Arizona Sen. John McCain has long been regarded as the most credible candidate when it comes to national defense. He has always supported a defense establishment second to none in the world, but no less the prudent use of that power at the lowest reasonable cost. He supported the invasion of Iraq and unfortunately his advocacy for a larger troop commitment to deal with the insurgency was for too long unheeded. But when Gen. David Petraeus implemented the "surge" two years ago, the tide turned in the Iraqi peoples’ favor and McCain was proved right. Sen. Barack Obama imagines that in opposing the decision to invade he is vindicated in his criticism of the subsequent "soft-footprint" counterinsurgency. But the decision to topple Saddam Hussein’s expansionist regime with its history of chemical warfare was the right one, and any failures subsequent to that hardly discredit the original strategy. Obama not only advocated premature withdrawal from Iraq but denounced the surge as a failure. He tries to distract attention from his reckless position on Iraq by insisting that the United States "took its eye off the ball" when it followed up its successful toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan with the decision to eliminate the regional threat posed by Baathist Iraq.
But there is no more reason to believe that Obama would prosecute the campaign in Afghanistan than he would in Iraq, for his overall military posture is to draw down military forces overall and around the world. The fact is, terrorists have been thwarted in all their efforts since 9/11 to strike at our homeland. Obama will revert to the discredited Clinton Administration policy of trying to defeat terrorism largely by legal means, with undue concern for the terrorists’ "rights."
McCain is proud of America, not only for its republican form of government and security for the citizens’ liberty and equality, but also proud of its determination to defend our nation and others against aggression. To that end, he did not hesitate to support our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the infamous terrorist attack on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. He understood that nations that harbored terrorists or cooperated with them must be dealt with in whatever manner the nature of the threat they pose indicates. Afghanistan was the base of the Taliban and al-qaeda, the former providing cover for the latter to carry out terrorist acts.
Saddam Hussein had violated the terms of the truce following the 1990 Gulf War we successfully fought in response to his attack on Kuwait, and he had used chemical weapons in an earlier war against Iraq in the 1980s and even against his own citizens as well. Obama repeats over and over again his lament that America’s reputation has suffered in the world for doing its duty and securing its interests. While carefully concealing his long involvement in radicalism behind a cover of alleged concern for American interests, Obama cannot be trusted to go any farther than Bill Clinton in his half-hearted response to international terrorism.
Given his long association with men like the anti-American Rev. Jeremiah Wright and onetime Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, there is every reason to be concerned that Obama would be disinclined to give America the benefit of the doubt in international relations. His willingness to meet without preconditions with the dictators of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela may be all that voters need to know. Whether it is a conceited claim to persuasive powers that have eluded all past American presidents or naivete’ that borders on the recklessly irresponsible, we would be best advised not to place our country’s fate in the careless hands of Barack Obama.