January 7, 2008

PJ Interviews with McCain and Giuliani

I should have my next article from Fallujah published within the next day or so. This time you will hear from Iraqis, not Americans, as they discuss with me the invasion of their country, counterinsurgency, and Al Qaeda in Iraq among other things.

In the meantime, Roger L. Simon and Claudia Rosett interviewed Rudy Giuliani and John McCain about their foreign policies.

I said in the comments yesterday that I will not turn this blog into a campaign vehicle for any candidate at any time, and it’s true. I will not. Some in the comments are annoyed at my support for Rudy Giuliani while others are annoyed at my support for Barack Obama. I don’t want to annoy readers with that sort of thing. That is not what this Web site is for. I’m pointing out these interviews to you for two (other) reasons.

That link will take you to HD video versions of the interviews (fast connection required). They are far and away the highest quality videos I have ever seen streamed over the Internet. You Tube (bless its digital soul) is put sorely to shame by Pajamas Media here.

The production values are as solidly professional as you’ll see on any television station. But the questions asked by Roger and Claudia are at a higher level than what you’ll usually see on TV. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

(Transcipts here and here if you don’t want to watch.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 7, 2008 11:13 AM

I actually wrote to McCain sometime back and told him that if he ran, I would probably vote for him. That was around the time that he was one of the few sane people in Congress saying "umm, NO... we do not Torture". I admired him because he stuck to his guns again and again throughout the years that I've paid attention to politics. McCain-Feingold isn't good, but its better in some ways than what we had. It may have been a mistake, but at least he acted, rather than spouting nonsense and yammering on Fox News like most of the rest of the GOP Congress in power at the time.

I appreciated his candor and honesty... but then he started running for Preisdent and seemed to lose some of that. Maybe its a requirement, maybe it was a mistake on his part, I dunno.

While my opinion of Jerry Falwell may be somewhat negative, I don't begrudge anyone the right to like him, support him and applaud whatever he's doing. McCain was once pretty clear about his views (which seem in line with mine) but once the 'Straight Talk' bus hit the road, the McCain was grinnin' like a fool with a man he claimed to find repugnant. That scene did much to erode my support for him.

I once would have been actively involved in McCain's campaign... now, I'm willing to vote for him, mostly because every other option looks worse.

Posted by: dclydew Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 1:30 PM


A little off topic, but may be of interest...

I heard a story today from Tony Snow and later read it in the Philadelphia Daily News that 3 Iraqi Army Soldiers sacrificed their own lives by smothering a suicide bomber. Since you have a conduit to a PAO office, do you suppose that you could find out what their names are? I would hope that Iraqi Soldiers who make such sacrifices would at least have their names made known (unless they want their identities protected).

The story from the Philadelphia Daily News begins as follows: "BAGHDAD - Three Iraqi soldiers threw themselves on a suicide attacker wearing an explosives vest at an Army Day celebration yesterday - an act of heroism the U.S. said likely prevented many more deaths." later in the article US spokesman is quoted: "'These martyrs gave their lives so that others might live,' said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a U.S. military spokesman"

Quotes taken from "Iraqi soldiers killed blocking suicide bomb" at Philadelphia Daily News website.


Posted by: Saint in Exile Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 3:12 PM

I saw that story about the Iraqi soldiers too and it was pretty awesome / moving. Trying to learn their names is a great idea.

And I just finished reading the interviews with McCain & Giuliani. To my surprise, McCain did far better from the hip. Giuliani I thought was kind of vague, despite being forceful. But I’m glad you called our attention to this as the PJ interviewers were on them both like white on rice.

Thinking about those soldiers makes me think, too, of this wonderful man, a pianist, from the voices of Iraq documentary who said his dream right now is to have someone make a movie about his life. If things continue simmering down in that country that's a story I would love to get from him. He was English speaking and really visceral and calm. I’ll tell you one thing about those Iraqis, the good, the bad, the in between - that's one spirited people! I was struck too by how many in that documentary mentioned Arnold Schwarzenegger: "my haircut is the Arnold" "Arnold, can you send me real weights?"

I think Christopher Hitchens once lamented that more American cities didn't take on, as sister cities, some of those in Iraq. I’m a shameless dreamer sometimes but when I see a documentary like that I want to subsidize every little kid who says he wants to be a doctor. Just to let them feel / to make them know that dreams can come true.

Oh, and that touring co. I was in communication with during the autumn has told me they anticipate having their tours back up & running by March. I know the security situation is one to be watched closely, but being that they were judicious enough to cancel on me once, I trust they're not a happy-go-lucky lot. The prospect once again exists of my going there & interviewing that country's last living Jew on record.

Posted by: scottmoshen Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 3:44 PM

I'll see what I can find out about those Iraqis. Maybe I'll write a short little article about them for Commentary Magazine. They do deserve credit and recognition for what they did.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 5:51 PM

Just curious: why won't the Thompson feed run?

PJ's video is very high quality, but the total absence of play controls is a bit of a pain. Can't even pause, for grief's sake! And no indicator of how long I've committed myself to watch for, even. "Beta", indeed.

BTW, there is a commonality between McCain and Thompson I've never seen commented on. McCain famously said he'd rather be right than president, and Thompson said he'd be less than devastated if he lost while offering the best he had in the belief it was worthwhile. It's kind of fun trying to imagine similar words coming from the mouths of the other candidates. It's an imaginary test most fail miserably.

Posted by: Brian H Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 6:18 PM

Brian H,

Hit the space bar for pause, Esc to get back home.

Posted by: Stephen_M Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 6:37 PM

Hitting the space bar paused the video.

Missing were Romney and Huckabee.
I'd sure like to hear the Demos on that same topic.

Posted by: Tom in Texas Author Profile Page at January 7, 2008 6:38 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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