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Oct-07-2008 12:13printcomments

What the Prospective VPs Got Wrong

Reposted from Foreign Policy In Focus.

U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq
U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq
Photo by Tim King

(SAN FRANCISCO ) - The October 3rd debate between Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden was disturbing for those of us hoping for a more enlightened and honest foreign policy during the next four years. In its aftermath, pundits mainly focused on Palin’s failure to self-destruct and Biden’s relatively cogent arguments. Here’s an annotation of the foreign policy issues raised during the vice-presidential debate, which was packed with demonstrably false and misleading statements.

Getting the Facts Wrong on Iraq PALIN: I am very thankful that we do have a good plan and the surge and the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq that has proven to work… You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked. Barack Obama still can't admit the surge works.

Obama actually has claimed that the surge worked. This makes both he and Palin wrong, however. The decline in violence in Iraq in recent months has largely resulted from a shift in the alignment of internal Iraqi forces and the tragic de facto partitioning of Baghdad into sectarian enclaves. What’s more, the current relative equilibrium is probably temporary. The decision by certain Sunni tribal militias that had been battling U.S. forces to turn their weapons against al-Qaeda-related extremists took place before the surge was even announced. Similarly, militant opposition leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s unilateral ceasefire resulted from internal Shia politics rather than any U.S. actions.

PALIN: And with the surge that has worked we're now down to pre-surge numbers in Iraq.

This is completely untrue. Prior to the “surge” in January 2007, the United States had approximately 132,000 troops in Iraq. Currently, there are 146,000 troops in Iraq This is less than at the surge’s peak, but the decline had to do with the fact that U.S. forces could not be realistically maintained at that level, not from a decision to pull down the number of forces because of any success.

For no apparent reason, Biden didn’t challenge Palin on this clear misstatement.

BIDEN: With regard to Iraq, I gave the president the power [in the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution]. I voted for the power because he said he needed it not to go to war but to keep the United States, the UN in line, to keep sanctions on Iraq and not let them be lifted.

This was perhaps the most seriously misleading statement of the entire debate.

Palin correctly countered with the fact that “it was a war resolution.” Indeed, the resolution supported by Biden explicitly stated that “The president is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate.” Biden certainly knew that.

It’s also hard to imagine that Biden actually believed Bush’s claim that it was necessary to “keep sanctions on Iraq and not let them be lifted.” There was absolutely no serious effort in the UN or anywhere else at that time to lift any sanctions against Iraq in a manner that could have conceivably aided Iraq’s ability to make war, develop “weapons of mass destruction,” or in any other way strengthen Saddam Hussein’s regime.

It’s particularly disturbing that a man who may well be the next vice president seems to think that the United States has the right to try to “to keep the UN in line.” The United States is legally bound -- by a signed and ratified international treaty pursuant to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution -- to provisions of the UN Charter. And the charter prohibits wars of aggression, such as the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The UN’s job is to keep nation-states in line regarding international law, which the Iraq War -- made possible in part through Biden’s vote in support its authorization -- was one of the most serious and blatant violations since the world body’s establishment in 1945.

In any case, at the time of the Iraq War resolution, the UN had for well over a decade imposed the most comprehensive disarmament regime in history and had already successfully disarmed Iraq of its biological and chemical weapons; its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs; and its long-range delivery systems. Furthermore, at the time of the resolution and as a result of pressure from the UN, Iraq had already agreed to the return of UN inspectors under strict modalities guaranteeing unfettered access to confirm Iraq’s disarmament. As a result, Biden’s belief that the United States had to “keep the UN in line” is indicative of his contempt for the UN Charter and the post-World War II international legal order, thereby raising serious questions regarding Obama’s judgment in choosing him as his running mate.

PALIN: I know that the other ticket... opposed funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In reality, Biden has consistently supported unconditional funding for Bush’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan, even as evidence of torture, widespread killings of civilians, the resulting insurgency, and other problems have become apparent. Furthermore, as Biden pointed out, John McCain also voted against “funding for our troops” when the appropriation was tied to certain conditions he disliked. Similarly, Obama’s votes against other appropriations bills were because he had objections to certain provisions.

