McCain was treated for two types of skin cancer, as I recall. Basal cell carcinoma, which is basically harmless and easy to cure. He was also treated for melanoma. Melanoma is highly aggressive, and if not cured surgically, has a one of the highest 5 year mortality rates of all cancers. Fortunately, it often appears on the surface of the skin, and it is not unusual to find it very early and cure it surgically.
Prostate cancer can be more tricky, and I would have to know grade, stage, treatment (surgery, radiation) and follow-up results to have an opinion. I assume, by Guiliani's decision to run, that his prostate cancer has been cured, not just put into remission. I dont know that for sure though.
Lymphoma is a blood cancer. It can not be cut out and cured. The only sure way to eradicate it is to destroy the bone marrow with aggresive chemotherapy and perform a bone marrow transplant. In adults this is not done, because the treatment is more fatal than the disease.
Standard chemotherapy may put the lymphoma into a long term remission, and even cure it, but it takes years to determine if either is the case. Thompson is a cancer patient with an active diagnosis of cancer, and will have this diagnosis throughout the presidential campaign. I may be over-reading this, but I suspect this will be enough to take him out of serious contention.
College students are not proportionally sampled in polls because they dont live at their permanent addresses. Polls are becoming less relevant because.. how many people these days answer random phone calls on a land line?
Anyway.. college students are under-represented in elections too, so no big difference I guess.
I apologized for calling you a troll. I stand by belief that your position here is like a concern troll: "I agree with you guys in general, but you got to get real and stop being naive.. blah blah blah." That's what concern trolls do. I am not naive about Iraq, I am a realist.
You are not endorsing a permanent occupation per se, just a strategy that requires a permanent occupation.
The issue of embassy protection is a red herring. Foreign governments may protect their embassies with soldiers. This is standard operating procedure and I have no problem with it.
In Iraq, that is simply not an option. You think just maintaining a squad of marines to protect our embassy would work? We couldnt get personal to or from the embassy with risking casualties. Even our helicopters would be shot down. In order to even keep an embassy in Iraq, we would require a permanent military occupation of both the airport, and surrounding territory, and the entire green zone. That goes well beyond embassy protection, and in itself is contrary to the establishment of Iraq as a sovereign nation. Imagine a foreign government requiring a military occupation of Dulles International Airport, and the greater Georgetown neighborhood in DC to maintain an embassy in the US, and I think you'll understand what I mean.
That we need to maintain an occupation to train the Iraqi army is also a red herring and a classic neocon talking point. Does anyone still believe this? Four years and billions of dollars later, and the Iraqi army is still untrained. It would have been cheaper and faster to send all those soldiers to private US colleges for undergraduate degrees. As the insurgency revs up, military advisors can't even trust Iraqi battalians. You think that if military advisors went to train Iraqi soldiers with out an occupation army they would survive. That is naive.
Here's an idea: Fucking bus fare to Kuwait. We can train all the Iraqi soldiers we want there, on our terms, to fufill whatever missions their government requires.
Limited missions? I don't know what you are talking about here, but I would not be opposed to limited missions, when some criteria are met. Iraq would need a sovereign government that can survive without the support of our occupation army, and that government would have to request help with specific missions that are well defined and doable.
You calling me naive is a lot worse than me calling you a troll, and let me explain why. The troll comment, which I apologized for, is rhetoric limited to this site. But the naive club that you bat around is endemic in public debate in this country. This attitude that people who recognize the inevitable outcome of our invasion are naive and shouldnt presume to work toward an end of occupation because we are not realists, and we dont understand the way things really work, is offensive.
It is also patently wrong. If you think we can dramatically dial down our occupation, in the way that you describe, and not significantly increase the risks to our soldiers, then it is you who are naive. Of course, my brother was forced to leave his job and pregnant wife because his Air National Guard unit was deployed to Iraq, so this may be more important to me than to you.
Thanks for your reply. Again, I do like your comments, and I wasnt being ironic in calling you thoughtful. In addition, it was late for me when I wrote the post (I work nights, and am usually in bed by 6 am) and if given the choice i would write it differently. In fact, I lost track of my train of thought half-way through. Whatever.
While you are thoughtful and articulate, your basic premise is flawed. The occupation, as a matter of strategy, comes down to one issue: will a US occupation army lead to long-term stabilization, or not.
You believe that it will. You are wrong. The very best that this occupation can accomplish is the maintainance of an unacceptable status quo. The only difference between 200,000 troops and 20,000 troops is number of US casualties and the length of time before an active civil war.
I am sorry if I offended you by calling you a concern troll. You offended me by calling me naive. And I am tired of people like you, however well-intentioned, assuming the mantle of the grown-up realist, and dismissing those of us intent on ending the occupation as naive liberal hippies.
