Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rudy G Drops Out - Why?

Why would Rudy Giuliani bother dropping out now?

Sure, he invested a lot in Florida, and his crushing loss surely didn't help his campaign. But he still had a lot of support in different Super Tuesday contests. He might as well have stayed on for another week.

Some will point to his campaign’s money troubles. But lets dig a little deeper.

Thinking VP
During his concession speech, Giuliani endorsed current Republican frontrunner John McCain. One could take this at face value; Giuliani supports McCain’s positions and values.

Politicians don’t think like that. You’ve got to put yourself in Rudy’s shoes. What’s the closest thing to the presidency? That whole vice-presidency thing.

And it’s looking even better for Giuliani. McCain will take office at age 73, the oldest president ever, I believe. If the former Prisoner of War gets conked out, so to speak, Giuliani would get exactly what he had wanted from the beginning: the most powerful job on Earth.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hoping That Arab Governments Are Blamed

On Wednesday I wrote “Hoping Hamas is Blamed.” It’s pretty obvious now, just as it was then, that Hamas isn’t going to be blamed and Israel’s plan will not succeed. Luckily, a new possible scapegoat has joined the herd – other Arab governments.

The predicament
Egypt’s been left with quite a problem; Hamas will not allow the Egyptian government to shutdown the border peacefully. That leaves them with essentially two options.

Option number one of the Egyptians is to shut their border with Gaza down by force. The problem with this, in their view, is that it (a) possibly destabilizes the region (b) infuriates relatives of Palestinians in Egypt.

Option number two is allowing continued free passage between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. This would upset Israel and the U.S. As well, it could draw the ire of many Egyptians if Gazans become perceived as unwelcome guests.

A new scapegoat

Unless Gazans point their fingers at Hamas in retaliation for their poor situation, there is another group they blame: the Arab League.

The Arab League held an emergency meeting yesterday to try to solve the current crisis. If the group of states publicly pushes for a closing, there is a chance (albeit a small one) that the League will be blamed.

It’s unlikely
Don’t get your hopes up. Going on current sentiment towards the West in the region, and looking at past experiences, it is almost certain Israel and the U.S. will take most of the Gazans anger.

Moving forward

And more anger is not what we need. Anger will only sponsor more terror, not help fight it. We need to come up with a plan that will get the support of the Palestinian people. Only then will Hamas lose popular mandate, and will a solution be found.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

[POLL] Does the U.S. Have a Moral Obligation in Iraq

Voting Booth

Does the U.S. have a moral obligation in Iraq?
Other free polls

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Romano Who?

BBC: Italian PM Romano Prodi Resigns

It’s too bad that nobody cares.

Italy has lost all of its geopolitical influence to corruption and organized crime. It withdrew its soldiers from Afghanistan in 2006; it’s not involved in Iraq.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hoping That Hamas Is Blamed

Reuters: Palestinians blow up border wall, flood into Egypt

Well, it had to happen sometimes. And its too late to change course.

Israel’s strategy
Israel has been attempting to isolate Hamas and make their government in Gaza look like a failure. Israel, the U.S., and other western powers have been bolstering Mahmoud Abbas’s (semi-)democratic government in the West Bank to solidify this image.

The mistake of the strategy – or not?
Israel has been making life in Gaza miserable for Gazans, and life will only become exponentially worse in the following weeks and months.

By increasing poverty, unemployment, and general dissatisfaction in Gaza, the West is creating the perfect situation for terrorism to grow. Terrorism is like a disease: it grows on dissatisfaction. Israel and the United States will be blamed for the bad conditions.

Unless, of course Israel and the West aren’t blamed, and instead, the Hamas government is. That is the Ehud Olmert’s hope, at least.

It’s too late now
This blockade and isolation has been going on for months, and it is too late for a quick reversal. The only thing we can hope is that Prime Minister Olmert is right, and the Hamas government is blamed instead of the West, because truly, in reality, it is Hamas’s fault.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Does the U.S. Have a Moral Obligation in Iraq?

Let's pretend the U.S. pulled out of Iraq in the coming months because the President had a huge change of heart. 90% of our troops are gone, by, let's say July 2009.

What happens then?

Let's say, for the sake of discussion, all out civil war breaks out in Iraq, but is limited to that country.

Hundreds and thousands of Iraqis are dying every day, every week, every month. Does the U.S. have a moral obligation to step in and try to resolve the fighting?

Or instead, do we sit back and watch, and wait for the rest of the region to potentially join in?

Monday, January 21, 2008

What do New Iranian Sanctions Mean?

BBC: Iran sanctions accord 'imminent'

These would be the first sanctions after the last National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear activities, and the first after the infamous Strait of Hormuz incident.

The chance of sanctions be successfully applied will depend on China and Russia’s willingness to press Iran further after the NIE.

