In an interview with the Nashua Telegraph editorial board, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said yesterday that the “next eight months” will determine whether the Iraq war can be “won”:
“Within some months from now, I would say in seven or eight months, if we continue to see the progress we’ve seen in the last eight months, I think Americans will be generally accepting that we are withdrawing and ceding more authority over to the Iraqi military and that we are achieving quote ‘success,’ ” McCain said.
McCain — the chief proponent of escalation — has made plenty of such promises before:
Mar. 2007: “This is our last shot, my friends.”
Feb. 2007: “We can know fairly well in a few months [if the escalation strategy is succeeding].”
Nov. 2006: “We’re either going to lose this thing or win this thing within the next several months.”
Dec. 2005: “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
McCain’s day of accountability has always been just a few months away. Eight months from now — when the 2008 presidential campaign will be in mid-swing — McCain claims he will finally be willing to concede the need for withdrawal. But he suggested that at that time he will be prepared to blame the American public for having lost the war:
“If things go south again and we have significant setbacks, then I think the American people are probably going to demand that we get out, no matter how I feel and no matter how I am convinced about what the consequences of failure are,” McCain said.