The “100 years of war” candidate

Pat Buchanan sums up the McCain presidential bid.

45 comments ↓

#1 Abu Omar on 02.24.08 at 2:31 pm

I really think people need to be educated on how big a threat to international security a McCain presidency would be. This month’s American Conservative has several excellent articles on John McCain, which I encourage everyone to read. There is also a good site called TheRealMcCain.com, which has produced some funny videos lampooning John “Keating Five” McCain.

John McCain has made clear his contempt for the principle of non-interventionism, denouncing those who promote non-interventionism as dangerous “isolationists,” who he blamed for allowing the rise of Hitler prior to WWII. So, it is not just “100 Years” in Iraq that we should expect, but military intervention in Iran, Darfur, and beyond.

#2 T cell on 02.24.08 at 4:01 pm

McCain is no conservative. He is high tax, high spend interventionaist.

Pat Buchanan is spot on, he is the perpetual war dude.

#3 Simon on 02.24.08 at 4:10 pm

http://youtube.com/watch?v=3gwqEneBKUs

#4 Abu Omar on 02.24.08 at 4:30 pm

John McCain is Dr. Strangelove:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0nqtL-P8kzo

#5 GMan on 02.24.08 at 10:59 pm

I wouldn’t worry too much about McCain. Obama has all the momentum behind him he needs now. He’s no longer just a candidate and has become a phenomenon. The only question is whether he can actually deliver the goods. It’s a massive ask in the world he’s about to inherit.

#6 Amir on 02.24.08 at 11:03 pm

What goods does Obama have to deliver other than some vacuous notion of “change”? As far as I can tell, there isn’t much substance to him and or his policies.

#7 Abu Omar on 02.25.08 at 4:30 am

For myself, the defining issue in the 2008 presidential elections is related to the Iraq war. I consider all other considerations secondary to this primary issue. As antiwar libertarian writer Justin Raimondo notes:

“When we end this war” is a phrase that he repeats throughout his standard stump speech, these days, and it has become the leitmotif of his campaign. No, he isn’t a pure anti-interventionist: he’s no Ron Paul. Yet he is, without a doubt, the antiwar candidate this election season, and that is precisely why he has a good chance to win the White House. It is also a good reason for anti-interventionists of the left, the right, and the center to cheer.Of course, paleocons like Larison may oppose Obama on grounds other than foreign policy, but, as for myself, I take my direction from the late Murray N. Rothbard, who rightly saw that the issue of war and peace is the decisive question, which – all by itself – determines whether we’re going to have liberty or tyranny.

This is how I approach the elections as well. If it comes down to the pseudo-conservative John McCain (an authoritarian in his own right) and Barack Obama, well I’d half to go with that latter. Now, it without doubt Obama is stronger on style than substance, but what we do know of him, he is the least evil of the three major candidates (Obama, McCain, and Clinton).

#8 Baybers on 02.25.08 at 12:19 pm

Amir,

Obama’s economic policies do not concern us. It is likely he will be less belligerent to the Muslim world, than a bellicose red faced old angry man, therefore for our needs he is the preferable candidate.

It is also likely that he and McCain will not differ significantly on social, environmental and economic policy anyway. So Obama may not be ron paul, but unlike Paul, he is likely to be elected.

#9 G-man on 02.25.08 at 2:06 pm

The reality is that there are currently three potential presidents: McCain, Obama and Billary. Ron Paul is never going to be president of the US and I’m sure I’m not the only person pleased about that. He’s the ultimate pie in the sky candidate. So, there are you choices, your only choices, now which would you prefer?

#10 Baybers on 02.25.08 at 4:04 pm

Paul may never be president, but his economic policies are by far the most realistic, and appropriate.

The other three will keep the foot on the accelerator pedal towards financial ruin for the US via generous welfare, high tariffs and subsidies.

The US electorate has long since abandoned reason, for vaudeville, for tears, for the warrior king, and for the black messiah.

The US is in deep debt to its strategic adversaries, its currency is depreciating fast, held up only by the fact that it the only currency which can by and sell oil from OPEC.

The price of oil is 100 dollars a barrel not because oil is more expensive, it isn’t, it is because the US dollar is weaker.

#11 LDU on 02.25.08 at 7:46 pm

Baybers,

Not too long ago, Obama said if he gets elected he will attack Pakistan.

#12 Baybers on 02.25.08 at 8:41 pm

yes, I think he said it to show that he wasn’t a big girl.

