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Thursday, March 20, 2008

On foreign policy, McCain not able

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo hits the nail on the head in this assessment of McCain, the surge, and to some extent, Hillary:

The 'Surge' is working? Try reading Fareed Zakaria's new column [Newsweek online] on just how poorly things are going on the ground. McCain's opponents may seize on what may possibly be the beginning of an uptick in violence in the country. But that's really secondary to the real issue which is that the strategic aim of the surge has failed. It's fastened us down even more firmly in Iraq whereas the aim was to jumpstart a political process in the country that would allow us to begin to disengage.

These points are completely lost on McCain. A savvy campaign should be able to make McCain's failure to understand the surge's failure into a potent political issue.

This is why Clinton laudatory statements about John McCain as potential commander-in-chief amounted to such folly. McCain was a Navy fighter pilot. Everything suggests he's incredibly weak on foreign policy. He doesn't get strategy, doesn't get the big picture of what's going on in the world. At the simplest level he can't grasp why it's not in the United States' interest to stay in Iraq for decades. The monetary costs, the inattention to the growth of other regional powers -- all lost on him.

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