McCain said arguably the dumbest thing a politician has said all year (don't click the link, I'll copy excerpts over...it's a link to the chief cheesehead of right wing bloggers, the self-inflatable Cap'n Ed Morrison):
I took part in a blogger conference on my lunchbreak today with Senator John McCain on the topic of Iraq. McCain, who gave a speech on Iraq at the Virginia Military Institute earlier today, wanted to reach out to New Media sources for his perspective on the progress of the war, the critical nature of our effort there, and the need to persevere until we succeed.[...]OK, a couple of observations here....
I asked the Senator whether Moqtada al-Sadr's new orders for the Mahdi Army to attack American forces could cause a collapse of the Maliki government. McCain thinks Sadr is mostly bluffing; he waited too long and has not made a personal appearance for too long, and a defeat at the hands of the American and Iraqi forces would finish him. Joking that he was "digging for the pony here," he predicted that Sadr would back down as he has in the past rather than take that big of a gamble.
We will know within a few months whether the surge will succeed, McCain told us. By that time, we can see whether Maliki has the political strength and will to make the necessary adjustments. If the US cannot succeed in Iraq, McCain believes that David Petraeus has the strength of character to tell that to the President and then to the American people. Petraeus believes we can prevail, McCain told us, and that we must.
First, Cap'n Cheetos, when your "lunchbreak" lasts eight hours and includes mass quantities of alcohol, I think you really ought to reclassify it as a "job." And you might ponder applying to the NEA for a grant as performance artist.
Second, the most remarkable part of this amazing mess of a "briefing" is that the White Ring bloggers didn't point out a very glaring little piece of reality: April 12 was the day of this circle jerk-off. Here's what happened on April 11:
Najaf - Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'as burned and trampled on US flags in the holy city of Najaf on Monday at an anti-American rally called by firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein.Now, that doesn't sound like much of a "backing down." If anything, it sounds like a rally one might hold in advance of the return of one's leader, a saviour or messiah perhaps.
Large crowds of men, women and children holding Iraqi flags and anti-US banners massed in Najaf and the nearby city of Kufa to protest against what they said was an American occupation of Iraq.
The rally is seen as a show of strength for the cleric who has not been seen for more than two months, since the launch of a security crackdown in Baghdad aimed largely at reining in his militiamen accused of killing Sunni Arabs.
All that was missing were the palm fronds from the Shi'a.
It's true, al-Sadr left Baghdad in advance of the surge. After all, who's to know if President Dumbya really, really meant it this time? He's failed so many times before in his "progress in Iraq" attempts. Al Sadr probably figured, correctly, that like so many things in BizarroBushWorld, it would have the opposite effect: "Me send more troops in, help make fight bigger!"
Who wants to hang around a town where hundreds were already dying each week, and things looked like they could get worse? He might get hit with, you know, body parts, and unless you're a cast member of CSI, you sort of want to stay away from that sort of debacle.
And in truth, despite an initial adjustment period by the insurgents, things look to be getting worse in Baghdad. Already, some of the allegedly safest buildings in Iraq are being bombed again., and the insurgency seems to be spreading its terror to outlying cities like Karbala.
Ironically, making Bush's surge bigger. And I mean that in a totally nonsexual way, get your mind out of the gutter.
As with so many things this President has said, there's not only been a backlash that has played into his hands, but also a deepening anxiety across this country that, in fact, he's never intended for anything but a permanent military presence in that country (feel free to spout conspiracy theories long held in comments). And truthfully, many of his moves have been questionable for someone who's stated goal was to
Moqtada Al Sadr, make no mistake about it, didn't run from the surge so much as run from the distinct possibility that he might get killed accidentally in the crossfire (or not so accidentally). My suspicion is that Al Sadr has been in talks with Ayatollah Al Sistani about getting religious cover for a renewed and up front assault on the coalitin forces occupying his country. Clearly the negotiations we heard about weeks ago between the US and insurgents has broken down.
It's going to get really ugly this summer.
Oh...the "dig for the pony" note...Apparently, that other "cut and run" Republican, Ronald Reagan, once joked that he had to shovel so much shit, he kept digging because there "must be a pony in there."
Yea. That ought to inform you of the kind of people we're dealing with here. They revel in their stupidities...and you'll note McCain's rather cynical view of his past denialist lunacies when it comes to supporting this war.