PALIN: We cannot afford to lose against Al-Qaeda and the Shia extremists who are still there, still fighting us, but we're getting closer and closer to victory. And it would be a travesty if we quit now in Iraq.

There was no heavily-armed al-Qaeda or Shia extremists in Iraq until the Bush administration -- backed by Senators McCain and Biden -- decided to invade that country and overthrow Saddam Hussein, who had prevented such groups from emerging. Prior to the invasion, authorities on Iraq repeatedly pointed out the possibility of such extremists gaining influence in Iraq. If the Republicans were actually concerned about the rise of such extremist groups, they would never have supported the war in the first place. This is simply an excuse to defend the long-planned indefinite occupation of Iraq to control its natural resources and maintain a permanent U.S. military presence in this strategically important region. Claims of being “closer and closer to victory” have been made by Republican leaders ever since the initial invasion in March 2003, and it remains doubtful whether a military victory can ever be achieved.

PALIN: Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure. And it's not what our nation needs to be able to count on.

As Biden pointed out, Prime Minister Nouri al–Maliki has pushed for a withdrawal plan that’s essentially the same as Obama’s. And public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans -- including most U.S. troops currently in Iraq -- prefer Obama’s plan over McCain’s open-ended indefinite commitment of U.S. forces. And Obama’s plan calls only for the redeployment of combat units, which would not be completed until well into 2010.

Much to the disappointment of those in the anti-war movement, Obama’s plan also calls for maintaining thousands of other U.S. troops within the country to ostensibly protect U.S. personnel, train Iraqi forces, and engage in counter-terrorism operations. Furthermore, Obama’s plan calls for stationing many tens of thousands of U.S. forces in neighboring countries for possible short-term incursions into Iraq.

To claim that this is the same as “a white flag of surrender” is demagoguery at its most extreme.

BIDEN: But let's get straight who has been right and wrong: …John McCain was saying the Sunnis and Shias got along with each other without reading the history of the last 700 years.

McCain was indeed wrong about many things in regard to Iraq, but the fact is that Sunnis and Shias in Iraq largely did “get along” – until the U.S. invasion supported by Biden created the conditions that led to the subsequent sectarian conflict. Saddam’s secular regime did persecute Shia, but the widespread sectarian massacres of recent years were a direct consequence of the divide-and-rule policies of the U.S. occupation. Prior to the U.S. invasion, millions of Sunni and Shia Iraqis lived peacefully together in mixed neighborhoods, intermarriage was common (particularly in urban areas), and many in rural areas worshiped in the same mosques.

Furthermore, as with conflict in Northern Ireland, the inter-communal violence in Iraq hasn’t simply resulted from religious differences but has erupted over perceived national loyalties, with the Sunnis traditionally identifying with pan-Arabist nationalists and the U.S.-backed ruling Shia parties historically allying with Iran. Distorting Iran

PALIN: Israel is in jeopardy of course when we're dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel…should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad... seek[s] to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel.

Ahmadinejad never said that “Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth.” That idiom doesn’t even exist in the Persian language. The Iranian president was quoting the late Ayatollah Khomeini from more than 20 years earlier when, in a statement largely ignored at the time, he said that “the regime occupying Jerusalem should vanish from the pages of time.” While certainly an extreme and deplorable statement, the actual quote’s emphasis on the Israeli “regime” rather than the country itself and its use of an intransitive verb makes the statement far less threatening than Palin was trying to make it sound. As recently as the week before the debate, Ahmadinejad once again clarified that the statement was analogous to the way that the Soviet Union is today no longer on the map, emphasizing his desire for Israel’s dissolution as a state, not the country’s physical destruction. Biden inexplicably refused to challenge this apparently deliberate effort by Palin to make American viewers believe Iran is a greater and more imminent threat than it actually is.

