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May 28, 2008
Obama Rejects McCain's Joint Iraq Trip Suggestion
Is it that he doesn't want to know what's really going on? Or does Barack Obama feel no good purpose could be served by a joint visit to Iraq with John McCain?
Allah at Hot Air thinks McCain's offer was a ploy of some kind and that Obama only shows himself something of a coward by not at least talking about the idea:
If they're worried about the military giving them a dog-and-pony show, the answer isn't to decline the trip but to counterpropose a more comprehensive trip than even McCain's suggesting and turn it into a real fact-finding mission. Don't spend two hours looking at charts with Petraeus. Take four or five days; go to Basra and Mosul. If they simply can't suspend campaigning for that long, send a joint team of advisors from both sides. He won't do it because he's afraid of what he might hear, which goes back to a point I've been making ever since the Jamil Hussein saga: The left would have you believe Iraq hawks can't admit that any aspect of the war might be going badly, but the opposite has always been more nearly true. For purposes of the Narrative, it's doves who can't admit that any aspect of the war might be going better, as if to acknowledge that the surge has helped to improve security or that the Iraqi army is performing better than expected lately or that plenty of Shiites are tired of Sadr's crap would be to validate neoconservatism or somehow tacitly rubber-stamp an invasion of Iran. So how about it, Barry? Break the mold. I'm sure there'll be plenty of grim news in the briefings too to help take the sting out of the reports of progress.It remains to be seen whether the left and the press can keep up this denial of progress - painfully slow and uncertain though it is - until the election. This may especially be true if General Petreaus gets his way and is able to slash troop strength significantly in September as he currently believes.
But even if the Democrats are forced to acknowledge the progress being made in Iraq, it is unlikely to have much impact on Republican fortunes at the polls. The GOP is now in the horrible position of not getting credit for progress made but being given the blame for anything that goes wrong. If that sounds terribly unfair you are correct. But with the economy replacing Iraq as the #1 issue important to voters, it just doesn't track that any really good news from the battlefield will help McCain and the GOP that much.