Thursday, January 31, 2013
Sen. McCain is Pimping the Surge at the Hagel Hearing
McCain comes off like such a pissybritches, here, and I think does a real disservice to a conversation we're overdue in having and that these two veterans could have actually had if McCain didn't want to distill it down to a "yes or no" question. They do have a difference of opinion, as McCain allows, regarding the whole necessity of war, let alone the strategy of it; but he is just being simplistic by wanting to attribute all the success (for a value of success that doesn't equal "all hell breaking loose") of the surge to Petreaus. Me--I've been a long-term surge skeptic myself, and to the extent that McCain can make the claim that history has already decided--
Well, history has already happened. We can't undo the surge or know how the war in Iraq would have necessarily proceeded without the surge--for certain. History happened another way. We can't undo the Afghanistan surge, either. What we can do is question what the goals of the surge strategy was in those respective theaters, and what was accomplished versus what was lost in reality against what our expectation could have been if played out another way.
I don't think Sen. McCain allowed for that level of introspection, although I do think Hagel had thought his position through. It's just very hard to articulate that kind of thought when given a question that is so limited, and with the attitude of a foregone conclusion. My thinking is that Hagel's attitude toward war would be less costly in human lives and treasure than McCain's "bomb bomb Iran (okay, everybody)" p.o.v. But I know I don't think McCain is credible on foreign policy matters anymore, period. I extend more credit to Hagel on the basis of not having been proved wrong a lot. I might not be wholly invested in Hagel's confirmation, but I think it is interesting that we are seeing another hearing where the hardcore GOP questioners kind of are making themselves look a bit like contrary assholes.