Palin’s argument that nuclear energy is something the United States cannot “allow [Iran] to acquire” was rather bizarre since Iran has had nuclear power since the 1950s, as a result of a program initiated by the United States. The United States continued to be the primary supporter for Iran’s nuclear program through the 1970s.

Finally, as Biden observed, Ahmadinejad doesn’t control Iran’s security apparatus. Unlike in the United States, the Iranian president isn’t the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Such responsibilities lie with the Supreme Leader, currently Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Indeed, the Iranian presidency is relatively weak compared with other centers of power in that regime.

PALIN: “Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers, others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet without preconditions being met first. And an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naiveté and goes beyond poor judgment. A statement that he made like that is downright dangerous. “…These dictators who hate America and hate what we stand for, with our freedoms, our democracy, our tolerance, our respect for women's rights, those who would try to destroy what we stand for cannot be met with just sitting down on a presidential level as Barack Obama had said he would be willing to do. That is beyond bad judgment. That is dangerous... But diplomacy is hard work by serious people. It's lining out clear objectives and having your friends and your allies ready to back you up there and have sanctions lined up before any kind of presidential summit would take place.”

As Biden observed, Obama never said he would meet with Ahmadinejad, but with Iranian leaders, presumably those with more power and less extremist views than the Iranian president. And, for reasons mentioned above, while Ahmadinejad is part of an oppressive, authoritarian regime, he is not, strictly speaking, a “dictator.”

Secondly, if it is really poor judgment and “downright dangerous” to meet with dictators without preconditions, why hasn’t Palin ever taken issue with decisions by such former Republican presidents as Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush, who met with dictators who were as bad or worse than the ones she mentioned and did so without self-defeating preconditions like those demanded by the current administration and by McCain? Indeed, President Bush himself has met with the king of Saudi Arabia, whose regime is far more repressive in terms of freedom, democracy, tolerance, and women’s rights than Castro’s Cuba: the rights of women under Castro have improved greatly relative to previous Cuban regimes, while the U.S.-backed family dictatorship in Saudi Arabia remains the most reactionary and misogynist regime on the planet; religious tolerance is Cuba is far greater than in Saudi Arabia, where non-Muslims are forbidden to worship openly; and, while individual freedom and electoral democracy is certainly quite limited in Cuba, that country still compares favorably to Saudi Arabia.

Finally, Palin’s insistence that the goal of the Cuban, North Korean, and Iranian regimes is to “destroy” America’s freedom, democracy, tolerance, and respect for women’s rights is completely inaccurate and ahistorical. The anti-Americanism of these regimes is rooted not in opposition to America’s values, but U.S. militarism and intervention in relation to those countries, which were taken not in defense of freedom and democracy, but in support for previous Cuban, Korean, and Iranian dictatorships. Biden, however, didn’t challenge Palin on this simplistic distortion.

Israel and its Neighbors

BIDEN: Here's what the president [Bush] said when we said no. He insisted on elections on the West Bank, when I said, and others said, and Barack Obama said, "Big mistake. Hamas will win. You'll legitimize them." What happened? Hamas won.

Biden’s position of opposing democratic elections in Arab countries is quite disturbing and represents a significant step back from the Bush administration’s limited support for such elections. The lesson that should have been learned from Hamas’ victory in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections isn’t that the United States should oppose free elections. Instead, Biden should have recognized that Hamas’ victory came about as a direct result of U.S. policies, supported by Biden, that have provided Israeli occupation forces with the sufficient military, financial, and diplomatic support to engage in its ongoing repression and colonization in the Palestinian West Bank. It’s such policies that led to the rise of this radical Islamist group, which did not even exist until after a quarter century of U.S.-backed Israeli occupation and the failure of the United States to move the peace process forward in a manner that could have provided the Palestinians with any realistic hope that a viable Palestinian state would result.

Failure to prevent the Palestinian government from allowing all major Palestinian political parties from participating in a parliamentary election doesn’t “legitimize” Hamas. Unfortunately, Hamas was already seen as legitimate by the plurality of Palestinian voters who gave them their parliamentary majority.

