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"...McCain just doesn’t want to hear any crap about America not having the capability to fight multiple adversaries at once. No way, Jose! In McCain’s worldview, the United States needs to be involved with as many wars as possible..."
On Wednesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was his normal warmongering self as he grilled Secretary of State John Kerry over the Obama Administration’s strategy to deal with ISIS. McCain used his time during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to beat his chest and demand that the United States not only get into a ground war in Iraq and Syria to combat ISIS, but that the country also needs to commit to a war against the Assad regime in Syria. While House Democrats are legitimately concerned about the White House’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels to help fight ISIS on the ground, McCain wants the President to push forward and go whole hog with the war machine. Below is the exchange between McCain and Kerry (emphasis mine):
McCain: Secretary, today, September 17th, Secretary Gates said the following, former Secretary of Defense Gates. The reality is they’re not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces of the Peshmerga by the Sunni tribes acting on their own, gates said. So there will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy. And I think that by containing — by continuing to repeat that, that the US won’t put boots on the ground, the president in effect traps himself. Now, Mr. Secretary, I’ve talked to so many people who are military experienced, who have been on both sides on this issue. They all agree with secretary gates’ assessment. And that’s just the reality. And there are some of us that place a great deal of confidence in the opinion of people like Secretary Gates, General Keane. So the architects of the surge. So many others.-the architects of the surge. So many others.-the architects of the surge. So many others. The architects of the surge. So many others. Is it your view that the Syrian opposition is viable?
Kerry: The Syrian opposition has been viable enough to be able to survive under difficult circumstances but they still have some distance to go and we need to help them go that distance.
McCain: The hero of this piece so far in my view is a guy who’s going to testify after you, Robert Ford, Ambassador Ford. He did a magnificent job at the risk of his own life, riding around Damascus in his support of the Free Syrian army. Here’s what he’s going to say in his testimony. The moderate armed opposition’s biggest enemy is not the Islamic State, it is the Assad regime which has killed far more Syrians than has the detestable Islamic State, and they won’t stop fighting the Assad regime even as they advance against the Islamic State. You’re saying, ISIS first. We’re going to train and equip the Free Syrian army and they’re going to be fighting against Assad who they view as their number one enemy. I agree with Ambassador Ford’s assessment. You’re saying, ISIL first. So if this — so we’re telling the young Syrian today, I want you to join the Free Syrian Army, you’ve got to fight ISIL first, and by the way those barrel bombs that are being dropped on you and these attacks from the air that of Hamas customers of so many Syrians, we’re not going to do anything about that. I think at least we owe the Free Syrian Army, negate the air attacks that they will be subjected to when they finish their training and equipping, and go into the fight. So why is it that we won’t at least news release Bashar al Assad’s air activity which has slaughtered thousands and thousands and thousands, 192,000 dead, 3 million refugees, and we’re not going to do anything about Assad’s air capabilities? And finally, ISIL first, that’s what you’re telling these young men who really view Assad as the one who has slaughtered their family members. Not ISIL. As bad as ISIL is. How do you square that circle action Mr. Secretary?
Kerry: Well, you square it this way, Senator. And first of all, let me just say a word. I think everybody knows — I had the pleasure of working with Robert Ford in the department from the day I arrived there. We worked very closely together, I have huge respect and admiration for him. And he and I worked many long hours with the Syrian opposition. And I respect his opinion, et cetera. He is correct that they won’t stop fighting the Assad regime. I understand that we understand that.
McCain: Not only won’t stop fighting, it’s their primary goal.
Kerry: Well, it is, except…
McCain: I know too many of them, John.
Kerry: I understand. It is. I’m not denying that. But they also are fighting ISIL. They’re up in Aleppo right now fighting ISIL. They’re fighting ISIL in other places. They threw them out of a province. They are engaged in fighting ISIL. And our belief is, I think — I bet you, I hope Robert Ford believes that they believe they actually get stronger as a result of ISIL being removed from the field.
McCain: Are you not going to protect them from air strikes?
Kerry: I think what we need — yes, and I think what we need — that’s a legitimate concern. And it is a concern that I would need to address with you in a classified session for reasons I think you well understand. And I think Robert ford well understands that.
McCain: I think the Free Syrian Army would like to understand, too.
