You tell ’em, John
: John McCain talks truth on Iraq in Sunday’s Washington Post:
Iraq is not Vietnam. There is no popular, anti-colonial insurgency in Iraq. Our opponents, who number only in the thousands in a country of 23 million, are despised by the vast majority of Iraqis. The Iraqi insurgents do not enjoy the kind of sanctuary North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos provided. They do not have a superpower patron. These murderers cannot carry the banner of Iraqi nationalism, as Ho Chi Minh did in Vietnam for decades.
But if we are to avoid a debate over who “lost” Iraq, as we debated who lost Vietnam a generation ago, we must act urgently to transform our early military success into lasting political victory….
The United States will fail in Iraq if our adversaries believe they can outlast us….
Politics at home has handicapped our progress. Today some Democrats who supported the war in Iraq oppose spending the money required to win the peace. Others blindly criticize the administration without proposing an alternative policy that preserves U.S. interests.
With the exception of Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt, who are committed to victory in Iraq, it is unclear what the other Democratic presidential candidates would do differently to ensure an American victory — or how they would handle the consequences of the early American withdrawal some advocate. Howard Dean has expressed ambiguity about the justness of our cause in Iraq. I hope he will learn that partisan anger is no substitute for moral clarity.
Read the rest.