Senator McCain Can't Decide If We're Winning Or Losing In Iraq
by Todd Beeton, Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 05:55:15 PM EDT
John McCain has boxed himself in on Iraq on at least 2 counts. First of all, putting aside for a moment the lack of a definition of victory, are his two differing pronouncements of what happens when we achieve it: 1. we stay for a hundred or more years because the fatalities will have ceased, or 2. we withdraw -- "as they stand up we stand down"& "conditions-based withdrawal" and all that. Two completely different results from presumably the same situation.
McCain is finding a similar paradox when speaking about the current situation on the ground in Iraq. On one hand, he must continue to frame Obama's withdrawal position as surrender, as he did today in an offensive repetition of a new McCain talking point trotted out by McCain's foreign policy aide Randy Scheunemann last week.
"Senator McCain said he would rather lose an election than lose a war and see the nation lose a war.
"Senator Obama seems to think losing a war will help him win an election."
But on the other hand John McCain has been insistent that we're winning now thanks to the surge, as he did at a townhall in New Hampshire today.
"The fact is that everybody recognizes, including Prime Minister Maliki, that we have to have conditions-based withdrawal, and we all -- we are gonna withdraw," McCain said. "We will withdraw. The fact is, is whether we withdraw in victory or whether we withdraw in defeat. And again, you and I have different versions. We have succeeded. The Sadr City is safe. Mosul is safe. Basra is safe. The people of Iraq, and I've been there, are now leading normal lives."
So, which is it, Senator? Where is this so-called defeat he keeps accusing Obama of and if he's so withdrawal-y, how can Obama's redeployment be surrender?
John McCain: very very confused.