- Peace Garden: All the candidates are nuts

All the candidates are nuts

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Some more than others

Choosing Which War to Fight

The three leading contenders for the presidential nominations have staked out positions that differ radically, along party lines. All three say they believe that Afghanistan is an important security threat that needs to be addressed. But the Republican, John McCain, suggests that Iraq remains America’s bugaboo of security threats, while the two Democrats, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, appear to have moved on to Afghanistan. Both of them argue that focusing on Iraq gets in the way of a more serious threat in Afghanistan.
Distilled to its simplest form, Mr. McCain’s argument is that withdrawing from Iraq would make Americans less safe in the long run, because a withdrawal would embolden Al Qaeda, put American interests at risk in the Middle East, and make an already volatile region less safe. Senators Obama and Clinton have tacked in the opposite direction. Iraq, they argue, makes Afghanistan more dangerous. The Iraq war, Mr. Obama told an audience of supporters in Houston last Tuesday, “distracted us from the fight that needed to be fought in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda. They’re the ones who killed 3,000 Americans.” He has said that if elected, he would deploy at least two additional brigades in Afghanistan.
“Losing Afghanistan would be far more consequential than losing Iraq,” says Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University professor who was an adviser on counterterrorism to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad in 2004. “If Pakistan, especially along the border, fell into complete disarray, the integrity of the Afghan country and its government will be even more threatened, and that would have far greater repercussions for us.”
I have to believe that Obama is the better choice of the three - do I have another viable option? McCain just wants to continue the mess, Hill is talking a great game of withdrawal but voted for the war and "voted" for an Iranian war. Obama talks about taking the battle to Afpak - let's hope that is just to show how "strong" he can be. Let's hope that if and when he is in office, talk/diplomacy rather than guns become his real weapon.

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