McCain: ‘We Must Choose Instead to Succeed’
McCain! Here he goes. It’s the first draft of his nomination speech this summer. “Four years of mismanaged war brought us almost to the point of no return,” he said. But then, “rather than retreate in Iraq and face thereby the terrible consequences that ensue, we chose to change strategies…” So there’s the narrative.
There’s a lot of throat-clearing about Maliki needing to do more and so forth. But like he did last week, McCain defined “victory” in a maximalist sense: a democratic, prosperous Iraq that “contributes to the defeat of terrorists.” We need to reject a “reckless and irresponsible withdrawal” but he doesn’t want “to keep our troops in iraq a minute longer than necessary.” That’s almost exactly what Bush said at the beginning of the war.
Humorously, McCain said an American defeat would lead the Iraqi Shiites to an “accommodation with Tehran at the expense of our own interests.” Senator,* that’s happened already.*