Recently, John McCain made the comment that "I know how to win wars" and that "the 'surge' has worked."
I think Senator McCain needs to remember a few things:
1. No WMD
2. Mission Accomplished
3. A few remaining 'dead-enders'
4. No need for more troops (2003)
5. "last throws"
6. 'Weeks not months' - Donald Rumsfeld on how long it would take to secure Iraq
7. The Iraq war will pay for itself
8. We only need six more months (said in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007)
9. Iraq is the central front on the 'war on terror'
The point is this, I could probably go on, but the 'surge' was a change in tactics to no longer brutalizing the Iraqi people. McCain never aspoused the cavallier attitude regarding the plight of civilians that most neo-cons do and did - (with comments like 'everything's fair, mollycoddle the terrorists, Abu Ghraib was a 'fraternity prank'), but he backed an administration which did, and he backed Tommy Franks and others who did - and backed those who called any dissent 'aiding and abbetting the enemy." To the extent the 'surge' worked to calm sectarian violence - which it has - it's the FIRST THING HE'S GOTTEN RIGHT. I wouldn't, for one, break my arm patting myself on the back for a success after 3.5 years of abject failure. If this is how McCain, "knows how to win wars' then I'd rather have someone who wouldn't waste 3.5 years getting the right people, wait 3.5 years to listen to the experts.
Put another way, McCain comments are akin to someone, after striking out three times in a row, if he gets a single, jumping up and shouting, "See, I'm a great hitter!!"
Past that, the 'surge' worked because it was used to erect concrete barriers and instill a police state in Baghdad, which is good in that it has saved lives, but little political progress has followed - and such a state is not sustainable. Perhaps Senator McCain should take the time to consider why Gen. Patreaus was successful against Al Qaeda in Iraq, meaning, he was not arogant (Gen. Patreaus), he did not bluster about American infalibility and greatness, he sat down with his potential adversaries, identified commong goals, and built relationships. It is a lesson anyone who would call talking to Iran "appeasement" seems highly unlikely to accept - just as the current resident of the White House was unable to accept until change was thrust upon him.