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Sunday, July 27

There is a Curse on John McCain

According to an uncertain tradition, there is a three-part Chinese curse that goes something like this:

1. May you live in interesting times.

2. May you get everything you wish for.

3. May you attract the attention of the powerful.

The first part of the curse - well, we're all living that one, ladies and gentlemen. With terrorism, school and mall shootings, high prices, a falling housing market and such the new century's starting out very interesting indeed.

Senator John McCain (R-Geritol) is deep into the second part of that traditional curse. He and his surrogates (which include a good healthy slab of the corporate-run media) spent a jolly time teasing Senator Barack Obama about going to Afghanistan and Iraq. They did this knowing that if Obama did go he was sure to make a misstep or verbal gaffe that could make him look less of a sure thing than he already is and give McCain some breathing room from his own cock-ups over the past weeks.

So Obama went to Afghanistan.

He went to Kuwait.

He went to Iraq.

He went to Jordan.

He went to Israel.

He went to Germany.

He went to France.

He went to Britain.

And guess what?

No missteps and no verbal gaffes. Obama spoke with troops, with generals, with national leaders and with the members of the press his campaign selected to go (and not Fox News, which serves them right). Even his aborted trip to visit wounded soldiers at Landstuhl was a very good move, showing that he knows that using troops as campaign props is wrong. The Pentagon tried to weasel on that one, saying that they didn't "explicitly" prohibit the Obama campaign from going there.

So the McCain campaign got what they wished for - Obama went abroad, and did nothing detrimental to his cause.

Although McCain and his surrogates are trying to spin it as a major blunder, saying that Obama hates the troops for not going to Landstuhl (a definite case of damned if you do / damned if you don't regarding the Republican Noise Machine). But McCain hates the troops just as much, if his votes against the GI Bill and veteran's benefits are any indication.

The McCain campaign also vilified Obama for not acknowledging the success of The Surge and McCain's idea to stay in Iraq as long as necessary, even long after Old Johnny's dead and buried.

Apart from getting the timeline wrong (and CBS giving him a pass for it), McCain's seen his stance on Iraq undermined by none other than the Bush Administration (from whose failing hands the torch of Stupid Military Adventurism has been passed to McCain) and Iraqi PM al-Maliki. Al-Maliki as much as explicitly endorsed Obama's 16-month timetable for withdrawal of US combat troops, and even Bush has set forth a "general time horizon" for withdrawal.

Nothing like getting thrown under the bus by your own people, is there John?

Oh hey! Almost forgot the third part of the curse!

That seems to fit the bill for the one million or so people who find themselves on the Terrorism Watch List (along with anyone who shares the same name) and the untold and unnumbered people whose phone calls, email and other communications have so far been swept up by the telecoms and given as a gift to the NSA.

Interesting times indeed.

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