to know better.

    This is going to be his biggest problem (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:08:19 AM EST
    I've long since stopped believing that he means all of what he says.

    Obama is going to have a very hard time establishing his credibility on National Security issues...and this kind of speech is just made for a you tube mash up...


    Kathleen Hall Jamison on Now when Moyers was (none / 0) (#171)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:07:13 AM EST
    there said the best predictor of a pol's actions is his campaign promises. She said it was important to read what they put out, listen to their words. It's also good to know how well their promises and campaign ideas were implemented in their previous elected positions.

    She said that on almost everything Bill Clinton promised, he came through or tried to come through.  He did raise taxes more than he had said he would on the highest earners, but that was to combat the insane deficits from the Reagan-Bush I years.

    It's pretty scary to hear a supporter saying "I've long since stopped believing that he means all of what he says."

    Yikes! Run for the hills! Does this not tell you he may not be the best person for the job?

    Based on what Jamison said, we had so little to go on with BushBoy it was almost predicable we wouldn't be able to trust that what he said he would do was not what he did. And how much do we have to go on with Obama???

    Maybe experience, which we can observe and study, is pretty darn important.


    Obama has disappointed me on so many (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by Grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:32:22 AM EST
    levels, well, I guess that is why I can't vote for him ever.  He has so turned me off to him that I don't believe I could vote for him for an animal control position.  

    On the highest level, I just don't trust him.  I don't trust that he'll do what I think he'll do or even what I'd expect him to do (as a democrat) or even what I wish he would do.  I just don't trust him.

    McCain has said that he would close Gitmo and transfer the detainees back to the USA.  That would put them under control of our "regular laws" which appear to have been good enough in the past.  Does Obama have a problem with this?  Is there some reason he doesn't think our regular judicial system can handle terrorists?  I think McCain is on the right end of this argument.  

    From everything I have read and read again, it appears that Obama would be going for even more military than McCain would.  That's kind of scary!  Obama has increases in troops on his website and he keeps talking an increasingly "military" talk.  I don't like this because Obama has never been upfront with any group.  He's all talk.  He has nothing to show for any of it -- but he's never been in control of anything either so we don't know if he would put talk into action or not. Consider me "worried."  

    Obama as General.  I'm not crazy about this.  This is a person who has never been in combat at all, unless you want to consider his battle with Hillary "combat."  If you had an 18-year-old son, would you want to send him into combat with Obama as General?  Or would you feel better sending him into combat with McCain as General?  My bets are on McCain who has "been there, done that."  For all the hard-ass ranting and raving McCain might do, McCain knows what it is like to be a POW.  Obama has no idea.  To Obama, a tough situation might be a night when Michelle says she has a headache.  We don't know.  

    Anyway, I think my choice is much clearer now...      

    "I just don't trust him" (5.00 / 4) (#74)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:27:14 AM EST
    Exactly.  That's the bit the Obamabots don't get, they think we don't want to vote for him out of vengeance.  It's not that, I just don't trust the guy, and now I don't trust the Democratic Party for totally adulterating the primaries to get this guy on the ticket.

    Don't Trust Obama And Let Me Count The (5.00 / 7) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:00:24 AM EST
    ways I no longer trust the Democratic Party.

    Capitulation on Iraq
    Capitulation on the dismantling of the Constitution
    Capitulation on "The President is Above The Law"
    Compliance with Obama putting Social Security on the table
    Reluctance to enact any viable health care plan
    Disenfranchising voters
    Unethically allocating delegates contrary to the actual votes casts
    Designating the working class as irrelevant to the party
    Complicit in sexism and misogyny against women
    Probable sell out to the telecoms


    Reading what's going to pass in the (5.00 / 2) (#132)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:51:17 AM EST
    House today made my breakfast lurch in my stomach (via Think Progress):

    Under a wiretapping bill set to be approved by the House, U.S. phone companies would receive immunity and "be shielded from potentially billions of dollars in lawsuits." As a "compromise," the bill would also "allow a federal district court to dismiss a suit if the company was provided written assurances that Bush authorized their participation in the spy program and that it was legal."

    This quote from the Reuters article is just gobsmacking:

    Hoyer argued the bill would provide greater protection of civil liberties than one the Senate approved in February.

    Do we really have a Democratic Party anymore?


    I always thought this: (none / 0) (#138)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:04:35 AM EST
    written assurances that Bush authorized their participation in the spy program and that it was legal."

    was a way to nail Bush.  Of course, I don't think he'll ever do that.  

    If they could get him on one impeachable offense...  Just one.


    Add to your list (none / 0) (#156)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:44:59 AM EST
    investigating Dodd because he received, as I understand it, "favorable" treatment from Countrywide on a mortgage loan consisting of points waived. Am I missing something or:
    •  Don't prominent members of a community most often get favorable loan rates?
    •  Is Dem Congress investigating him so he cannot fillibuster the telecom immunity bill?

    I thought demeaning (5.00 / 0) (#149)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:32:46 AM EST
    characterizations of supporters such as calling ppl "Obamabots" was no longer encouraged or sanctioned here...

    Guess I'm Not An Obamabot Then (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by daring grace on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:50:35 AM EST
    Because I never assumed supporters of Senator Clinton all shared the same reactions or reasons for supporting her candidacy.

    I tend to listen to each one and let them demonstrate where they're coming from with their own words and opinions.

    Many do seem to frame things in highly personal and emotional terms, just as many of my fellow Obama supporters do. But many also seem to just believe she was the best candidate and Obama is not. So I can well understand that position since I stand on the other side of that fence, holding those feelings about my own candidate.


    Tell me (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 03:32:33 AM EST
    when Obama decides to run to the left instead of the right.

    The meme that much of this is "standard election boilerplate" isn't inaccurate.  It's just that the first thing I thought of was McCain's "Safe." ad.  The second thing I thought of was GWB in 2004.  It doesn't hurt that my pet right wing blogger has repeated the "You are alive now because GWB personally has protected your life from the terrorists." which invokes a Rambo-esque meme.

    Too bad Obama didn't use the meme of "The right war, at the right time, for the right reasons.".  (Hold the cherry picked intel and the media cheerleaders, please.)

    hmm.. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by dogooder on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:17:23 AM EST
    If you were hoping universal health care or creating more jobs or reducing our country's reliance on incarceration would be his greatest priority, this is a letdown.

    There can only be one "single greatest", you know...

    If he instead said that universal health care was the single greatest priority, then those who hoped that it would be creating more jobs, reducing our country's reliance on incarceration or keeping us safe would be disappointed.

    Honestly, this is ridiculous commentary.

    I'm not disappointed (5.00 / 8) (#39)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:22:26 AM EST
    In Obama and his statement. He's a politician. What does upset me is how quickly he has dropped any facade of being the progressive candidate. What does scare me is how so many in the progressive community have willingly excused or accepted it.

