"A lot of people," Matt Lauer began, "now say the surge is working."
"Anybody who knows the facts on the ground say that," the Senator interjected.
"If it's now working, Senator," Matt continued, "do you now have a better estimate of when American forces can come home from Iraq?"
"No," answered McCain. "But that's not too important. What's important is the casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany.
"That's all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw. We will be able to withdraw. General Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are. But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harm's way.
"And that way they will be safe, and serve our country, and come home with honor and victory - not in defeat, which is what Senator Obama's proposal would have done. And I'm proud of them, and they're doing a great job. And we are succeeding. And it's fascinating that Senator Obama still doesn't realize it."
Anybody who knows the facts on the ground knows the surge is working? Which ground? The Temporary tactical military ground? Maybe there but then again maybe not. The long term strategic ground? Can’t make a judgment there because the surge has not really ended. Strategically the Surge can only be said to have worked if leads to at least a net drawdown of servicemembers in Iraq. How about on the political ground; is it working there? No, the political surge has not happened yet.
But let us take the good Senator at his word. The Surge is working- great; when do our men and women in uniform come home? McCain does not know. Not only does he not know he does not think it important to know. It is “not too important” it is "the casualties that are important." Separation from ones family for 15 months is not important? John Sydney McCain III what part of the Navy did you serve in? Even in the Vietnam years the Navy only deployed its sailors for nine months and then had them home for at least twice that amount of time. These days’ servicemembers are doing multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with next to no downtime home. The grind is causing an epidemic of family breakups and breakdowns. There are plenty of casualties that are not physical Senator McCain.
“Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany.” All very true and no one in South Korea or in Japan or in Germany happens to be setting off IED or otherwise ambushing our servicemembers. We tore down a wall in Germany; we are putting up walls in Iraq—big difference.
"That's all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw” What are you talking about? Are you channeling George W. Bush Senator? You must be, because that comment is a pure non-sequitur.
“We will be able to withdraw. General Petraeus is going to tell us in July when he thinks we are.” No, we are able to withdraw right now if the Commander in Chief of the military says so. You’re running for that job Senator. If, god forbid, you get the CIC position, it is up to you to tell Petraeus if and when a withdrawal will occur.
“But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harm's way” Then why are we still in Iraq after the mission is “accomplished?”
“And that way they will be safe, and serve our country, and come home with honor and victory - not in defeat, which is what Senator Obama's proposal would have done.”
“That way they will be safe,” someone please notify the Department of repetitive redundancy. If our servicemembers not in harms way, logically it follows that they would be safe. Safety is 99 & 44/100 % not harmful.
Exactly how is Obama’s proposal dis-honorable Senator McCain? When did Obama say he supported our defeat? Sounds like character assassination Senator, sounds like you are already reneging on your pledge to run a clean campaign. Show me one time where Obama ever said that our military was a dishonorable institution. Show me one time where Barack every questioned the grit and determination of our men and women in uniform. Show me one instance of Barack Hussein Obama doing anything other than heaping lavish praise on “The Troops.”
If there has been dishonor in Iraq it is because chicken-hawks like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and others hid there true agenda for invading Iraq. If there is rot it started at the head. Listen to the men and women who testified at “Winter Soldier” theirs is a tale of a missing leadership. Theirs is a tale of a profound disconnect from decency that started right at the top. The sadism was approved and encouraged from the very top of the command structure. We took off the gloves and we lost our soul at Gitmo.
“we are succeeding. And it's fascinating that Senator Obama still doesn't realize it."
Define “succeeding”, more importantly define “Victory.” Neither John McCain nor George W Bush has come up with a cogent explanation of what we are trying to accomplish in Iraq. Vague notions of fighting terrorism or of spreading democracy have been put forward. We have heard about staying the course and fighting them over there instead of over here. What we get is the old tiered and disproved bromides about our invasion and occupation of Iraq. We are told that everyone thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Everyone knew it except the French, the Germans and the U.N. inspectors that is. On and on it goes, the same old worthless talking points trotted out by Bush and company for the last five years. Yet again we are being shown “progress” and “improvement” We are succeeding in Iraq because of purple fingers, a new constitution, a new prime minister, yet more purple fingers; pick a metric. Is it any wonder that not only Barack Obama might be a little skeptical but so are the American People? Just two days after all John McCain’s happy talk about the surge Muqtada al-Sadr “said the militia's guns and mortars ‘will be directed only toward the occupiers and no one else. ... Any further targets will not be allowed.’ ” and “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told reporters in Jordan that negotiations for a long-term security agreement between Iraq and the U.S. had "reached a dead end.’”
This must be a very special type of success that we have not seen before. It is s success where we don’t have a notion of when our mission is completed. It is a success where are unable to reach security agreements with a client state that is mainly propped out by our military. It is a success where we allow foreign countries violate the borders of Iraq on a regular basis. It is a success with four million displaced people who still have no way to go back home. It is a success where secular modernity has been replaced by religious fundamentalism. It is a success that is one fatwa away from vaporization. If this is success may we be protected from our failures.