Randy Scheunemann, McCain's senior foreign policy advisor and a man whose associations Democrats are beginning to question, sends a memo to reporters this a.m. alleging that Barack Obama would "rather lose a war that we are winning than lose an election by alienating his base."
To: Interested Parties
From: Randy Scheunemann, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor
Date: July 17, 2008
Re: Barack Obama Vs. The Facts
This week, Barack Obama announced his strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan. He did this before visiting Iraq for the first time in well over 900 days, before ever visiting Afghanistan, and before meeting with our commanders on the ground.
Read the rest after the jump.
As Barack Obama reaffirmed this week, at the core of his strategy is a politically motivated promise to withdraw – regardless of the facts on the ground or advice of our military commanders. As The Washington Post said this week, "The message that the Democrat sends is that he is ultimately indifferent to the war's outcome…"
As we see progress in Iraq because of the Surge strategy that John McCain advocated, many questioned whether Barack Obama would maintain his steadfast refusal to recognize the facts on the ground and continue his stubborn call for immediate withdrawal. Barack Obama has now answered those questions by tossing aside the facts in favor of an ideologically-driven approach that puts unconditional withdrawal above all other considerations. He has done this without even bothering to see the facts on the ground.
Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain believes it is critical to make national security decisions based upon the reality of conditions on the ground. In August 2003, John McCain traveled to Iraq to determine the facts about what was happening inside the country. Based on what he learned there, he warned of failure and called for a change in strategy. For that, he was criticized by Republicans, Democrats and the media, but because of what he saw in Iraq, he knew the strategy had to change.
When it wasn't popular, John McCain said he would rather win a war that we were losing than win an election. Politics came second; country came first.
Barack Obama has determined that he would rather lose a war that we are winning than lose an election by alienating his base. This is the reason Obama did not have to wait until his trip to declare his strategy. Iraq is fundamentally a political decision for Barack Obama, not a national security decision.
He has calculated that to maintain his left-wing base, he cannot adopt a strategy that is based upon conditions on the ground. For the best political position, Barack Obama has decided that his only politically acceptable position is a timetable out of touch with what is really happening in Iraq.
The American people deserve a commander-in-chief who puts their country first ahead of party, politics and self-interest. Time after time, that is what John McCain has done and what Barack Obama has failed to do. We cannot afford to replace a Rumsfeld strategy that refused for too long to acknowledge failure in Iraq with an Obama strategy that refuses to acknowledge success in Iraq.