Thank you, Senator Barack Obama. Even though you stated the obvious, it needed to be said again. Obama directly responded to Senator John McCain and his ridiculous charges from yesterday. McCain knows that he will lose on the issues, so he plays these games.
With less than three months to go before the election, a lot of people are still trying to square Senator Obama’s varying positions on the surge in Iraq. First, he opposed the surge and confidently predicted that it would fail. Then he tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge. Not content to merely predict failure in Iraq, my opponent tried to legislate failure. This was back when supporting America’s efforts in Iraq entailed serious political risk. It was a clarifying moment. It was a moment when political self-interest and the national interest parted ways. For my part, with so much in the balance, it was an easy call. As I said at the time, I would rather lose an election than lose a war.
Thanks to the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines and to brave Iraqi fighters the surge has succeeded. And yet Senator Obama still cannot quite bring himself to admit his own failure in judgment. Nor has he been willing to heed the guidance of General Petraeus, or to listen to our troops on the ground when they say — as they have said to me on my trips to Iraq: “Let us win, just let us win.” Instead, Senator Obama commits the greater error of insisting that even in hindsight, he would oppose the surge. Even in retrospect, he would choose the path of retreat and failure for America over the path of success and victory. In short, both candidates in this election pledge to end this war and bring our troops home. The great difference is that I intend to win it first.
Obama finally states that we all love America. We may have different views on how to get America back on her feet but we all love America. (See video below.)
I feel I have to say something about McCain’s constant talk about the Surge. McCain acts as if a great military strategy has been carried out when, it fact, more has happened beyond what the U.S. did. The Sunni leaders decided to kick Al Qaeda out of their country. We helped, but it was their idea. It has been called the “Awakening.” This started before our Surge. Without the cooperation of Sunni tribal leaders we would still be in deep doo-doo. Yes, the Surge worked to control violence in Baghdad but it has also separated neighborhoods. As we barricaded off Sunnis and Shittes, we caused people to be forced out of their homes.
This is not mentioned by McCain at all. McCain would never mention that a group of Sunni leaders that supported the Awakening were recently blown up. The picture that John McCain paints– that America has kicked ass and taken names under the great leadership of General David Petraeus– is overly simplistic and only partially true.