Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Why McCain Matters

The main reason to cast a vote for McCain by Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard:
“For obvious reasons, McCain is the chief beneficiary of the surge effect. He has relentlessly promoted increasing the number of troops in Iraq and adopting a counterinsurgency strategy that stresses the protection and safety of Iraqi citizens. And a year ago, Bush bucked tremendous antiwar pressure, much of it from Republicans, and announced the surge strategy. Like McCain, he emphatically rejected the notion that the war was lost.

Last summer, when his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination was at a low point, McCain was urged by some of his advisers to downplay his support for the war. McCain rejected that advice. He knew how to evaluate a military plan, understood that the counterinsurgency strategy was different from what had been done before in Iraq, and knew what it could accomplish (and has).”

Sure, a number of Republican candidates claim to have supported the Surge from the start as well, but no one attached themselves to the policy like McCain did. McCain has linked his chances for the Presidency directly to the idea that Iraq must be won, and must be free. He held to that position even when it was considered suicide to his campaign, and so publically supported Petraeus' plan that he must have known that it would sink his political career if it failed. It has not, and even leading Democrats are coming to terms with its miraculous turnaround in a conflict many had assumed was lost.

I have made it clear on this blog and in conversations with friends and family that my vote will go to the candidate that supports the fight for democracy in Iraq, and will not abandon the Kurds to be slaughtered yet again. I can forgive some of McCain’s decisions throughout his career and the way he has pandered to religious conservatives in recent months, and I can effortlessly when I consider what democracy promotion will look like if someone like Obama or Edwards is elected.

The War on Terror and the fight for liberal democracy may be nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan to some on the left, but it means something to me. If we surrender freedom to the forces of theocracy and totalitarianism overseas, we do not deserve to call ourselves democrats at home. If our concept of democracy ends at our borders, like Ron Paul supporters would have us believe, then we have sacrificed our comrades overseas for juvenile self assuredness and sciolism.

What an odd era we live in, where an ex-Trotskyite like myself finds a foreign policy companion in a man like John McCain.


Anonymous said...

An ex-Trotskyite for McCain? Sounds like an interesting Meetup group.

Brad Marston said...

Support from people like you and democrat Pat Hickey of With Both Hands is one of the reasons manyy on the right hate McCain,

Personally I applaud your support and the man who has earned it, Sometimes it is about governance over politics.

Andre said...

may be nothing more than a bumper sticker slogan to some on the left

I must admit it is quite worrying that there is this misconception that all people on the left disagree with the war on terror. The war on terror means a lot to me - it means freedom, it means fighting fundamentalism and it means securing liberty for millions around the globe - lest we forget that terrorism is not just present in Iraq. I think those principles are common both on the right and on the left.

Regarding McCain - as you know I'm supporting Hillary - but I have a HUGE respect for McCain. He is definitely the most capable of the Republican candidates.

Steve Nizer said...

I'm with you brother. I caught the McCain bug in 2000, and haven't sought treatment since. McCain should also be lauded for his green stances.

Roland Dodds said...

Thanks for the comments guys, and I agree with you Andre: it is a misconception that the entire left is opposed to the war on Terror and the fight for democracy. I still put myself somewhere in the left, and much brighter minds like Christopher Hitchens and Oliver Kamm (just to name a few) have come out swinging for those very principles. We just have to be louder and more forceful in reclaiming that true democratic tradition.