Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain + Iraq = Clueless

At least that what Joe Conason says in his 10/27/08 Salon piece, On Iraq, McCain doesn't have a clue.

The problem is that the bold Maverick keeps talking about glorious Victory in Iraq. When what's happening is that even the Shi'a Iraqi government is demanding that all US troops leave on a fixed timetable. Even though the Cheney-Bush administration capitulated on that point in the negotiations over a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) - which meant that "the White House abandoned its own long-held position and completely undercut McCain at the same time" - the Iraqi government is now demanding more concessions.

At this point, the SOFA may not be completed by the new President's inaguration. The contending parties in Iraq may very well finish up their civil war(s) after US forces leave. But both Shi'a and Sunni factions want the US out. As Conason writes:

So much for the fantasies of the neoconservatives, who once imagined the new Iraq as a permanent base for American troops in the Middle East, with a client government that would reflect U.S. priorities. What has come to exist instead is an Iraq much closer to Iran than to the United States, one that will countenance no permanent U.S. bases and prefers that our troops depart sooner rather than later.

Yet McCain still seems to believe that we will be able to have a "conditions-based" agreement with the Iraqis that allows the withdrawal of our troops according to the judgment of American commanders and the president. Someone should try to bring him back to reality, and soon — just in case he wins this election. [my emphasis]
War the Republican Party way. Nothing quite like it.

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