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Just Go Already!

Recently, Senator John McCain invited/challenged/double dog dared Senator Barack Obama to accompany him on a trip to Iraq. Obama, sensing a political trap (he's apparently as wary of McCain as he is of Fox News, neither of whom are as trustworthy as his longtime former pastor, his buddy the former terrorist, his buddy the indicted political fixer, or the heads of terrorist states, all of whom he has no problems with seeing), has declined.

I think that is a mistake of Obama's.

No, I don't think it's a political trap. And no, I don't think that Obama would suddenly have a "road to Damascus" moment and see the progress being made in Iraq and pronounce it good, and renounce his previous statements.

But the simple facts of the matter are these:

One of these two men will, barring unforeseen circumstances, be the next president of the United States.

Both men have made their positions on Iraq major aspects of their campaign.

Both men say that one of the larger factors in their positions is their regard for the US troops on the ground in Iraq.

It would be a hell of a thing for those troops for the two candidates for president to go to Iraq, together, not campaigning, but simply looking to see how things are going and express a bit of solidarity and sympathy and respect for the men and women on the ground, charged with carrying out the most dangerous aspect of American foreign policy. One of these two men will be their next Commander In Chief, and it would go a long, long way towards establishing the mutual respect between the Chief Executive and the Armed Forces that bodes best for our nation.

We've seen the results of a president and a military not getting along. A lot of service members essentially "held their noses and bit their tongues" during the Clinton administration, and the stories of how much morale shot up when Ronald Reagan took office -- and, more importantly, Jimmy Carter left. To have these two men set aside campaigning just long enough to go to Iraq and express just a little solidarity, a little respect, a little compassion for those who will be carrying out their orders -- and possibly dying -- in about nine months would go a long way towards a good relationship.

Of course, it's not really necessary. There is almost no chance that the United States military would ever pull a coup d'etat and overthrow the civilian government -- this is America, after all, and our military is thoroughly inculcated with respect for the chain of command and the almost-sacred status of civilian leadership of the armed forces. But it does make life a lot easier for both sides when there is mutual respect, and such a trip would put either man on a good footing for the office to which they aspire.

Especially Obama, who has nothing to compare with McCain -- the son and grandson of admirals, retiring after 22 years as a navy Captain, including five years as a tortured prisoner of war.

Obama could use the trip to firm up his standing with the military, to demonstrate his respect for them and the duties they carry out. He could give them a hint of what their potential next Commander in Chief could be like.

Or he could denounce the suggestion by McCain as "politics" and blow the opportunity entirely.

Which would be merely the latest in a long string of what can charitably be called "rookie mistakes" that have been the hallmark of his campaign so far.


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Comments (13)

And here I thought Obama wa... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

And here I thought Obama was sincere after his considerable talk about reaching across the aisle and "working together". What better way to demonstrate that than by, oh I don't know....actually doing it? It seems to me that all the hooplah about "a new kind of politics" and uniting and building bridges has indeed turned out to be "just words".

Obama's campaign spokesman says Obama isn't interested in joining McCain on his next "Baghdad stroll", but Obama says he may go this summer. I guess he wants to be the star of his own 'stroll' and is timing it to be closer to election time so it'll be fresh in people's minds. You know, since he hasn't been there in almost 2 1/2 years.

Dems will say or do anythin... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

Dems will say or do anything to get elected,wonder where i heard that before/sarc off.I belive your right oyster,he wont go w/McCain.he,ll go by himself to show people,HEY,look at ME,I went,I care for the troops,phsss i chould care less for the little piss ant.All he is is an empty suit.

Why do we even have a rooki... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Why do we even have a rookie running for President? This guy's alleged charm has hoodwinked the electorate and - maybe more importantly - the press. If McCain mistook Sunrise, FL, for Sunshine, or thought there were 58 states, or didn't know that Kentucky bordered Illinois, he'd be the media's favorite senile fogy. But BHO blunders on. Sure, he should go to Iraq, with or without his opponent, but don't count on him wanting to hear any facts that might interfere with his "most liberal in the Senate" views.

Jay: You're too gracious. Y... (Below threshold)

Jay: You're too gracious. You assume Obama wants what "bodes best for our nation." Why doesn't HE say that?

I think the best point you ... (Below threshold)

I think the best point you made was early in the piece...Obama is willing to unconditionally meet with the heads of terrorist theocracies - but won't meet with the head of a friendly Iraq with McCain?

Obama has to be getting sca... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Obama has to be getting scared now. He is realizing he will be the dem nominee and will potentially have to do what he says he will do. I predict he will start back pedaling on his approach to foreign leaders after he gets the nod. ww

Obama will hedge on this ... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

Obama will hedge on this just as he did with Rev. Wright--not until it's an imperative and seen as crucial to the pandering,i.e. flag pins, showing flags in the background, etc.

Perhaps he can take one of his uncles along, and liberate Abu Ghraib?

If I were Hillary's advisor... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

If I were Hillary's advisor, she'd have been on a plane to Baghdad yesterday, daughter in tow. McCain opened a door of opportunity for his gal Hill, and Surfer-Dude had another wipe-out. The Obamanites have become such a cult they are blind to the "prophet's" true nature. I'll go buy some Kool-aid stock now.

Loosen up, he's going as so... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Loosen up, he's going as soon as it safe. Right now Shrillary still has 'stuff' to gain and might have some of Slick's friendly Arabs knock him off.

The biggest danger for Obam... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

The biggest danger for Obama would be the difference in reception the two would receive from the military members. They would be polite to Obama but enthusiastic toward McCain.

Instead of wasting his time... (Below threshold)
crazy:

Instead of wasting his time in Iraq where he already knows everything he needs to know, perhaps Obama ought to swing thru the region's capitals and engage in some of that unconditional talking and solve all the region's problems in one fell swoop. Why wait until Jan '09 when you can bring world peace just by dropping in for tea?

Maybe McCain should invite ... (Below threshold)
914:

Maybe McCain should invite Him (Obama) to meet with Ahckmahdinijabb and Hamas leader's and see if He sense's the political set up?

McCain should challenge Oba... (Below threshold)
Arthur:

McCain should challenge Obama to a debate in Iraq - in Fallujah!




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