U.S. intentions
These sanctions are intended to pressure Iran to answer vital questions about its nuclear program. Iran has promised to do this, but one can expect the usual responses.

Iranian response

Will this provoke Iran or will this further compel the Islamic state to give up its program? If sanctions are passed, this will most definitely pressure Iran by showing the world’s unity against its nuclear program, especially understanding that the sanctions would come after the NIE.

Effect on Iranian elections
Legislative elections are coming in March. Will this have an effect? I don’t know enough about Iranian politics to make a very well informed prediction.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Real Republican Winner in Nevada

As much as I hate saying it (and I really do hate saying it), I'd say the real winner on the Nevada Republican side yesterday was Ron Paul. He came in a far second behind Mitt Romney, who was the only candidate to really contest this race. And yet, Paul did better than many mainstream candidates.

On another note, it looks like Fred Thompson is out of it. That's too bad, because I liked him, for a Republican candidate.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Plan for Pakistan

Our troops are sitting on the Afghan-Pakistan border, staring across from the Afghan side. They can practically see Taliban strongholds. Why don’t they attack?

That was my opinion only yesterday. The only other option, as I saw it, was to sit back and watch.

Sitting back and watching isn't the only option other than attacking: we can be proactive. We can build alliances with tribal leaders, help the average Pakistani, promote democracy, etc.

Going into Pakistan and targeting high value targets might seem smart in the short run, but in the long run, the consequences would be disastrous. Number one, we might not even get the target; number two, we would enrage local leaders, who would distrust us for years to come; and three, we would create new terrorists by giving current terrorists easy propaganda.

On the other hand, we could make alliances with local leaders, promote democracy, or in other words, gain the support of the Pakistani people. With the Pakistani people supporting us, support for the terrorists would ebb. Over many years, we could successfully defeat the terrorists ideologically – and that is the true goal.

"Patience is a virtue". Though this could take years, in the long run, it will be worth. Politicians in the U.S. must look past their careers and do what is best for the U.S., for Pakistan, and for the region as a whole.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A 'Mini-Surge' in Afghanistan

U.S. sending 3,200 Marines to Afghanistan

This is very smart move by the U.S. government – though there are some complications.

A brief background
Afghanistan has been off the radar here in the U.S.; nearly all policy discussions have been over Iraq. That is, until recently, when the possibility of this ‘Afghanistan surge’ came up.

Afghanistan has needed the equivalent of a small surge for a while; growing drug problems (no pun intended), a Taliban comeback in the south, and a destabilized Pakistan to the east have all complicated NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

Even still, NATO allies have been reluctant to send more troops, even after repeated requests by the U.S.

A good idea
Not only does this ‘mini surge’ have the potential to solve many stability issues in Afghanistan, it also could encourage other countries to send more troops to Afghanistan. Or, in the case of Canada, influence their decision of whether or not to pull out all of their troops.

But back to the surge’s potential: Afghanistan has different problems, though similar, than Iraq. This is what makes the surge different in Afghanistan than the Iraqi surge. This ‘mini-surge’ will help solve some of these Afghani problems. For example, the Taliban is expected to launch another spring offensive in a couple of months. The extra troops will get there just in time to help combat this offensive.

Military stretched thin
The biggest issue most have with sending more troops to Afghanistan is the same many had with sending more to Iraq: our military is stretched. Its resources depleted, its manpower tired and overused, it will take some time for the military to fix itself up after these wars.

Luckily, the military made a smart decision (Robert Gates not looking so bad after all, eh?). A force of 3,200 Marines isn’t too many to stretch the military, but it’s just enough to make a difference.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

[POLL] Who Benefited Most from the New Hampshire Primaries?

Voting Booth

Who benefited most from the NH Democratic Primaries?
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
John Edwards
Bill Richardson
Dennis Kucinich
Mike Gravel
Ron Paul!!!1!!1!!!!!!!1 free polls

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

How Clinton Pulled it Off

After Clinton’s stunning comeback yesterday, it is important to ask the question: How did Hillary win (and how did the polls get it so wrong)?

She didn’t have one silver bullet that boosted her performance; it was a combination of many things:
• Her superior organization
• The female vote
• Clinton’s cry
• The over hype of Obama (this answers the second part of the question)

In that order. Her organization, her money and her endorsements helped her raise awareness and to get out the vote. Specifically, the women vote. About 57% of New Hampshire voters that voted Democrat were women. They carried Clinton out from behind (interesting to note: Obama received the majority of women’s vote in Iowa).

Now, I tried not to get into to this to much when I saw it online, but a lot of analysis are claiming Hillary got the sympathy vote for when she teared up. Interestingly enough, Mitt Romney did the same thing, albeit a few months ago, and didn’t come out from behind. It’s more likely the ‘cry’ may have pushed some citizens into voting for her, but it wasn’t what was gave her the win.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Clinton Comeback -- Again?

