John McCain is sounding more desperate as he insists that Barack Obama was so very wrong about “the Surge” and that he (McCain) was oh so very right and courageous to have supported a policy that saved our forces from “retreating under fire”
Speaking to an association of Hispanic veterans, McCain renewed his criticism of Obama's opposition to an additional "surge" of troops into Iraq in 2007, which McCain said made the war winnable.
A decision not to deploy additional troops, McCain said, would have left "Iraq and our strategic position in the Middle East in ruins, risking a wider war in the near future."
The decision on whether to deploy additional troops "amounted to a real-time test for a future commander in chief," McCain said. "America passed that test. I believe my judgment passed that test. And I believe Senator Obama's failed."
Yes, Obama cravenly acknowledged the American people’s disgust and dissatisfaction with this war while John (“I know how to win wars”
) McCain just did what had to be done to make the war “winnable. And he wraps it all around our strategic position in the Middle East, which would lie in “ruins” after the American “retreat”.
Strategic position? Hmmm. Sounds important, it? Something better left to the “experts” like John McCain, not mere mortals.
As a strong adherent of Expertology
, I do not readily accept the idea that others should do my thinking so I reject this idea of strategic position in the Middle East and, therefore any claim John McCain has regarding his qualification to be president. To my way of thinking, the high costs in blood, treasure and American values can only be justified (if at all, remember, I am militantly near-pacifist) for the most critical reasons. John McCain believes that Iraq is critical to America’s strategic position in the Middle East. A strategic position is essentially a position of strength and influence in one’s own interest. That interest may be commingled with others’ interests but in the end, a strategic position is for one’s own advantage. All well and good, that’s pretty much standard in any competition. American policy since 2003 has been long-term, aka permanent, military presence in Iraq. That’s what winning means to John McCain, just like CheneyBush before him.
And why do we need this long term military presence? McCain will cite reasons such as fighting terrorism, protecting Israel, deterring Iran and securing access to the region’s energy resources. According to McCain anything short of a “win” in Iraq will jeopardize any and all of these important interests. That’s why he said didn’t mind if American forces stayed in Iraq 100 years; he believes that this nation will need to “project force”
in this region for decades to come. He intimated that Americans would not be fighting, that their mere presence would deter any threats to various and sundry American interests in the region, but in the end the whole point is to bring lethal force to bear on a particular situation. That’s what all the explosives are about.
In effect, McCain is calling for a 100 year surge, which is why he must adamantly insist that CheneyBush’s mere 15 month surge has been so successful and that he is so very qualified to serve as commander-in-chief. Of course, you would have to agree the “the surge” was a success. I don’t agree. (For an excellent perspective on the surge’s “success” see Brian Downing’s article
in Asia times Online
. ()) At best, the extra 30,000 troops secured the areas where they were deployed. Combined with the Sunni Awakening and Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire, the extra troops put a cap on what had been an increasingly out of control, tit-for-tat violence. But their presence did nothing to address the underlying ethnic and sectarian divisions. Iraqi politicians and factions have so far been unable to use the past year to reconcile their differences. Whatever strategic position America seeks in Iraq is already at risk as America sends its sons and daughters to fight in Iraq so that the petroleum-based corporate dominated infrastructure and economy will not have to change.
Unlike John McCain, I believe America’s position in Iraq and the greater Middle East will be at risk in direct proportion to our presence in Iraq. Neither Iraqis nor most Americans want our forces to remain in that nation. Iraqis want to regain their own destinies, however, difficult and messy that may be. Whatever good will and hope American forces brought to Iraq in 2003 has long since been fully dissipated and, as America continues to pervade and direct that nation, Iraqis see their future as a “military asset” of the United States against their own neighbors and fellow Muslims. No Iraqi with any sense of their national heritage will ever accept that arrangement. Certainly no American would, if the circumstances were reversed..
I don’t doubt that America has interests in the Middle East. Nor do I doubt that other nations, including the locals, have interests in the region. What I do doubt is that extended and unwelcome foreign occupation is the best way will provide a strong, long term strategic position for the United States in the Middle East.
Now that I think about it, John McCain’s ability to “win wars” is irrelevant, if it exists at all. America is fighting a war because it occupies a foreign nation. Foreign occupiers never win. They bleed. John McCain does not understand that.
Labels: iraq, mccain