    I'm not disappointed (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Fabian on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:34:57 AM EST
    because I frankly have almost no expectations of Obama other than he'll pander blatantly in order to win.

    BHO on the defensive? (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by bluejane on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:36:57 AM EST
    Sen. Obama made a strong statement to ABC News a day or two ago that was quoted by Keith Olbermann on his Tuesday show, June 17, as follows:

    We can crack down on terrorists within the constraints of our Constitution.

    Obama noted that after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 we were able to track down and arrest those responsible and put them on trial and put them behind bars, bringing them "to justice" (in Bush's immortal words although Bush has never brought anyone to justice, only to injustice). Obama continued:

    The fact that the administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to the rule of law all around the world and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, 'Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.'

    Not just Muslims but any sort of detainees. I was pleased to see the essential thrust of this statement -- as a start -- because I've been waiting for Democrats to get smart in framing a more effective approach to terrorism based more on law, the Constitution and law enforcement and less on military force and "war," although military force is always available when needed in this combined approach (See Law vs. War, PDF, essays by CIA/FBI pros commended to me by Coleen Rowley, FBI whistleblower who testified before Congress). Even Obama's statement above, assertive as it was, needs to be turned into a positive statement rather than simply impugning the US position which is easy enough for us to do here on the blogs but not a good approach for a candidate running for president.

    Subsequently, only a day later when he met with his foreign policy team (who, apart from Clark whom I like, look like same-ole same-ole), Obama's language and framing were defensive. He was back on his heels when he said:

    "That is not the same as giving these detainees the same full privileges as Americans citizens. I never said that, the Supreme Court never said that, and I would never do that as President of the United States. So either Senator McCain's campaign doesn't understand what the Court decided, or they are distorting my position." Etc etc.

    He lost the thread of the power of the law in the eyes of the world which includes would-be terrorists abroad. He needs to climb back into a robust view of the Constitution, to see it as our shield against tyranny -- including the tyranny of terrorism. He needs to express the fact that the Constitution is big enough to help us reduce terrorism. He needs to say that until we fully restore the Constitution by undoing illegal wiretaps, illegal detentions, illegal renditions, illegal torture, illegal signing statements and the illegal war in Iraq, we are losing the so-called "war on terrorism," not to mention our democracy.

    The fear in his defensive quote stems from the Right accusing him of giving terrorists "rights," "privileges" -- in other words "freedom." This sounds like permissiveness, a classic bugaboo used against liberals. No. Freedom is not what the Constitution guarantees. It guarantees a process -- a "due process of law" -- which is not the same thing as freedom although it could end up in freedom (The lawyers on this blog will be bored by this but I'm walking through the frame). The Constitution guarantees suspects have a big job to do, with the help of an attorney, to answer charges against them (I'm not a lawyer so I might not be putting this properly but you get the idea).

    Obama should have put it this way so that it did not seem that he wants to "give away the store" to criminal suspects. He wants to give them a fair process (sort of the opposite of torture which seems to be purely a function of Bush-Cheney cruelty, sadism and revenge). Giving terror suspects a fair process of law is good counter-propaganda that could help us reduce terrorism in the long run.

    The Supreme Court in Boumediene took a big step by granting habeas as part of the process to challenge the US government to show suspects are lawfully detained. The Supreme Court has done a large part of Obama's work for him, fortunately.

    This is a complex "teachable moment" for a young law professor like Barack, yet utterly simple if he loses his fear and finds the core, the heart of the Constitution, and presents it to the American people and the world. Heaven knows, we haven't seen much of it in nearly 8 years.

    Sorry to write long. Nobody's up anyway and wanted to get this down in case somebody wants to dig it out of archives and keep the shape going.

    It is (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by sas on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:37:49 AM EST
    impossible to discern what Obama stands for.  What he says at one time, is what he says he never said another time.

    Got that?


    He finally gives Bill Clinton some credit (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:14:59 AM EST
    for doing something good in his administration, without mentioning his name..
    Obama noted that after the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 we were able to track down and arrest those responsible and put them on trial and put them behind bars, bringing them "to justice"

    Since Obama was still doing community organizing at the time, he can't claim credit for it, but fails to give it to the man who stood by the Constitution and brought the terrorists to justice by legal means, Bill Clinton.


    quoted by Keith Olbermann? (none / 0) (#75)
    by tek on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:28:44 AM EST
    Well if KO said it, it must be true and objective, no?

    I have only one comment (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:56:08 AM EST
        We keep hearing about the war on terror or the war on terrorism.  Less we forget terrorism is a tactic not an enemy. So how do you go about having a war against terrorism?

    It's ridiculous that this ... (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:13:01 AM EST
    supposed "progressive Democrat" forces us to criticize him like Bush.

    New Politics?  

    Doesn't seem like it.


    Target States that Harbor Them (none / 0) (#50)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:12:09 AM EST
    That's the first thing. We need to support those who want to expell terrorists (like Afghanistan) and take initiative where they lack the will (such as Pakistan).

    Nigeria's problem is one that shouldn't be unexpected. This is an impoverished and corrupt nation where the majority don't share in the massive oil profits. This terrorist act is just an elaborate form of extortion but with international consequences.


    Was not that (none / 0) (#56)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:25:52 AM EST
    one of the things that Bush & co, said about Iraq?  That they were harboring and aiding Al Queada.  Still a war against an abstraction dangerous ground that open the door for unfounded accusations.

    The problem... (none / 0) (#59)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:41:57 AM EST
    ...was while that was demonstrably true with Afghanistan, it was demonstrably false with Iraq.  Iraq was fundamentally different.   From a more realist, pragmatic policy perspective, it never made sense.  Not even if you believed the WMD line.  

    We agree (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:10:31 AM EST
    but again as you said in another comment war on abstractions has not been one of our forte.  IMO the problem lies in that they allow manipulation of the facts because of their vague objectives.  There are actually large portions of our population who still believe that Iraq was harboring Al Queda and had something to do with 9/11 as well as the WMD story.  As there are large portions who believe that the solution to the drug problem is more laws and prisons.

    Certainly... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:19:32 AM EST
    ...and I don't actually think we disagree, may be a moot point.  

     Afghanistan is the primary target now...although the reasons have become more nuanced in light of Pakistan's "developments."


    Afghanistan Wasn't... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:03:06 AM EST
    Right? We should have intervened. That's why we had international support. Iraq was lies and distractions, not Afghanistan.

    Elaborate please... (none / 0) (#67)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:09:12 AM EST
    What do you mean by "take initiative" where they "lack the will"?

    If this isn't Bush 3, what is?


    Pakistan (none / 0) (#102)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:14:01 AM EST
    To be clear: Pakistan has failed to do what it said it would do for a variety of reasons related to its illegitimate government and deals with tribal leaders.