Kerry: If we have a good classified session and another good things happen here, who knows. The important thing is for us to recognize that if ISIL continues doing what it’s doing — I think you know this — without being stopped and if we hadn’t stood up when we did and work with Peshmerga and help them, they were threatening Baghdad and they were threatening more. If they did that…
McCain: We’re talking about Syria. And the Free Syrian Army.
Kerry: I’m about to come back…
McCain: Thank you. I’m running out of time.
Kerry: That pertains to their capacity then to focus on Assad and it might be not the Free Syrian Army but ISIL that you see in Damascus. And ISIL bringing other people to them because of the level of their success. Clearly, many people have told us in the region, success breeds success. And many of the people who have come to ISIL have come because it seemed as if they were weren’t being opposed. We believe that transition works to the benefit of the moderate opposition, works ultimately to all of our benefit by removing ISIL from the field.
McCain: You cannot ask people to go and fight and die unless you promise them that they — you will defeat their enemy and defeat them right away. You can’t say, wait until we defeat ISIL. People will not volunteer for such things.
Kerry: I don’t believe it’s going to be ultimately a wait and see. I don’t believe, number one, that the people supporting the opposition in various parts of the region are ever going to stop until the Assad problem is resolves. Number two, I don’t believe ISIL is going — I don’t believe that the moderate opposition will obviously stop in that effort. So, therefore, there will be these two prongs.
McCain: I hope not ISIL first, if that message is not given to these brave young people.
Kerry: If we don’t stop ISIL first, there may not be much left of the other prong.
McCain: That means we can’t take on two adversaries at once that’s bogus and false.
There you have it. McCain didn’t even try to hide his cards here. He wants the United States to not only send American troops to Iraq to fight ISIS. He also wants this country to get involved in a massive civil war in Syria that is being fought on several fronts. McCain just doesn’t want to hear any crap about America not having the capability to fight multiple adversaries at once. No way, Jose! In McCain’s worldview, the United States needs to be involved with as many wars as possible.
Posted by Segami | Wed Sep 17, 2014, 09:20 PM (2 replies)
"..Senator John McCain throws himself in front of every camera he can find. Even though he's continually wrong..."
Didn’t catch who it was from, but a tweet made the rounds the other day saying the Sunday Shows were now going to be called Meet John McCain, Face the John McCain, John McCain News Sunday, State of the John McCain, and of course, John McCain’s NFL Sunday Football. The Arizona Senator had just finished throwing himself in front of every television camera he could find, loudly denouncing President Obama’s strategy for dealing with ISIS. He got in a verbal sparring match with with Jay Carney, where he repeatedly stated Carney’s facts were false. Let’s say that again; John McCain accused someone else of disseminating false information. John McCain said that. That takes brass ones. ISIS, Iraq, Syria, the entire mess in the Middle East is something McCain is complicit in. It is no secret that he was one of the voices convincing Americans that invading Iraq was the right thing to do. We all know how that turned out. The invasion McCain endorsed laid the foundation for today’s turmoil. When the Benghazi attack happened, the right wing leapt at the chance to use the tragedy for political gain. John McCain was no exception. Republicans spent twenty months pounding the Benghazi drum, aiding the terrorists in spreading fear and division amongst their targeted populace and sowing further seeds of distrust in the administration. Until the GOP was proved wrong, and they all promptly dropped it.
It’s no wonder then, that McCain is having so much trouble fighting off persistent rumors that he had a hand in forming ISIS in the first place. When he travelled surreptitiously to Syria in 2013, McCain posed for pictures with many of the Syrian fighters. These images are currently making the rounds of the Internet, claiming that these men are now ISIS leaders. No, it isn’t true. John McCain didn’t pose for pictures with America’s current enemy. But the story gained so much traction because it seems very plausible. McCain is now such a warmongering cartoon of a politician that people believed this story easily. He was a loud proponent of arming the Syrian fighters after all, and many of these men would go on to form ISIS. But none of these drawbacks stop McCain from getting in front of cameras to moan about President Obama’s foreign policy choices. He has specifically focused on how there should have been residual military personnel left in Iraq. Apparently Senator McCain forgets how he trumpeted the withdrawal of those Americans as a victory for George W. Bush. How’s that for false facts, John?