PALIN: “We will support Israel[,]…this peace-seeking nation, and they have a track record of being able to forge these peace agreements…They succeeded with Egypt. I'm sure that we're going to see more success there, also.”

Israel “succeeded” in its peace agreement with Egypt because, under pressure from the Carter administration, the Israeli government agreed to withdraw from all Egyptian territory captured in the 1967 war. By contrast, Israel -- with the support of the Bush administration as well as Senators McCain and Biden -- has refused to consider a complete withdrawal from Palestinian and Syrian territory despite assurances by Syrian, Palestinian, and other Arab leaders of full diplomatic relations and strict security guarantees in return.

The refusal of Israel to agree to a complete withdrawal from these occupied territories -- even with minor and reciprocal border adjustments -- as called for in a series of landmark UN Security Council resolutions and by virtually the entire international community, raises serious questions regarding Palin’s characterization of Israel as a “peace-seeking” nation.

BIDEN: When [in 2006] …along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, "Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because…if you don't, Hezbollah will control it.” Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel.

Neither France nor the United States “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.” France was the primary supporter of the August 2006 UN Security Council resolution -- initially opposed by the United States because it wanted the devastating war to continue in the hopes of a more clear-cut Israeli victory -- which required forces of Hezbollah’s armed militia to withdraw from areas south of the Litani River, located about 20 miles north of the Israeli border. Hezbollah forces withdrew and UN peacekeeping forces have moved into the area. (These forces include troops from NATO countries, but aren’t part of a NATO operation, which would have likely been unnecessarily provocative in a region that had suffered under the colonial rule of three NATO countries.) There’s no “vacuum” in the southernmost parts of Lebanon where the UN peacekeeping forces are stationed and Hezbollah does not “control it.”

In any case, there was never a serious attempt to kick Hezbollah -- which is one of Lebanon’s largest political parties, not simply an armed militia -- out of Lebanon as a whole.

Furthermore Hezbollah was already “a legitimate part of the government” of Lebanon during the time period referred to by Biden; the Lebanese government at that time included one Hezbollah cabinet member and a second cabinet minister of an allied party. It’s not “what’s happened” subsequent to the alleged failures of the Bush administration to push for the deployment of NATO forces, as Biden claimed. Biden actually knows this: he was a cosponsor of a Senate resolution in July 2006 that included the clause, “the Government of Lebanon, which includes representatives of Hezbollah,…”

BIDEN: Iran[’s] … proxies now have a major stake in Lebanon, as well as in the Gaza Strip with Hamas. Neither the Palestinian Hamas nor the Lebanese Hezbollah are “proxies” of Iran.

Hamas evolved out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni movement that came into being decades before the Iranian revolution and that has had no significant ties with Iran. From Hamas’ founding in the early 1980s until just a few years ago, this Palestinian Islamist group’s primary outside funding came from Saudi Arabia and other Arab monarchies in the Gulf region that have traditionally been hostile to Iran. Since the U.S-led international sanctions against the Hamas-led branch of the Palestine Authority was launched in early 2006, Iran has contributed funds to help keep the government functioning, but this does not make Hamas an Iranian “proxy.”

By contrast, Iran played a significant role in the establishment of Hezbollah as an armed resistance movement against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon in the mid-1980s, and Iran has provided some funding and armaments for the militia. However, Hezbollah has long evolved into a populist political party with substantial support from Lebanon’s Shiite population -- the country’s largest community -- and follows its own agenda.

Afghanistan and Pakistan

PALIN: Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians. And such a reckless, reckless comment and untrue comment, again, hurts our cause.

Obama never said that that is “all we’re doing in Afghanistan.” Furthermore, it’s well-documented by the Afghan government, independent journalists, reputable human rights groups, and even the U.S. military itself that U.S. air strikes on Afghan villages have killed civilians. Indeed, the civilian death toll is in the thousands and has been a major contributing factor in losing the hearts and minds of the Afghan population, particularly in the countryside. Strangely, however, Biden refused to defend Obama on this point.

