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Senator McCain, Meet General Casey
By Larry Johnson
Want further proof that John McCain is living in an alternate universe when it comes to Iraq? Check out this exchange on Iraq in tonight’s debate:
Did you catch McCain’s key quip? “I know of no military leader, including General Petraeus, who says we can’t sustain our effort in Iraq.” Oh really?
Well, maybe Senator McCain was taking a nap last month, but Army Chief of Staff, General Casey disagrees. The Christian Science Monitor’s Gordon Lubold reported the following last Christmas Eve:
“We’re deploying at unsustainable rates,” General Casey said three weeks ago during remarks to an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington. The Army agreed to a buildup of troops a year ago with the understanding that it was temporary, he said. “We can’t sustain that. We have to come off of that, and we’re working that very hard.”
In fact, Casey is not alone. Lubold also wrote:
While there is reasonable consensus that a significant drawdown must occur to relieve the Army – from Gates to Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the service chiefs and many combatant commanders – Petraeus may not see things the same way. An expert in counterinsurgency, Petraeus believes such campaigns can last a decade or more if done right. While he is mindful of the strains on the force, he is considered to be more focused on maintaining the security momentum there, analysts say.
So what did media stars Tim Russert and Brian Williams do? Nothing. They did a fair impression of a bobble head doll. Each happily nodding along as McCain spun his fantasy. Not one person tonight dared challenge John McCain on this point–something that was demonstrably false–even in the post-debate wrap up. Although McCain was a brave Navy pilot, it is equally clear he is now an addled old man who lacks the mental acuity to be a competent President. But with our “crack” TV media stars on patrol, they’ll just humor him and let him skate until he actually gets the job and can do some real damage. And at that point the joke will be on us. Thank God (irony intended) for the Christian Science Monitor. Too bad more folks don’t read it. Perhaps McCain might like a subscription.