That I was wrong, and John McCain was right, on an issue that I cared and thought a lot about is a driving force behind my endorsement of the Senator. While I was calling for withdrawal and criticizing the surge for slowing the ethnic cleansing that would be needed if Iraq was to cleanly fracture into three sovereign states, Senator McCain, Secretary Gates, and General Petreaus used better knowledge and better opinions than mine to craft our current Iraq strategy.
As success after success mount for the Surge, men like Muqtada al Sadr who once looked like the future are now justly seen as has-beens: marginal figures who will try their best, but seem to have little real influence or power. Indeed, the Surge has been so successful that it is replicating its success, as the Iraqi Government’s Mini-Me Surge in Basra, which met with similar opposition, is seeing similar success.
I was wrong on the Surge. So was Barack Obama. I admit that. Obama’s camp denies it. That’s typical. McCain supporters
(such as myself) can now crow about the wisdom & foresightedness of their candidate on one of the most pressing issues of the day. Obama supporters instead are reduced to Iraqi gotchas, of the “I was conceived by Red Army soldiers liberated Auschwitz under sniper fire” variety.
It will be interesting to see who wins in November. Both candidates have pluses (presuming that the Democratic Party gives the nomination to Barack Obama, and not popular-vote-winner Hillary Clinton. Still, as I vote on such provincial matters as having the correct beliefs, making the right sacrifices, and supporting wise policies when it mattered, I will be voting for John McCain.