November 10, 2005


McCain calls for 10,000 extra troops for Iraq (Caroline Daniel and Guy Dinmore, November 10, 2005, Financial Times)

Senator John McCain on Thursday called for an immediate increase of 10,000 troops in Iraq, and said the “stakes are higher than they were in Vietnam” for US foreign policy.

It's a speech that shows why Mr. McCain might be such a dangerous president, his strategic blindness. Saigon fell in 1975--we'd won the Cold War by the end of the next decade. Other than the all important lives of the Vietnamese people, the stakes in Vietnam were quite minimal, just as they are in Iraq. It's a single battle in an already decades, if not centuries, long war and while it's not possible to lose there, even were we to do so it would not matter in the longer term. Islamicism is just the latest in a string of rival notions to liberal democracy and it's no more functional than the others were, likely less.

Meanwhile, Vietnam was won by Vietnamization, just as Iraq will be won by Iraqification, not more US troops. The Senator sounds like Westmoreland, but we need Abrams.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 10, 2005 9:25 PM

"Senator, many of your prize policies and themes seem to be driven by a very personal and yet awkward amelioration of your past experiences; why should the voters in any Republican primary follow that same awkward path to nominate you?".

Posted by: ratbert at November 10, 2005 9:40 PM

Because he'll win the general election handily enough to carry in other candidates.

Posted by: oj at November 10, 2005 9:48 PM

How will the outcome be materially different by the presence of 10,000 more troops? What extra can 170,000 achieve that 160,000 cannot?

I am so sick of these posturing morons. The idiocy is the same as that of some bolgs and commentators hankering about budget cuts of $30-50 bn over six years. How is the material well-being of the US economy affected by these meaningless budget cuts whe we will be adding over $1 trillion in entitlement and defense spending in he same period? Why do people keep making these ineffectual gestures?

Posted by: sam at November 10, 2005 10:08 PM

He won't run. If he ran, he would not be nominated; if nominated, he won't be elected. He has no base in the party and, in the country, his only base is the mainstream press that is trusted by neither left nor right. You're his biggest fan, and you think he's having a slow-motion nervous breakdown.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 10, 2005 10:11 PM

"Except for the lives of the Vietnamese people..."

-That line is hilarious. Why did we go to war in Vietnam?

Why are we in Iraq? I want a simple answer from everyone, if possible. Please.

Posted by: Jarhead at November 10, 2005 10:43 PM

David: I don't know if he is going to run or not. I do know that I cannot support him. I have not forgiven him for CFR. I think his proposal to make mistreating pows a violation of US law, is a horendous mistake.

This business about 10,000 more soldiers is a stunt. The Pentagon has varied the numbers in theater up and down by far more than that number over the past couple of years. In the run up to the December election in Iraq, they will increase the number of troops. By spring, the number should be way down and decrease pretty steadily for the next year. I think we will have a garison there of 50-70,000 for some time to come. But the war will be entering its last phase by spring, and will for US troops, be over by fall.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 10, 2005 11:09 PM

A simple answer from everyone? That's not possible.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 10, 2005 11:16 PM

Someone please tell the Senator that we've already won in Iraq.

The decisive battle was fought last January at the polling booth.

Since then we've been getting more and more Iraqi troops and police into theater.

Our military is needed to mop up in western Iraq -- which is what we've been doing for the last few months (see Bill Roggio's reporting.)

It's over.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 11, 2005 1:35 AM



It's much more comples than the Left's childish "seize the oil" version of petropolitics, but nonetheless oil is the only remaining reason why anyone cares about the non-Mediterranean Middle East, or the slow learners who live there.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at November 11, 2005 2:54 AM


I'm not a fan, I just recognize that he's our next president.

Posted by: oj at November 11, 2005 7:06 AM


Because we believe in liberal democracy and Communists and Ba'athists don't. All of our wars are about defending and extending liberal democracy.

Posted by: oj at November 11, 2005 7:26 AM


Because they are their gestures. It's about the self.

Posted by: oj at November 11, 2005 8:26 AM

If God forbid you're right and McCain is the next president (note to all, I'm typing while making a cross with the index fingers of two hands to ward off evil), we'll get to send you all the books that are otherwise cluttering up our bunkers.

Posted by: erp at November 11, 2005 12:13 PM