… but he is

#13 GMan on 02.25.08 at 9:11 pm

You know how Americans are with place name and maps. He meant Papua.

#14 Abu Omar on 02.26.08 at 2:33 am

Well, in all fairness, I think Obama’s comments about Pakistan have been taken out of context. He didn’t say he’d invade Pakistan per se:

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said.

I understood this to mean targeted assassinations, which is to be expected and has been policy all along.

It is also important to note that Barack Obama has said he will be willing to engage, without preconditions, the governments of Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran. Again, he isn’t Ron Paul, but he is certainly advocating a fairly sane foreign policy, which neither John “Bomb, bomb, Iran” McCain or Hillary “Nuke E’m” Clinton are offering.

#15 Eudaemonion on 02.26.08 at 6:35 pm

There really is no point following the American elections any longer. Voting for either of the three candidates is voting for all of them in substance. If we were to evaluate them on their stances on abortion, gay marriage and other irrelevancies, we can discern differences, but on the core issues, they all stink to high heaven.

#16 Amir on 02.26.08 at 7:06 pm

Obama on Obama.

#17 Abu Omar on 02.28.08 at 1:25 am

“Clueless Candidates Make Osama’s Day” by Michael Scheuer: http://www.antiwar.com/scheuer/?articleid=12424

#18 James on 02.28.08 at 4:50 am

Amir
You are quoting Melanie Scarborough? For real? And from an article written for a supermarket tabloid with a record for disdaining the truth?
Did you even bother to read this post (http://www.examiner.com/a-970783~Melanie_Scarborough__Justice_miscarried_on_the_border.html)by mad Melanie?

The lady is spewing far-right, nativist, clap-trap, talking points right down the line in that article. Your quoting a woman who would have no problem locking you up in Gitmo for the rest of you days just because you are a Muslim. Seriously, you really do need to check your sources. It does you no good to be quoting barking mad, far-right haters.

#19 James on 02.28.08 at 5:26 am

Abu Omar,

By your second post I see you really do understand how Barack Obama is just part and parcel of the political elite and a fan of American Hegemony.

I find it awkward to have to explain why the actual “strategy” of violating the sovereign territory of Pakistan is monstrously stupid from the very beginning. There must be more than a few Pakistani ex-pats who visit this blog, they can much better explain than me and in a more visceral way how the policy of the USA tear-assing around the Northern Territories without even a mother-may-I is a recipe for catastrophic blow-back from the Pakistani people. I wonder if the USA’s lovely misadventure in sending Al Libi to his final reward helped the Pakistani opposition parties crush Musharraf in the last election. I seriously doubt the people of Pakistan are going to tolerate many more such strikes even if they are “approved” by the Pakistani Executive.

Obama’s buying into tactic of “targeted assassination” is profoundly foolish, even more so his bald, zero nuanced, foot-in-mouth, full Tarzan yell way of deploying the talking point. It also revealed an jaw-dropping amount of hubris and arrogance on Obama’s part. He is going to ignore the wishes of the leader of Pakistan if they don’t match his idea of rigor? For all his many faults Pervez Musharraf is the leader of a sovereign nation, he really does have the right to say what can and can not happen in his country. Exactly were in the Pakistani constitution does it say that a foreign leader has the right to override the decisions of the Pakistani executive? Would the US or Australian authorities tolerate Pakistan interposing its military authority in their respective lands? This is the very definition of Imperial overreach and mindless hegemony.

#20 James on 02.28.08 at 5:46 am

“The US electorate has long since abandoned reason, for vaudeville, for tears, for the warrior king, and for the black messiah.”

Baybers, some times you amaze me with your brilliance; but then you fly off the tracks and go deep into the weeds with your man-love of Ron Paul. “his economic policies are by far the most realistic, and appropriate.” Sorry Baybers, not even in the movies! His tax ideas are totally cuckoo-for-cocoa puffs. You couldn’t even fund essential first-responder and law enforcement needs with the revenues he would gather, never mind such “luxuries” as road, bridges, sewer-line and border enforcement. National Defense? The USA would be at the mercy of such military heavy-weights as Liechtenstein and Bermuda.

His stance on Iraq and Imperial overstretch have the quality of a broken clock, every once in a while the clock (Ron Paul) is right. But like the broken clock, being correct on a particular item is a matter of luck for Dr. Paul; most of the time the clock isn’t even close to being correct.

