Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We all know the John McCain type. He's the petulant kid who barked "It's my ball" as he stormed off the field because he didn't get his way. He's the little bully who said his dad could beat up your dad. He's the nasty little brat who would tell on you so he could get the little pat on the head: "That's a good boy, Johnny, you did good!" And it's the same petulant little John McCain today who's practically stomping his feet and throwing a tantrum because that other kid, Barack Obama, is getting all the attention these days. The same nasty John McCain who responds to reporters' questions with "What do you want, you little jerks?" ...as he did this week aboard his "Straight Talk" plane.
It seems that McCain's been having a hissy-fit over all the invaluable press coverage Obama's been getting during his much-hyped Middle-East visit which included stops in Afghanistan, Iraq and a meeting with Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq. Unfortunately for McCain, while he's been seen zipping around in a golf cart with his bud George Bush Sr. looking like a couple of crusty old rich white guys, Obama's been looking, sounding and acting like a brilliant, confident, modern-day statesmen on the world stage. Looking presidential. And it's killing McCain. He so riled up that it's continuing to throw him off his game. At a public forum Tuesday he referred once again to the non-existent country of Czechoslovakia. This is the same McCain who earlier this week incorrectly referred to the Iraq/Pakistan border. The same McCain who this Spring confused Iraq's Shia and Sunnis. Who incorrectly claimed that Iran was training al Qaeda terrorists. Who's confused Somalia and Sudan. Who's referred to Russia's Vladimir Putin as "President Putin of Germany." And this is the same guy who claims that he's best qualified to be Commander-in-Chief?
McCain appeared angry and frustrated in his attacks on Obama Tuesday. On the U.S. troop surge in Iraq, the feisty little Republican presidential candidate said: "He was wrong then, he is wrong now, and he still fails to acknowledge that the surge has succeeded. Remarkable." What's truly remarkable is that McCain, over the past year, has deluded himself into thinking that it's his surge. He talks about it as if he's its sole architect and beneficiary to its supposed success. Yes, supposed success. Let's not forget that the goal of the surge was to stabilize the country so that real political change could take place. While the violence is indeed down--not gone--there's not been anywhere near the political change the Bush administration expected or promised. As for the drop in violence, it should come as a shock to no one that sending in more U.S. troops could overpower a much smaller, less equipped, less sophisticated enemy in the contained areas in and around Baghdad. But the real question remains: what happens when the extra military muscle leaves? Does the violence increase again? Is there a strong enough political structure to run the country effectively and simultaneously secure itself? In that sense, the surge has not worked. Based on the original stated purpose, regardless of McCain's relentless macho chest-thumping, the surge is not a success.
What's also remarkable is that McCain can make the outlandish statement he made Tuesday about Obama's motives: "He would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." This is an unconscionable accusation to make during a presidential election campaign and while our nation's at war, and it further demonstrates just how low McCain and the GOP will stoop to win in November. So much for the "respectful" campaign McCain promised earlier this year.
The simple truth is, Obama was right about the war from the get-go. And based on the fact that Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his top military commanders support the Democrat's timetable for a 2010 troop withdrawal, he's still right. Obama not only understands the will of the American people when it comes to the war, but the Iraqis' as well. John McCain is simply out of touch.