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Monday, November 13, 2006


John McCain's Vietnam syndrome

There's one "Vietnam syndrome" which affects the American people - the lack of desire to see thousands of their fellow American die in vain. There's another one which affects politicians like John McCain (not to mention conservative pundits like Bill Kristol) - the desire not to blamed for a lost war. That's my explanation for people like McCain and Kristol still beating the drums for more troops to be sent to Iraq to "solve the problem" or achieve "victory."

Here's McCain on Meet the Press:

I believe that there are a lot of things that we can do to salvage this, but they all require the presence of additional troops.

Now, if you want to, to give up on, on Iraq, then fine, and take the consequences. I think there will be chaos in the region. But we need to control the—this insurgency, we need to embed people with the police and the military, we need to clear and hold—and “hold” is the important part—so we can expand areas of security. There’s a lot of things that we can and must do. But if we don’t want to do that, fine, but that is a decision that I think will have profound consequences. I’m not prepared to go to an American family and tell them, “Well, you know, we’ll—you just stay there for a while and we’ll delay this withdrawal and defeat for a year or two,” I’m not prepared to tell them that. I’m prepared to tell them that if we have the will to win, we will do what’s necessary to win. But I’m not interested in seeing a scene of the American Embassy on the, the roof of the American embassy in Saigon multiplied a thousandfold.
John McCain knows very well, particularly after the recent election which is being universally interpreted as a repudiation of the war, that there is no chance that more troops are going to be sent to Iraq. Zero. There's only one reason he's calling for it. So when Iraq is "lost," McCain can run for President pompously claiming he's not to blame, and if only his advice had been followed, none of this would have happened.

As for the helicopters on the roof, I say, "Bring 'em on!"

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