John McCain’s Crystal Ball

[Thus spoke the foreign policy expert of the U.S. Senate]

Yes, let’s trust the “foreign policy expert” of the U.S. Senate that all will be rosy in Iraq in 2013 after 4 years of his presidency, according to his look through the crystal ball. Sounds like a good idea to me.

This week McCain stated, “By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom. The Iraq War has been won, Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension.”

McCain’s followers actually think that his war-hero status, his great American story, make him so uniquely qualified for the presidency that things will magically fall into place in Iraq under his leadership even when he enthusiastically embraces the same failed policies as Bush before him. How exactly does that work?

This from the man who doesn’t know the difference between Sunni and Shiite, and had to be corrected by Joseph Lieberman when he publicly stated on visit in Jordan that (Sunni) Al Qaeda operatives were going into (Shiite) Iran for training and then being sent back to the field to fight U.S. troops, when in reality Sunni Al Qaeda extremists and the Shiite groups are fighting on opposites sides of the Iraq war. Then he tried to play it off as a gaffe instead of ignorance, before repeating his mistake again in a radio interview with right-wing talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

The truth is, of course, nobody who knows better would make such a mistake. Not once, certainly not twice. Were it not for Lieberman to whisper in his ear, McCain wouldn’t have even known it was a mistake. So we’re going to trust this guy as the great oracle of Iraq’s future?

There’s a great article from Salon.com detailing how John McCain has repeatedly used his Vietnam credentials to justify — or oppose any foreign policy venture under the sun. But the grand irony is pointed out on the third page of the Salon article:

“Unlike all previous military engagements during McCain’s tenure as a politician, the Iraq war resembles in length and expenditure the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and thus would seem to provide the clearest parallel for applying the lessons of the earlier conflict. In fact, McCain has applied some lessons to Iraq that seem to conflict with earlier statements about Vietnam. He had previously said, in connection with Somalia, that staying in a war because chaos would ensue on American departure was not a good reason to stay. Last Tuesday, he said the U.S. needed to stay in Iraq because chaos would ensue if we left, as we learned in Vietnam.”

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