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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Webb 2-0 After This Week's Debates

Here are the highlight of my highlights of this week's debates.

Meet the Press

[Money quote:] With respect to going in, in, in this situation, we did have other options. This was not a war of necessity at the time...And if we had the right people in the Senate, there would have been more questions asked and a better policy in place in order to defeat international terrorism. That is the focus of our country. We didn’t go into Iraq because of terrorism, we have terrorists in Iraq because we went in there. [This should be the campaign slogan for every Democratic candidate.]

SEN. ALLEN: This [Iraq] is a central battle front in the war on terror, and it's not just the president or the vice president or me saying that, that's what al-Qaeda says, because al-Qaeda'’s designs and their goals are to have a caliphate, Islamic caliphate from, from Indonesia to Spain, with the capital being in Iraq, an oil-rich area. And we cannot allow Iraq, which-—where al-Qaeda was [gross mischaracterization bordering on bald-faced lie] and is now [because our invasion was a magnet for them], we cannot allow them to have that haven for terrorist activity. [Al-Queda will never be supported by the Iraqi regime as long as (Bush supported) Shiite elements are in control, which is likely to remain the case as they are the majority in the country -– Hizbullah, on the other hand could receive significant material support considering that Iran and Iraq, both Shia nations (like Hizbullah) are now coming together. Also, the large Shia crescent in the center of the fictional caliphate” will never acquiesce to being part of a Sunni dominant caliphate such as al-Queda supposedly wants.]


NLS says (and its hard not to agree) that, fair or not, everything Allen says or does in this campaign will be viewed through the prism of racism from now on. The M-word question (which made him mad) and, of course, Allen losing his $#!# when asked about his possible Jewish heritage.

-In response to Allen's statements about Webb never having been to SW VA, "I've been coming to SW Virginia since George Allen was a Californian." [Great line.]

Q: Stem cells. Why are you against funding embryonic stem [ES] cell research, Senator Allen? (applause).

Allen: I am for stem cell research (except that he's not). I am not for human cloning [Bold statement, find someone who is.] Lack of federal funding does not prohibit states or private investment from funding es cell research. [Unfortunately, what Allen doesn't know or doesn't understand is that federal funding is the lifeblood of science in the US and, by extension, the world.] Would not like VA to fund ES cell research. Would support stem cell research that is helping people right now. [But not the kind that will help people in the future. To hell with them!]

The fact is science shows that you can get all the properties and the potential of ES cells without destroying a human embryo. [That is not true. If that were true, scientists would not bother with research that cannot be funded by the Federal government and ES cells would not be an issue. Simply false.]

Snuffy: Are you against IVF? [Great follow-up question because there are over 400,000 excess IVF embryos in America that will never get out liquid nitrogen freezers. They will either sit there until the freezer breaks or they are simply thrown away. This is one of my favorite examples of hypocrisy on this issue. Kudos George (Snuffy, not Allen).]

Allen: No.

Snuffy: What's the distinction?

[Allen can't answer. He simply cannot answer because there is no difference between IVF embryos which are destroyed (and receive no federal protection) and the embryos Allen says he wants to protect. IVF embryos are SOL with Allen.]

-Allen wants to continue with the go-it-alone strategy in Iraq that has served us so well thus far rather than put some of the burden on Iraq's neighbors.

Webb: Even the President of Iraq is talking to Iran. The President of your regime in Iraq is talking to Iran. You will not have peace in the Middle East unless you somehow bring all the countries into involvement. [I think this was the best off-the-cuff, honest, and powerful substantive remark of the whole debate.]

Q: Should Iraq be partitioned?:

Allen: This should be determined by Iraq. Northern Kurdish area is a boom town. We didn'’t have to wear flack jackets there [As opposed to the rest of the country. Seriously, he's trying to point out positives in Iraq right? The best he can do is "not everywhere requires Kevlar"?] All the factions have decided to be positive and constructive [This is so naive and/or ridiculously oversimplified and shows a fundamental lack of understanding of Iraqi Kurdistan.– Kurdistan is far more uniform ethnically and religiously than the rest of the country (Kurdish Sunnis far outnumber Arabs - Sunnis and Shiite - Turkmen and the other ethnic groups in the region.) They'’ve had self-rule for 15 years allowing them to have civil institutions in place (which we didn't dismantle when we invaded, unlike the rest of the country). The dynamic in Kurdistan is completely different from the rest of the country. They didn'’t just decide not to kill each other.]. ALL Iraqis are agreed in the gratitude to our country and that Baghdad is essential for security. [I don't think anyone can make any statements that ALL Iraqis agree upon. The closest to universal agreement you could probably get would be that they ALL want US troops out of their country.] They should decide. Oil as a national asset again. [Again, nationalized oil? That'll bring in outside investment. Tell it to Hugo Chavez, "Senator". Also, if Iraqis should decide on partitioning their country, shouldn't they decide on nationalizing their oil industry, too?]

Webb: The insurgency is active because they resent the American troops. Kurdistan is in danger of spilling over into Turkey and Iran and Syria.

Allen: Do have to be so negative when even the Kurdish area is doing so well you have to be critical of it? [Yeah, ya big meanie! Kurdistan is all candy and sushine. Well, except for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), the terrorist organization that wants to carve out a Kurdish homeland from Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey and which happens to be based in Iraqi Kurdistan with the tacit approval of the Kurdish government. They are also the reason that Turkey and Iran have been shelling Iraqi Kurdistan. They are why Turkey has been threatening to invade Iraqi Kurdistan. Oh, and Kirkuk (which the Kurds want to annex because it contain 40% of Iraq's oil) ain't so stable anymore either. But, ya know. All is well. Or, Allen is showing his ignorance, yet again.]

Allen: Written words are those that you think about. [I promise all of you here and now - I will NEVER let this quote die.]

Webb handily won both debates.

Allen seemed at times like the ultra-slick politician and at other times (when knocked off message) flustered, angry, and uninformed.

Webb articulated definite positions which are, most importantly, his own and not a) dictated to him by the President, or b) lifted from someone else.

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