George Bush declared today that he has not a single regret over the invasion and occupation of Iraq despite there being, by any objective tally, plenty of mistakes made and plenty of regret to go around. But John McCain seems to be competing to show that he's just the McSame when it comes to willful ignorance and pig-headed intransigence about the facts surrounding the War on (Some) terror. Josh Marshall nails him down today and speaks for me when he says that McCain is "Unfit for Duty":
Let me follow up on this McCain gaffe in which he got confused and claimed that al Qaeda was getting trained and equipped by Iran before doing mischief in Iraq, before being corrected by his senate colleague Joe Lieberman.Josh notes McCain's willingness to continue Dubya's failed policies of spending money like a drunken sailor, fuelling the deficit at a time of recession, and his myopic concentration on short-term military solutions to long-term complex problems. Let's call it the Bigger Hammer Doctrine. He ends with:
Let's start by stipulating that if Barack Obama had had this slip up it would be everywhere on the news for the next week. Pretty much the same if it had been Hillary Clinton.
But this is really just the tip of the iceberg with McCain. In almost every discussion of foreign policy, not just today but in previous years, what stands out is McCain's inability to see beyond the immediate issues of military tactics to any firm grasp of strategy or America's real vital interests. His free willingness to commit to a decades long occupation of Iraq is an example, his push for ground troops to be introduced during the Kosovo War is another. His refusal, almost inability, to grapple with the political failure of the surge is the most telling one if people will sift through its deeper implications.
The idea that fighting jihadists in Iraq or policing the country's sectarian and ethnic disputes is the calling of this century is one that is belied in virtually everything we see in flux in today's world and which seems certain to affect us through the rest of our lifetimes and our children's.
[McCain] record actually shows he's one of the most dangerous people we could have in the Oval Office in coming years -- not just because he's a hothead in using the military, but more because he seems genuinely clueless about the real challenges and dangers the country is facing. He's too busy living in the fantasy world where our future as a great power and our very safety are all bound up in Iraq.I wholeheartedly agree with Josh here - what America and a world in which America is the biggest kid on the block needs most is definitely NOT more short-termist paranoic banging of the military hammer.