So what, exactly, upsets Senator McCain about Obama’s foreign policies? The President, until recently, heavily favored diplomacy over engaging in war. Especially in an area of the world that Americans barely comprehend. That makes McCain insanely angry. He loves war. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, remember? McCain used his experience as a POW to sell himself as a war hero for political gain. But there were hundreds of other men who experienced the same hellish imprisonment that he did. That alone does not qualify a man for public service, and many of these men will tell you that themselves. Especially when John McCain seems so unwilling to learn from his past. No matter how many times they see the futility of war, no matter how many lives are lost, and no matter how much money they squander, men like McCain never have and never will learn their lessons. They are the first to promote war, and now that Obama is as well, are the first to complain that war isn’t going to be fought how they want it to be fought. Sadly, it’s always easier to sell war than it is to sell diplomacy. And when you have Fox News broadcasting your agenda 24/7, it’s even easier.
And so, John McCain crashes and burns repeatedly as he did with the planes he piloted in Vietnam, wounding and killing more of his comrades than the enemy. He was wrong about Iraq, wrong about Libya, and wrong about Syria. Yet he continues on regardless, bile erupting from him so regularly that he seems a walking and talking pit of seething fury, hardly human at all. No wonder he regularly advocates war, he knows no peace. There is another reason why John McCain desperately wants so much camera time, to distance himself from his legacy; Sarah Palin. When Obama led him in the polls in 2008, and at a pivotal moment of his life, McCain chose as his Vice President an absolutely unqualified, inexperienced, and self-aggrandizing political actor. In his desperation to become President, he put America at risk of being led by someone who was repeatedly proven to be terribly incompetent. John McCain will forever be remembered for unleashing Palin unto the world. It is a clear illustration of his selfishness and cowardice. John McCain isn’t going anywhere. A man this desperate to be remembered for anything other than Sarah Palin will take great pains to speak to any and all subjects. And so he will continue to be as prevalent as ever. And just as wrong. And just as irrelevant. Change the channel.
Posted by Segami | Sat Sep 13, 2014, 09:33 PM (7 replies)
"..In 2012, McCain promised that “there will be huge scandals… because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it… we don’t know who, who contributed it, and there is too much corruption associated with that kind of money...”
A proposed constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 Citizens United ruling and give lawmakers greater ability to prevent large donors from corrupting government failed in the United States Senate on Thursday on a party-line vote. Among the 42 Republicans voting no was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who in the past had been a campaign finance reform advocate. Citizens United decision found, for the first time, that the First Amendment’s free speech protections guaranteed corporations and unions the right to spend unlimited sums of money on political advertisements. McCain denounced the ruling as the Supreme Court’s “worst decision ever.”
In 2012, McCain promised that “there will be huge scandals… because there’s too much money washing around, too much of it… we don’t know who, who contributed it, and there is too much corruption associated with that kind of money.” He blasted the Supreme Court’s view that corporations are people and denounced the Roberts Court for demonstrating “a combination of arrogance, naivete, and stupidity, the likes of which I have never seen.”
The amendment, proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) would have given Congress and the states the authority to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections,” as long as doing to did not abridge the freedom of the press, and would have allowed them to “distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.” Like all constitutional amendments, it would have required a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and ratification by three-fourths of the states’ legislatures.
But McCain cast the deciding vote against the DISCLOSE Act in 2010, which would have required disclosure of the major funders of political ads. He has refused to back similar legislation to require transparency for outside political spending in every Congress since.
Posted by Segami | Sat Sep 13, 2014, 04:08 AM (4 replies)
‘...I owe America a global apology. Because John McCain, through all of this, John McCain should be our president...’
Auhh......can you hear the phone ringing Sarah,......THAT'S JOHN McCAIN!!!........
It’s been six years since President Obama defeated John McCain in the 2008 Election and Sarah Palin wants everyone to know that she is sorry McCain lost. Oh, she’s not taking responsibility or anything. Palin just thinks she speaks for the world when she says she owes America a “global apology” because according to her, John McCain should be president right now despite the fact that Obama won by a landslide. During an appearance on Hannity on Thursday, the Alaskan quitter attacked President Obama and his ISIS speech. After claiming that President Obama spends more time golfing than he does managing foreign policy, Palin began criticizing his remarks.