    Therefore, "take initiative" means bomb areas harboring Al Quaida. "lack the will" means those states that tacitly endorse terrorism through deal-making, such as Pakistan. There are others, of course, but Pakistan is the most visible failure of Bush policy to get cooperation via money. It doesn't work if the government only exists to enrich itself and cronies. let's see if there's a change with a new regime.


    One More War should do it, right? (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM EST
    OMG, this is going to be a very diffcult election just to get through, much less vote for the presumptive Dem nominee.

    Wars on abstractions... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:12:35 AM EST
    ...have a long, sordid American history.  See, for example, drugs and poverty. Particularly the former.



    And we have (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:19:46 AM EST
    failed on the war on drugs etc. IMO because they are wars on abstractions.  

    I was hoping (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:12:36 AM EST
    That Obama, being the anti war candidate would have confronted the Republican talking points on the "War On Terror" rather than endorsing them. The last six years have shown that all the military might and money in the world isn't going solve this problem. Our hard line military attitude in the region has only created more terrorists. There has to be another option.

    Yeah (3.66 / 3) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:14:43 AM EST
    but I think he's stuck here. The dems in congress have already ceded this issue to the GOP. Obama has a huge perceived weakness w/r/t military matters and national security.

    Everybody ran for cover (none / 0) (#66)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:06:07 AM EST
    when Bill Clinton said that Obama's anti-war credentials were a fairy tale.

    There are other options than saber rattling and fear mongering, but so far the democrats have yet to promote them.

    I wish someone level-headed like Kucinich was more in favor with his own party. He could really be helpful to the party and, more importantly, to the country and to our survival.

    Unfortunately, I see less and less in Obama that has the remotest resemblance to "change" of any kind.


    We DO have a war on terror... (none / 0) (#183)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:22:21 AM EST
    It's just not centered on Iraq as the Bush admin would like us to believe. I think that 2 planes flying into the World Trade Center should be clear evidence of that.

    Excuse (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:14:07 AM EST
    I wouldn't accept the "Well Mikey did it too" excuse from a five year old, so I certainly wouldn't from the future president of the United States.

    I've realized that I've been (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by Anne on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:30:43 AM EST
    harboring an assumption that someone who is a constitutional lawyer - or at least has enough interest in it to be teaching constitutional law - and a Democrat, would see our Constitution and the process it guarantees as the means by which the people are able to be protected from the power of the government, and that there should be a healthy amount of fear that deviating from it in order to apply different standards on a subjective basis inches all of us closer to the day when it no longer protects us as it was intended.

    I'm probably not expressing this very well, but if we think we have the best system, if we are determined to bring democracy to all the people of the world, what sense does it make to set it aside to take up the tactics and methods of the people and governments we abhor?  It's good enough for us, but not anyone else?  Or it's good enough except when it's about terror and then it's not?

    I suppose what disturbs me is Obama's fear that to explain the sense of subjecting detainees to our system of justice is to be cast as soft on terror, and that he would rather hedge on it than strengthen it by fighting for it a lot more vigorously than he is doing.  Fighting for it for "them" is really just fighting for it for "us," but that seems to have been lost in a sea of testosterone or something.

    What he ought to explain, assuming he understands it, is that the more we blur the lines and create new standards, the greater the chances that we undermine the rights and privileges we do have, and the easier it will be for that erosion to be accepted.  That's the thing people need to understand - and something that Obama - and Democrats in general - have the opportunity to make a strong and principled stand for, but which they seem afraid to do.

    It's depressing.

    Very well said, (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:46:47 AM EST
    and I think it highlights the concerns of many democrats and the deep disappointment and anger we feel because of the wishy-washy actions of the party.

    Can we get this straight (none / 0) (#163)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:54:34 AM EST
    Isn't Barack Obama a former lecturer on Civil Rights under the Constitution, not a former professor of Constitutional law?  

    What's the rationale for Obama now? (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by djork on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:58:40 AM EST
    Presumably we're about to nominate Obama because he represents change and out with the old and in with the new. But if the plan is now for him to compete in the categories of old style politics, we've picked about the weakest candidate we could come up with.

    The Irony is (5.00 / 3) (#104)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:15:25 AM EST
    Some will tell you Old Style Politics is lying to people telling them you represent real change, change you can believe in, transformational change, that you alone will usher in the new ways of democracy that have eluded mankind since dawn of representational government, and on that execustion of an Old Style Politics playbook, Obama has been pretty successful.

    Perhaps someone can 'splain (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Rojas on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:21:10 AM EST
    how we can have special proceedures for protecting sources deemed "national security" for certain "special" criminal trials and not have them further corrupt our existing fragile system?

    Do we pave the road to hell here?

    And now he's (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by mikeyleigh on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:29:51 AM EST
    backing out of Public Campaign Financing this morning.  "Change you can believe in" for Obama means changing positions on everything said during the primary season.

    heh (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:37:17 AM EST
    McCain could have said almost every one of those things.

    Oh, Jeralyn, (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:39:33 AM EST
    he's just saying what he needs to to get elected.

    Or he's saying what he thinks he needs to say to get elected.

    Single greatest priority?

    Blech.  Yes, disappointing.

    Single greatest priority? (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:49:29 AM EST
    that would be getting elected.

    Indeed. (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:55:29 AM EST
    And you know what?  If he's going to make terrorism the cornerstone of his campaign, he just lost my vote.

    Over 80% of the American people think this country is headed in the wrong direction.  What about that do the democrats and Obama not get?!


    when he got the nomination (5.00 / 3) (#137)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:58:31 AM EST
    I said we will see.  he can earn my vote but he is going to have to do that.  he has done nothing toward doing that.  in fact, every day there is a new horror that makes me even less inclined to consider voting for him.



    I disagree with two, maybe three of Jeralyn's (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by tben on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:53:20 AM EST

    1. Protecting the country from attack is, unambiguously, the first job of any government in any society. For Obama to claim that keeping the country safe is his number one priority is merely stating the obvious. Sen. Clinton would certainly have felt the same way. It obviously does not preclude pushing ahead with all manner of other priorities.

    2. I don't see how his Afghanistan position can be seen as a disappointment. He is correct in pointing out that it is consistent with his long-held beliefs. And most Americans, including me, think it totally justified to be going after al-Q and the Taliban, the people who murdered 3000 of us and promise more.

    3. You begin your discussion of the Gitmo situation with this line: "As to constitutional rights for accused foreign terrorists on our shores..."

    Well there is the rub. If the issue is the people on Gitmo today, then I am with you - Gitmo is effectivly America, and American law and principles apply. But what of future detainees captured on battlefields around the world? Without a uniform on, there would be questions as to whether the person really is a terrorist, or maybe just a passerby in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some type of hearing would be necessary. Could the military do that? Or would those people too have full citizen-equivalent rights. Does Bagram = Gitmo in terms of legal status as US soil?

