McCain gets his facts wrong on Iraq, yet again

in either a failed attempt to pretend as if the surge was working or simply because mccain wasn’t aware of the facts, he claimed that the latest iraq battle was a success for the iraqi army (it wasn’t) and that the mlitants were the ones who had asked for the cease-fire (they didn’t.)

on 4/1/08 mccain said:

“Apparently it was Sadr who asked for the ceasefire, declared a ceasefire. It wasn’t Maliki. Very rarely do I see the winning side declare a ceasefire. So we’ll see.’’

that this is completely wrong:

“the ferocious response by the Mahdi Army, including rocket fire on the U.S.-controlled Green Zone and attacks throughout the Shiite south, caught the government by surprise and sent officials scrambling for a way out of the crisis.”

it was actually the iraqi government that went to broker a cease-fire with sadr.

on 4/6/07, mccain repeated the claim:

“It was al-Sadr that declared the ceasefire, not Maliki. … With respect, I don’t think Sadr would have declared the ceasefire if he thought he was winning. Most times in history, military engagements, the winning side doesn’t declare the ceasefire. The second point is, overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. … The military is functioning very effectively.”

actually the iraqi military didnt perform well at all:

Jonathan Steele: “Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki…has emerged with his authority severely weakened. … Meanwhile, Moqtada al-Sadr, the target of the assault, comes out of the crisis strengthened. His militiamen gave no ground and, by declaring a ceasefire that has successfully held since Sunday, Sadr has demonstrated his authority and the discipline of his men.” [LINK]
Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE): “Here, Maliki says he’s going down and he’s going to take out all these malcontents, as well as take out Sadr and his Mahdi Army. And it looks to me like, at least on the surface, Sadr may have come out a winner here. You know, he lives to fight another day.” [LINK]
Juan Cole: “For the Iraqi government to depend on Badr and Peshmerga militias, however, weakens its independence and makes it hostage to allies of Iran…So not only did Iran gain stature and authority in Iraq by negotiating a (fragile) ceasefire between al-Maliki and Muqtada al-Sadr, but al-Maliki has is now more than ever dependent on Iranian clients.” [LINK]
Brian Katulis: “This was a thumpin’ for the Iraqi army and this was a thumpin’ from a political perspective for the Iraqis.” [LINK]


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