John McCain's "straight talk"

I hate posting about anything political, but –for once — I really agree with John McCain's commentary on the US role in Iraq. It's an exceptionally well written opinion from McCain. Definitely something to check out.

Excerpts:

"A recent visit to Iraq convinced me of several things. We were right to go to war to liberate Iraq."

"Having liberated Iraq, we must demonstrate the tangible benefits of occupation, which the Iraqi silent majority will tolerate if it successfully delivers services, law and order and a transition to Iraqi rule."

"Security remains a serious problem in Iraq partly because, contrary to administration assurances, our military force levels are obviously inadequate. A visitor quickly learns in conversations with U.S. military personnel that we need to deploy at least another division. We need more foreign troops, particularly from Muslim allies such as Turkey and Pakistan, but security does not necessarily improve with each new country that deploys forces. It is the number and quality of military forces, not the number of countries that send them, that matters."

"I was also struck by the distrust many Iraqis hold for the United Nations. It is questionable whether U.N. authority over Iraq's political transition would enhance its legitimacy. A U.N. peacekeeping force like the one that stood by as thousands of Bosnians were massacred at Srebrenica would not inspire the Iraqi people's confidence."

"Let there be no doubt: Iraq remains the central battle in the war on terror. We must succeed in Iraq because every bad actor in the Middle East — Baathist killers, terror's sponsors in Iran and Syria, terror's financiers in Saudi Arabia, terror's radical Shiite and Wahhabi inciters, the terrorists of al Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, Hamas and Hezbollah — has a stake in our failure. They know Iraq's transformation would be a grave and perhaps fatal setback to them."

"Iraq must be important to us because it is so important to our enemies. That's why they are opposing us so fiercely, and why we must win."

Also, I'm amazed that this commentary actually got printed in The Washington Post.

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