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by sas on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:34:49 AM EST
    say something today....say the opposite tomorrow.

    No problem....no principles....can't be pinned down on anything.


    Great president...freshness...change....hope....yadayada

    Senator Nunn as an Advisor (5.00 / 0) (#155)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    It was disconcerting to note that Senator Obama's security team includes former Senator Sam Nunn.  While Nunn has apparently done some good work in the area of nuclear weapons since his retirement from the senate over ten years ago, he is, really, a right-winger masquerading as a moderate Democrat. As chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee he was a decided hawk. In this same role, he spearheaded the attack on President Clinton's proposal to permit gay men and women to serve openly in the military by executive order, much in the same way that President Truman ended segregation in the military some 40 years earlier.  The decorum of  Nunn's Committee hearings was akin to a traveling circus and succeeded in blocking the new president's plan.  Nunn's handiwork not only reversed course resulting in a new federal statute, Don't Ask Don't Tell, but also, effectively undermined the beginning of the new president's administration.  Perhaps, if we are lucky, Nunn will focus his destructive tendencies in an Obama administration on wayward nuclear weaponry.

    Yeah, Sam Nunn is really the last person (none / 0) (#167)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:00:38 AM EST
    I want around a modern Democratic security team.  I guess we could do worse - the Obama team have floated many times the notion that the FP team would be made up of Republicans like Hagel - which always annoyed me because it plays right into the false narrative that Democrats aren't as skilled at FP as Republicans - as if Bush and the Republicans didn't already prove that notion totally wrong - our candidate is still playing into that idea.

    Pandering (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by nellre on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:54:24 AM EST
    I believe this is called pandering.
    I am heartsick with all the disappointments this campaign season.

    I hope all those people who have (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:56:24 AM EST
    been such vehement supporters of Obama - to the point where they completely stifled and quashed any scrutiny of this candidate on key issues like Guantanamo - are happy if these stated positions turn out to be more than political posturing - hope they're happy when and if Obama's administration pushes for military tribunals and more not fewer secret court proceedings.

    That's what you get when you have a primary where the most discussed "issues" have to do with haircuts, cleavage and flag pins rather than two ongoing wars, a healthcare crisis, an economic crisis, an energy crisis, countless Constitutional crises and other pressing issues that actually affect the American people the candidates are seeking to represent.

    i fear the vehement supporters simply (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by kelsweet on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:13:04 AM EST
    do not care.... They just want him in and don't know why. scarey, imo.

    Some of them have taken very clear (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:19:30 AM EST
    postions in the past opposing Gitmo and this notion that the only thing that this government is meant to do is "protect" Americans regardless of what the Constitution says.  They seemed to care at one point.  They blew all of our chances to push Obama or any other candidate towards more reasonable and Constituational positions by quashing the debate with their zeal for Obama.

    I don't hold grudges, but I will hold them accountable for their foolish approach to this primary.  If they start whining about how he is governing if he is indeed elected, I won't hold back in pointing out the choice they themselves made not to train the candidate when they had the opportunity to do so.


    Although I do agree (none / 0) (#180)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:19:14 AM EST
    with you that the "issues" covered this primary season has been an array of pure farce: haircuts, cleavage and flag pins, etc.; I lost you at your opening premise, ie that "all those people who have been vehement Obama supporters-to the point that they completely stifled and squashed any scrutiny on key candidate issues like Guantnamo...".
    This makes no sense. Who are 'these ppl"? When and how did 'these people' squash 'any' scrutiny'? Hyperbole and painting with a broad brush has it's place in most political blog discussions but I don't follow your thinking here at all.

    I don't know if you noticed, but a whole (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:31:01 AM EST
    lot of very prominent bloggers were completely intolerant of even the slightest criticisms of Obama during this primary.  Many commented to me that we could fine tune him once he was elected.  What they revealed about themselves was a total naivete about how our political process really works.  You don't get someone elected and then get their positions on issues straight.  You get their positions on issues straight and then you get the elected.  When you do it the way they have done it, you don't have any real leverage to change the candidate because they are already elected.

    We can't do it now in the general - we lost our opportunity during the primary and if and when Obama is elected he like every other politician in the history of the world will hear what he wants to hear and will ignore the rest - he knows that we don't have anywhere else to go now.  His camp was very clever in staying away from most real issues during the primary - he's been hiding out and a lot of people allowed him to do that.  It seemed to me to be antithetical to the notion of the netroots at the time, but I've come to accept that most of the leading bloggers on the netroots are unwilling to challenge and train Obama.  This is one of the few places where people are willing to question him - you certainly wouldn't see this kind of entry at orange.  You'd see plenty of people suddenly supporting the idea of military tribunals though just because Obama is now supporting them.  Frankly, it is creepy as hell.


    When you wrote about flag pins (none / 0) (#190)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:44:56 AM EST
    and cleavage, I thought you were referring to the MSM. I remembered the travesty of the debates in general where precious minutes were wasted on pure crap while vital issues where neglected. I still believe it's the job of the MSM to hold all the candidates feet to the proverbial fire and I think they did a rotten job. I don't see it changing in the general either.
    As far as Obama's camp staying away from most of the real issues during the primary, I don't see his camp behaving any differently from any of the other primary candidates in the way they handled controversial issues. Sadly, that's politics. There are no saints here.
    I agree with you about the netroots. No argument here. I still don't understand how viral it all got and I remember the Dean Wars which were pretty ugly but this was kinda tragic.

    I think the media did a pretty good job (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:05:15 AM EST
    of holding feet to fire - they just didn't bother to do it with any meaningful issues lol - sadly, the role the netroots played in the 2006 election in driving the discussion towards really important issues like the wars, healthcare and the economy was not undertaken across the large majority of blogs that led previously.

    Its ironic given the fact that the Act Blue mission has just been announced as having changed from getting Democrats elected to getting better Dems elected.  They didn't bother to take that approach with the presidential candidates - or they don't understand that candidates don't come "as is" - in an immutable form - except in very rare cases where they are exceptional on issues and in character - good candidates and public officials are mostly born out of the democratic process of input and compromise - balance - collective voices etc.  That's what the netroots did in 2006.  The netroots told the Democratic leadership what was important - we pushed the war in Iraq into the spotlight - and I have a lifetime of experience within DC that could prove to you that the Dem leadership would NEVER have taken up the war as an election issue in 2006 had they not been forced to do so - even though it was the smartest thing to do given the country's mood about the war at the time.

