On Monday, an Op-Ed by two long-time Democratic critics of the war in Iraq was published in the New York Times. It bears repeating that Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack are neither neoconservatives nor Republicans. They are Democrats. Add them to the short list of Democrats* who recognize the importance of winning in Iraq and see the progress made by Gen. Petraeus' surge strategy--the positive results of which we noted yesterday.
Their Op-Ed is worth the read. We also suggest reading a review of their article by a number of writers over at National Review Online.
Among the best responses to the article was one written by Senator John McCain, Republican Presidential candidate. We quote in full:
Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack have uncovered a truth that seems to escape congressional Democrats: General Petraeus’s new strategy has shown remarkable progress. Earlier this month, on my sixth trip to Iraq, it was evident that our military is making dramatic achievements throughout the country.If even some Democrats are willing to acknowledge the improvement in Iraq, we are left to conclude that the surge must be working.
Despite this progress, Democrats today advocate a precipitous withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. They are wrong, and their approach portends catastrophe for both Iraq and the United States. To fail in Iraq risks creating a sanctuary for al Qaeda, sparking a full scale civil war, genocide, and violence that could spread far beyond Iraq’s borders. To leave prematurely is to ensure just one thing: that we will be back, in more dangerous and difficult circumstances. We cannot and must not lose this war.
We must prevail. General Petraeus and his troops have asked Congress for just two things: the time and support they need to carry out their mission. They must have both, however much the congressional Democrats seek to withhold them. That is why I will keep fighting to ensure that our commanders have what they need to win this war.
I cannot guarantee success. But I do guarantee that, should Congress fail to sustain the effort, and should it pay no heed to the lessons drawn by Mr. Pollack and Mr. O’Hanlon, then America will face a historic and terrible defeat. Such a defeat, with its enormous human and strategic costs, will unfold unless we do all in our power to prevent it. I, for one, will continue to do just that.
*Isn't Senator Lieberman great?
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