I've been watching the polls for the last hour, and it looks like Clinton could maintain her 4 or 5% lead. That would be huge for her campaign. HUGE. Political Realm, really my source for campaign news (other than the mainstream media), predicted Obama winning by 12%, and I had Obama winning as well. Probably most pundits too. It would be an incredible boost to her campaign.

Anti Clinton Spam

Clinton's not such a bad candidate, so I wasn't exactly elated when I received this spam, because it also reminded me of those rumors people are spreading about Obama and Romney:

RE: Coming witchcraft of Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON in politics, also.

Like in the witchery, at her age of 61 years old Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON is to become overnight a candidate for a change, pulling a rabbit out of her hat. This can happen only in the witchcraft that she and her husband William J. CLINTON, former President reportedly believe in and practice. This is what comes up in the Google search under words of their names, witchcraft, satanic and/or Shamanism, subject to easy verification. The proverb goes that an old dog cannot learn new tricks. The final say belongs to the American people, casting their votes in primaries.

The change is contrary to the background of Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON. This is proven by facts of her own making. Since the beginning she has been and remained the Washington, DC insider. In 1970s she worked for the U.S. House of Representatives. Then, she departed for Arkansas, but she kept her Beltway contacts. She returned to have co-run the White House with her husband William J. CLINTON as President and to have done so under the their motto “to elect one and to get two”.

In fact, Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON was already the co-president during two tenures of well known scandals. If she is nominated for U.S. president, this will likely be the big red flag for GOP, majority of Independents and even some Democrats to unite and vote Republican in general elections for the White House and to U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. If she wins, she will run her administration of Democrats as during the Clinton tenures when they lost the majority in U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Her presidential candidacy seems to be the proposition of losing the White House and/or U.S. Congress for the Democrats sooner in 2008 elections or later in 2010 and 2012 elections.

Several days before the 2008 Iowa caucuses, Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON run her campaign on the legacy of her husband William J. CLINTON. She stressed her experience in the governance. This cannot be found in her own biography on her official senatorial website at the address: Whenever her campaign is in trouble, he comes to the rescue. She hardly stands on her own feet in the quest for the White House. Since her youth she has specialized and practiced the dealing and wheeling of insider in the Federal Government to go up and up in the political careers. She was in charge of Oval Office during his 8 years long tenures. Now, she wants to be there for the next 8 years.

The real political change comes with the next generation taking over the power. Each generation has its own leaders at about the same age. They share the same ideas. They fight for implementing their program, campaigning, losing and winning. Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON belongs to the old generation of outgoing leaders with the past visions. She relies upon the political oldies in developing, presenting and eventually implementing the vision which does not meet the present needs of the American people. This comes to the simple question of where is the beef of her new solutions for the USA to meet and overcome challenges that the United States faces in the next four years, at least.

The striking continuance of decisive events has taken place during the last 5 presidential tenures. Among others, President George H. W. BUSH misled the dictator Saddam HUSSEIN with U.S. response to the Iraqi war against Kuwait, but had to stop with invading militarily Iraq. Co-Presidents William J. CLINTON & Hillary CLINTON did not deal with the growing danger of terrorist attacks of al QAEDA under Osama bin LADEN against the American people. President George W. BUSH used the 9/11 terrorist attacks as the pretext for going into the war in Iraq. Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON supported it without reading reportedly the classified intelligence briefs on the misleading information on Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destructions. She is needed in the Oval Office to ensure the continuation of and the whitewash for what happened in the presidential tenures of the Bushes and the Clintons.

After that the United States needs badly the real change in the leadership not to become the United Kingdom of America with two royal families, shifting the power to each other for the last 20 years and with 8 more years to go. Recalling his own words, President George H. W. BUSH has considered President William J. CLINTON like his son and consequently Senator Hillary Rodham CLINTON as his daughter. She has hardly criticized President George W. BUSH in the effective way. She has agreed fully with his approach to Iraqi war till the beginning of her presidential campaign a few months ago. This is her politics of going hand in hand with the Bushes and up to the Oval Office.

On January 6, 2008 Senator Hillary RODHAM CLINTON said during her campaign in New Hampshire: “Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘doesn't have a soul. This is the president [George W. BUSH] that looked in the soul of Putin, and I could have told him, he was a KGB agent,’ ... .” This arises also the question of where is her soul, in fact. She was reportedly involved in pro-communist causes of among others quasi terrorist organization of Black Panthers in the USA at the beginning of her political career. At the time, Oxford scholar William J. CLINTON organized anti-American and pro-Soviet protests in London, England. Immediately after that he made the clandestine trip to Moscow at the expense of Soviet intelligence services - KGB and GRU. They got married while they were pursuing the pro-Bolshevik interests in the USA

As the standard procedure, KGB and GRU recruit and ensure careers for those who give their souls to the communist movements. As reported by the American media, co-presidents William & Hillary CLINTONS pursued the policy of financing KGB and GRU during the tenure of President Boris YELTSIN and facilitating their transformation into the Russian global organized crime. Therefore, KGB and GRU sold thus nuclear attache cases to terrorists for attacks against the American people and could do so without governmental traces and direct responsibilities. This is leads to another question of whether the souls of Clintons are with the Satan in witchcraft and/or Evil Empire of former Soviet Union/Russia, using the words of the late President Ronald W. REAGAN.

