“I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.”Couric's interview can be viewed here.
Well OK, but the beginnings of the awakening did not equate to its success. The same Sheikh McCain mentioned was later KILLED, which some on the left tried to use as proof the surge was a failure. Indeed, Reid was saying the war was "lost" several months after the surge began. Sorry Dems, that dog won't hunt.
Meanwhile, Cafferty must have forgotten his own network's expose on snipers, provided to them by the snipers themselves, which aired in September and October 2006 before the elections.
And chaos was the general view supported by Democrats at the time, who were running on a Six Point Plan that harped on Bush's "wrong directions", such as:
failed to provide strategy to stabilize Iraq or begin the responsible redeployment of our troopsNow that a new strategy has pulled victory from the jaws of Reid's defeat it's time to change the narrative. But the bottom line is that while McCain might be wrong on a few small details he was right on what mattered, and Barack was wrong. Attempting to politicize it only tends to support McCain's earlier point.
Besides, it's possible this whole thing is just a clever smokescreen designed to gloss over Barack's inability to admit his mistakes, made evident by his recent stammering under the hot lights. And where have we seen that before?
Sam Stein at HuffPo has noticed that Sunni Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha was killed in September 2007 in the midst of the surge, and thinks this constitutes a gaffe because McCain mentioned him as the person the surge was designed to protect. Excuse me, but he just might be a moron.
The crux of this entire kerfuffle revolves around Obama's hint that the Anbar Awakening was mostly responsible for the recent reduction in violence, and that it began before the surge. McCain is saying it wouldn't have succeeded without the surge, as casualty rates have only recently come down this year. The loss of the man who championed the pushback against al Qaeda, during the middle of the surge, serves only as proof the increase was vital to protecting the movement, which later turned the tide. It can only bolster McCain's view.