What are the lessons of Iraq?
McCain: Don't allow failure. I went to Iraq in 2003 and saw that a change was needed. Supported it, and now we are winning. We will see a stable ally in Iraq. Consequences of defeat: increase in sectarian violence, increased Iranian influence, need to go back to fight again.
Obama: Fundamental difference. Should we have gone in the first place? Claims it was "politically risky" for him to oppose it. Really? In Hyde Park in Chicago? I don't think so. Arrogantly claims that he was right and Bush and McCain were wrong. Al Qaeda stronger than ever? Ridiculous! Back to the Iraqi surplus. Lesson to be drawn? Never hesitate to use force, but I will use it wisely, unlike what we did in Iraq.
McCain: Beautiful response. Didn't go to Iraq for 900 days. Hits him on not calling a meeting of his own committee with NATO oversight.
Obama: Makes a series of claims that McCain really wants to knock down.
McCain: Obama doesn't know the difference between a tactic and strategy. Obama won't recognize the progress. (Obama mumbles "not true") McCain hammers home that the strategy has worked, and will be implemented in Afghanistan. Claims Obama didn't vote for troop funding.
Obama: Claims the difference is between timetables and whether funding should be tied to them. Claims he knows strategy versus tactics. Claims McCain was wrong on Afghanistan, and what Sec'y Gates has said affirms his own view and not McCain's.
McCain: Petraeus and Osama bin Laden agree on at least one thing: Iraq is the central front of the war. Obama's plan is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
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