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The First Big 'Debate' of '08

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Author 18467
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Why are these men smiling?

Just heard part of the 'Big Debate' between Obama and McCain--it was little more than a parlour game, '20 Questions'with a moderator, not a debate at all.

McCain made a gaffe that some might have picked up on regarding the opinion of his advisor, Henry 'I'm-not-dead-yet' Kissinger about meeting with Iran; "-direct engagement' in the vernacular.

McCain vehemently refuted Senator Obama's claim that Henry K favored high-level discussions with Iran without setting preconditions. McCain then reflexively bellowed about Iran's vow to destroy Israel asserting that any high-level meetings without preconditions would serve to legitimize Iran's bellicose anti-Israeli ravings.

Obama was correct, however; Kissinger stated the night before in a panel interview on CNN with other former Secretaries of State that he would recommend the next US president arrange a series of meetings starting with the Secretary of State without pre-conditions.

For McCain to use the vivid specter of the Holocaust as the prime rationale for continuing the failed policies of undiplomatic belligerence toward Iran is one thing. (It's politically expedient in that it plays well to AIPAC.)

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To openly bluster that Kissinger, his own revered advisor, never said the very things he stated clearly the evening before on CNN points out two things about McCain and his campaign, both distressing.

First, McCain's out of touch on this most important foreign policy issue with one of his own most respected and experienced advisors. To disagree with his advisors is one thing; that's his prerogative. For McCain to rail on that Kissinger never said what he said and to use his decades-long personal relationship with Henry as his supporting argument to refute the veracity of Obama's claim is ludicrous. (It's no wonder real debates aren't presented. It's also no wonder that McCain tried to opt out of having this little tete-a-tete; in a battle of wits, he's proving to be an unarmed man.)

Second, McCain (and his campaign staff) are apparently so out of touch with current affairs that McCain would enter the most widely touted "-debate" of the campaign without an awareness of important public statements on US policy by his own advisor, Henry Kissinger, on a widely seen CNN presidential election special that focused on the very 'debate' for which McCain was presumably preparing.

There's little wonder in light of this gaffe why McCain would prefer not meeting with Iran or other leaders "-unfriendly" to the US. He'd get blown out of the water for simple lack of preparation (if not intellect) and then blow a gasket in the resulting temper tantrum.

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After years of professional starvation as a 'working musician', DC found his way to Taiwan where he has lived and taught English as a foreign language for 18 years - fourteen of them married blissfully to Yashan 'Linda' Huang. "Having lived (more...)

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