A very incisive critique of the McCain campaign's constant disavowal of the notion that they are questioning Obama's patriotism, and constant insistence in other statements that he is a traitor to his country, seeking to legislate defeat in Iraq, because it would allegedly help his domestic political fortunes.

Some readers have cited McCain's support for the surge as evidence of his capacity to "put country first" even if it were politically disadvantageous. What this analysis misses, to my mind, is that opposing the surge was never a possibility for McCain. He had staked his position on a more aggressive campaign in Iraq long before the primaries, and had every reason to use the surge as his differentiating marker in the campaign. It was his big bet which he had no real choice but to hope would pay dividends. And it did.

But in this, his own political interest and the interest of advancing a policy that deepened US involvement in Iraq were one and the same. He made no real choice for country over his personal political fortunes. In the narrow window of salvaging catastrophe in Iraq, the two were inextricable. And historians may well one day debate whether the decision to double-down in Iraq was the moment when the US succeeded in Iraq or the moment when the entrapment became too deep to escape from.