Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Out of the running

When McCain first ran against George W. Bush in 2000, I took him seriously as a candidate. He was the kind of candidate a moderate from either party could find appealing. He was a fiscal conservative, but not from the harsh religious right/social conservative crowd. He had a solid national security background. He seemed like a straight shooter- someone that you could trust.

He's lost much of that in his most recent bid for the White House.

His recent trip to Baghdad (see here and here) and his comments about it clearly show he's no longer a 'straight talk' candidate.

Today, his judgment seems seriously in question.

About the Iraq War, today he says, "It is necessary and just."

On what grounds? The WMD that were not there? The Al-Qaeda connection that was not there? The nuclear material from Niger that was not there? The civil war that we unleashed? The thousands of Iraqis killed? The thousands more now refugees from their homeland? Abu Grahib, Gitmo and the evasion of the Geneva Conventions?

There is simply no logical, reasonable argument- none at all- that can be made supporting the statement that the war was necessary. This war was a war of choice- chosen to 'show the world' that the US intended a broad 'war on terror' beyond just Afghanistan.

Just? Only by adopting the lowest of all possible standards. The government of Iraq today, and the US involvement with it, is not brutal as Saddam was. No question. Even with the reports of torture- still better than Saddam. But, that's hardly a great claim.

But what about by the standards of justice we expect for ourselves? Safety. Security. A government that can provide us w/ these, while also being democratic. Equality under the law regardless of ethnic/religous background. A system of justice that routinely catches and impartially tries those who commit crimes, especially murder. Do Iraqis have these?

Being better than an evil dictator like Saddam... being better than the terrorists... that's just not good enough. That's not what the Pilgrim calls justice.

If what we see in Iraq today is what McCain believes is "necessary and just", well, he's out of the running for the Pilgrim's support.

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