I don’t need to go to Iraq to understand that Kurds, Sunnis and Shia don’t like sharing the region. Just as you don’t have to go to Watts in Los Angles to know that it is an extremely dangerous neighborhood. I also don’t need to go to Iraq to understand that it was a mistake to invade that country in the first place. So, I really don’t follow Senator John McCain’s reasoning.
Now, given Maliki’s stated position that the Iraqi government is to have U.S. troops out of their country by 2010, McCain is stuck again. McCain has only a couple of positions as I see it.
From Huffington Post: “Prime Minister Maliki is the leader of a country and I’m confident he will act as the President and the Foreign Minister both told me in the last several days,” said the presumptive Republican nominee. “It will be directly related to the situation on the ground — just as they have always said. And since we are succeeding, I am convinced, as I have said before, we will withdraw with honor, not according to a set timetable.”
1) He states that the Iraqis really don’t know what’s going on. Rather, the U.S., like a protective mother, knows best. I just don’t see this going over with anybody.
2) McCain will try and play this will a little body-English saying that we want to withdraw as soon as possible. We agree that the end of 2010 is a goal if conditions on the ground support that goal.
3) He can pressure Admiral Mullen and General David Petraeus to say that conditions on the ground have improved enough to put a complete and total withdraw by the end of 2010.
Actually, all three of those positions are very lame but that is the best that McCain can do. He has painted himself into this corner. It is hard to see any easy way out.
Watch John McCain struggle through this interview on Iraq policy.