BIDEN: There have been 7,000 madrassas built along that [Afghan-Pakistani] border. We should be helping them build schools to compete for those hearts and minds of the people in the region so that we're actually able to take on terrorism …

A madrassa is a school. Most madrassas offer a general education with a special emphasis on Islamic principles. Only a small minority are affiliated with reactionary strains of Islam that preach the kind of doctrine that rationalizes terrorism. Biden’s comment simply reinforces Islamphobic bigotry.

It’s also important to note that most of the extremist madrassas in that area were started in the 1980s when the United States -- in a policy Biden supported -- armed and financed hard-line fundamentalist mujahideen fighters based in that border region who were then engaged in a war against the Communist regime and its Soviet backers then in power in Afghanistan.

Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus ( From 1996 to 1999, he served as chair of the board of Peaceworkers, a U.S.-based group supporting the nonviolent struggle of the Kosovar Albanians and other nonviolent movements and peacemakers in areas of conflict.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Henry Ruark October 12, 2008 1:35 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Sanchez: Do I perhaps detect just a shade of consequential fear ?
Rightfully so, too...
Re details, that, too is LMA assignment beyond your nickel payment here by Comment.
Basic facts involved already furnished to Editors.

Percy Sanchez October 12, 2008 11:05 am (Pacific time)

Henry et al I noticed that previously you used the Daily Kos as a reference. You think their posters get "abusive" at that site? It's been my observation over many years (even teaching "Debate Courses", as well as intense business dealings) that those who do not like to see information that contradicts theirs, sometimes find this to be abusive. My take is that if one supports their statements with primary sources and other reliable sourced data, then that's enough. Some people just don't play well with others. I supply links when requested, and try to make sure those links are as accurate as possible. As you know there is a big difference between opinions by pundits, so when one provides info that contradicts a pundit, I guess they find that abusive. It's a character issue on how they handle it. Curious, can you provide some statements where I seriously engaged in distortion?

Henry Ruark October 12, 2008 9:35 am (Pacific time)

To all: Here’s “see with own eyes” re reality in the Reagan era highly relevant to this thread:: “The financial crisis has brought down the curtain on a wide range of basic and enduring tenets also closely linked with the Reagan era, those associated with neoliberal economics, the system that the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has called “that grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently, and serve the public interest well”. -------------------- Quoted verbatim from Financial Fallout; David Rothkop; WPost writer; in Sunday Edition of Register/Guard 10/12.

Henry Ruark October 11, 2008 3:23 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
Re "abusive", as referenced in several Comments, here's the definition:
abusive, adj.: "expressing offensive reproach". AND, as in: abusing the privilege given freely here.

Works both ways, when called for by Commenteer's demonstrated and continued distortion or total reliance on personal interpretation. Which is why we try to supply "see with own eyes" and keep on emphasizing "evaluate with own mind."  Do you find any other channel doing likewise ??

Rich Millison October 11, 2008 9:32 am (Pacific time)

"Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads." Here's a note to Mr. Branchflower, who clearly is verbose, but obviously none too keen a scholar of logic: Gov. Palin's so-called "firing" of Monegan (IT WASN'T A FIRING, it was a re-assignment to other government duties that he resigned rather than accept) can't simultaneously be a violation of the Ethics Act and "a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority." This, gentle readers, is a 263-page piece of political circus that actually explicitly refutes itself on its single most key page! This will just energize the conservative base even more because this is just a sham.

Percy Sanchez October 11, 2008 8:54 am (Pacific time)

Henry I agree with you that one should not make abusive comments at any time. Tell me Henry, other than not always agreeing with your interpretations (and about half of America is also in that camp) please show where I have been overtly abusive? Henry, I simply offer a different perspective (often) than yours and I do support my comments when called for, and that is "abusive" to you? But if this site required posters to provide email addresses to post I would have no problem. Anyone who knows how to do basic research could locate me and even get a satelite view of my properties. I come from a very large family.

