Wednesday, July 23, 2008
(10:54 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
A Note to Right-Wing and Centrist PunditsThe surge didn't work. The majority of positive effects associated with the surge were underway well before the surge was even thought of. And even the fantasy version of the surge (including everything good that happened six months before the surge) didn't achieve the stated goal: stabilizing the security situation in order to make room for political reconciliation.
McCain was not right about the surge. Obama's opposition to the surge was not a case of dogmatic opposition to the war blinding him to a brilliant idea. The surge was a failure on its own terms, even though it improved security somewhat around Baghdad. Similarly, the Iraq War was a collosal clusterfuck even though it succeeded in removing Saddam Hussein from office. It's strange, I know -- something can fail while still creating positive effects.
I'm pretty sure that hanging the entire rationale for your candidacy on one of the few policies in Iraq to arguably have some positive effects despite its overall failure is a bad strategy. Perhaps McCain will manage to persuade some people who are currently undecided, though, meaning that his strategy will have been successful, regardless of whether he achieves his stated goal of winning the election.