From Fox News Sunday by way of Team McCain, a succinct reply to Obama triumphalists. His point at the end about Afghanistan is also well taken, although Hitchens’s formulation from last week is more elegant:
If it is true, as yesterday’s three-decker front-page headline in the New York Times had it, that “U.S. Considering Stepping Up Pace of Iraq Pullout/ Fall in Violence Cited/ More Troops Could Be Freed for Operations in Afghanistan,” then this can only be because al-Qaida in Iraq has been subjected to a battlefield defeat at our hands—a military defeat accompanied by a political humiliation in which its fanatics have been angrily repudiated by the very people they falsely claimed to be fighting for. If we had left Iraq according to the timetable of the anti-war movement, the situation would be the precise reverse: The Iraqi people would now be excruciatingly tyrannized by the gloating sadists of al-Qaida, who could further boast of having inflicted a battlefield defeat on the United States. I dare say the word of that would have spread to Afghanistan fast enough and, indeed, to other places where the enemy operates. Bear this in mind next time you hear any easy talk about “the hunt for the real enemy” or any loose babble that suggests that we can only confront our foes in one place at a time.
That first sentence was echoed by Maliki himself in the Spiegel interview but, curiously enough, most of the U.S. media’s coverage of the story glossed over it. As for Afghanistan, Obama told CBS this morning that the situation there is grave enough that we can’t wait for the next president to take office before doing something about it. See this post at the Nation for an example of which way leftist sentiment is trending on what that “something” should be. Exit quotation: “[E]ven though the cover of the latest edition of Time magazine refers to the fight in Afghanistan as ‘The Right War,’ and even though Obama seems to have bought into this particularly dangerous variation Washington-insider spin, there is nothing right or smart about deepening the US troop commitment in a country that has a long history of thwarting the best-laid plans of great military powers.”