Bye Bye Palin October 10, 2008 11:34 pm (Pacific time)

The proof is in the pudding: "ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, the chief investigator of an Alaska legislative panel concluded Friday. The politically charged inquiry imperiled her reputation as a reformer on John McCain's Republican ticket. Investigator Stephen Branchflower, in a report by a bipartisan panel that investigated the matter, found Palin in violation of a state ethics law that prohibits public officials from using their office for personal gain." Here ends the very painful Palin saga, thankfully so!

Henry Ruark October 10, 2008 5:21 pm (Pacific time)

Sanchez et al: Newspapers long ago learned to seek name and address for residents on their Letters to the Editor.
Comments here approximate that, with much more latitude and much less delay than Letters--and "all for your nickel, too !"; which surely now beats newspaper costs.

However, continued abuse here may force action on these problems in the long run with loss of freedoms for all others due to actions of a few who prefer to remain masked. WHY should that be allowed to happen ??
Freedom requires good faith. ONLY if someone has real reason to withhold that will they insist on so doing, since it can even be confidential to editors as stated here for your attention.

Per comments on our protocol, that's strictly personal interpretation again, which is all you seem to be able to do.
My sources are professional, recorded, on file, accessible, and --with ID to Editor-- available on request, for each and every point in each and every Op Ed published.

Percy Sanchez October 10, 2008 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

Henry et al I guess what this site could do is require all posters to provide their email addresses before they can post their comments. What do you think that would do to the participation rate on this site? As far as my academic background, it certainly is well known to my employees, family and friends. When we have our weekly company meetings and my employees provide their comments/observations I do not consider their academic backgrounds, but how relevant their observations are to my business needs. When I post on this site it is also based on by observations coupled with generally an informed opinion, that I will provide a link to if controversial and/or requested. I notice that you generally just provide an opinion, and most of your sources are usually quite subjective and agenda driven. As far as the above article VP candidate Biden has shown that he is poorly informed as to what is happening both on a domestic and foreign level. Both he and Obama will lose this election at a margin you may find to be quite shocking. Be very glad for that.

Percy Sanchez October 9, 2008 10:21 am (Pacific time)

To once again point out, I was simply responding to a statement made by the author of this article, thus the "youtube link." When it comes to disparaging our military personnel, especially those in harms way, there are countless examples of this and they have always been by members of the "same" party.

Henry Ruark October 9, 2008 9:40 am (Pacific time)

To Sanchez: Please  name the institution awarding your MBA, so we can check it out.
Fair enough, since mine on record already for same check by anyone so inclined.  First Amendment too precious to allow irresponsible, unacceptable distortions to continue here.

Henry Ruark October 9, 2008 8:46 am (Pacific time)

To all: Thank you all for continued participation in this open, honest, democratic channel. Most do so in good faith to share and learn, the purpose of democratic conversation ever since the Federalist Papers leading to our Bill of Rights, Constitution -and the First Amendment, too. When those driven by malign political purposes deface, defy and try to defeat that honest conversation, it is the supreme act of contempt towards those who do so in good faith, because it defies, denies and damages that First Amendment itself. Dissent is always welcome here when done honestly, with true statement and factual evidence for check and evaluate "with own mind" for more dissenters. When distorted and perverted instead, that is open attack on what democracy provides us, always vulnerable because we believe in and practice open dialog. Cheap shots defeat themselves as Lincoln stated so well re "skunk advertising self." Content analysis proves up the smell rapidly and easily.

Joe S. October 8, 2008 11:48 pm (Pacific time)

What a stupid video clip. Best you can do Mr Sanchez? Anyone that takes the time to watch it will agree that 10 seconds out of context isn't convincing. What's this? A pig with lipstick? uh huh... Still a pig. Better luck next time.