    Now we have Obama supporting military tribunals.  Not what I signed up for and all because he is probably afraid - he hasn't heard voices to the contrary - he hasn't seen the passion that exists favoring the Constitution - he has only seen what a scary Republican opponent might do to him if he doesn't support them.  That is one of the real liabilities of not speaking out - our candidates don't know that we would be as strong a voice if not stronger than all those neo-con thugs who are currently owning this national security debate.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#195)
    by byteb on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:44:01 AM EST
    the fear of pushing Democratic Presidential primary candidates and now Obama in the general towards clearly enunciating support for more 'controversial' issues on the part of the netroots might come from the fear of repeating the infamous Circular Firing Squad Syndrome that Democrats have practiced.

    Seeing what happened to Gore and Kerry when they attempted to hold more nuanced positions on 'so-called' Republican issues like national security and the war on terror might have finally resulted a desire to get a Democrat elected President even if it means being quiet on certain issues...this is only my opinion, have at it if you wish. :)

    This is why I read Obama's language in his above comments as deliberately 'hazy' and not coming out in support of military tribunals. Is he being a poltician in those comments? You bet but he can't gave McCain the slightest opening to accuse him of being 'soft on terror'.

    We can't afford to lose this election.


    I am not sure why you're disappointed (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:02:48 AM EST
    Obama was never about healthcare.  That was one of the few places where he's made no empty promises.  Kerry even said UHC was "off the table".  This is why I'm for divided government this time and a true Democrat in 2012.

    Obama is now attempting to attack McCain's strengths, in an attempt to mimic the Rovian playbook.  However, attacking someone else's strength when the same is also your own weakness is NOT in Rove's playbook.  I think this will just shed a light on the fact that Obama isn't a good national security pick.

    Right now, people are more worried about the economy and gas prices.  When you can't eat, Afghanistan is a whole lot farther away.  As far as I'm concerned Joe Middle America will read this as tone deaf -- all the while it's reminding people that Obama's national security creds are empty.

    All McCain is going to have to say, is why listen to this guy?  He was lead on an Afghanistan committee in the senate and held no meetings.  Why would he do anything about terrorism as president?

    Yawn (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Dadler on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:50:05 AM EST
    Amazing the guy can't just say, "Look, if anyone detonates a nuclear weapon against the U.S., whatever nation even tangentially helped accomplish that act will cease to exist within hours."  What's the point of having all these nukes if you can't even use them to make the real point.  Why play this rhetorical game of who's tougher when you can just throw down aces from the go?

    Tongue in cheek, obviously, somewhat, I hope, but Obama talking tough just doesn't work.  He is not an imposing presence and never will be, and he shouldn't be attempting to out-McCain the sociopath himself.  Good to know he has no real game plan for defining the terms of the game.  More of the same.  Unorigina, unimaginative, and so so so very change oriented.


    Jeralyn (4.50 / 8) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:00:09 AM EST
    I don't know why you are disappointed. Frankly, if you accept like me that Obama has no core values then you won't be disappointed.

    This speech is typical Obama. Apparently polling shows him extremely weak with WOT and CIC issues because this speech looks extremely defensive.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#154)
    by sas on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:40:56 AM EST
    you have indeed spoken the truth - Obama has no core values.

    We should just accept that....



    Safety first? (none / 0) (#4)
    by SueBonnetSue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:29:01 AM EST
    I have no problem with national security being a priority.  If we aren't safe, none of the rest of it will matter.  

    please tell me that was snark? (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by boredmpa on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:02:56 AM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:13:58 AM EST
    If national security is more important than our freedoms, I'm not sure why we bothered to revolt against England.  Say what you will about King George, but he was at least keeping us safe from foreign invasion.

    Good grief! (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:50:45 AM EST
    I can't believe so-called democrats defending this!  Ack!

    What has happened to the ideals and platform of the democratic party?!!


    no kidding (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:53:08 AM EST
    and the ones who called US republicans at that.

    IOKIYABO--It's OK if You Are Barack Obama (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:46:30 AM EST
    It's the newest platform of the Dem Party, right?

    They moved to Chicago (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:37:16 AM EST
    and left the ideals in DC.

    It's the tpm of the day (none / 0) (#192)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:57:01 AM EST
    Same comment almost word for word appears several times in this thread.

    And like all tpms (and panders), it's meaningless in its vagueness.  It can't be effectively contradicted, because who can argue that we shouldn't be safe?  

    But it says nothing about the practical matter of how to make the nation safe.  It counts on people abandoning critical thinking skills -- of course the nation must be safe!  we must protect ourselves!  Terrorism is bad! -- and failing to ask the obvious question - Well, what are you proposing to do about it?

    The one problem with it is that the Republicans know how to play the game too.  They've been doing it for years.  Obama's rolling the dice that the MSM won't call him out on it and his supporters won't question anything he says to play the dirty game better than they.  That may be a good bet for him, from what I've seen this year.  But it doesn't make it not a dirty game.

    Tomorrow's headline:  Obama says 'Democracy is good!'


    Tax Policy Center, Krugman and Health Care (none / 0) (#40)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:29:10 AM EST
    TPC estimates that in 2013, Obama would collect revenues of 18.2 percent of GDP. McCain would bring in about 17.8 percent. Spending that year would be about 19.5 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office, assuming the Iraq war will be winding down.

    The key point, again: because of all those middle-class tax cuts in the Obama plan, he collects only 0.4% of GDP more in taxes than McCain. The tax collection comes from different people: lower and middle-income Americans would be substantially better off under the Obama plan. But where is the money for health care reform? Krugman h/t Correntewire

    Absurd Complaints, Just Absurd (none / 0) (#45)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 05:52:10 AM EST

    This is one of the most unfair criticisms I have ever read on this site. It lacks any insight into the context of our world today.

    The war on terror is one of the big issues of our time and it continues to haunt us. Obama is correct to address it clearly and strongly. This is a concern for most americans and needs to be addressed by both candidates. Obama may not be a favorite here but it is beyond hypocritical to attack him for essentially doing his job.

    Please do a little reading of one of the big headlines today. A Nigerian oil installation was attacked by militants today.

    Guess what will happen to oil prices? Now who wants to take bets on whether Obama's public and strong stance on terrorism is the right note to sound?


    The war on terror is a God-d*mn Metaphor (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by pluege on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:03:29 AM EST
    It doesn't exist. Its a tool for plutocrats to spend your tax dollars on themselves, stealing your and your children's future AND more importantly to take away your Constitutional rights! stop with the "war on terror" kool aid already!

    It wasn't a metaphor (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:57:43 AM EST
    that nearly killed me on Sept 11th and managed to kill 3000 people.

    You guys are criticizing Obama based on the absurd premise that he should ignore our real security risks regarding terrorism.


    It's Dishonest too (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Niffari on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:16:59 AM EST
    If I could be bothered to weed through the many posts over months, I'm sure I'd find many of the same posters lauding Clinton for similar language as being "strong."

