I'm not even sure how to characterize this exchange between John McCain and Dana Bash:
BASH: As you know, right now in Iraq, there are negotiations going on about the U.S. presence there. And Iraqis are trying to say that they believe that American troops should be limited to U.S. bases, that their air cover should be limited as well. Limits, pretty much across the board. Would you leave U.S. troops there with severe limitations as to what they could do?
MCCAIN: Well — that's not going to happen. The Iraqis are engaged in negotiations with us. I know about those negotiations. They have been going on for a long period of time. They are achieving remarkable success. Malaki (ph) is becoming a very strong leader, much to the surprise of some, and very pleasant outcome of this. I believe we will reach a status of force (ph) this agreement with the Iraqis. It's a give and take. It's a negotiation. And I am confident that we'll be able to arrive at an arrangement that is in the best interest of Iraqi and Americans.
In what sense is Maliki declaring that the American proposals are an unacceptable infringement of Iraqi sovereignty a success? I saw on teevee yesterday that it's "ageist" to say that John McCain is being "confused" when he repeatedly makes statements that are at odds with reality, so maybe he's just dishonest or dim-witted. Or maybe the key thing here is "remarkable" as in "success" means succeess but "remarkable success" means "impasse and failure."
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