Iraq

Wasted Days and Wasted Lives (Veiled Subscription Pitch)

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First we had Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) sticking his foot in his yap while announcing a White House bid. So here's Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yakking it up on David Letterman last night. After announcing he's officially making a run at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the man who never met a surge he didn't salute says:

"Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be," McCain said Wednesday on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman." "We've wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives."

Leading to this rejoinder:

"Senator McCain should apologize immediately for his callous comments," said Karen Finney, a DNC spokeswoman. "How is it that John McCain now believes American lives are being wasted, yet he so stubbornly supports the president's plan to escalate the war in Iraq and put more American lives in harms way?"

More here.

McCain, btw, is the cover boy of the April Reason on newsstands everywhere. "Be Afraid of President McCain: The frightening mind of an authoritarian maverick," by Matt Welch, is a trenchant look at everybody's (well, in the press anyway) favorite "straight talker." Far from being an iconoclast or independent mind, argues Welch, "McCain is an authoritarian maverick" with "a rigid sense of citizenship and a skeptical attitude toward personal choice."

If you subscribed to Reason, you'd have already received the April issue. So why not take a few minutes to spend less than $20 and get a year's worth of Reason?

NEXT: Bill Kristol in Pajamas?

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  1. I don’t really care how McCain self-destructs, just so he does.

  2. To me the most interesting aspect of this story is that about 3 weeks ago when Obama said lives were being wasted in Iraq the right wing pundits and most major media outlets pounced to the point where Obama was forced to apologize.

    I’m sure we’ll see the same frothing at the mouth any moment now from those same right wingers eh?

    For the record, I think both were right. American lives are being wasted in Iraq.
    And I am sure the media will be sure to point out the difference in reactions to Obama vs. Capt. Straight Talk, right?

  3. I could be wrong but isn’t the term “wasted” a kind of military slang for being killed in action?

    McCain supports the war so he clearly didn’t mean this as it sounded.

  4. I subscribe, and I haven’t received the April issue yet. Should I be worried?

    Also, I lost my March issue, and I hate reading long articles online, so I went out to buy it at my local (Saint Louis) Barnes and Nobles. They didn’t carry it. I went down the road a little farther to Borders. They didn’t carry it either. I don’t really know how the whole process of selling magazines works, but it seems to me you might want to try something to get Reason carried around here.

  5. McCain is a brittle, paranoid twit who will need to make an appointment if he wants to see the Oval Office in 2009.

  6. ChicagoTom,

    So the right and left behave the same? Color me surprised.

  7. It sure seems like McCain is so computer illiterate he hasn’t caught on that people can use Google to cross check his sound bites against each other.

  8. It’s not that it’s inaccurate, ChicagoTom, but that it’s insensitive.

    Republicans are very sensitive about the troops’ feelings.

    Right up until they need long-term medical treatment.

  9. So the right and left behave the same? Color me surprised.

    The media does not, though. When Obama did it there were stories entitled “stumbling out of the gate” describing Obama’s “gaffe” and the effect on his campaign — yet for McCain the patron saint of journalists everywhere there was very little of any such thing.

  10. It sure seems like McCain is so computer illiterate he hasn’t caught on that people can use Google to cross check his sound bites against each other.

    I think it’s more that he realised that the press isn’t going to call him on it. They love the guy. They repeat his campaign slogans for him. I can’t even count the number of times I have seen media creatures refer to him as a “Straight Talker” — the irony. (And don’t get me started on the Giuliani being anointed “America’s Mayor”)

  11. ChicagoTom,

    Yeah, I know it, how the press treats Obama. Rough.

  12. Yeah, I know it, how the press treats Obama. Rough.

    Yes, those examples you gave are compelling….

  13. John- It could be that Border’s and B&N are selling out. The local Borders only gets about 3 copies, and you have to move quickly.

    That said, I subscribe and haven’t gotten the April issue. What’s up with that?

  14. Doesn’t getting “wasted” in military slang mean getting drunk and/or disorderly. McCain was right, I’m sure that a lot more than 3100 military in Iraq wish they were drunk and somewhere else. It seem that only the neocoms think someone else dying for their schemes is irrelevant. Ask the wives, mothers, children and other loved ones of those youngsters lost forever if it was a noble cause. Cindy Sheehan doesn’t think so and neither do I.

  15. Poor McCain.

  16. The most interesting thing about this story is that the DNC is as full of crap as a Christmas turkey. If it was about American lives the war would have ended five minutes after Pelosi took the oath. It’s been 4 months so please, Ms Finney, spare us the feigned outrage.

  17. Wow, John, both those stores used to carry Reason. I used to buy copies once in a while just to keep the demand up. 🙂

  18. Was watching the BBC last night; some talking head reported McCain’s announcement and, for the edification of the international audience, described him as a moderate Republican in the tradition of Ronald Reagan. Stupid foreigners.

  19. I miss the days when you could put Joe Biden (D-MBNA).

    (D-BOA) just isn’t as cute.

    Each and every one of those lives was wasted.

  20. The people killed in Iraq (both Americans AND Iraqi) ARE a waste. Hell, our government, almsot 5 years later, still can’t even tell us what in the hell is the point of the Iraq slaughter. It’s a waste in every sense of the word, and yes, soldiers are WASTING their lives fighting for non-existent causes. I only wish that American people would wise up and realize that joining the military doesn’t automatically make you a “hero”. Anybody joining the military now is quite simply, an idiot.

  21. TWC,

    I hate to do this, but I’ve seen you say twice (I think) that the Dems have been in control of Congress for 4 months. The new Congress only went into session on January 4. The rest of your point stands, because it’s obviously not about saving American lives for them, but (as all too often I’ve seen posted here, sadly) “giving Bush enough rope to hang himself with.”

    Nothing like letting crass political concerns trump a few more soldiers dying in a wasted effort in Iraq.

  22. Nick,

    Come on, it wasn’t a VEILED subscription pitch, it was right out in the open! No problem with that! I’m already a print version subscriber and have been for years!
    Now, my “Click here & use PIN 556616,” above, is a truly veiled pitch for my website!

  23. Anyone the press calls a “maverick”, automatically isn’t one. Real mavericks are either ignored or reviled.

  24. 1) I am sick of people leaping on each other over whose heart bleeds more red for The Troops. Shut the fuck up already and do something about it rather than catfight over each others depth of support for this shitty war

    2) I haven’t got my @#*?@+! April issue either. (Thinly veiled bitch)

  25. A “wasted effort in Iraq…”

    Would you rather be fighting the Islamo-Fascist Terrorists on our borders? Guess you’d rather see them lobbing scud missles across the Rio Grande at Brownsville, El Paso, Tucson and San Diego, huh? Do you honestly think that the Mexican Army would stop them?

    And I guess you have no problem with dirty bombs going off in our major cities like Houston, Albuquerque and Phoenix, huh?

    “Shitty War”?? Let’s see now, we killed Uday and Qusay, than caught and eventually hung Saddam Hussein, and bombed the shit out of Zarcawi. His last vision on this planet was that of an American GI.

    Wonder back in WWII if you would have been calling that War a “shitty War.” Guess you would have been on the side of Hitler and Tojo.

    Oh, and what of the Surge? Seems to be working, yet you Lefty poser Libertarians are silent on it. No comments, on the Surge, huh?

    Guess since the violence is down in Iraq, and the ethnic violence has dissapated, best to move on to another subject, huh?

    Can’t give George Bush any credit for anything now can we? Gotta Bash, Bash, Bash, old Bush. Stub your toe on the sidewalk, why, it’s George Bush’s fault.

  26. Frank, calling our Troops “idiots.” Great. See you’ve been staying up late at night reading Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends…”

    Let me take a guess here, you’re not a Veteran and never served in the Military, right?

    Just a shot in the dark.

    Well, I am a Vet. To Military Servers such as myself dying for one’s country is the greatest honor that could bestowed upon an American. I would GLADLY give my life for my country.

    So, you saying that the lives of those 3,100 American Servicemen who have been lost is a “waste” is an INCREDIBLE insult to us Military Guys.

    I would ask you for an apology Sir. If you do not provide one, than I would ask you to LEAVE THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT NOW!

    We don’t need Military-hating Slime like you in the Libertarian Movement spewing your hatred for our Troops.

  27. Guess since the violence is down in Iraq, and the ethnic violence has dissapated, best to move on to another subject, huh?

    Umm, reality check on the violence thing: a suicide bomber tried to blow up Dick Cheney just a couple of days ago.

  28. reality check on the violence thing: a suicide bomber tried to blow up Dick Cheney just a couple of days ago.

    The bombing was in Afghanistan, and I believe Dondero is referring to Iraq. I agree with you though that any claim that the ethnic violence has dissapated [sic] there is very premature.

  29. Iraq … Afghanistan … I’m an American, dammit. You expect me to know my Geography?!

  30. wtf, dondero?

  31. “Shitty War”?? Let’s see now, we killed Uday and Qusay, than caught and eventually hung Saddam Hussein, and bombed the shit out of Zarcawi. His last vision on this planet was that of an American GI.

    Raise your hand if you give a flying fuck about Uday, Qusay or Saddam Hussein.

    Eric Dondero: Rah rah rah doesn’t make this a good war. We took a country that was under our military thumb and ruined its power structure, thereby destabilizing the region. That seems pretty shitty to me.

  32. Well, I am a Vet. To Military Servers such as myself dying for one’s country is the greatest honor that could bestowed upon an American.

    Well, that’s natural selection at work, for ya’. So, what exactly, are those people in Iraq dying for? Can you provide a reason other than some nebulous term like “Freedom”? It’s all bull, and it’s time that we stop treating our troops like they’re heroes. My life would not be any different if Iraq didn’t happen. Troops today aren’t “protecting” us in any way, shape or form. All they’re doing is slaughtering mostly innocent people in some far away nation that has never hurt the US.

    This war is completely pointless for everybody except for those people getting paid (the soldiers and the defense contractors).

    Our troops can suck it up. I do my part. I pay exorbitant taxes to take care of them, their families, their kids, etc. I feel dirty every time I pay a tax bill because I know I’m paying for what are essentially hired thugs that are terrorizing Iraq.

  33. “We took a country that was under our military thumb and ruined its power structure, thereby destabilizing the region.”

    One little quibble–we also killed a shitload of people who had no dog in any of our fights in the process. I’d really like that chestnut highlighted a bit more often.

    What I mean for all of the flagwavers out there (Dondero et al.) is, well, something like 60-90 September 11’s-worth of Iraqis have bitten the dust as collateral damage at the least since we invaded. How’s that?

    And I would add that all of this isn’t leading toward any noble denoument. So let’s please give this moralizing humanitarian bullshit a rest.

    To those soldiers who actually get it; that is, you understand how you’ve been duped by a sheltered piece of pretend-cowboy shit, I have your back. I’ll work my ass off to see to it that we get you home in one piece.

    Oh, and laying down life and limb for country just looks idiotic at this point in time. Let me know when I can fight the next invaders and I’ll be right there beside you, but heading overseas to sacrifice yourself for daddy-war part II was just plain stupid.

  34. Yes, ‘sacrifice’ sounds more noble than ‘waste’, eh? But pawns (soldiers) sacrificed with no real endgame in sight, at least to us taxed commoners who supply both our earnings and our family members as cannon fodder, is ultimately a waste no matter what euphemism you choose to clothe it in. No amount of back-pedaling or couched language changes that. Never mind that it is known that ‘powers’ love to drag confrontations out for as long as will be tolerated by the powers’ subjects so that public war funding remains a steady stream of private profits for a very select few in the know.

    ‘Terrorist’ is just this generation’s bogeyman. In our parents and grandparents day ‘communist’ served as the bogeymen to rally against. Not that it was ever ‘won’, but you never hear about the fight against communism’ anymore and now there’s a whole new generation who have never heard that phrase. The spin and obfuscation by the corrupt elite never end. According to the UN-Patriot Act, someone who supports the US Constitution may be deemed a terrorist. Welcome to a new brand of McCarthyism rearing it’s ugly face.

    It is really too bad that Obama and McCain both succumbed to the pressure to ‘tell us soothing things’ as a political expediency rather than stand their ground instead. Leadership with no integrity is not leadership at all.

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