    Don't you all get that we cannot cede even one inch to the GOP? They don't own the national security issue anymore. They failed, remember? Obama isn't letting anyone forget and bravo to that!


    One cannot get independent (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:04 AM EST
    votes, Reagan dem votes and/or repub. lite votes w/o "pandering" to their interests. Obama doesn't need to "pander" to the left's interests, he thinks we'll all come home!!!

    Don't you know (none / 0) (#124)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:42:11 AM EST
    TL endorses Obama.  It is criticizing him just to keep him honest.  Just like they did with Hillary.

    I think you will be in for a... (none / 0) (#172)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:11:12 AM EST
    surprise in November.  The GOP ideology has failed and it shouldn't  automatically be ceded the national security issue.  However, National Security is Obama's biggest weakness because of his lack of experience.  Who do you think the people will prefer when they think about National Security - a military officer with a distinguished record or Commander Cody?  And the GOP will point out that the WOT has been successful - we haven't been attacked again, right?  The Iraq surge looks like it is working.  On that issue alone, I'm afraid the Dems gave the GOP a big present when it selected Obama the Wunderkind,

    Experience? (none / 0) (#199)
    by pluege on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:39:22 PM EST
    National Security is Obama's biggest weakness because of his lack of experience.

    Obama also has no experience in macroecomonics - currently polling as Americans' greatest concern, or Foreign Affairs, or healthcare reform or energy. He has a powerful amount of convincing to to do.


    Mixed Bag (none / 0) (#49)
    by Alec82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:09:42 AM EST
    I agree that, for instance, the criticism on Afghanistan is unfair, but that puts you between a rock and a hard place among leftists.  Always has, always will.  His Afghanistan position is always something I have found attractive.

     OTOH, his comments on "detainees" are troubling. I don't want to cede this ground to GOP strategists.  Trying suspected terrorists as criminals sends a much stronger message than setting up faux tribunals.  It is particularly ridiculous because we have domestic precedent that could be used to minimize any leak of so-called vital "national security" intelligence. This strategy was effective with domestic terrorists and there is little reason to believe it would be ineffective with foreign terrorists.  

     Politically, he may be on the right course.  I've supported him with a vote and with financial contributions.  He might know what the most effective course is.  Obviously he is a better candidate than McCain, and out of the top three contenders I believe he was the best in the primary.  But however much I support him, he is a Democrat and, following longstanding Democratic tradition, I'll keep some pressure on. Not too much, not too little, just right.  



    Absured or... (none / 0) (#173)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:11:50 AM EST
    I appreciate your point that Obama must address the issue of "terrorism" and he must do so both because he is the presumptive Democratic nominee for President and because it has been an important issue that the Republicans are trying to use against him.  Where I disagree with your comment, however, is in chastising those of us here who are a bit frustrated with Obama, because as he shifts positions in response to Republican talking points, we are left wondering what he really stands for; i.e., what will he do in office once elected?  What are the core values by which he will be guided, from which he will not waiver in his conduct as President, separate and apart from all the campaign rhetoric.  So, if you could shed any light on this with substantively-based arguments, it would be helpful to all. I would also say that the concerns raised here about the need to enforce or resuscitate our Constitutional rights should not be dismissed as unimportant.

    I throw something out for consideration:  What is the significance of Obama's having appointed many prominent Clinton supporters, e.g. Madeleine Albright, to his campaign's national security team?  Is there a shift in his thinking on the issue, a move toward airing a variety of perspectives and/or a fig leaf to Hillary Clinton?


    it's 3 a.m. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:30:00 AM EST
    funny how short the memories of some hillary supporters are.  So obama comes out and says that he is going to be tough on terror.  Let us remember that Bill Clinton bombed Iraq on nearly a weekly basis as a matter of containtment, not in a war on terror but preventive.  It's 3 a.m. and the boogeyperson is calling.......

    Clinton Again! (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:40:56 AM EST
    What does that have to do with the issue? I'm not a Clinton supporter. I'm a supporter of us finally realizing we can't sustain this attitude that we can continually bomb our way to peace and stability. We can't continue to support dictators that repress their people. We can't keep arming militias that then turn on us. And we can't defeat violence, suffering and poverty by creating it. I was hoping that maybe Obama would be a bit smarter.

    Give it a rest. (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:59:51 AM EST
    Anytime someone expressed concern about the reactionary statements that would flow from the mouth of Obama or his team, they would be met with a response to the effect that Clinton is no good. That would seem to settle the question for these folks.

    Now that the primaries are over, and the Obama steamroller has successfully garnered the nomination for him, he is still saying things that are only a hairsbreadth away from McCain, the evil one.

    People who care about war and peace, ending the war in Iraq, health care, civil liberties being restored to American citizens and respect being restored for the constitution of the United States are looking for a candidate for whom to vote.

    If Obama, and fellow democrats in leadership positions, keep alienating what should be their base, the likelihood of a McCain victory - or even a third party victory - becomes stronger.

    So, when someone, like myself, writes a message of concern when Obama says something so obviously Bush-like, it is really foolish, in my view, to continue to respond by saying something like, "Yeah, well, Clinton sucks."


    really (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:43:45 AM EST
    lol, there was no outrage at this site over the 3 a.m. call commercial from the hillary supporters, hypocrisy is a highly unflattering trait.  In fact most hillary supporters at this site did not say one negative word about her attack iran stance yet  obama talks tough and he is capitulating.  I have long upported complete withdrawal from the middle east entirely. and reducing all military bases overseas.  We are the only country on the planet with a military presence in more than 50 countries, it is high time we reduced that.  I did not mention that Clinton sucks you took that and made it your own.  I still see zero criticism of clinton in your post for bombing Iraq weekly during his presidency as a policy of containment.  Although I am with you on one thing, I wish we had a 3rd party that was anti military establishment that was mainstream and electable.  We have become the MIC Eisenhower predicted.

    I am confused.Containment is bad? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:45:46 AM EST
    Let us remember that Bill Clinton bombed Iraq on nearly a weekly basis as a matter of containtment, not in a war on terror but preventive.
    I have read both statements and the one about not complaining I just do not follow. On one hand you have containment with weekly bombings from planes and no troops on the ground. On the other hand you have a massive war, over 4,000 soldiers killed, and a vast part of our army locked in place there. Let's see, what should I choose? Aw, containment. Yes, under Bill Clinton, Saddam could scream threats and anger, but he was contained. Let's remember, Iraq was not responsible for 911. They did not have WMDs. They were contained and it worked pretty well. The terrorist came from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. None came from Iraq.

    containment is bad (none / 0) (#143)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:14:36 AM EST
    if you think we should not be in the ME at all, as I do.  Although I am on record here in 2002 and beyond in saying that not only is containment better than war, Bill never bragged about it like our current pres.  So Bill was as discreet as he could be about it which did not enflame as the current pres has.  The greater question is, with Bill or Hillary or Barack, why in the hell are we in the ME in the first place?

    Tend to Agree with You (none / 0) (#182)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:21:41 AM EST
    Neither Hillary or Obama have come  up with the sweeping changes that we should make in our foreign policy or military policy.  They both espouse the same Yankee Imperialism that we have had for over 100 years.  Or even shown a glimmer that those kind of changes would even be considered.  The closest anyone has come to that was Bill Clinton when in the waning days of his Presidency he apologized to the people of various countries for the US intervention.  That at least was a start.  

    What I am trying to get across to you (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:40:00 AM EST
    is that criticism of Obama not not constitute support for either Senator Clinton or the former President.

    As far as the 3am call thing is concerned, I think all of these slick commercials are sickening. But I will say that, all least now, Obama is acting a little nutty. I would not like to have him face some crisis upon getting into office because I think he feels he has to show how tough he is - and I would rather have a cooler, more mature head prevail.

    But, to get back to my point - I think that we who consider ourselves to be on the left - progressives, have a right and an obligation to criticize Obama when he parrots Bush. He is, after all, the candidate of the democratic party.

    This has nothing to do with how we felt about Clinton's unconscionable bombing of Iraq during his time in office.

    Clinton is history.

    Obama might be the future - or he might just be history too.


    Markl (none / 0) (#93)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:00:06 AM EST
    I am sorry, he was the only Hillary supporter to speak out over the Iran threat made by HRC. Called her statment reckless.  Markl is free to say whatever he wishes about O's tough talk as he duly criticized his candidate...

    SteveM - wins for the ultimate hypocrite after Hillary's stance on bombing Iran:

    [new] Heh (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Steve M on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 11:16:00 AM EST

    What's funny is that it has mostly been Obama who has criticized the traditional "you can't say that!" rules of foreign policy and sought to introduce a new paradigm.  Now it's Hillary who is criticized for daring to have a new idea.  Apparently it's now unthinkable to alter our traditional foreign policy in any way, because it's just worked so perfectly.

    George Bush talked about using nukes and I recall this site being up in arms....


    I don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:12:17 AM EST
    In what sense does that make me the ultimate hypocrite?

    you are correct (none / 0) (#121)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:37:37 AM EST
    my apologies.  You are not a hypocrite. I was certain you had made disparaging comments re: Obama and this very subject but I went back and reviewed your posts and it was quite the contrary, you actually called Obama "tough".  Please accept my apologies for the false accusation and poor memory.

    Well, the 3AM ad was ... (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:13:42 AM EST
    about experience.  And has nothing to do with this speech by Obama.

    And Steve M's comments were about Hillary's idea of a "nuclear umbrella," not about "bombing Iran."

    Let's also remember that Hillary's comment about bombing Iran was about what she'd do if Iran used a nuclear weapon on Israel.

    First, it's very unlikely that will ever happen.  And, second, any US President would retaliate against Iran if they used a nuclear weapon on Israel.


    Whew! (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:33:42 AM EST
    I am sorry, he was the only Hillary supporter to speak out over the Iran threat made by HRC. Called her statment reckless.  Markl is free to say whatever he wishes about O's tough talk as he duly criticized his candidate...

    SteveM - wins for the ultimate hypocrite after Hillary's stance on bombing Iran:

    I feel so much safer here now that the Hypocrisy Police have ruled on who may and may not comment now.


    Heh (none / 0) (#80)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:40:12 AM EST
    Do you seriously think Jeralyn sees Bill Clinton as the ideal President?

    heh (none / 0) (#82)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:44:22 AM EST
    Were you here in 2002 when we had discussions regarding Bill?  I was.

    Ad hominem attacks (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:17:47 AM EST
    are distractions.
    Can we focus on the substance of what's being said rather than the history of who said what? Jeralyn has made it possible for all of us to have a dialog; let's take advantage of the opportunity.

    A weekly basis (none / 0) (#112)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:27:46 AM EST
    Week in and week out every week for 8 years????  There was no place left to bomb after those 8 years?

    Perhaps, like Obama, you are prone to over-amplification and overheated rhetoric to malign a good democrat.


    nearly a weekly basis is what i said (none / 0) (#141)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:11:32 AM EST
    Between 1999 and 2001, the U.S. and British-led air forces in Iraq dropped 1.3 million pounds of bombs in response to purported violations of the no-fly zones and anti-aircraft fire from Saddam Hussein.

    Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair authorized air strikes on more than 100 days in 1999, sometimes several times per day. The bombings were ostensibly in response to Hussein's refusal to allow UN weapons inspectors into the country, though critics alleged the move was aimed at deflecting attention from impeachment.

    More than 100 days, is more than weekly.  I will cede that I should have said in 1999, but we bombed Iraq steadily throughout bills presidency...

    Perhaps you should look into it Edgar, you might learn a thing or two


    I'm not the one (none / 0) (#142)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:14:21 AM EST
    who had to revise his statement.  

    no place left to bomb (none / 0) (#144)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:17:25 AM EST
    remember that statement?  100 straight days of bombing equals 2 years.  My guess if i researched it enough it would come awful close to weekly.  But never you mind, you are for bombing under a policy of containment are you?

    we can't agree on the severity (none / 0) (#145)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:23:27 AM EST
    of the situation so there's nothing more to discuss.

    My recollection... (none / 0) (#184)
    by santarita on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:28:23 AM EST
    was that the bombing was primarily aimed at disabling their air force and their anti-missile defenses.  It was limited in scope.  That's not to say that there wasn't civilian casualties or disruptions but it was of a limited nature.  The economic sanctions were more deadly for the Iraqi people.  

    And the problems with the containment policy were cited as an additional basis for the bush Invasion.


    What a great idea (none / 0) (#61)
    by pluege on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 06:57:44 AM EST
    Make your opponent's perceived strongest area and the one he plans on pounding Obama on the most, Obama's top priority if he is POTUS - way to go undermining yourself. Someone please explain to me again how its all geniuses running the Obama campaign.

    those geniuses (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:51:28 AM EST
    beat Hillary, who is a hell of a lot stronger than McCain.

    LOL (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:55:38 AM EST
    With the entire DNC behind him, as well as a media that hates the Clintons more than it likes anything else.

    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#108)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:19:37 AM EST
    Not if the media has it in for the Clinton campaign.

    Not necessarily? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 09:47:49 AM EST
    I believe obama is the presumptive nominee, with his campaign being run by "geniuses".  How many votes are the media afforded?  

    QUESTION (none / 0) (#198)
    by pluege on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 02:32:25 PM EST
    Why do Obama and supporters remind me of wingnuts?