Henry Ruark October 8, 2008 8:34 pm (Pacific time)

Matt: Thank you for your kind and honest confirmation of my own interpretation of the same video clip. From communications research, can recall an example of such distortion built around the single word "Damn !", then inserted in falsified sound-bite to make it seem person was cursing an ally. Old trick, amateurishly used here, simply to amplify and extend ongoing fullscale noise machine attack on O. as the opponent gets that much more desperate in face of growing public awareness of facts. So when "masked man" comes to your home-door with another such stinker....I suggest you make him eat it, as I do believe we've done here now.

Matt October 8, 2008 7:49 pm (Pacific time)

re Percy Sanchez I watched the video and know for a fact that we have killed innocent villagers there - Get your facts straight before trying to be like FOX news

Henry Ruark October 8, 2008 7:34 pm (Pacific time)

Sanchez: Familiar with Rules for Radicals and other works by Alinski, too. Value his work and his ideals far more than I do yours, with good reason from what you've shown here; further explainable if and when you have guts enough to ID to Editor for direct contact. Re link, checked that, too, and have far different interpretation than yours --and, as you insist, each of us has right to "opinion" as to what actions by any other person may mean. Yours far more questionable than most posted here, by the way, for me, which is why I invite you to direct contact via ID. That's what dialog is for, rather than cheap shots from ambush. Difference is easily apparent, when reference is made to Op Eds --which is why we offered you full opportunity to come out from behind tree and show who and what you are.

Percy Sanchez MBA October 8, 2008 5:52 pm (Pacific time)

Henry et al. The below link (6:19 pm post) I provided shows a video of Sen. Obama disparaging our military personnel in Afghanistan. If you have a different interpretation of that video could you please share. Thanks. Note: As I have repeatedly posted there are those who will always try to distract you by changing the subject. My post was directly related to a statement from the above article. Read "Rules for Radicals" and you will get what I mean by "distractors."

Henry Ruark October 8, 2008 4:49 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Percy Sanchez is relaying precisely the points made by those who back McCain without any consideration of truth or consequences, personally or to the nation itself. His entire soliloquy here shows definite, defined,"deny and destroy" traces via sound use of content analysis points and protocols. I learned my use of those from four gentlemen "from Virginia", years ago, at Indiana U. We have no knowledge of his real identity, and he has now withdrawn his flourished MBA used originally, perhaps because he was asked to name the institution and the years attended. He has also continued to refuse repeated invitations to provide full-scale Op Ed content with checkable references and documentation. I.E.his credibility is that of masked man at your door with no ID and no reason to visit except for propagandizing purposes, with his own purposes clearly concealed by that mask he continues to wear here. IF you choose to accept his "criticism", I have a Bridge to Nowhere you can purchase at very low cost, since original owner is about to commit hari-kiri via political death. Re Zunes report, I find it precisely on the money from mine own observation of the same event; and, knowing his public record and his fine preparation, I must accept his view over that of the masked man at your door.

Percy Sanchez October 7, 2008 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

Enjoyed the above article, and I assume Mr. Zunes realizes in this age of brief sound bites, much is conveyed and is locked into the perceivers memory by those brief sound bites. Take for example Mr. Zunes above statement about Obama's statement about "air-raiding" and killing innocent civilians. Both our military personnel and our enemies generally evaluate Obama as what he briefly said, please see the below 15 second youtube, where he states that "our military is air-raiding and killing innocent civilians" (which our enemies will interpret to other populations as intentional!). Our enemies will also use this as propaganda throughout the world, not just in Afghanistan, for that's what they do, besides themselves "killing innocent civilians!" In fact who are the people who specifically target civilians for death? The terrorists of course! No doubt innocent civilians die during war time, but neither Americans nor our allies have a policy where this in intended, regardless of what others may say. So Obama just handed them more propaganda. Note: Regarding Sen. Biden's gaffes (polite term) about different foreign policies and prior actions/votes, please realize that he has over 30 years in the senate and is the chairman on Foreign Relations, now does this demonstrate his knowledge of what's going on in this dangerous world? Afterall Sen. Obama selected him as his VP for his expertise in foreign affairs.

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