No one can put it much better than the renowned world affairs expert and author Fareed Zakaria who thinks it would be best for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain if Gov. Sarah Palin bowed out as his vice presidential running mate.
"Yes, and I say this with sadness because I greatly admire John McCain, a man of intelligence, honor and enormous personal and political courage. However, for him to choose Sara Palin to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. He did not put the country first with this decision" He said in an interview with CNN.
Related Post: Read the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden US vice presidential debate transcript HERE
Like most commentators, Zakaria seems to suggest that a John McCain presidency would be too risky mainly due to his old age. At 72, the Arizona Senator is not fit to be commander-in-chief and might not make it through the full 4 year term leaving the country in the hands of an embarrassingly naive, gibberish and nonsensical Sarah Palin. The "axis of evil" would very much appreciate a Palin Presidency which would make the US. a "soft target" for terror sponsoring nations. She doesn't seem strong enough. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would be particularly proud of a naive US. presidency.
"Whether it is appropriate or not, considering Sen. McCain's age most people expected to have a vice presidential candidate who would be ready to step in at a moment's notice. The actuarial odds of that happening are significant, something like a one-in-five chance." Zakaria said
Sarah Paling's grasp of facts, history and understanding of foreign affairs are wanting. Zakaria describes her as "dangerously ignorant and unprepared for the job of vice president, let alone president"
She simply has no idea of what is happening around her. According to Zakaria, Palin has been given a set of talking points by campaign advisers ".....simple ideological mantras that she repeats and repeats as long as she can. But if forced off those rehearsed lines, what she has to say is often, quite frankly -- nonsense"
"It's gibberish -- an emptying out of catchphrases about economics that have nothing to do with the question (being asked) or the topic. It's scary to think that this person could be running the country"
Important subjects such as forces at work in the global economy and the scope of the current financial problems her country is facing don't mean a thing to her. She lacks the ability to comprehend such matters. Without a script prepared for her by the McCain camp, Sarah Palin cannot utter a complete sentence or rational statement that make any sense or would make people understand what she really means. She just hangs in the balance.
On her recent interviews, Zakaria says that Palin appeared not to have "any understanding about the topic under discussion..........she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue"
Dan Rodricks a columnist at Baltimore sun says that Palin did not have to agree to be on McCain's ticket. A person with a more moderate ego might have said, "I don't think I'm ready for that enormous job, senator. Thanks, but not at this time."
In an article titled "We should base our choice upon their choices" Rodricks questions McCain's judgment in Picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. "one of the key measures of a good boss is the people he or she picks to help run a company, or a college, or a hospital, or a military unit. For enterprises that are stable and successful over long periods of time, it is key that the CEO, president or general picks smart, effective managers who can succeed them. Enterprises can rise or fall on these transitions"
He calls the choice "impulsive and unnecessarily desperate"
New York Times columnist David Brooks questions her readiness to be Vice president given her embarrassing performance at recent interviews, "I admire Sarah Palin for many things... but is she ready to be vice president?" Brooks questioned. "Based on what we've seen with the Katie Couric interview (READ INTERVIEW), it's embarrassing, it's painful to watch those things, you want to turn them off."
For all your business information, Trends and Tips from around the world.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
McCain cannot say country first and have an embarrassingly naive, gibberish and nonsensical Palin up there as vice president
No one can put it much better than the renowned world affairs expert and author Fareed Zakaria who thinks it would be best for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain if Gov. Sarah Palin bowed out as his vice presidential running mate.
Friday, September 26, 2008
CBS News anchor Katie Couric sat down for an exclusive interview with vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin Wednesday, she focused on the economy - but also addressed reports that the lobbying firm of Sen. John McCain's campaign manager received payments from the controversial mortgage giant Freddie Mac until last month. Couric asked for her reaction to that.
Related Post: Read the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden US vice presidential debate transcript HERE
Sarah Palin: My understanding is that Rick Davis recused himself from the dealings of the firm. I don't know how long ago, a year or two ago that he's not benefiting from that. And you know, I was - I would hope that's not the case.
Katie Couric: But he still has a stake in the company so isn't that a conflict of interest?
Palin: Again, my understanding is that he recused himself from the dealings with Freddie and Fannie, any lobbying efforts on his part there. And I would hope that's the case because, as John McCain has been saying, and as I've on a much more local level been also rallying against is the undue influence of lobbyists in public policy decisions being made.
Next, Couric asked about the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt - and whether she supports it.
Palin: I'm all about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. And as Sen. McCain has said unless this nearly trillion dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind's blowing? They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.
Couric: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?
Palin: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.
Couric: But polls have shown that Sen. Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis, with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.
Palin: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?
Couric: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?
Palin: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. But, there has got to be action - bipartisan effort - Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.
Couric: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?
Palin: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing - whether that ... is part of the solution or not. You know, it's going to be a multi-faceted solution that has to be found here.
Couric: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?
Palin: I have not.
Couric: What are the pros and cons of it do you think?
Palin: Oh, well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.
Couric: By consumers, you're saying?
Palin: Consumers - and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive, long-term solution found ... for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.
Couric: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?
Palin: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie - that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.
Couric: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.
Palin: He's also known as the maverick though, taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about - the need to reform government.
Couric: But can you give me any other concrete examples? Because I know you've said Barack Obama is a lot of talk and no action. Can you give me any other examples in his 26 years of John McCain truly taking a stand on this?
Palin: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.
Couric: I'm just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.
Palin: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you.
Katie Couric: As we stand before this august building and institution, what do you see as the role of the United States in the world?
Sarah Palin: I see the United States as being a force for good in the world. And as Ronald Reagan used to talk about, America being the beacon of light and hope for those who are seeking democratic values and tolerance and freedom. I see our country being able to represent those things that can be looked to … as that leadership, that light needed across the world.
Couric: In preparing for this conversation, a lot of our viewers … and Internet users wanted to know why you did not get a passport until last year. And they wondered if that indicated a lack of interest and curiosity in the world.
Palin: I'm not one of those who maybe came from a background of, you know, kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents give them a passport and give them a backpack and say go off and travel the world.
No, I've worked all my life. In fact, I usually had two jobs all my life until I had kids. I was not a part of, I guess, that culture. The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the world.
Couric: Gov. Palin, you've had a very busy week. And you're meeting with many world leaders. You met with President Karzai of Afghanistan. I know the McCain campaign has called for a surge in Afghanistan. But that country is, as you know, dramatically different than Iraq. Why do you believe additional troops, U.S. troops, will solve the problem there?
Palin: Because we can't afford to lose in Afghanistan, as we cannot afford to lose in Iraq, either, these central fronts on the war on terror. And I asked President Karzai, "Is that what you are seeking, also? That strategy that has worked in Iraq that John McCain had pushed for, more troops? A counterinsurgency strategy?" And he said, "yes." And he also showed great appreciation for what America and American troops are providing in his country.
Couric: The United States is deeply unpopular in Pakistan. Do you think the Pakistani government is protecting al Qaeda within its borders?
Palin: I don't believe that new President Zardari has that mission at all. But no, the Pakistani people also, they want freedom. They want democratic values to be allowed in their country, also. They understand the dangers of terrorists having a stronghold in regions of their country, also. And I believe that they, too, want to rid not only their country, but the world, of violent Islamic terrorists.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
It is obvious, John McCain has run out of lipstick and is trying to score political points and take credit for something that's already happening without him. As many expected, the 72 year old Senator is trying to evade the Friday debate with Illinois senator Barack Obama over key policy issues especially the economy.
Suddenly the McCain machinery has run out of oil. The lies republicans have been telling America have now caught up with him. He is a typical George Bush, missing at times of crisis. Bush had been heavily criticized for being "missing" when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, causing severe damage and claiming many lives. John McCain is either too scared or is just playing hide and seek with the people.
This comes in the wake of a serious economic crisis created by the Republicans through the Bush administration to which John McCain is a staunch supporter. He has supported over 95% of outgoing president Bush's policies over the last 8 years which includes a failed economic policy that is causing untold suffering to many Americans.
The septuagenarian said Wednesday that he was suspending his campaign because of "the nation's economic crisis"
and would also skip the much anticipated Friday debate if Congress hadn't passed legislation addressing the crisis by then. He knows they wont, since such a matter is not just another walk in the park.
The US Commission on Presidential Debates said it would hold the debate on Friday as planned, while the University of Mississippi, host of Friday's debate, said it knew of no postponement plans and was going ahead with preparations for the event. Barack Obama's campaign also said the debate in Oxford, Mississippi, should go forward.
"It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person will be the next president," the Democrat said in Clearwater, Florida. "It is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once. It's more important than ever to present ourselves to the American people."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said McCain's move was "just weird."
"We haven't heard hide nor hair of Sen. McCain in these negotiations," said Schumer, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. "He has not been involved except for an occasional, unhelpful statement, sort of thrown from far away, and the last thing we need in these delicate negotiations is an injection of presidential politics."
Friday, September 12, 2008
The following excerpts are from the ABC News exclusive interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Fairbanks, Alaska, conducted by "World News" anchor Charlie Gibson on September 11, 2008
Related Post: Read the Sarah Palin/Joe Biden US vice presidential debate transcript HERE
Sarah Palin on Experience:
GIBSON: Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say "I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?"
PALIN: I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I'm ready.
GIBSON: And you didn't say to yourself, "Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I -- will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?"
PALIN: I didn't hesitate, no.
GIBSON: Didn't that take some hubris?
PALIN: I -- I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink.
So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.
GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
PALIN: But it is about reform of government and it's about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that's with the energy independence that I've been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.
GIBSON: I know. I'm just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.
PALIN: It is, but I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security. It's that important. It's that significant.
GIBSON: Did you ever travel outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then, yes, that trip, that was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany. That was the trip of a lifetime and it changed my life.
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
PALIN: There in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of other countries.
GIBSON: And all governors deal with trade delegations.
GIBSON: Who act at the behest of their governments.
PALIN: Right, right.
GIBSON: I'm talking about somebody who's a head of state, who can negotiate for that country. Ever met one?
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we've got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody's big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state ... these last couple of weeks ... it has been overwhelming to me that confirmation of the message that Americans are getting sick and tired of that self-dealing and kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite.
Sarah Palin on God:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God." Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don't know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
PALIN: But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said -- first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.
But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side.
That's what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It's an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms.
Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.
GIBSON: I take your point about Lincoln's words, but you went on and said, "There is a plan and it is God's plan."
PALIN: I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good. I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That, in my world view, is a grand -- the grand plan.
GIBSON: But then are you sending your son on a task that is from God?
PALIN: I don't know if the task is from God, Charlie. What I know is that my son has made a decision. I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a real easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer.
Sarah Palin on National Security:
GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.
GIBSON: Let's start, because we are near Russia, let's start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we've got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we're going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep...
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That's why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
And, Charlie, you're in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They're very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I'm giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
Sarah Palin on Russia:
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We've learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.
We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.
GIBSON: And you think it would be worth it to the United States, Georgia is worth it to the United States to go to war if Russia were to invade.
PALIN: What I think is that smaller democratic countries that are invaded by a larger power is something for us to be vigilant against. We have got to be cognizant of what the consequences are if a larger power is able to take over smaller democratic countries.
And we have got to be vigilant. We have got to show the support, in this case, for Georgia. The support that we can show is economic sanctions perhaps against Russia, if this is what it leads to.
It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that's a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.
Sarah Palin on Iran and Israel:
GIBSON: Let me turn to Iran. Do you consider a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat to Israel?
PALIN: I believe that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons in the hands of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this globe, yes.
GIBSON: So what should we do about a nuclear Iran? John McCain said the only thing worse than a war with Iran would be a nuclear Iran. John Abizaid said we may have to live with a nuclear Iran. Who's right?
PALIN: No, no. I agree with John McCain that nuclear weapons in the hands of those who would seek to destroy our allies, in this case, we're talking about Israel, we're talking about Ahmadinejad's comment about Israel being the "stinking corpse, should be wiped off the face of the earth," that's atrocious. That's unacceptable.
GIBSON: So what do you do about a nuclear Iran?
PALIN: We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure.
GIBSON: But, Governor, we've threatened greater sanctions against Iran for a long time. It hasn't done any good. It hasn't stemmed their nuclear program.
PALIN: We need to pursue those and we need to implement those. We cannot back off. We cannot just concede that, oh, gee, maybe they're going to have nuclear weapons, what can we do about it. No way, not Americans. We do not have to stand for that.
GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?
PALIN: Well, first, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.
GIBSON: So if we wouldn't second guess it and they decided they needed to do it because Iran was an existential threat, we would cooperative or agree with that.
PALIN: I don't think we can second guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.
GIBSON: So if it felt necessary, if it felt the need to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities, that would be all right.
PALIN: We cannot second guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.
Sarah Palin on 'the Bush Doctrine':
GIBSON: We talk on the anniversary of 9/11. Why do you think those hijackers attacked? Why did they want to hurt us?
PALIN: You know, there is a very small percentage of Islamic believers who are extreme and they are violent and they do not believe in American ideals, and they attacked us and now we are at a point here seven years later, on the anniversary, in this post-9/11 world, where we're able to commit to never again. They see that the only option for them is to become a suicide bomber, to get caught up in this evil, in this terror. They need to be provided the hope that all Americans have instilled in us, because we're a democratic, we are a free, and we are a free-thinking society.
GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?
PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?
GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?
PALIN: His world view.
GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war.
PALIN: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hell bent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership, and that's the beauty of American elections, of course, and democracy, is with new leadership comes opportunity to do things better.
GIBSON: The Bush doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us. Do you agree with that?
PALIN: I agree that a president's job, when they swear in their oath to uphold our Constitution, their top priority is to defend the United States of America.
I know that John McCain will do that and I, as his vice president, families we are blessed with that vote of the American people and are elected to serve and are sworn in on January 20, that will be our top priority is to defend the American people.
GIBSON: Do we have a right to anticipatory self-defense? Do we have a right to make a preemptive strike again another country if we feel that country might strike us?
PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country. In fact, the president has the obligation, the duty to defend.
GIBSON: Do we have the right to be making cross-border attacks into Pakistan from Afghanistan, with or without the approval of the Pakistani government?
PALIN: Now, as for our right to invade, we're going to work with these countries, building new relationships, working with existing allies, but forging new, also, in order to, Charlie, get to a point in this world where war is not going to be a first option. In fact, war has got to be, a military strike, a last option.
GIBSON: But, Governor, I'm asking you: We have the right, in your mind, to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government.
PALIN: In order to stop Islamic extremists, those terrorists who would seek to destroy America and our allies, we must do whatever it takes and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.
GIBSON: And let me finish with this. I got lost in a blizzard of words there. Is that a yes? That you think we have the right to go across the border with or without the approval of the Pakistani government, to go after terrorists who are in the Waziristan area?
PALIN: I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Age may not be considered a serious factor in the run up to the 2008 US elections but will effectively come into play IF John McCain "wins" the US presidency.
A McCain win in the November 4th election, will make the septuagenarian the oldest first term president to be sworn into office. It will also make Sarah Palin the first woman president of America should old age play tricks on John McCain's administration - Which is very likely.
At 72, John McCain should be congratulated for having such great ambitions and the spirited fight he is putting up in his quest to be the next US Chief Executive. However, his age will most certainly downplay the promise of "change" he hopes to bring in Washington. May be John McCain is speaking of "change" of a different kind given the various challenges associated with old age and the inherent risks.
The average life expectancy rate of an average American male (including John McCain) currently stands 73.6 years, while that for women stands at 79.4 years. 73.6 years for males is a great improvement and among the highest expectancy rates ever recorded in history. Life expectancy rates increased during the 20th century as a result of a combination of factors such as improved nutrition and health care.
While entrusting a septuagenarian with the leadership of the world's most powerful nation is a risky gamble, being 72 years, John McCain presents a new set of challenges for the United States. It is a known fact that he is hovering dangerously close to the 73.6 years life expectancy average. We also know that old age marks the end of the human life cycle and brings with it both blessings and curses.
Apart from wrinkles and change of hair color (which is not a bad thing), there are other factors associated with old age that may be regarded as negative especially when it comes to decision making. The reduced ability to think combined with the loss of hearing and sight abilities makes John McCain an intensely grave and risky gamble when talking about "change" in the US. He is too old to even purport to be thinking about "change". You cant teach an old dog new tricks - as Sarah Palin hopes to achieve.
When a septuagenarian forgets what he stands for and starts to talk about "change", think again. There is something absolutely wrong. He has either lost his bearing Or is on the verge of loosing it. McCain displays symptoms of both.
Under the Bush administration, the US completely lost favor internationally due to its lopsided aggressor policies. It is understood that Mr. McCain sided with President G. W. Bush over 95% of the last 8 years that he has been in power. But now McCain also wants "change"
A McCain "change" will negatively affect the lives of billions of people around the world. John McCain needs to be lead by other able leaders, NOT LEAD on his own - as he hangs on to dear life.
John McCain's running mate and Alaska governor, Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials are only valid on paper. But Chances are, she will be the first woman president of the US when age finally catches up with John McCain. (should the republicans win the November vote)
But who is Sarah Palin?
A hockey mom, a pitbull terrier, a lipstick or an irresponsible mother who has pushed her teenage daughter to be pregnant and wants to force her into early marriage because she has no time for her family?
What can she say in the face of Vladimir Putin or the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Does she even know who they are?
Can she locate China, Pakistan or India on the world map?
Can she spell the word Africa correctly?
Does she have any clue why North Korea wants to rebuild its nuclear arsenal?
Does she know that it is wrong to participate in a "cook show" while in Thailand?
NO she doesn't. But she hopes to learn all these within 8 weeks as we approach the November vote. Clearly the US is headed into murkier waters. Its foreign policy, stupid.
This week team McCain announced that Sarah Palin and John McCain will spend more time in joint campaigns.
Asked why they let McCain conceal his age behind Sarah Palin's skirt while on the campaign trail, one McCain aide lied that "We feel very good about their chemistry and their ability to really deliver a strong message on change, energy independence and the economy,"
They should speak the truth. John McCain only wants to bask in the media glare that Sarah Palin enjoys at the moment given the fact that he was largely ignored (by the media) during the primary season because he had nothing new to offer but a regurgitation of the same old Washington garbage.
Palin was set to break off from McCain after they were officially nominated at the Republican National Convention (RNC). But it didn't happen. The only break she has got from the 72 year old Arizona senator was when she attended her son's deployment to Iraq. Given his age, Its only fair that he receives such support.
She has no voice of her own. The speech she gave at the recently concluded RNC was written by one of President Bush's speech writers. There are also fears that should she be allowed to campaign on her own, she may say the wrong things sending the campaign into a spin given the large crowds she is expected to draw. The McCain camp also fear that Palin may draw bigger crowds than John McCain, the person she is supposed to assist.
The large crowds and media glare Sarah Palin is expected to draw IF she is allowed to campaign on her own are only due to the fact that many do not know who she is. The crowds want to hear her side of the story which even the McCain camp has failed to tell. She needs to say what she will do about the war in Iraq, Afghanistan in her own words.
The "hockey mom" needs to tell what she will do about the Russian invasion in Georgia. She needs to tell us her plans on the so called war on terror. The crowds need to know what she stands for. The only thing the world knows about Sarah Palin is that she is an irresponsible mother who pushed her teenage daughter into unwanted pregnancy - which is clearly none of our business.
As the NEXT US president (should team McCain win), Sarah Palin needs to clearly spell out her plans for the US when John McCain caves into the pressure of old age - as expected.
Monday, September 8, 2008
They were bitter rivals in the 2000 presidential race, especially in the South Carolina Republican primary, where false rumors spread about McCain allegedly having a black child out of wedlock. Bush allies swore they had nothing to do with the attacks, but McCain intimates to this day are still not sure who was to blame.
Nevertheless, Bush and McCain patched things up in 2004. Bush was in a close race and needed McCain's independent bona fides, so the senator was a good soldier (probably with an eye on 2008) and campaigned vigorously for Bush. McCain has supported Bush 95 percent of the time during his two terms as president.
Now its time for President Bush to campaign vigorously for the John McCain/Sarah palin ticket to be able to clear any unfinished business in the white house. The war in Iraq needs to be won. The economy needs to be fixed. America needs to return to the world map not as an aggressor or a war monger but a peace loving development oriented superpower.
"We need a president who understands the lessons of September 11, 2001: that to protect America we must stay on offense, stop attacks before they happen and not wait to be hit again," Bush said. "The man we need is John McCain."
America does not need change that Barack Obama promises, it needs to clear its unfinished business and fix its economy. Only the George W. Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin ticket can deliver such results. After all, George W. Bush has been tried and tested for the last 8 years and the results are out there for everyone to see. "The man we need is John McCain."
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans – the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States.
And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.
In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honour I won't forget.
I'm grateful to the president for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the first lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private.
And I'm grateful to the 41st president and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honourable service to our country.
As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can't imagine a life without the happiness you give me.
Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are – victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects – shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great first lady.
When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn't be here tonight but for the strength of her character.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I won't let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.
Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it over the next two months. That's the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration.
Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights.
No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honour Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.
But let there be no doubt, my friends, we're going to win this election. And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.
These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.
And I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. She's reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration...................Continues Below
Read Related Post:
Barack Obama's historic nomination full speech to the Democratic National Convention in Denver
She's the mother of five children. She's helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.
She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down. I'm very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington.
And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming. I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin.
And when we tell you we're going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.
You know, I've been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.
I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I've fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment.
I've fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.
I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.
Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petreaus, and the brave men and women he has the honour to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.
I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.
I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.
I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her master's degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism.
Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.
I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honour their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.
I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us.
We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger.
We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.
We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.
We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children and we're all Americans.
We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labour.
We believe in a strong defence, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighbourhoods and communities.
We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.
I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.
My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance.
His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.
Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas.
Doubling the child tax exemption from $3,500 to $7,000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit.
Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.
I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s.
That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away.
We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities.
For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.
Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school?
We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.
When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them.
Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.
Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I'm President, they will.
My fellow Americans, when I'm president, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front.
We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.
Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that.
We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet.
It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.
This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.
Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.
We have dealt a serious blow to al-Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons.
Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbour to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbours, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire.
And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As president I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War.
But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.
We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do.
I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.
When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years.
My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day.
In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.
I'm running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has.
I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.
In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We don't need to search for it.
We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children.
All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.
The constant partisan rancour that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.
Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again.
I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.
Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to.
I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.
We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.
I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.
Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.
On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn't any worry I wouldn't come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone.
I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn't think there was a cause more important than me.
Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn't feel so tough anymore.
When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn't set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn't get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans.
I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.
I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralise my fellow prisoners.
Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.
A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it.
But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.
When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could.
No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honour to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.
I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.
I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need.
My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.
If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them.
Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted.
Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.
I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your president. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach.
Fight with me. Fight with me.
Fight for what's right for our country.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God bless you.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
by John Maszka
Conservatives and liberals can argue the merits of the surge in Iraq , or the need to deal with terrorism now rather than later (or whether Musharraf's resignation is good for democracy in Pakistan). I want to focus on something else: the impact of the perspective of 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. I’m not implying that it is somehow homogeneous, just relevant; more relevant than my opinion at least.
The extension of the war on terror by the U.S. is bad for a number of reasons: the perspective of the international Muslim community; the fact that a military solution has not worked thus far, so why keep kicking a dead horse ; the delicate balance of power in the immediate theatre and in the broader region; the likely negative reaction of other states; and last but not least, its potential impact on the price and availability of oil.
Pakistan ’s reaction to the Bush Doctrine has been somewhat mixed. Musharraf was caught in the middle between pleasing the U.S. to ensure continued military and economic support, and the preferences of his constituents who resent the U.S. presence there. The region is already unstable because of this tension. The US is applying pressure from the outside and the internal desire of the populace to rid themselves of the unwanted American presence.
We can say the exact same thing about Afghanistan , Karzai is in a very similar position as Musharraf was. In 2006, Karzai had to start rearming the warlords to maintain order. Similarly, in September 2006, Pakistan was forced to recognize the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan - a loose group of Waziristani chieftains, closely associated with the Taliban, who now serve as the de facto security force in charge of North and South Waziristan.
In addition to a multiple-front war, we would be dealing, not with a fallen state as with Iraq , but with two established states. This could possibly work in our favor as long as they continue to remain on our side. But as already mentioned, the tension is high, and there is a very delicate balance keeping Karzai in power. What if Karzai falls to a coup or assassination? And now with Musharraf stepping down, what happens if Musharraf’s successor plays to the popular demands of the people? We could find ourselves fighting the armies of the sovereign states of Afghanistan and Pakistan , in addition to insurgent forces there. If we consider the history of this region, we realize that this is not as far-fetched as it might sound on the face of it.
As we all know, the Taliban was comprised of Sunni Islamists and Pashtun nationalists (mostly from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan ). The Taliban initially enjoyed support from the U.S. , Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the early 1980s to fight the Soviets. By 1996, the Taliban had gained control of most of Afghanistan , but its relationship with the U.S. and most of the rest of the world became strained. Most of the international community supported the Taliban’s rival, the Afghan Northern Alliance .
Still, even after the U.S. began to distance itself from the Taliban in late 1997, Pakistan , Saudi Arabia , and the United Arab Emirates continued to officially recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Even after 9/11 when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates officially stopped recognizing the Taliban, Pakistan continued to support it. The Taliban in turn, had tremendous influence in Pakistani politics, especially among lobby groups- as it virtually controlled areas such as the Pashtun Belt (Southeast Afghanistan, and Northwest Pakistan ) and Pakistan-administered Kashmir .
Going back to the perception of the international Muslim community … When the U.S. demanded that the Taliban turn Bin Laden over, it initially offered to turn Bin Laden over to Pakistan to be tried by an international tribunal operating according to Sharia law. But Pakistan was urged by the U.S. to refuse. Again, prior to the beginning of U.S. air strikes against Afghanistan , the Taliban offered to try Bin Laden according to Islamic law, but the U.S. refused. After the U.S. began air strikes, the Taliban offered to hand Bin Laden over to a neutral state to be tried under Islamic law, but the U.S. again refused. This is important because in the eyes of the greater international community, the war in Afghanistan was justified (at least initially). But in the eyes of the international Muslim community, especially given the Taliban’s offer to turn over Bin Laden, it was an unnecessary war. This, combined with the preemptive war in Iraq , has led many Muslims to equate the war on terror with a war on Islam.
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, an Islamic political party in Pakistan , won elections in two out of four provinces in 2003, and became the third largest political party in the Pakistani parliament – with substantial support from urban areas (not just border regions). This speaks to the tremendous influence Islamic groups enjoy in Pakistan .
This strong influence is fueled by the fact that the Pashtun tribal group is over 40 million strong. The Taliban continues to receive many of its members from this group today. In fact, the Pakistani army suffered humiliating defeat at the hand of these so-called “insurgents.” Finally, in September 2006, Pakistan was forced to officially recognize the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan. Many saw the Pakistani government’s acknowledgment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan as not only a military necessity, but also a political one as well – a concession in response to the growing internal pressure on the Musharraf administration from the people of Pakistan who resent the U.S. presence and involvement in the region.
Just consider the many, many public protests against the Pakistani government’s compliance with the United States. For instance, on January 13, 2006 , the United States launched a missile strike on the village of Damadola , Pakistan . Rather than kill the targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, the strike instead killed 17 locals. This only served to further weaken the Musharraf government and further destabilize the entire area.
On October 30, 2006 , the Pakistani military, under pressure from the U.S. , attacked a madrasah in the Northwest Frontier province in Pakistan . Immediately following the attack, local residents, convinced the U.S. military was behind the attack, burned American flags and effigies of President Bush, and shouted “Death to America !” Outraged over an attack on school children, the local residents viewed the attack as an assault against Islam. On November 7, 2006 a suicide bomber retaliated. Further outrage ensued when President Bush extended his condolences to the families of the victims of the suicide attack, and President Musharraf did the same, without ever offering their condolences to the families of the dead children.
Last year troubles escalated surrounding the Pakistani government’s siege of the Red Mosque where more than 100 people were killed. Even before Musharraf’s soldiers took the Lal Masjid the retaliations began. Suicide attacks originating from both Afghan Taliban and Pakistani tribal militants targeted military convoys and a police recruiting center.
There are countless more examples; too many to mention in detail. Likewise in Afghanistan ; April 30, 2007 for example, when hundreds of Afghans protested US soldiers killing Afghan civilians. Why can’t the powers that be recognize that we’ve been in Afghanistan for nearly seven years, and in Iraq for over five; a military approach is not working. If we must focus the war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan , let’s focus on winning the hearts and minds of the beautiful people of these countries, rather than filling their hearts with bitterness and hatred toward us. With their support, we can offer them the financial and technical assistance that they need to rebuild their infrastructure, their agriculture and their economy. With their support, we can offer them the needed resources to rebuild their human capital and start attracting foreign direct investment. But without their support, we cannot possibly have any positive influence in this region at all; our only influence will be that of brute force, bribery of corrupt officials, and outright coercion. It will be a long, hard, costly and bloody endeavor, and the people of these countries will continue to suffer.
Let’s not forget that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Let’s not also forget that this is a highly Muslim-concentrated area, the Islamic concept of duty to come to the aid of fellow Muslims would no doubt ensure a huge influx of jihadists in this type of a scenario. Why on earth would we want to intentionally provoke a situation that would not only radicalize existing moderates in the region, but could also potentially cause the influx of a concentration of radical jihadists from elsewhere into an already unstable region (that has nuclear weapons no less)? We would be begging for a nuclear proliferation problem.
We like to assume that we would have the upper hand in such a scenario. But we have been in Afghanistan since October of 2001. And we have yet to assume the upper hand. The fight in Afghanistan has the potential to become much more difficult than it already is. Nor would it be unheard of to expect other major powers to back these radical jihadists with economic and military assistance in much the same way that the US backed the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union . Beyond the fact that roughly 1/5 of the world’s population is Muslim (approximately 1.5 billion people- 85% Sunni, 15% Shia, Ibadiyyas, Ahmadis and Druze), we have to remember that Muslims are the majority in 57 states (out of 195). Most of these have Sunni majorities, which gives them added political power.
China has traditionally backed Pakistan . What would China do if the US were to find itself at war with Pakistan.....or the entire world for that matter ?
India has tremendous economic and security interests in the region. Let’s not forget that while India has been in nearly continual conflict with Pakistan , primarily over the Kashmir issue, it has the second largest Muslim population in the world next to Indonesia . What happens if India were to side with the U.S. in a potential conflict with Pakistan ? It will have a very difficult task justifying that position with its very large Muslim population. A U.S.-Indian alliance could also spark more terrorist attacks in the Kashmir region; it could also create added tension to the already tenuous relationship between India and Iran , which has a long history of support for Pakistan . Or, if radicals gained control of Pakistan ’s nuclear arsenal, a nuclear attack against India could spark a nuclear altercation between the two nuclear powers. Or, what if radicals then gained control of India ’s nuclear arsenal?
On the other hand, what happens if India for some reason (either via a coup or due to Muslims gaining the upper hand in the long-running Hindu-Muslim conflict) were to side with Pakistan against the United States ? It seems unlikely now, but not completely unrealistic considering the on-again, on-off relationship between the U.S. and every country in that region. We constantly flip-flop in our foreign policy. An attack on Pakistani soil would be a perfect example of this type of wishy-washy foreign policy, as the Bush administration guaranteed Musharraf that the U.S. would never do such a thing (as much as Karzai wants us to). Speaking of Karzai, what if he is ousted and we find ourselves at war with Afghanistan . What would India do then, given its friendship with Afghanistan ?
Also consider the U.S. position on Kashmir , which has a predominantly Muslim population. Pakistan wants a plebiscite, as called for in a 1949 UN resolution, to essentially allow the people to decide which state the region should belong to. India refuses a plebiscite, claiming Kashmir and Jammu as an integral part of India. The U.S. is arming both sides through billions in aid to Pakistan and selective proliferation to India , but insists Pakistan stem terrorist activities flowing from inside its borders, and at the same time discourages India from attacking Pakistan . Yet an escalation of war in the area could backfire badly.
Beyond all that we still have to consider a slew of other states such as Saudi Arabia , Iran , and Russia – not to mention the central Asian states - all of which have economic and/or political and security interests in the region. How will they react to an escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan ?
Finally, what would such a scenario do to oil prices and availability? I’m 100% in favor of America developing alternative energy sources, but again that’s my opinion, and the oil conglomerates have not been listening to me. Unfortunately, the facts are that the oil lobby is a very powerful entity. Even more to the point, our country could not ween itself off of oil overnight, even if it wanted to. We have to consider what such an escalation would do to oil prices, and the overall availability of oil.
The oil embargo of 1974 (in support of Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur war against Israel ), in retaliation against the U.S. for its support of Israel had devastating economic and political consequences on the U.S. and much of Europe . Also, the more recent boycott of Danish products across the Muslim world, in retaliation for the 2005 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, demonstrates the ability of the international Muslim community to act collectively.
Escalating the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan would also demonstrate the fickle and hypocritical nature of America ’s foreign policy. We supported the Taliban when it served our interests (to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan ) in spite of clear human rights abuses. But now we condemn the Taliban (and much of the Muslim world) over the very same human rights abuses (against women … etc.), while we also continue to ignore similar or same human rights abuses in China, Saudi Arabia, Israel … etc., when it’s convenient for us to do so. We did the same thing with Saddam Hussein; arming him in spite of clear and egregious human rights abuses when he was our ally, and condemning the same actions when he wasn’t.
The U.S. practices selective proliferation with India , and selective sovereignty with those it chooses (today Pakistan , tomorrow someone other than Pakistan ), while at the same time violating the sovereignty of other states- depending on its whim at the time.
The United States government insisted that the Taliban turn over Bin Laden, but the United States itself has refused on several occasions to return foreign nationals (being held on death row in America) to their state of domicile because the U.S. wanted them to face execution, and the home state did not uphold the death penalty. We also continue to refuse to acknowledge the ICC because we don’t want American military personnel tried in an international court. How is that so different from the Taliban wanting Bin Laden tried in an Islamic court?
Rather than blindly accepting that America holds some God-given moral superiority over the rest of the planet, we need to realize that everywhere, humanity has a God-given right to live, love and prosper. Our children have the right to grow up in an environment free of air strikes and constant assault from an external enemy. They have the right to attend schools without fear of being maimed and killed. And they have the right to be children, instead of orphans. No state has the right to take away our children.
John Maszka is an International Relations scholar primarily interested in American foreign policy and its impact on global terrorism.He is the auther of : Terrorism And The Bush Doctrine - ISBN-13: 9781606100103 Pub. Date: May 2008. The book is available at most bookstores and on the Internet.
To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin, and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours - Hillary Rodham Clinton.
To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it, to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service, and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you.
I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.
To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
That's why I stand here tonight.
Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors - found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less.
More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet.
More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government's making.
But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty, that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land, enough!
This moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.
Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.
And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight.
On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect.
And next week, well also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 per cent of the time.
Senator McCain likes to talk about judgement, but really, what does it say about your judgement when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 per cent of the time?..................Continues Below
Read Related Post:
John McCain's acceptance speech as the Republican presidential nominee at the RNC
I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 per cent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives on health care and education and the economy Senator McCain has been anything but independent.
He said that our economy has made great progress under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.
And when one of his chief advisors the man who wrote his economic plan was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a mental recession, and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners".
A "nation of whiners"?
Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made.
Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty.
'No tax relief'
These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.
Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesnt care what's going on in the lives of Americans.
I just think he doesn't know.
Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5million a year?
How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans?
How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatise Social Security and gamble your retirement?
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy, give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.
In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is you're on your own.
Out of work? Tough luck.
No health care? The market will fix it.
Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps even if you dont have boots.
You're on your own.
Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage, whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.
'Dignity of work'
We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job, an economy that honours the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree, who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman.
She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life.
She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine.
These are my heroes.
Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.
What is that promise?
It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves, protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education, keep our water clean and our toys safe, invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us.
It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will cut taxes cut taxes for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them.
In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels.
And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.
I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.
I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.
And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels, an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.
Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance.
I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.
And we will keep our promise to every young American if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American.
If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums.
If you dont, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.
'Protect social security'
And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses, and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal days work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow.
But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.
And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money.'
It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our intellectual and moral strength.
Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient.
Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair.
But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents, that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework, that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility, that's the essence of America's promise.
And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad.
If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgement, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.
For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face.
'Wallowing in deficits"
When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.
John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden "to the Gates of Hell" but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That's not the judgement we need. That wont keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq.
You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington.
You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances.
If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice but it is not the change we need.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe.
The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans - Democrats and Republicans have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harms way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts.
But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.
I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.
And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.
These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.
But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes.
Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without
challenging each other's character and patriotism.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook.
So let us agree that patriotism has no party.
I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.
The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag.
They have not served a Red America or a Blue America they have served the United States of America.
So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
America, our work will not be easy.
The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past.
For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits.
What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose our sense of higher purpose.
And that's what we have to restore.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.
The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47's out of the hands of criminals.
I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.
Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.
This too is part of America's promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk.
They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life, is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values.
And that's to be expected.
Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters.
If you dont have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what, it's worked before.
Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government.
When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty.
If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office.
I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring.
What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me.
It's been about you.
For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past.
You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result.
You have shown what history teaches us that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington.
Change comes to Washington.
Change happens because the American people demand it because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming.
Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it.
I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work.
I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.
And I've seen it in this campaign.
In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time.
In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did.
I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.
'Envy of the world'
This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich.
We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but thats not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit that American promise that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain, that binds us together in spite of our differences, that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance.
It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things.
They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead, people of every creed and colour, from every walk of life is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked.
That together, our dreams can be one.
We cannot walk alone, the preacher cried. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
'Words of scripture'
We cannot turn back.
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done.
Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save.
Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend.
America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.
At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future.
Let us keep that promise, that American promise and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.