McCain's "Let's Do What al-Qaeda Wants Strategy"

I guess John McCain thinks outsourcing his strategic thinking to Osama bin Laden is such a great idea that he wants to brag about it:

As you know, I was in Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and England on my last visit. And a couple of days ago, as you probably know, an audiotape -- actually it was last week -- an audiotape was released where bin Laden said, and I have to quote bin Laden, ... 'the nearest field to support our people in Palestine is the Iraqi field.' He urged Palestinians and people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to quote 'help in support of their mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, which is the greatest opportunity and the biggest task.' Now my friends, for the first time I have seen Osama bin Laden and General Petraeus in agreement, and that is, the central battleground in the battle against al Qaeda is in Iraq today. And that's what bin Laden is saying and that's what General Petraeus is saying and that's what I'm saying, my friends, and my Democrat opponents who want to pull out of Iraq refuse to understand what's being said and what's happening, and that is, the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle against radical Islamic extremism.

There's no question that, as McCain points out here at some length, that bin Laden would really like to see an epic struggle in Iraq between the United States military and an array of al-Qaeda recruits who, inspired by the idea of a struggle against American occupation, will flood into that country. As McCain says, this is bin Laden's view of how events in the world are unfolding. Why McCain thinks the correct response is to do what bin Laden wants, I couldn't quite say. Possibly, he's just not very bright.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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