Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Obama Should Take Up McCain's Iraq Gimmick

I realize that John McCain's "Go with Me to Iraq" idea is just a campaign gimmick and I'm just as sure that McCain's Will come up with a lot of these gimmicks over the next six months. To a narcissist like McCain, running for President is all about drawing attention to his precious self and publicity-seeking gimmicks are an obvious way to attact attention.

If McCain wins, I'm sure he'd have the most gimmicky presidency of all time.

But I still think Obama should take McCain up on the challenge and go to Iraq with or without McCain himself.

Most importantly, it would be a tremendous opportunity for Barack Obama to look presidential. People in the U. S. are dying for some authoritative voice on opposition to the war and Obama could be that voice. Specifically, he could publicly inform Gens. Petraueus and Odierno that the American people oppose the war, he opposes the war, and that he would definitely order a withdrawal if he were elected president.

That would be a presidential moment that Obama could put in his campaign ads from now to the November election and probably use in his re-election campaign as well.

At the same time, Obama could press to meet with people who usually aren't part of the political briefing tour--including Iraqi President Talibani, Kurdish leaders, Sadrist politicians, and members of al-Sistani's Shiite clerical establishment. He could talk about the strength of the Shiite militias, the rampant corruption and the lack of electricity and basic services. Obama could also form opinions on what if anything is being done about it.

If Obama wants to do tours, he could do tours of Mosul, Sadr City, and Basra

It wouldn't hurt Obama to meet some of the thousands of Iraqis who have been falsely imprisoned as well.

When Obama comes home, he could then challenge McCain to travel with him in the United States and meet with the veterans who are being given shoddy health care, have attempted suicide, or have gone through painful divorces.

These men and women are going to be paying for the Iraq War the rest of their lives. Obama should challenge McCain to get to know them better.

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