McCain major gaffes might be coming faster and faster to keep with with that legendary temper, Anbar Sheik Cited By McCain Was Assassinated Last Year
On Tuesday evening, McCain falsely claimed that the downturn in violence in Iraq’s Anbar province was a result of the surge, when in fact the surge began months afterward. Moreover, he said, if it weren’t for the work of U.S. forces, the major Sunni figure leading that awakening wouldn’t have had the protection he needed.
“Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks,” said the Senator. “Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening.”
The Arizona Republican’s campaign went further the next day, claiming that the major figures that turned around Anbar province would have been killed had the surge policy not been in place. “If Barack Obama had had his way, the Sheiks who started the Awakening would have been murdered at the hands of al Qaeda,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.
Sadly, that murder took place even with the surge underway. In September 2007, Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the sheik widely credited with persuading Sunni leaders to turn against al Qaeda in Iraq, died in a bomb attack in Anbar. His work, prior to then, was held as a major effort in transforming the province from one of Iraq’s deadliest areas into one of its safest.
A couple important dates. In August of 2006 the vast majority of the 31 tribes that resided in Anbar came together and created the the Anbar Salvation Front to band together to fight foreign fighters from several Middle-Eastern countries that were calling themselves al-Qaeda. In January 2007 Bush’s Surge begins – troop levels at 132,000. In September of 2007 according to the Whitehouse full “surge” levels were meet – number of U.S. troops at 168,000. McCain’s assertion is not a little flub of the day, but a major misrepresentation of fact. Worded in a way to create an impression much like the Bush administration used when they used words like “urgent” and “weapons of mass murder” to describe the “threat” from Iraq. Unless we’ve all been transported into an episode of Dr. Who it is incumbent on someone that wants to be the next commander-in-chief to realize that our time, or time in the reality based community is linear. Events can happen simultaneously or they can happen in succession, but events are not game pieces that can be picked up and moved around at random. A real leader would acknowledge that fact. McCain also seems to have Orwellian tendencies with words and meanings. Defining words to suit McCain’s surreal concept of time, Fun With Definitions: John McCain-style
The Arizona senator told reporters Wednesday afternoon that when he refers to the surge, it encompasses not just the January 2007 increase in troop levels but also the counter-insurgency that started in Iraq’s Al Anbar province months prior.
“A surge is really a counter-insurgency strategy, and it’s made up of a number of components,” McCain said. “This counter-insurgency was initiated to some degree by Colonel McFarland in Anbar province, relatively on his own.” (McCain)
It’s amazing that a guy whose entire campaign revolves around his supposed foreign policy expertise and his support for “the surge” specifically could manage to make himself look this foolish.
First, to state the obvious, the word “surge” is not a term of art with some agreed-upon military definition. It’s a political term that was coined to describe a plan to send more troops to Iraq.
Now McCain and his apologists are all over what the surge meant or means or will mean. As the Anonymous Liberal points out the term “surge” wasn’t even part of the military’s lexicon until the American Enterprise Institute and Bush invented it (a search of military terms at FAS turns up no listing for the word “surge”). The word could mean almost anything. One Conservative today has specially defined it as method of counter-terrorism. Convenient, but not supported by anything but the usual arrogant bluster. How did the Whitehouse define its own policy with the word they invented to describe it, from a July 2007 Whitehouse press briefing.
A surge, by definition, is temporary in nature. You don’t surge on a permanent basis. So the question is, will the surge be successful, and can we take that success and move on to the next stage.
Q Tony, what’s the definition of success of the surge? And what’s the next stage if the surge is not successful?
MR. FRATTO: The definition of success of the surge is that there is a sufficient amount of breathing space. And by that, we mean basic security and basic delivery of services in Iraq; that the political leadership can make the reforms that they need to make in order to move Iraq to a more functioning society.
If the surge was as McCain and his defenders are now claiming was a counter-terrorism tactic then the Whitehouse was only going to fight terrorism in Iraq temporarily. Defining the surge as an escalation of troops with the general goal of better policing seems like a more real world definition. Previous to that press briefing the Whitehouse described the surge like this, 7 July 7 2007,
The term “surge” has been used in relation to increasing U.S. troop levels, and an increase certainly will take place. But what is really going on, and what is going to take place, is a surge across all lines of operations — military and non-military, Iraqi and coalition. The President’s plan has Iraqis in the lead and seeks a better balance of U.S. military and non-military efforts than was the case in the past. We cannot succeed in Iraq without the important non-military elements Secretary Rice just mentioned.
The Iraqis feel, contrary to Senator McCain and his entourage of excuse makers that the military and “non-military elements” are far enough along that the U.S. should start making plans to leave. The Right claimed that we had to escalate troop levels to decrease violence. The causality count went up. Violence eventually went down because of several factors. The Right claims they were correct about the surge even though it made political reconciliation take longer and more difficult – a problem that still exists. Surge, no surge, what is a surge, Iraqis fighting and winning their own battles, time warps; none of it seems to matter. McCain and the Right’s answer to Iraq is always stay.
The independent group, VoteVets, will begin running a new television ad this week that features an Iraq war veteran who asserts that if elected, Senator John McCain “would occupy Iraq indefinitely,” against the wishes of the Iraqi people.
The veteran, Brandon Woods of New York, says in the ad: “What did we fight for in Iraq? I have some idea. I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom. And ‘freedom’ means when the Iraqi people and their Prime Minister ask us to make a plan to leave, we do.”
In a statement the chairman of VoteVets, Jon Soltz – also an Iraq war veteran – noted that Mr. McCain once said that the United States should pull troops out of Iraq if asked to do so by the Iraqis
Things have changed. McCain can’t win without the vote of those lizard brained dead enders who keep trying to define Iraq in terms of winning and losing as though it was the Invasion of Normandy.
The victim, a 66-year-old man, appeared somewhat incoherent, said the source who had seen the victim. The man appeared to have casts on his neck and back. The victim was X-rayed and a surgical team plans to evaluate him, the source said.
[ ]…”I see something of an older gentleman in the crosswalk get hit. The black Corvette convertible take a right turn onto the K Street service road; the pedestrian rolls off to the left and the car speeds away,” he said.
The alleged hit and run driver was that stalwart Conservative propagandist of the highest values and stellar morals one Bob Novak. When he’s not plating grab ass with the Bushies helping to expose the identity of CIA NOC agents he can be found speeding through cross walks in his black Corvette.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat! How I wonder what you’re at.- The Hatter, Alice in Wonderland