#21 James on 02.28.08 at 5:56 am

For the real scoop on John McCain visit http://mccain.bravenewfilms.org/ and http://therealmccain.com/ both by Brave New Films
http://bravenewfilms.org/topics/john-mccain

PS. Cliff Schecter has a book that goes even deeper into the political poser and genuine nut-case that is John McCain. The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn’t
http://www.p3books.com/books/t...../index.php

#22 Baybers on 02.28.08 at 10:10 am

OK James, show me how he is wrong on economic policy and how his opponents are correct.

#23 Baybers on 02.28.08 at 10:21 am

jut to make it clear. Paul says

1. government spending should not exceed revenue
2. US foreign bases must close and the foreign occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq must end to allow the same money to be spent in the US
3. The US does not need an income tax to fund a smaller government and that revenue can be raised through alternate means (broad based consumption tax and more user pays)

Its hardly cuckoo for coco puffs

#24 Abu Omar on 02.28.08 at 10:38 am

Brendan O’Neill of Spiked has written an interesting article about the real foreign policy agenda of Barack Obama for The American Conservative magazine. It isn’t up on the TAC website yet, but if and when the link is avalaible I’ll try and post it, insha’Allah. I think brother Amir will like it.

#25 Amir on 02.28.08 at 12:58 pm

As far as I can see, the only good thing about Obama is that he’s not McCain and he’s not Billary. Other than that, he’s all fluffy rhetoric and protectionist claptrap. It is, however, amusing to see all these otherwise sober headed individuals going gaga over him. Chris Matthews, for exmaple, said Obama sends shivers down his leg when he hears him speak; and the other day I saw people cheering him just for blowing his nose.

#26 Abu Omar on 02.28.08 at 1:54 pm

Brother Amir,

Chris Matthews is quite ridiculous in his own right. The man is perpetually stuck on silly personality cults, today its Obama, yesterday it was Rudy. Matthews did say a few good things about Ron Paul, but his tendency to gush like a teenage girl over people like Obama and Giuliani because they gave some emotional speeches show how shallow his political principles are.

Now, again, brother Amir, you are 100% correct about Obama. He is big on style, but lacking in substance. His whole campaign is built on his personality cult, which has something Nazi-esque about it. I think he is a terrible candidate and a political phony. That all being noted, as bad as he is, McCain and Clinton are worse.

See: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blo.....19355.html

#27 James on 02.29.08 at 6:14 am

Baybers,

Dr Paul’s tax policies die at your item 3.
1. A consumption tax is regressive. It flips the burden to those least able to pay.
2. To provide any kind of government service at all, the consumption tax would be monstrously high. To raise funds equivalent to the present income and other taxes a consumption / sales tax would have to be in the neighborhood of 40%. At that rate if you are not Bill Gates you are living in a card-board box.
3. To keep the consumption tax down to a sane level you would have to gut the government, not reduce it. We are way past shredding government poverty programs, we are past a reduced military we are back to the “Government” that existed under the articles of confederation.
4. To fund even those items that you think the government should do at the levels you think appropriate you will need some sort of enforcement. That requires laws and bureaucracy, say hello to the IRS.
5. Now that the IRS is back what is it doing? Well it is making sure that the consumption tax is actually going to the government. Hopefully it has enough resources to prosecute the inevitable scoff-laws ( there will be a black market, there will be folks who will avoid and evade even a consumption tax, there will be people who collect the tax and either skim a portion of it for themselves or keep the whole lot.)
6. While you may be happier than a bug in a rug in a Ron Paul world of rugged individualism; most people will not. They like their social security, they like the interstate highway system, they like the FDA and OSHA and the EPA and the rest of the alphabet soup of government regulation and bureaucracy. Most of all they like and agree with idea of government providing a safety net.
7. An economic collapse like the depression of the 1930 would devastate a government based on a consumption tax, no consumption= no government revenues. A destructive feed-back loop would occur. Less government spending would depress the overall economy, a more depressed economy would lower consumption, which would then lower government resources. Private charity would be overwhelmed, jobless, money less people would resort to thievery and crime to survive. Others would merely starve and die. This is what happened before, numerous times in the USA in multiple boom-bust cycles before and especially after the Civil War. While PayGO is good policy in economic good times; it is an invitation to disaster when the economy sours.

#28 Abu Omar on 03.05.08 at 11:38 am

Here is the anti-Obama article from The American Conservative that I mentioned in an earlier post:

http://www.amconmag.com/2008/2008_02_25/cover.html

Brother Amir, I’d like to get your thoughts on this article if you should get the chance.

