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September 06, 2007

No Surrender!

At last night's debate, McCain unveiled his next strategy for winning the Republican nomination. No longer will he be the straight-talking independent, no longer will he be the careful, critical hawk. Instead: Lying:

McCain was ready and eager to stress his muscular position in favor of the "surge" in Iraq, and he had plenty of opportunity to do so. The key moment came after Romney said the surge was "apparently working," and McCain challenged him. "No, not apparently, it's working," McCain responded sharply.

Romney, the ex-governor of Massachusetts, said he wants to wait to hear from General David Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq who will testify before Congress next week, before rendering a less equivocal verdict. McCain took exception to that, too. There's no reason to wait, he indicated. The success of the surge--involving more troops and a new counterinsurgency strategy--"is more than apparent. It's working."

That, of course, isn't true. Its primary objective -- political reconciliation -- has failed to the point that we're thinking of jettisoning the whole Maliki government. It may have increased security in certain regions, but different government agencies disagree on whether that's true. It certainly hasn't stopped the violence, and there's no reason to think any downtick -- if indeed one exists -- will survive after the surge ends.

So yeah, pack of lies. According to Fred Barnes, though, this "helped" McCain, and Romney's whispered caution harmed Romney. Which is why McCain is calling his latest political swing the "no surrender" tour. His campaign may not surrender, but even McCain has to know this pandering is humiliating.

September 6, 2007 | Permalink


Not one mention about the GAO report about the progress in Iraq during the Republican debate. The report is titled *Securing, Stabilizing and Rebuilding Iraq*. Considering it was big news yesterday, on the same day as the debate one would think it hard to ignore. Yet several candidates said it looks like the surge was working. Not only did the candidates not mention the GAO report, Fox News, the host/moderator of the debate failed to bring up the report. This GAO report is *the real deal*. This isn't a partisan report by some Washington think tank like The Brookings or Heritage. On a lighter note, FOX News' Carl Cameron is a lock for the best actor in *corporate media*. The guy was great last night in the NH restaurant. Theater at its political best.


Posted by: Dion | Sep 6, 2007 10:07:16 AM

Fred Barnes was wrong about Iraq from the beginning. The surge has become the intelligent design of the war, fueled on belief and wishes, totally at odds with the facts. Fred Barnes' World.

Posted by: Mudge | Sep 6, 2007 10:46:31 AM

I watched the debate and lies notwithstanding, McCain did well. I smell the beginning of a resurgence. Thomspon doesn't live up to the hype, Rudy's fondess for homosexuals undoes him, Romney is still a flipflopping man with a "fake" religion...into the vaccuum steps the Saint, and you know the media will LOVE the story.

Posted by: david mizner | Sep 6, 2007 10:53:28 AM

Well Romney is actually in a good enough position to choose to not completely discredit himself for the general.

Posted by: Jack | Sep 6, 2007 11:40:30 AM

At this point it is clear that the only principle animating McCain is the lust for power. Such a sorry display.

Posted by: mpowell | Sep 6, 2007 12:32:46 PM

Don't forget that there is only one guy staking out a "get out of Iraq" position on the Republican side. What will his numbers look like as the Iraqi government continues to implode and the vote on Kirkuk gets closer amid increasing violence?

Posted by: Th | Sep 6, 2007 3:27:50 PM

Pure whimsy. Any progress in al-Anbar province is due to us arming the Sunni insurgents, not because of the damn "surge". Which, by the way, will no doubt come back to bite us, as it has throughout history. Also, no one besides Joshua Micah Marshall has pointed out the hideous irony around the fact that the U.S. is now arming former Saddam loyalists.

Also, if I am not mistaken, the bulk of the additional soldiers went into Baghdad, not al-Anbar. McCain is a cancer-riddled, geriatric old fool.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator | Sep 6, 2007 5:08:16 PM

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