Like the unpopular and discredited President he seeks to replace, presumptive GOP Presidential nominee John McCain continues to ignore reality about Iraq while claiming progress in that civil-war torn country,
In a speech prepared for delivery today, McCain will claim victory in Iraq is at hand — an assertion disputed by just about every military expert who does not depend on George W. Bush for his livelihood.
The aging McCain, whose many gaffes about the war in Iraq proves a lack of knowledge that rivals his self-admitted ignorance on the economy and domestic issues, leaves in a delusional world of his own.
Republican John McCain insists last year’s U.S. troop buildup in Iraq brought a glimmer of “something approaching normal” there, despite a recent outbreak of heavy fighting and an American death toll that has surpassed 4,000.
“We are no longer staring into the abyss of defeat, and we can now look ahead to the genuine prospect of success,” McCain said in a speech prepared for delivery Monday.
The presidential nominee-in-waiting is closely tied to the unpopular, 5-year-old war. McCain was a vocal advocate of the troop increase strategy eventually adopted by President Bush, and is seeking to convince people the strategy is working.
In either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, McCain will face a Democratic rival who disputes the claims of success and seeks a swift withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Debate will intensify this week as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker testify to Congress. Clouding their testimony is fighting that erupted late last month as U.S.-trained Iraqi forces attempted to oust Shiite militias from Basra in southern Iraq.
McCain planned to highlight a sharp drop in violence in recent months in his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the National World War I Museum. From June 2007 until last month, when McCain visited Iraq, violence, he said, fell by 90 percent, and deaths of civilians and coalition forces fell by 70 percent.
“The dramatic reduction in violence has opened the way for a return to something approaching normal political and economic life for the average Iraqi,” McCain said.
Despite the positive numbers he cited, 2007 — the year of the troop buildup — was the deadliest yet.