26 July 2008

Revisionist history

McCain now claims prescience and early insight into the situation in Iraq:
"I was the greatest critic of the initial four years, three and a half years."
"I strongly disagreed with the Bush administration's mismanagement of the war in Iraq."

He likes to have both sides of every issue, but his own words over the last six years show the record to be the exact opposite:

"On the transcendent issues of the day, I have been totally in agreement and support of President Bush, and I am talking particularly about the war on terror."

McCain's team whined bitterly this week about the hagiographical coverage Obama's Excellent Vacation got in the press, but you'd think he'd be glad nobody was paying attention to him as he emitted gaffe after gaffe after gaffe. He remarked about troubles at the (nonexistent) Iraq-Pakistan border, attributed the Anbar Awakening to the success of the surge (which occurred after the awakening) and he stated the Iraq was the first military conflict after 9/11 (forgetting Afghanistan). Are these minor slips of the tongue, or do they display a poor grip on the dynamics of the region? Don't know, but had Obama made similar mistakes, it's hard to imagine they would not have been characterized as due to Obama's inexperience and youth. Whether McCain's repeated errors are due to age, sloppy speaking, or sloppy thinking is not at all clear, but they are troubling. He also made the unprecedented and despicable explicit statement that Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign." Even Bush had enough sense (or shame) to leave that sort of thing to surrogates. And all this in the context of the Iraqi Prime Minister explicitly endorsing Obama's timetable for a US withdrawal from Iraq, and Obama's truly transcendent speech in front of two hundred thousand people in Berlin.

Yeah, that's a bad week, even if you don't factor in the recently revealed fact that Obama hauled in more in a single day than McCain did in an entire month and will be an official sponsor of NBC's Summer Olympics coverage. Yeah, a really bad week.

1 comment:

  1. Meh. Certainly I have been all about Obama, and the "Excellent Adventure" was pretty good, but I don't think some of these snipes serve much purpose. It's entirely possible, logical, and respectable that McCain (or anyone) might support the Iraq invasion in concept and purpose throughout its duration and yet be critical of its conduct/execution at any or all stages. McCain's ads lately have tried to make the same clumsy accusations of Obama in reverse (he said the surge wouldn't solve the problems in Iraq, now he says the surge has lessened the violence... ooo, what a flip-flopper!), and hopefully that won't stand up to even cursory sensible thinking. Don't fall into the same easy, lazy politicking that your candidate has thus far been considerate enough to stay out of!


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