Tag Archives: petraeus

Petraeus agrees with Obama about negotiations (and more about McCain foreign policy.)

16 Oct

Take from The Huffington Post:

The McCain Doctrine, if there is such a thing, basically boils down to two core beliefs: 1) you don’t sit down and talk with your enemies (and sometimes you don’t sit down and talk with your friends, either — see Spain) 2) the surge was the greatest, most successful strategy ever, and should be exported to Afghanistan.

Obama can make his case on the wrong-headedness of McCain’s approach by calling on a persuasive lineup of evidence, including the words of Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. David McKiernan (commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan), and the latest consensus findings of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Let’s start with Petraeus, who McCain has called an “American hero,” and who is also the person he’d most like to have dinner with. Last week, speaking at the neocon -friendly Heritage Foundation, Petraeus basically gave his seal of approval to Obama’s stand on negotiating with hostile foreign leaders while undercutting McCain’s.

Asked specifically about the disagreement between the two candidates on this issue, which flared up again during the last debate, Petraeus said, “I do think you have to talk to enemies.” He pointed out that in Iraq “we sat down with some of those who were shooting at us” — even some “with our blood on their hands.” “This is how you end these kinds of conflicts,” he said.

That’s precisely the kind of thinking that led Sarah Palin to call Obama “beyond naïve” and “dangerous,” and McCain to repeatedly accuse him of not understanding the world. Betcha they won’t say the same thing about Petraeus.

and more…

Despite all this, McCain continues to point to the surge as proof of his foreign policy acumen — and, in the last debate, suggested it’s the same strategy that is “going to have to be employed in Afghanistan.”

Gen. McKiernan doesn’t agree. He points to “countless… differences between Iraq and Afghanistan,” and concludes: “What I don’t think is needed — the word that I don’t use in Afghanistan is the word surge.”

McCain obviously hasn’t gotten that memo. Nor the one explaining that those still occupying the White House now privately admit that Afghanistan is, as according to Katie Couric, the “single most pressing security threat in the war on terror.” McCain and Palin continue to insist the “central front” in the war on terror is Iraq.

All told, McCain’s response to our greatest national security crises, Iraq and Afghanistan, has been every bit as erratic, reckless, glib, and clueless as his response to the financial crisis.

If Obama and Biden forcefully drive this point home again and again, should McCain unleash an all-but-certain-to-be-about-national-security October Surprise, it will prove to be no more successful than his pathetic attempt to smear Obama using Bill Ayers.