John McCain was right about the wisdom of the surge in Iraq, said Thomas Friedman in The New York Times, but “the right position on Iraq today is probably ‘McBama’—stick to a clear withdrawal timetable" but "leave yourself some wiggle room if things keep getting better, but not exactly on schedule.”
McCain thinks he can parlay his “heroic” defense of the surge into electoral victory against Democrat Barack Obama, said Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online. He’s wrong. “Voters don’t care about the surge; they care about the war.” They just “want it to be over—and in a way they can be proud of.”
That’s something that hardline hawks and war critics can finally agree on, said the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. Now that the Iraqis want a timetable for the departure of U.S. troops, we have a rare opportunity to form a consensus, declare victory, and leave.
Sure, if Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tells us to leave, we should leave, said Max Boot in The Washington Post. But his call for a timetable might have just been an attempt to score points with Obama, or to gain leverage over our forces. The truth is that “the gains of the surge are fragile,” and they could be undone if we withdraw too soon.