"...To claim last night, also, our president saying ISIS is not Islamic, um, ISIS says they’re Islamic. They are so full of deception that America should be concerned with the policies that are going on. And, as I watched the speech last night, Sean, the thought going through my mind is ‘I owe America a global apology. Because John McCain, through all of this, John McCain should be our president.’ He had the advice, today, still giving it to Barack Obama, and he will not listen to it, about the residual forces that must be left behind in order to secure the peace in Iraq that we had fought so hard for...."
Posted by Segami | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 10:46 PM (8 replies)
Bill Maher wants Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to run and defeat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
"Love her. Absolutely. Wish she would run," the comedian and political commentator told Charlie Rose in an interview. "She would be absolutely my preference above Hillary."
He said of President Barack Obama, "I would love it if his economic policy was more like Elizabeth Warren's."
The host of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" is not a big fan of the former secretary of state. Despite his progressive political inclinations, and his donation of $1 million in 2012 to help Obama get re-elected, he said he'd consider supporting Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) over Clinton.
Watch his comments, beginning around the 37:50 minute mark.
Posted by Segami | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 09:45 PM (6 replies)
By a straight party-line vote of 54-42, the U.S. Senate defeated a constitutional amendment today that would have overruled the awful Citizens United decision. All five Senate Democrats whose support was unknown ended up voting “yes,” whereas even Republican Susan Collins voted “no.” This was one of the last votes the Senate will take before they adjourn for the election season—where the Koch brothers will pour millions of dollars into attack ads to fool voters.
In other words, the fact that every Democrat sided with the people—and every Republican sided with the rich and powerful—will make this a potent campaign issue in November. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mark Begich (D-AK) all voted to take back our democracy: now they will be on the receiving end of attack ads made possible by Citizens United. Mitch McConnell led the fight to defeat this amendment, and now he’ll have to answer the Kentucky voters, while he gets a little help from his billionaire friends.
Posted by Segami | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 03:38 PM (4 replies)
Snowbilly, Sarah Palin,.....The 'cancer' John McCain unleashed onto the rest of the world.............
The Palin clan, including Mama Palin herself, was allegedly involved in a huge verbal and physical fight over the weekend when they got drunk at a friend’s party. Punches were thrown, lips were bloodied, and Sarah Palin reportedly scream, “Do you know who I am?” at people telling her to calm down. According to Alaskan political blog, The Immoral Minority, the Palins were at a party when – allegedly fueled by alcohol – Track Palin (that would be Sarah and Todd’s oldest son) confronted a man who had formerly dated one of his sisters. Words are exchanged, then Bristol (that would be Sarah and Todd’s oldest daughter) started punching people. Eventually the entire family is yelling and fighting. One source claims Todd was calling people the C-word and acting belligerent. Somewhere a reality tv executive is crying at the lost potential. Blogger Amanda Coyne did some investigating and found multiple sources that paint roughly the same picture The Immoral Authority first heard about.
Spoiler alert: It’s incredible:
The night before, Saturday, was a doozy. The details are a little sketchy, but there’s enough of them, from enough different sources, that a story emerges, a story that according to the gossip Gods, looks kind of like this: There’s some sort of Iron Dog/snowmachine party in Anchorage. A nice, mellow party, until the Palin’s show up. There’s beer, of course, and maybe other things. Which is all fine, but just about the time when some people might have had one too many, a Track Palin stumbles out of a stretch Hummer, and immediately spots an ex-boyfriend of Willow’s. Track isn’t happy with this guy, the story goes. There’s words, and more.
The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests. Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, “Don’t you know who I am!” And it was particularly wonderful when someone in the crowd screamed back, “This isn’t some damned Hillbilly reality show!”
No, it’s what happens when the former First Family of Alaska comes knocking. As people were leaving in a cab, Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.
Track seems nice. The Palins have yet to comment on the incident, but the Anchorage Police Department seem to have confirmed most of the details when Wonkette called them up.
Anita in the Anchorage Police Department’s communications office is sitting at her desk at 7:15 a.m. on a Tuesday, so probs they are waiting for a whole mess of calls from Jake Tapper or whatever, and Anita confirms that a huge bloody mess of a brawl between multiple subjects took place Saturday night, and that the Palins were “present.” However, since nobody wanted to arrest anybody else, the names of the “subjects” remain not yet released.
Posted by Segami | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 01:42 PM (163 replies)
Two men could be seen on video reacting to the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in what CNN described on Wednesday night as exclusive footage shot by a bystander on a cellphone. "He had his fucking hands in the air!" one of the men is heard shouting in the moments after the Aug. 9 shooting of the black teen by a white police officer. CNN aired the footage during "Anderson Cooper 360" and said it was filmed by an unidentified man near the scene of the shooting. CNN also talked to the two men who were shown on the video.
