His strategy is now clear: he will refuse to debate the question of whether we should have fought in the first pace. And that's understandable. He cannot win on those grounds. And his commitment to end the war as swiftly as possible without inflaming sectarian hatred is as good as we'll get. But here's what I fear: that he will not be honest and candid about the true implications on his strategy: an occupation with no fewer than a hundred thousand troops for his entire first term, and at least 75,000 troops for decades. If he has the courage and candor to say this, to be honest about the enormous cost of staying for the very long haul, and the low chances for success, the fact that success means merely a non-genocide and non-despotic by Middle Eastern standards, he will deserve the presidency. But the last thing we need is someone who will do what this president has done, and consistently fail to tell Americans what the actual cost of the permanent occupation will be. If McCain wants to keep the war going - and extend it to Iran - he has to get the American people to sign off on it. With their eyes open. And the costs explained.