The McCain Doctrine, if there is such a thing, basically boils down to two core beliefs: 1) you don’t sit down and talk with your enemies (and sometimes you don’t sit down and talk with your friends, either — see Spain) 2) the surge was the greatest, most successful strategy ever, and should be exported to Afghanistan, writes The Huffington Post.

Obama can make his case on the wrong-headedness of McCain’s approach by calling on a persuasive lineup of evidence, including the words of General David Petraeus and General David McKiernan (commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan), and the latest consensus findings of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Asked specifically about the disagreement between the two candidates on this issue, which flared up again during the last debate, Petraeus said, “I do think you have to talk to enemies.” He pointed out that in Iraq “we sat down with some of those who were shooting at us” — even some “with our blood on their hands.” “This is how you end these kinds of conflicts,” he said.

That’s precisely the kind of thinking that led Sarah Palin to call Obama “beyond naïve” and “dangerous,” and McCain to repeatedly accuse him of not understanding the world. Betcha they won’t say the same thing about Petraeus.

McCain continues to point to the surge as proof of his foreign policy acumen – and, in the last debate, suggested it’s the same strategy that is “going to have to be employed in Afghanistan.”

General McKiernan doesn’t agree. He points to “countless… differences between Iraq and Afghanistan,” and concludes: “What I don’t think is needed — the word that I don’t use in Afghanistan is the word surge.”

If Obama and Biden forcefully drive this point home again and again, should McCain unleash an all-but-certain-to-be-about-national-security October Surprise, it will prove to be no more successful than his pathetic attempt to smear Obama using Bill Ayers.

Read the full story here.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW