January 07 2008
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama addresses supporters during his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 3. Hillary Clinton flew into the political fight of her life, hours after crashing to a decisive defeat to Democratic foe Obama in the first White House nominating clash
(AFP/Saul Loeb)
(AFP/Frank Zeller)
Iowa Who?

I like Barack and could vote for him. However, I am amazed at the attitude toward Hillary. All politics, as I see it, is somewhat corrupt, but I am still voting for Hillary simply because she is a woman.

All of us who are honest accept the fact that Hillary is qualified, more than most, to run the country. The fact that many don't like her is beside the point. I've had this debate over and over with my wife. I am simply amazed that Hillary does not get most women's support.

Huckabee is simply a right wing zealot. Iowa will be his last blast, I think. He plays the guitar and can laugh and I like that, but I wouldn't vote for a Republican (in a stretch, maybe Ron Paul, who is probably out of it). In reading the New Testament, especially, Matthew, Luke, I don't even think Jesus would run as a Republican because they are too mean- spirited: my opinion.

The best candidate was Joe Biden, I think, and he couldn't get any traction at all. Even the casual observer ought to be able to see what happens. Ihe media announces the front runners; and, like sheep, the voter buys into it and the process is off to the races.

If I were Biden I would give them the one finger salute and next case. I use to have this blog, "Most Americans Are Stupid." I did away with it after the last election when the Democrats took over Congress. Stupidly, I thought they would do what we elected them to do-mainly end the war. Of course, they have caved in about every way. Oh well...

We will see what happens next week in New Hampshire. As of Saturday night the polls look like this: Obama ahead of Clinton,McCain overtakes Romney in NH poll.

A mother-of-pearl Vietnam war Zippo replica lighter by Hanoi-based US artist Bradford Edwards is photographed at his Hanoi studio, in December 2007. Edwards has collected Vietnam war Zippo lighters engraved with war themes by the US soldiers who used them, from combat slogan to peace messages, and used them to inspire his art work.
(AFP/Frank Zeller)

THE BACK BURNER

I saw a couple of interesting things from and about the troops over the holidays.

One was an interview with a soldier who was talking about what he called, "this war." He was ordering an omelet for breakfast, maybe a Burger King burger and shake for lunch, and a steak at night; then, he goes on patrol. Sure beats Vietnam, where C-rats were the constant. What he was attempting to convey, I think, is that we're in a different kind of war and even those fighting it are confused.

I don't doubt there's been progress made in Iraq in terms of violence reduction but even the "everyman," General Petraeus covers his posterior and warns of uncertainties. (Thank you General for that insight). Over the long haul, I don't see how our present strategy can work-we are not going to stay in Iraq forever.

Our main source of pride now are the Sunni types who were our enemy and now our friends-get the insurgency on your side is the first rule of the counter-insurgency manual. We've done it, but we have a Shiite government that I doubt is going to put aside generations of distrust and get in bed together with the Sunnis. I wish the Sunnis and Shiites would work together, but one scenario is out and out civil war.

A definite observation is that Iraq, in addition to looking more and more like Vietnam operationally, is looking more and more like Vietnam in terms of benign neglect. Iraq is not the main topic of conversation among a public that is only partially interested anyway.

Mostly, it has moved from a headline to page three, much like Vietnam did as a war until the anti-Vietnam posturing captured the media's attention. Then it was not on the war, but the anti-war. The Vietnam war and the warrior were mostly forgotten or at least put on the back burner.

Iraq is quickly becoming a war of casual interest by the general public. A good clue is how little the presidential candidates are making Iraq an issue-either getting out or the future. They're reading the minds of the public. Less and less are they questioned about their stands concerning the war. These are hints of things to come. This is not good.




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