Curt at Flopping Aces put up the following:
Excellent rundown by The Weekly Standard of the differences between Obama’s pre-surge strategy and McCain’s:It would be hard to design a better test for the job of commander in chief than the real-life test senators John McCain and Barack Obama have undergone in the last two years. As the situation in Iraq deteriorated during 2006 and the war reached its most critical moment, both senators served on national security committees: McCain on Armed Services, Obama on Foreign Relations. From those positions, with access to classified situation reports as well as the public testimony and private advice of those who knew the situation in Iraq best, each man reached an understanding of the facts on the ground and the interests at stake. And each proposed a strategy. It was as close as a presidential candidate could get to showing how he would respond to a national security crisis without already being in the White House.McCain predicted that the violence would spike once the surge started but would slowly abate and “pave the way for a political settlement.”
Both men’s proposals are a matter of public record, available on the Internet. McCain set forth his in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on January 5, 2007 (at an event marking the release of AEI’s “Choosing Victory,” which I wrote, outlining a strategy like the one Bush later ordered). Obama presented his in the “Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007 “ (S. 433), which he introduced in the Senate on January 30. We also know the strategy the president chose–the surge of forces he announced on January 10, very similar to what McCain described–and the outcome it has brought.
Obama’s ideas for the Iraq war?Obama’s legislation forbade the surge and ordered most U.S. troops out of Iraq by the spring of 2008. It said,We all know what happened. The surge succeeded, led to the “Anbar Awakening,” and totally decimated al-Qaeda in Iraq. This led to Maliki sending in Iraqi troops to clear Basra and Sadr City of Sadr thugs who had controlled the city for some time. Proving that Iraqi troops CAN get the job done. Which led to:The redeployment of the Armed Forces under this section shall be substantial, shall occur in a gradual manner, and shall be executed at a pace to achieve the goal of the complete redeployment of all United States combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, consistent with the expectation of the Iraq Study Group, if all the matters set forth in subsection (b)(1)(B) are not met by such date, subject to the exceptions for retention of forces for force protection, counter-terrorism operations, training of Iraqi forces, and other purposes as contemplated by subsection (g).In the media, Obama repeatedly predicted that the surge would fail. The day the president announced the new policy, Obama told Larry King he “did not see anything” in the president’s surge that would “make a significant dent in the sectarian violence.” The same day, he said on MSNBC,Once violence was under control, the Iraqis began to make serious political progress, as McCain had predicted. They passed almost all of the “benchmark” legislation that Obama’s bill would have required.And the kicker? What would have happened if Obama had gotten his way:There is no way to know for sure, but it seems likely that, facing less resistance, Al Qaeda in Iraq would have continued to gain strength, the fragile Iraqi Security Forces would have collapsed, as would the fragile Iraqi government, militias would have flourished–and the United States would have departed under fire, accepting a humiliating defeat in the war against al Qaeda that would have reverberated globally.Now the question is, reading that last sentence above, would the Obama supporters had cared about the end result? Or would they have thought it our just reward for voting in Bushitler?
…When American strategy in a critical theater was up for grabs, John McCain proposed a highly unpopular and risky path, which he accurately predicted could lead to success. Barack Obama proposed a popular and politically safe route that would have led to an unnecessary and debilitating American defeat at the hands of al Qaeda.
There is much I don’t like about McCain, the latest global warming crapola is a good case in point, but unfortunately in this election we are forced to vote against a candidate rather then for one. He is far too left on many issues but on the two most important ones, the War on Terror and nominating judges to the Supreme Court, he is heads and tails above Obama. Obama would have had us run out of Iraq with our tails between our legs and you can bank on the fact that he would nominate the most liberal judges to the Supreme Court.
We know McCain will handle the War on Terror better, as the editors at The Weekly Standard have so ably documented, and we can only guess about how he would handle Supreme Court nominations. He says he would nominate originalist judges. We can’t be sure he would but we KNOW Obama won’t.
So thats our choice. A somewhat liberal Republican or a Marxist who would see our national security decimated.
To the above, I would just add that as much as some people complain about how middle of the Iraq war was going (few complained about the beginning and few are complaining about the end) it could have been far worse. If the U.S. had been forced by Democrats to withdraw before the job was done the consequences for the United States and for innocent Iraqis could have been disastrous.
Imagine an Iraq were there really WAS a civil war between Sunni and Shiites with Al Queda butchering people who collaborated with the Americans on a vastly more bloody scale than anything we have previuosly seen.
And you can bet that if that nightmare scenario became reality the same people who daily demand acountability from President Bush would be scrambling to blame anyone else for the disaster they created.
Leadership requires that you do something more than govern on the basis of polls and fancy speeches. And McCain's example of leadership over the Iraq issue should be a clarion call to anyone who understands that a call for change should instead be a call for positive change, not disaster.