The men, who didn't wish to be identified, told CNN they witnessed the shooting from about 50 yards away. The man shown in the video in a pink shirt told CNN that they heard one gun shot followed by another about 30 seconds later. He said he saw Brown staggering and putting his hands up saying "Okay, okay, okay" but that "the cop didn't say get on the ground, he just kept shooting."
The man in the green shirt told CNN he saw Brown running away from the police car with his hands up as the officer chased him. He also said the police officer shot Brown again when his back was turned, according to CNN. The network said the two men have no connection to Michael Brown or his family. CNN reported that their accounts corroborate what other witnesses have reported: that Brown had his hands in the air and his back to Officer Darren Wilson when he was shot.
Posted by Segami | Thu Sep 11, 2014, 11:52 AM (63 replies)
John McCain took on Jay Carney over the President's speech tonight, and whether leaving troops in Iraq might have prevented ISIL from gaining traction.
Here we go. Just after President Obama's speech concluded, Senator and Pretend President John McCain made the rounds of all the cable networks to offer his learned opinion about what shouldda wouldda couldda happened if we had just left that small contingent of forces on the ground in Iraq. Facts be damned. I don't know how many times we're going to have to say this, but the President rightly decided to withdraw all troops after the Maliki government would not agree to the standard and accepted Status of Forces Agreement that would have protected our troops while stationed there.
So once more, just for the record, via Media Matters:
Over the last year, in late-night meetings at the fortified compound of the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and in videoconferences between Baghdad and Washington, American and Iraqi negotiators had struggled to reach an agreement. All the while, both Mr. Obama and the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, gave the world a wink and nod, always saying that Iraq was ready to stand on its own but never fully closing the door on the possibility of American troops' staying on.
Through the summer, American officials continued to assume that the agreement would be amended, and Mr. Obama was willing to support a continued military presence. In June, diplomats and Iraqi officials said that Mr. Obama had told Mr. Maliki that he was prepared to leave up to 10,000 soldiers to continue training and equipping the Iraqi security forces. Mr. Maliki agreed, but said he needed time to line up political allies.
This month, American officials pressed the Iraqi leadership to meet again at President Talabani's compound to discuss the issue. This time the Americans asked them to take a stand on the question of immunity for troops, hoping to remove what had always been the most difficult hurdle. But they misread Iraqi politics and the Iraqi public. Still burdened by the traumas of this and previous wars, and having watched the revolutions sweeping their region, the Iraqis were unwilling to accept anything that infringed on their sovereignty.
As Jay Carney said later in the segment, John McCain can keep insisting it could be done, but that doesn't make it so. The facts are that Iraq categorically rejected any US troop presence with the standard agreements. And so none were left behind. Now will someone get that cranky old coot off the air?
Posted by Segami | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 11:42 PM (12 replies)
The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur let the neocons have it for their glib commentary on just how "easy" it will be if we just go drop a few more bombs in the Middle East.
McCain & Noonan........just STFU!.............
The Young Turks Cenk Uygur did a very nice job of rounding up the neocons from the Sunday shows this weekend and with reminding us of just what a wasteland these shows have become. He started things off with ripping Peggy Noonan for her "boom boom boom" remarks when it comes to which ISIS targets we can supposedly easily destroy and went from there with here hackery. As we've already discussed here, the audience at ABC was once again treated to Bloody Bill Kristol discussing how easy it would be for the U.S. to just drop a few bombs in Syria and worry about the consequences later.
Our former failed 2008 presidential candidate and permanently pissed off old man John McCain went on Greta's show last week and offered his solution to how we deal with ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever we're calling them this week, which is to "kill them." No nuance needed, just kill them. Never mind whether we actually know who is a member of this terrorist group and who is a civilian that we're dropping the bombs on. Kill 'em all and let God sort it out in McCain and Noonan's world. That should help to ease tensions over there immediately, don't you think?
He finished things up by laying into Bloody Bill Kristol, who has never met a call for more war he didn't like and who thinks President Obama drawing red lines that mean our troops don't get killed is not "serious."
Posted by Segami | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 10:06 AM (0 replies)