John McCain was on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning. Once again he claimed the Surge is working in Iraq but said that we cannot draw down the number of our troops there without all the violence returning. Those two statements are in glaring contradiction to each other and only someone who has forgotten how the Surge was supposed to work and what was promised about it when it started would fail to see that contradiction.
The Surge was supposed to be a temporary increase in the number of US troops that would give the Iraqis time to reach political reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shia. Once that political progress was made then the US could reduce the number of troops without the violence returning. If that political reconciliation has not happened, if we cannot reduce the number of troops without a return to violence then the Surge has NOT worked.
The military leaders were telling us that the number of troops pre-Surge was unsustainable. The current levels of troop deployment are doing severe damage to our military readiness and are causing extreme hardship to our military families. John McCain appears unconcerned about the damage being done to our military. He said that withdrawing our troops would allow Al Qaeda to say that they had won – obviously something McCain thinks is worth any price to prevent. Is that how you feel—that we must continue to pay trillions of dollars and thousands of lives in order to prevent someone somewhere from saying something?