#29 Amir on 03.05.08 at 12:14 pm

That was an excellent article, Abu Omar. Jazak Allah khair for posting it.

#30 Obama: Make the World Safe for Hope on 03.05.08 at 12:15 pm

[...] Omar writes in the comments to point out a great piece by Brendan O’Neill in the American Conservative on [...]

#31 Eudaemonion on 03.05.08 at 4:00 pm

The premise that ‘economic slowdowns’, ‘recessions’ and ‘depressions’ are caused by the lack of spending, government or otherwise, is the ridiculous basis of the voodoo nonsense more commonly known as Keynesian Economics. God forbid they might actually consider capital investment and allocation in their application of microeconomic modeling to macroeconomic trends.

#32 KLM on 03.05.08 at 8:47 pm

Ali Eteraz thinks “Keynesian Economics” was victorious. So there.

#33 JDsg on 03.05.08 at 10:01 pm

I agree with Ali that “unfettered capitalism” is a problem, that it creates more problems than it solves, but I’d hardly say that Keynes delivered a “death blow.” I teach my Econ students that both monetary policy and fiscal policy (read “Keynesianism”) are necessary for the maintenance of an economy. You can’t rely solely upon monetary policy at the expense of fiscal policy (or vice versa) and, even worse, you can’t rely solely upon the monetarists’ fixed rule of “passivity,” that following a straight laissez faire, “do nothing” policy will lead not to economic stabilization, as monetarists pipe dream about, but to the very problems that unregulated capitalism creates (e.g., current day China).

#34 Baybers on 03.06.08 at 8:11 am

James,

without getting into a protracted discussion on economics, could I just say that you are another socialist with magical thinking.

a consumption tax is not regressive, as it targts consumption rather than income, the proletariat whom you champion can reduce their tax burden by consuming less. Wealthy individuals are more likely to purchase expensive items will pay more tax.

#35 Amir on 03.06.08 at 9:04 am

One issue with a consumption tax is that it affects the poor more than the wealthy. If a person is already using 100% of their income just to survive, a consumption tax pushes them further below the poverty line.

For this reason, Murray Rothbard termed the consumption tax a “permission to live tax”. He wrote:

Let us now consider the merits or demerits of a consumption as against an income tax, setting aside the question of bureaucratic power. It should first be noted that the consumption tax and the income tax each carry distinct philosophical implications. The income tax rests necessarily on the ability-to-pay principle, namely the principle that if a goose has more feathers it is more ripe for the plucking. The ability-to-pay principle is precisely the creed of the highwayman, of taking where the taking is good, of extracting as much as the victims can bear. The ability-to-pay principle is the philosophical embodiment of the memorable answer of Willie Sutton when he was asked, perhaps by a psychological social worker, why he robbed banks. “Because,” answered Willie, “that’s where the money is.”

The consumption tax, on the other hand, can only be regarded as a payment for permission-to-live. It implies that a man will not be allowed to advance or even sustain his own life, unless he pays, off the top, a fee to the State for permission to do so. The consumption tax does not strike me, in its philosophical implications, as one whit more noble, or less presumptuous, than the income tax.

#36 Abu Omar on 03.06.08 at 12:16 pm

Another reason why I have such tremendous respect for Rep. Ron Paul: he voted “no” on a congressional resolution condemning the Palestinians for the slaughter that has been inflicted upon them.

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/20.....ult-404-1/

#37 KLM on 03.06.08 at 10:25 pm

What exactly is “unfettered capitalism”? Please explain.

#38 JDsg on 03.06.08 at 11:14 pm

“Unfettered capitalism” = laissez-faire capitalism, capitalism without or with very little regulation. IMO, China today suffers from many of the ills of unfettered capitalism. (The Chinese government has various regulations on the books for their businesses, but it’s very obvious from news accounts that these regulations are sporadically enforced at best.)

#39 Abu Omar on 03.06.08 at 11:56 pm

Steve Chapman of Reason magazine on John McCain’s steadfast position on Iraq:

McCain has been consistent about Iraq, in the sense of being consistently wrong. If the American people get a long look at what he’s said and a clear picture of our fortunes in Iraq, he may yearn for the days when he was being pilloried for offering “amnesty” to illegal immigrants.McCain portrays himself as uniquely clear-eyed about the war. In fact, those eyes have often been full of stars. When Army Gen. Eric Shinseki forecast that more troops would be needed for the occupation, McCain didn’t fret. Shortly before the invasion, he said, “I have no qualms about our strategic plans.” As the online magazine Salon reports, he predicted the war would be “another chapter in the glorious history of the United States of America.”

