Jul 22 2008

McCain’s Iraq Piece The NY Times Censored

Published by at 8:03 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions,Iraq

For those who wanted to actually compare Obama’s lame views on Iraq to John McCain’s the New York Post has publicized McCain’s opinion piece that the NY Times censored. For the life of me, I can only see one reason the NY Times would try and hide this – it makes Obama look so damn bad:

AS he took command in Iraq in January 2007, Gen. David Petraeus called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80 percent to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation is full of hope – but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due mainly to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Sen. Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent.

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on Jan. 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Sen. Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted. Perhaps he’s unaware that the US embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.”

Sen. Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. Indeed, he’s emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I’m dismayed that he never talks about winning the war – only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will – and a triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us.

Obama ‘unaware’ – seems to be today’s theme (see my previous post on The Clueless One).

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “McCain’s Iraq Piece The NY Times Censored”

  1. dave m says:

    This is not the surge that I knew.

  2. AJStrata says:

    Dave M,

    Oh man, I nearly spewed my coffee again! ROTFLMAO

  3. VA Voter says:

    “… [I]f we don’t win the war, our enemies will – and a triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us.”…McCain

    These 21 words should appear on every McCain ad.

  4. hey norm says:

    it will be interesting to see if mccain does what the nytimes asked, and give a concrete explaination of “victory”. my guess is he won’t.

  5. conman says:


    I don’t think you fully appreciate the box McCain is in on Iraq. Ironically, the success of the surge presents some major problems for him.

    First, McCain now needs to argue that we should ignore the Iraqi leadership on the time table for withdrawal of American troops. Despite McCain’s claim in his Op-Ed that “the Iraqi prime minister has merely said that he’d like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of US troops at some unspecified future point,” there is no doubt after this week that Maliki endorsed Obama’s time table since Maliki thinks US troops can be out by end of 2010. McCain and Bush have said several times that we will leave when the Iraqis ask us to leave – it will be fun to watch them squirm out of that statement. I told you several weeks ago that the difficulty with the Status of Forces Agreement was a major problem for Bush and the GOP (which you dismissed). We know now that the Iraqis desire for a specific time table for withdrawal, sooner rather than later, is a big part of the reason why we can’t get the deal done. That will significantly hurt McCain.

    Second, McCain now needs to argue that the surge really hasn’t been that successful in order to justify the delay of withdrawal of our troops. This is what McCain said in his Op-Ed: ” Sen. Obama is also misleading on the readiness of the Iraqi military. Iraq’s army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year – but that doesn’t mean, as Sen. Obama suggests, that it’ll then be ready to secure the country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi air force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications and other complex functions needed to support frontline troops. ” Can you believe that McCain is now the one arguing that it is premature to declare the surge a victory and that the readiness of the Iraqi military is not as good as it appears to be? Wow, who would have predicted that a few months ago.

    Third, McCain is having to redefine our goals in Iraq in a way that does not help him. Most Americans view victory in Iraq as the withdrawal of our troops. One can claim all of the security, economic and political successes in Iraq until their blue in the face, but claiming victory while still arguing that we need to keep the vast majority of our troops in Iraq will not cut it with the American public. McCain cannot explain what victory means if he is arguing against the withdrawal of our troops. This will merely reinforce American’s perception that McCain wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years or more.

    Lastly, increasing problems in Afghanistan is complicating McCain’s Iraq strategy. Our military leaders are publically advocating for more troops in Afghanistan and acknoweldging that Iraq has diverted our military resources from this region. It got so bad that just a couple weeks ago McCain had to reverse himself on his assertion that no additional troops are necessary in Afghanistan and essentially adopted Obama’s call for additional troops in Afghanistan. Not a good couple of weeks when you have to reverse yourself and adopt your opponent’s position.

    The Iraqi debate is quickly shifting from whether or not we should continue the surge to what we should do next now that the surge has largely produced the desired outcome. McCain is increasingly on the losing end of this argument because he cannot argue that the surge has achieved a victory but we still need to keep our troops there at the same time. All McCain can do is continue questioning Obama’s judgment for not backing the surge initially. This argument is diluted by Obama’s assertion that Bush/McCain exercised bad judgment in invading Iraq before the job was finished in Afghanistan and in adopting a disasterous post-occupation strategy. I know McCain’s rheotoric plays well with the die-hard conservatives on this blog, but trust me it will not play well out in mainstream America.