Saturday, July 26, 2008
Senator John McCain, in an interview conducted by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, called the 16-month timetable "pretty good" as long as it was based "on conditions on the ground."
McCain denied that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki would ask the U.S. to withdraw in the next 16 months, before giving his qualified approval of the withdrawal plan.
Not only is this plan Barack Obama's, but Obama offered the same qualifications regarding conditions on the ground! In his New York Times essay "My Plan for Iraq" (7/14/08), Obama wrote, "In carrying out this strategy, we would inevitably have to make tactical adjustments. As I have often said, I would consult with commanders on the ground and the Iraqi government to ensure that our troops were deployed safely, and our interests protected."
In effect, the same John McCain who spoke out against Barack Obama for setting timetables has now embraced his Democratic rival's proposal. This is a major concession, especially from a candidate who constantly touts his foreign policy and military experience and sought to draw a firm contrast between his stance on Iraq and Obama's. Couldn't one even call this a collapse of the most important foreign policy position of McCain's candidacy?
Let's not forget that this is also the same John McCain who made the outrageous comment that Barack Obama "would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign," questioning Obama's patriotism and his concern for the troops. Does McCain, as he moves closer to Obama's position, now question his own patriotism?