“We Had An Accountability Moment, and That’s Called the 2004 Elections”

McCain, channeling Mark McGwire, insisted today that his differences with Obama about Iraq are “not about decisions that were made in the past.”  He went on to question Obama’s “understanding of the size of the threat and what’s at stake in Iraq.”

McCain is, of course, either lying or ignorant about terrorism, al Qaeda, and Iraq.  Joe Klein, who’s done a very good job of following the molecular movements on the ground, expressed astonishment yesterday at McCain’s claim that al Qaeda would “be taking a country” if the US stopped occupying Iraq:

They’d be taking a country? Last time I checked, Iraq has a Shi’ite majority. McCain thinks the Shi’ites–the Mahdi Army, the Badr Corps (and yes, the Iranians)–would allow a small group of Sunni extremists to take over? In fact, as noted above, the vast majority of indigenous Iraqi Sunnis aren’t too thrilled about the AQI presence in their country, either.

McCain’s grandiose rhetoric on terrorism and Iraq, while pleasing to the know-nothing GOP base, is counterproductive because it plays into everything al Qaeda wants without helping our cause at all.

So he’s trying to close off debate on how he was wrong about the invasion at the time the decision was made, in favor of advancing wrongheaded views about what to do now.

We need to hope, pray, and prod so that the media sticks to the facts on this issue, and not the meta-discussion of whether pleasing lies might be politically effective.  It’s a very good sign that Ignatius and Klein might be willing to prioritize facts over caricature character narratives.

(Post title is a Pres. Bush quote from early 2005).

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