Commentary Magazine


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A One-Man Army

It’s hard to imagine a more warped and callous statement about the Iraq War than this one made by Senator Charles Schumer, when asked whether he would support a troop surge in Afghanistan:

Yes. The bottom line is I think Obama’s trip was brilliant. Not in the short term, but in the long term, because it’s changed the whole debate. And the whole debate now is focused on Afghanistan more than on Iraq.

So: It’s not the U.S. troops who gave everything so that Iraq has a chance at a stable, viable future. It’s not the Iraqis who fought alongside coalition forces and drove al Qaeda, and Shi’ite militias out of their own country. It’s not David Petraeus who stepped into a nightmare and turned it, against all odds, into a triumph. None of those parties’ accomplishments allowed us to take some focus off Iraq and consider Afghanistan with a renewed sense of purpose. It was the Democratic nominee’s “brilliant” traveling media circus (only undertaken after being criticized by John McCain) in the Middle East that’s shifted the focus of America’s fight from Iraq to Afghanistan.

That’s good to know. This way if things flare up there once more, Obama can just make “brilliant” return trip and switch the focus all over again.