The Independent Voter.


Monday, January 07, 2008

New Hampshire Primary Predictions

My New Hampshire predictions:

Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton
John Edwards

This state will be another success for Obama in a string of successes. After winning in an overwhelming majority white state (Iowa), he will take the lead here. From there, he will lose the Nevada caucus but go on to win the South Carolina primary, with the state’s large African-American population. That could potentially springboard him to Tsunami Tuesday. That is Clinton’s biggest worry.

Also expect Richardson to stay in the race; he’s waiting for Hispanic Nevada.

John McCain
Mitt Romney
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Ron Paul

The maverick is back and Romney is down. Romney lost a decent amount of his aura in Iowa, and the few Evangelical Christians in the state will be supporting Huckabee, who in turn will not receive much of the NH vote.

This is Ron Paul’s chance to shine. His nonconformist, libertarian stance in a nonconformist, libertarian state will allow him to stand out of the crowd. Could he beat Huckabee or Giuliani? Possibly.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

[POLL] Who Benefited Most From the Iowa Caucuses?

Voting Booth

Who benefited most from the Iowa caucuses?
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
John Edwards
Bill Richardson
Rudy Giuliani
Mitt Romney
Mike Huckabee
John McCain
Fred Thompson
Other free polls

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Liveblogging Iowa Caucuses

10:55 AP: Chris Dodd drops out

I think it's pretty much fair to say Obama and Huckabee have won.

Obama up 7%; 1611 of 1781 precincts in

9:33 Obama up 6%

9:27 CBSNews projecting Obama as winner.

9:24 And it's Huckabee in Iowa people, by what looks like a 5%-8% margin in front of Mitt Romney. That wasn't my prediction, but I guess Iowa must have more religious lunatics than I thought.

9:10 CBS News forecasts Huckabee winning Republican caucuses.

8:55 Obama passes Edwards, takes 1st; 630 of 1781 precincts reporing

8:51 Obama passes Hillary to take 2nd so far; 554 of 1781 precincts reporting

8:45 From, the Iowa Democrat's Caucus website (I added the time signature):

Kinda surprising.

I'll be liveblogging by the way, for the next hour or so at least.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Iowa Predictions

1.Hillary Clinton
2.Barack Obama
3.John Edwards
4. Joe Biden

Clinton, Obama, and Edwards will have nearly the same number of votes, but I predict it will be in that order. Biden will come out as a surprise and do better than expected.

1. Mitt Romney
2. Mike Huckabee
3. Fred Thompson/John McCain
4. John McCain/Fred Thompson

Romney and Huckabee is a toss up, but I'm betting Romney will come out on top. After that, McCain could pull a strong showing, but so could Thompson.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why John McCain Will Never Win

I almost wrote the polar opposite of this article: John McCain, Surgin’ Back? He has a lot of bipartisan support, plenty of endorsements, was right about the surge, and is a solid conservative. The only thing missing is his unpopular immigration position and funds. But that’s the thing: McCain will never succeed because of his immigration position.

His poll numbers have been rising, sure, but as I’ve argued before, Republicans have no dream candidate. They are going through “fads”, almost.

But there’s an even broader issue here: immigration is showing up to be the most decisive primary election issue, more decisive than the Iraq war and terrorism even. One reason for this is that all candidates have expressed their positions on the war, and it’s turned out to be a matter of Republican or Democrat; Republicans want to stay (excluding Ron Paul), and Democrats want to leave.

There’s more than that: illegal immigration, many Americans feel, is actually affecting them on almost a day to day basis, unlike the Iraq war.

The other case that brings me to believe this is Clinton and driver's licenses. Her downturn in the polls started after her gaffe responding to the question of illegal immigrant's rights to driver licenses. She was really hit hard on her answer to that.

I think it’s fair to say that illegal immigration (along with the economy, which go hand in hand) will turn out to be the deciding factor during the primaries. It won’t necessarily be the most important, but it will be the deciding factor.

The general election?

Just as the Democrats have popular support for their plan to get out of Iraq, the Republicans will have popular support for their appearance of taking a “tough line” on illegal immigration.

So, a lot of it comes down to: are concerns over immigration more important than concerns over terrorism and foreign policy?