This issue has nothing to do with progressive politics. I could make moral arguments, but I am not. This is cold hard strategy. We are not at half-time, we are playing the endgame. Keeping troops in Iraq for years, as you insist that we need, will not ultimately change the game.
So what do you think about Nuri al-Maliki? Do you think that he is diligently working under his constitutional authority, for a peaceful stable Iraq? He is not. Right now, he is doing one of two things (probably both): embezzeling as much money as possible so that he and his family can live a comfortable life in exile, or empowering Shia factions so that he will have a strong power base when the war starts. If you think that al-Maliki or any senior Iraqi official is working toward a stable coalition government, it is you who are naive, my friend.
So in a context of a failed military occupation, universally loathed by the local population who considers it morally acceptable to kill our soldiers, where even our puppet government is undermining our interests, explain to me why we need to maintain an occupation for years?
I understand how hard it will be to watch the 'soon to unfold' civil war in Iraq. I suspect at this point that the Saudis and the Iranians will be able to provide enough support to their respective sides to prevent a full scale genocide. But, the conflict is inevitable, and I have been expecting it since 2003, so I have had time to prepare myself.
Anyway, I am interested what you think, and I hope you respond.
Reading this post, and posts like it, bring home for me how entirely the conservatives and complicit media have set the definitions and frames of this debate.
Though Kovie is making arguments that are prefectly reasonable in a neo-con context, he is proving now, as he has done before, that he is a thoughtful and insightful commenter. At this point, it will be easier to win over low-info voters, who havent been paying much attention, and therefore have not been indoctrinated in this fashion, than it will be to convince the well meaning concern trolls that infest the blogs on our side.
Time does not allow a line by line exogesis of all the specious claims made above.. but here are some rapid fire responses:
1. The US military maintains overseas bases in friendly nations. A prerequisite for a successful overseas base is the inviation of a legitimate government, and a result of a net increase in regional stability. When these criteria are met, the US can keep a military presence: UK, Germany, Poland, Japan, Korea, Kuwait. The US can not maintain bases in areas in which preceived illigitamacy results in social unrest by local populations: Somalia, Lebanon, Iraq, Vietnam.
2. Vietnam was the great battle of the cold war. If we lost Vietnam to the Commies, other countries would fall in a domino fashion until the whole world turned communist. But it didnt. Nothing in history justified what happened in Vietnam, not the thousands of military causulites on the US side, or the crimes the US committed, with noble intentions, against the people of Vietnam. You are advocating a Kissinger compromise in Iraq, in which we stay to stabilize "our side". That lasted less than two years before the choppers lifted off the rooftops of Siagon for the last time.
3. Newsflash, there are no Al Qaeda operatives of any significance in Iraq, and they won't go there. Know why? It's too fucking dangerous. The foreign fighters becoming embedded are Sunni from Saudi Arabia, and Shia from Iran. And they all hate Bin Laden, considering he is still actively advocating an overthrow of the two patron states.
4. The subtle truce between al-Maliki and Sadr is over. The US plan went from force protection to surge neighborhood watch. And now that hundreds of micro-bases have been set up in combat zones, our soldiers are extremely tempting targets. We cant actually bring stability by force to even one city, and our casualty rate will start to skyrocket.
5. The Iraqi people are overwhelmingly opposed to an American occupation, but are unable to demonstate due to widespread social unrest. As Iraq becomes more stable, the voice of Iraqi's demanding withdrawal will grow and get violent.
Now, in analysing Iraq, the great experts from Bush to Clinton, emphasize that the Iraqis 'better get their acts together.' (WTF!) What a dismissive and offensive comment. It is like banging on the bathroom door: "Get your act together, you're gonna be late for school." Anyway who uses this term, or its various iterations, are unfit to have a substantative opinion and should shut the fuck up.
What is going on in Iraq is a social run on the bank. Banks won't become insolvent if all the people with accounts don't try to withdraw their money. But when the panic starts, it doesnt matter if logic dictates they should back off and trust in the integrity of the system. By the time the panic starts, its becomes a matter of survival for the depositer. "That guy at the head of the line just pulled his money, and you are telling me that I should just go home, and trust that the bank will still have my money tomorrow? I got a family to feed!"
The bank in this case is the government of Iraq, and the panic has been rabid for four years. The people of Iraq must consolidate their own power, form their own alliances, protect their own families, because the government wont do it for them, and these primal drives are incompatible with the establishment of a stable nation state.
One question I want you to think about Kovie. What would you do if you were Nuri al-Maliki? If you want to live, as a Shia and the current puppet of the US?
He was marketed as a pro-lifer, but has always supported unrestricted 1st trimester abortions, and on the pro-life side he is viewed as pro-choice. This is probably what provoked Dobson to declare that he is not a Christian.