He brags now that he criticized Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the occupation. But McCain didn’t declare “no confidence” in him until a year and a half after the invasion. And let’s not forget the day he took a stroll through a Baghdad market, guarded by attack helicopters and 100 soldiers in full combat mode, to prove how safe Iraq was. The following day, 21 Iraqis were abducted from the market and murdered.

McCain’s attempts to show off his expertise often turn into banana peels. Recently he attacked Barack Obama for saying that in the future, he might send forces back in “if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq.” Jeered the Arizona senator, “Al-Qaida already has a base in Iraq. It’s called al-Qaida in Iraq.”

But al-Qaida in Iraq has about as much to do with al-Qaida in Afghanistan as the San Diego Padres have to do with the Catholic Church. It’s a separate, independent and largely homegrown group that is focused on slaughtering Iraqi Shiites, not targeting American cities. And here’s a newsflash for McCain: It didn’t exist until our invasion created conditions favorable to violent insurgency.

So much for straight talk.

#40 Eudaemonion on 03.07.08 at 12:23 am

JDsg, without meaning to cause any offense, your previous comment had me rolling on the floor in fits of hysterical laughter. I am not sure where you pulled such a patently ridiculous idea from.

Listen, laisez faire economics is about the complete removal of unwarranted government force from all sectors of life that affect the economy. China might not be enforcing some of its regulations with the multinationals. That’s all fine and dandy, but it means diddly squat when the government interferes with the very lifeblood of an economy; its currency. If you haven’t already noticed, the Chinese devalue their currency by pegging the Yuan to the US dollar.

This is the much vaunted ‘fiscal policy’ claptrap at work. Were currency traded as any other commodity in China, it would not be so undervalued, as the demand for the Yuan would raise its value. But for ‘Fiscal Policy’ of Beijing, there would not be such an artificially cheap Yuan, and no lopsided trade arrangements.

Would be good for the environment too. The better to pooh pooh those Statists who think only the Government can protect it, I guess.

* Is distortionary even a word?

#41 KLM on 03.07.08 at 3:22 am

The Chinese economy is still a managed economy. A third of it’s GDP is from state-owned industry and they continue to own the “commanding heights” of the economy such as the energy companies.

#42 JDsg on 03.07.08 at 10:40 am

@ Eudaemonion: China might not be enforcing some of its regulations with the multinationals…

China’s not enforcing its regulations among Chinese companies, let alone multinationals (which, the gov’t, no doubt, watches a little more closely than the domestic firms). The news reports of numerous problems within China leave no doubt of that.

…but it means diddly squat when the government interferes with the very lifeblood of an economy; its currency.

All central banks “interfere” from time to time with their their own currencies (and sometimes that of another country’s currency, usually at the request of that country’s central bank).

If you haven’t already noticed, the Chinese devalue their currency by pegging the Yuan to the US dollar.

You are, sadly, behind the times; the Yuan is tied to a basket of currencies, and has been for some time.

This is the much vaunted ‘fiscal policy’ claptrap at work.

Learn the difference between fiscal policy and monetary policy.

@ KLM: The Chinese economy is still a managed economy.

To a degree, yes. And a fair amount of their economy is still run by the gov’t. But with all the stories running rampant, on a near-weekly basis, of brick kiln slavery, of rivers running red from chemical pollution, of ships colliding near the mouth of the Pearl River due to the air pollution haze (to say nothing of the haze over Hong Kong that I see when I turn on CNN every morning), it doesn’t take much to realize that China suffers from unfettered capitalism.

#43 Amir on 03.07.08 at 12:21 pm

Hong Kong was a product of mostly “unfettered capitalism” (thanks to the efforts or rather non-efforts of John Cowperthwaite). Cowperthwaite was such an advocate of “unfettered capitalism” that he didn’t want the government to collect or produce economic statistics lest it become a stepping stone towards interventionism or government meddling in the market. The results, as I’m sure most would agree, were astounding.

#44 JDsg on 03.07.08 at 1:23 pm

I’m not saying that “unfettered capitalism” can’t produce some good. I am saying that capitalism unchecked can cause some significant problems; just ask the people along the Han River.

#45 George Carty on 03.07.08 at 7:14 pm

Wasn’t Hong Kong’s success mainly the result of the fact that it served as an interface between Communist China and the outside world?

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