John McCain invited Barack Obama to go with him on a trip to Iraq; Obama’s spokesman, Bill Burton, responded dismissively:
John McCain’s proposal is nothing more than a political stunt, and we don’t need any more ‘Mission Accomplished’ banners or walks through Baghdad markets to know that Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the stated purpose of the surge. The American people don’t want any more false promises of progress, they deserve a real debate about a war that has overstretched our military, and cost us thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars without making us safer.
Jim Geraghty notes that Obama has been to Iraq once, for two days in 2006. Geraghty makes the legitimate point that Obama seems to be willing to meet with just about anyone in the world except our generals in Iraq:
And isn’t Obama vulnerable to the argument that a man who’s pledged to meet unconditionally, one-on-one, face-to-face with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad really ought to meet at least once one-on-one with Gen. David Petraeus?
Fair enough, but what is most striking to me is the unattractiveness of Obama’s reply to McCain. Burton sneeringly suggests that when McCain has gone to Iraq it was merely a “stunt,” not a legitimate effort to understand conditions on the ground. And Burton displays the combination of arrogance and ignorance that is the trademark of the Obama campaign, declaring, as an article of faith and contrary to the facts, that the Iraqis are making no political progress. Burton’s retort is a naked expression of the blind faith in defeat that has become one of the ugliest features of contemporary liberalism.
PAUL adds: McCain should raise this matter with Obama directly when they debate, and hope that Obama delivers an answer similar to Burton’s.
The question of visiting Iraq won’t go away if Obama is elected, either; in fact it will become more acute. If Obama hopes to retain respect from our armed forces and their leaders, he will have to visit Iraq before he abandons the country. But, depending on the situation in Iraq and what Obama learns on a visit, he could lose this respect if he abandons the country following a visit.
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