Today’s opining on the public discourse.
A while back, I mentioned that Bush likely wouldn’t leave office without starting more wars. Looks like he has indeed decided to go out with a bang:
Seems the US attacked a village 10 miles inside Syria, two helicopters landed and disbursing commandos who then killed a bunch of, what Syria claims, were construction workers. As Brandon notes, 10 miles means it wasn’t a “mistake” and this is the first time the US has attacked there. I know Syria isn’t considered all that friendly to the US, despite having helped
quite a bit against al-Q’aeda, but either destabilizing them or encouraging them to retaliate through underhanded means (i.e., supporting terrorism or the Iraqi insurgency) seems… unwise. The foreign policy clown car that is the Bush administration continues to accelerate.
Further reports confirm this attack took place:
As Ian noted earlier, the newswires are abuzz with reports of an attack on a Syrian village near the Iraqi border:
Local residents in a Syrian border town said that American forces killed seven men in a helicopter-borne commando attack inside Syrian territory.
Doctors in the town of Al-Sukkariya, some eight kilometres from the Iraqi border, said seven corpses and four wounded had been delivered to a nearby clinic after
The eyewitness accounts said that four helicopters were involved in the operation, with two of the helicopters landing in the town and eight American soldiers disembarking. The eyewitnesses said that the seven killed men were supposedly construction workers.
Afterwards, the US helicopters then left Syrian airspace with all the soldiers again on board.
No explanation or comment yet from US forces though as more reports come in, the number of dead has been increased to 9 with 14 wounded.
So, Bush has apparently decided that leaving office with two wars isn’t enough: he wanted a third, and Syria seemed like a country easy to kick around. What better way to announce that you mean business than to kill some construction workers? I’m sure he’ll try to spin us a good story about fighting the terrorists, but it’s sheer bullshit. Everything with Bush is.
That being so, it’s even more disturbing that McCain just today said that he “shares a common philosophy” with Bush:
Look, this isn’t even a close call. By now, we’ve all seen the clip with McCain bragging to a national television audience about having voted with Bush 90% of the time, “higher than a lot of my even Republican colleagues.”
Under the circumstances, one might assume that John McCain would try to avoid talking about George W. Bush altogether. Just pretend he doesn’t exist. If asked, he’d say, “George who?”
But, no. McCain keeps pushing his luck. A few days ago, McCain brought up Bush in order to
talk about how much Obama has in common with the president. A day later, McCain brought up Bush again in order to argue, unpersuasively, that he disagrees with the president about several key issues. McCain talked about Bush again this morning, acknowledging that he and the president “share a common philosophy of the Republican Party.”
I suspect the Obama campaign couldn’t be happier to have the discussion head in this direction. Indeed, Obama, campaigning in Denver today, plans to help McCain get his message out.
“Just this morning, Senator McCain said that he and President Bush â€“ ‘share a common philosophy.’ That’s right, Colorado. I guess that was John McCain finally giving us a little straight talk, and owning up to the fact that he and George Bush actually have a whole lot in common.”
But the connection obviously goes far deeper. As Tom Brokaw reminded McCain this morning, the senator has insisted, “[O]n the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I have been totally in agreement and support of President Bush.” A few months ago, McCain vowed to campaign alongside Bush as much as possible this year.
That, combined with McCain’s penchant for singing about bombing other countries, should give us pause. It’s a damned good thing Obama’s so far ahead in the polls, but still, I worry.
And that’s not all. McCain had a lot more to say on the topic of aggression:
Last weekend, Joe Biden predicted that U.S. enemies may try to “test” Barack Obama with an international crisis early on if he’s elected president, but Obama’s “spine of steel” will serve him well when faced with these challenges. The McCain campaign, ever since, has tried to characterize Biden’s remarks as some kind of important development.
Yesterday, McCain, again citing Biden’s comments, added some new rhetoric to the mix.
“I’m gonna test them,” Republican John McCain said at a campaign rally in New
Mexico this morning. “They’re not gonna test me.”
So much for walking softly.
Maybe McCain could take a moment to elaborate on what this means, exactly. He’s going to “test” rivals? Which ones? How will he “test” them?
If Biden’s remarks suggest U.S. enemies may try to create an international crisis, it sounds as if McCain’s message is, “I’ll show them; I’ll start an international crisis first!”
Looks like Bush got there first.
This saber-rattling and attack come courtesy of the same party that’s so desperate to stop a Democratic tsunami that they’ve resorted to outright insanity:
They actually went there:
“Pennsylvania Republicans are disavowing an e-mail sent to Jewish voters that likens a vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to events that led up to the Holocaust.
“Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008,” the e-mail reads. “Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let’s not make a similar one this year!””
The Pennsylvania Republican Party claims that this mailer went out without their authorization, and that they have fired the consultant who was responsible. That consultant, however, says
“”I had authorization from party officials” to send the e-mail, Rudnick said, but he declined to say who had signed off on it. “I’m not looking to drag anyone else through the mud, so I’m not naming names right now,” he said.”
“Despicable” is a word that comes to mind here. Disgusting, beyond outrageous, and appalling all queue up, but nothing quite seems to express my feelings. A sane, stable, and sober political party does not do things like this. A desperate bunch of power-mad, self-righteous, amoral shitheads, on the other hand…. they’ll stop at nothing.
I hope their defeat on November 4th can be described as “crushing.” The last thing we need is to validate this kind of vitriol by voting for them.