    ANSWER: because they act like wingnuts. Case in point: identify how stupid the Obama campaign is for identifying Obama's opponent's perceived strength as  Obama's top priority as POTUS and what is the response: 'bring up the Clintons'

    I am truly baffled as to why the Clinton's are the benchmark for everything in wingnut world: 'a Clinton did it too', 'what about a Clinton', yada, yada, yada. Enough with the obsession already.


    American safe first (none / 0) (#73)
    by Lahdee on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:21:37 AM EST
    No surprise. He is a politician after all. Didn't he say today that NAFTA wasn't that bad really?

    Obama seems to morph (none / 0) (#78)
    by OldCoastie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:37:17 AM EST
    into his opponent (or at least adopt the positions with a little twist) no matter who he or she may be...

    not inspiring.

    Disagree. (none / 0) (#88)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:55:26 AM EST
    Obama has a muslim problem because the right is going to try to get people to think he is a trojan horse for terrorists.

    What choice does he have at this point? He has to make people understand that he will keep them safe.

    Later, we can do the work of educating people. Can't do that during an election.


    Ah yes.... the BOLD leadership (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:17:40 AM EST
    Can't educate people during an election.

    Please understand... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by pie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:43:07 AM EST
    Obama has a muslim problem because the right is going to try to get people to think he is a trojan horse for terrorists.

    People who are dumb enough to believe that will never in a million years vote for him anyway.

    That's the least of his negatives for the rest of us who are uncommitted.


    has to make people understand (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by kelsweet on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:06:51 AM EST
    he needs to make people BELIEVE he will make them safe, imo. and I for one am having a real problem with believing him on anything. He isn't very convincing to me. I started coming to TL to learn and because it seemed to be the only place that is objective, you see I am one of the "new" voters I have no affiliation with either party but always felt I leaned D.

     In this election year I felt I owed it to my kids and America to vote because I've never been so afraid for my country.  what I could find out about Obama made me uneasy from the get go.

      Sorry to go o/t but... felt it might be insightful for some here to know how some of us "uninformed" voters might be feeling this election year. I do not believe Obama, and I can't find anything other than his words to sway me. I think he is a big risk.


    They aren't going to attack him on the (none / 0) (#100)
    by tigercourse on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:13:47 AM EST
    muslim thing. They are going to attack him as being the wrong kind of Christian.

    ....same as the old boss.... (none / 0) (#79)
    by DoggieDaddy on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:40:04 AM EST
    More hot air from the great savior.

    It's a scene out of a cartoon.

    "Our candidates tonight are clones John Jackson and Jack Johnson"

    Here is what I see as the problem here. (none / 0) (#86)
    by MissBrainerd on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:53:41 AM EST
    First, you have to get elected and in this country of people who have been made to fear all brown people, he has to make sure people know that they will be safe.

    Later, after the election, we can start educating people about the real way to combat terrorism: diplomacy, intelligence sharing, law enforcement and doing good works in the world. The more friends we have in the Islamic world the fewer people will hide the terrorists in their midsts. If they lose support of the their own people, they lose all.

    Sounds nice (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by befuddledvoter on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 07:56:55 AM EST
    but how do we know this will happen?  Obama is all over the place. I don't know what to believe. .  

    Faith Based Initiative n/t (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:03:06 AM EST
    I'm not afraid of brown people. (5.00 / 5) (#123)
    by samanthasmom on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:41:11 AM EST
    I would like to be treated as an adult.  I don't need to be sung a lullaby and be tucked into bed safe and sound until after the election. I want Obama to "educate me" about how he plans to execute the duties of his office before he's elected, not after. Or I get to decide what I think he will do without his input and that's not going to work in his favor.

    No Surprise (none / 0) (#103)
    by LadyDiofCT on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 08:14:50 AM EST
    Just words.  Just one more example of The Obama Con Job.  

    What I wish he would have said (none / 0) (#177)
    by thereyougo on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 10:16:46 AM EST
    but didn't hear from Obama is this type of straight talk.

    Clearly our country began on a mission that threatens our way of life economically and our stature in the world. The US cannot continue for another 100 years.

    It however does not mean we still don't have work to do in the Middle East, we recognize that there is much work still ahead and totally pulling out without leaving a presence would ensure that which we fear most and that is the return of religious violence between rival factions. We cannot allow this as the expense and sacrifice our soldiers have made won't allow us.

    to remedy this I as president would like to bring back a coalition of countries to help keep the peace effort in the region, thereby easing the pressure on the American people to keep unilaterally paying for this war.

    I will convene a summit and use diplomacy to personally lobby countries with the hope that we are seen as brokers of peace and not war mongers.

    * If he said this, I would vote for him in a NY minute.

    Ms Powers (none / 0) (#194)
    by laurie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 11:27:19 AM EST
    Apparently Obama fired Ms Powers not simply because she referred to Hillary as a monster, but because she was going around tv shows saying that BO would do things his (her?) way in the end, even if he was saying the contrary just to get votes...
    In a similar way the Rev. Wright referred to BO as a "politician" who says things people want to hear...
    Personally I find it difficult to know who or what Obama is. At times I find his reverse racism very disturbing. I wonder for example if he blames Clinton for the Ruanda genocides.
    At other times I see him as a machine opportunist.
    I wish I could see him as sincere.

    It's called "running to the center"... (none / 0) (#197)
    by mrmobi on Thu Jun 19, 2008 at 01:20:07 PM EST
    ...and it's what all politicians do once they enter the general election after the primaries. So, no, I don't put much credence into this "single greatest priority" comment in this speech.

    However, the larger point here is that Afghanistan is spiraling out of control because of our being distracted by an unnecessary war in Iraq. I'm an Obama supporter, but I've never believed that he's some kind of messiah. Maybe it's because I'm older, and have seen a lot of politicians not live up to their billing, but you'd have to be crazy to think that somehow we're going to be out of Iraq in in a short time and the situation in Afghanistan will be resolved easily.

    These are very difficult and long-term problems, which can't be ended without careful and/or extremely painful decisions. Obama has himself said that, "we're going to have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in." The reason he said that, I think, is that he's very aware of the situation he'll be saddled with if he wins, and no politician wants to be made responsible for a mess he didn't create.

    My own view is that we'll be in Iraq for at least five more years. Afghanistan looks like it will take at least a decade. Am I happy about that? Absolutely not.

    I believed in what General William E. Odom, who recently passed away, said, which was that the only way to extricate ourselves the Iraq was to get out now, and ignore the resulting bloodbath, because, given the situation on the ground, it can't be avoided. It's stark advice which I think is absolutely correct. I also think Obama won't take that advice.

    So, do I think Obama would be a perfect president? Not a chance. But I'll continue to vigorously support the candidate in the race who doesn't believe in pre-emptive war and who at least recognizes that there are major problems with our current foreign policy, over the guy who wants to "export democracy" to other rogue regimes and bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran.