The question every candidate should have to answer

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I don’t want to hear about what Bill Clinton thinks anymore. I don’t want to hear how McCain “wants to be in Iraq for 1,000 years”, that Romney may have wanted a withdrawal date, that any of the candidates is more or less pure on whatever issue or any other chest thumping drivel.

I want to know what each candidate really thinks or if they haven’t actually thought beyond tough talk, suck up platitudes and bumper sticker slogans, when it comes to addressing the extremely fucked up foreign policy path that this country has taken over the past decade.

No more “would you take anything off the table”.  No more “they may be able to restart a nuclear weapons program”.  No more “we have to kill them before they kill us”.  No more “we will not allow [X] to occur, under any circumstances”.  No more “we must be strong and we must also be flexible”.  No more “we must always stay on the offensive”.  No more “we’ll smoke them all out”.  No more “nothing short of victory will do”.  No more “either you are with us or you are against us”.  No more “spreading democracy and freedom”.

No more fluff.


We have a very delicate, complex and deteriorating situation we have thrust ourselves in the middle of in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and we might as well throw in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria into the equation (not to mention Russia, Venezuela, North Korea and China). We have hundreds of thousands of troops in this region, and it is a pressure cooker that has been ready to blow for years – even moreso recently,

What I want to know is:

Given that there has been virtually no political progress in Iraq, the violence is still strong, and in areas where it isn’t it is because of sectarian cleansing, and that the recent NIE indicated that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is false and the recently reported incident in the Strait was proven to be a hoax, that the Taliban and al Qaeda are stronger than ever in Pakistan with a force of up to 40,000, NATO troops in Afghanistan are being attacked with more frequency and Saudi Arabia threatened Vice President Cheney that if the US left Iraq, it would fund the same Sunnis who were killing our troops, why do you think it is so important to threaten Iran and what would you do about these developments in the other countries?

Now, I know this will never be asked – too complex. Too “hypothetical” so we can’t expect a candidate to answer them. The answer doesn’t fit neatly onto a bumper sticker, and can’t be put into a 15 second sound byte.

But it is reality, and something that the next President is going to have to deal with – and it impacts the direction of this country. It impacts our energy policy, our choice of whether we would (or when we would) use our military and a host of other issues that will have a great impact on where this country is in the next 5 years.

I wonder how many candidates are prepared to deal with the reality that faces us. Telling us what they would do should be the easy part.



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    • clammyc on January 28, 2008 at 1:58 am

    but definitely A question…

  1. by the fallacy of their statements

    and the statements they make not

    I liked De-Bushification myself

  2. who help us understand complex issues. Not much chance of them being asked. So, we’re left with coming up with ideas for asking this and others that should be answered.

    Questions like these transcend election cycles. We need great questions like this from the front row of press conferences.

    I’m in a position now to influence my sphere and ask these. I expect to have a wider audience later.

    • Edger on January 28, 2008 at 4:43 am

    anything except mouthing whatever expediency and lies they think might get them elected…

    • Edger on January 28, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I think it cannot be repeated too often.

    It is becoming very clear, to me at least in the past few years, that the “empire” has run it’s course and is in “the last throes”, if you will.

    Richard A. Clarke very succinctly summarized the situation very well I thought in his Author’s Note to his novel Breakpoint with:

    In The Scorpion’s Gate, I projected a world in 2010, with the United States and China competing politically and economically for a dwindling supply of increasingly expensive oil and gas. That competition naturally took them to the Persian Gulf, where the largest oil deposits remained.  The Persian Gulf of 2010 was unstable, with the United States threatening Iran, and fundamentalist Islamic forces emerging in Saudi Arabia.  Corruption and giant corporations made Washington a political battleground.  While I noted at the time of publication that the work was not meant to be predictive, many of the trends in the novel have developed and are dominating the news.

    The fears you describe are fanned by politicians in their need to manipulate people into supporting insane policies, particularly foreign policies, in the hopes of continuance of that “empire”. But they create and pursue those policies out of fear themselves, I believe.

    The US economy, the “empire”, is founded upon having to continue to grow. Imperialism. Pure and simple.

    The politicians, Democrat or Republican, who fearmonger to sell their policies, are themselves trapped and operating out of fear.

    They are very afraid, I think. Afraid that the economy and the “empire” will collapse unless the US can control the energy resources of the world.

    Unfortunately, policies that result in things like the occupation of Iraq are creating the very problem they hope to stave off with the occupation.

    Larry Everest, ZNet, May 10, 2007

    What the Bush Regime portrays as a noble effort to make the world safe from terrorism and bring democracy to the Middle East is actually a vicious war of empire to deepen the U.S. stranglehold on the Middle East and Central Asia –a war that is part of a broader effort to create an unchallenged and unchallengeable imperialist empire.

    This goal is not viewed as capricious or incidental by those in charge–whether Democrats or Republicans–rather it flows from the deepest needs and drives of their system: U.S. hegemony in the Middle East and global dominance is crucial for U.S. capitalism’s ongoing functioning and U.S. global power.

    So when Bush says, “Even if you thought it was a mistake to go into Iraq, it would be a far greater mistake to pull out now,” he’s expressing a fear — from an imperialist viewpoint – that a U.S. pullout would leave the empire weaker. And he is saying this in opposition to other forces in the U.S. ruling class who, also coming from an imperialist viewpoint, now think it’s a big mistake for the U.S. not to withdraw.

  3. democratic discussion impossible…


    self validating revolution inevitable.

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