It’d be really nice if each and every person who was involved in the policy of prioritizing Iraq over Afghanistan would refrain from offering back seat driving commentary about Afghanistan policy. But John McCain believes strongly that he should critique the Obama administration’s approach, saying on CBS last night “I don’t agree with an arbitrary date for withdrawal. Success is what dictates dates for withdrawal. If we don’t have that success and we only set an arbitrary date it emboldens our enemies and dispirits our friends.”
But as Max Bergmann points out McCain spent years claiming we’d already succeeded in Afghanistan:
— “Could I add, it was in Afghanistan, as well, there were many people who predicted that Afghanistan would not be a success. So far, it’s a remarkable success.” [CNN, 3/2/05]
— “Afghanistan, we don’t read about anymore, because it’s succeeded.” [Charlie Rose Show, 10/31/05]
— “Nobody in Afghanistan threatens the United States of America.” [Hannity & Colmes, 4/10/03]
— “The facts on the ground are we went to Afghanistan and we prevailed there.” [Wolf Blitzer Reports, 4/1/04]
As far as policy goes, this is neither here nor there. But it’s a reminder that John McCain, though a much-sought-after commentator, is extremely ignorant of almost all aspects of public policy.