Here is John McCain on the Iraq War Surge (interview with CBS’s Katie Couric):
Couric: Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that? McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is as– such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn’t make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.
They were out there. They were protecting these sheiks. We had the Anbar awakening. We now have a government that’s effective. We have a legal system that’s working, although poorly. And we have progress on all fronts. Including– an incredible measure of security for the people of Iraq. There will still be attacks. Al Qaeda’s not defeated. But the progress has been immense. And to not recognize that, and why it happened, and how it happened, I think is– is really quite a commentary.
Couric: A commentary on what?
McCain: That Senator Obama does not understand the challenges we face. And … not understand the need for the surge. And– and the fact that he did not understand that, and still denies that it has succeeded, I think the American people will make their judgment. And I think that they will agree with me, that at enormous sacrifice, after four years, nearly four years of failed strategy, we have succeeded. And our troops will come home with honor. And we won’t be defeated. And there won’t be chaos in the region. There won’t be increased Iranian influence in the region. And it will have a bearing on what happens in Afghanistan, as well as the entire region of the world. And I’m proud of what they’ve done. And to deny their success– I think is a fundamental misunderstanding of what happened. The American people will make a judgment.
Couric: But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops … help the situation in Iraq?
Obama: Katie, as â€¦ you’ve asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There’s no doubt.
Couric: But yet you’re saying â€¦ given what you know now, you still wouldn’t support it â€¦ so I’m just trying to understand this.
Obama: Because â€¦ it’s pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that’s money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan so that we were reducing our demand on oil, which is helping to fund the insurgents in many countries. So those are all factors that would be taken into consideration in my decision– to deal with a specific tactic or strategy inside of Iraq.
Couric: And I really don’t mean to belabor this, Senator, because I’m really, I’m trying â€¦ to figure out your position. Do you think the level of security in Iraq â€¦
Couric â€¦ would exist today without the surge?
Obama: Katie, I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there’s no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq. I said that– not just today, not just yesterday, but I’ve said that– previously. What that doesn’t change is that we’ve got to have a different strategic approach if we’re going to make America as safe as possible.
Flap continues to be amazed that this “ROOKIE” will be allowed to triangulate or fail to make a position statement on “THE SURGE.”
Suppose it comes from Obama’s days when he was allowed to vote PRESENT in the Illinois Legislature.
Damn Obama. Man up and take a position. Take a stand.
Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, Iraq War