Increasing U.S. troop levels in Iraq will expose more brave Americans to danger, and increase the number of American casualties. Extending combat tours and accelerating the deployment of additional brigades is a terrible sacrifice to impose on the best patriots among us, and they will understandably be disappointed. Then they will shoulder their weapons, and do everything duty requires to win this war.
We have made many mistakes since 2003, and these will not be easily reversed. But from everything I witnessed on my most recent visit, I believe that success is still possible. Even greater than the costs incurred thus far and in the future are the catastrophic consequences that would ensue from our failure in Iraq. By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed. Our national security, and that of our friends and allies, compels us to make our best effort to prevail, and to do it now.
Also on the subject of the senator, a North Dakota reader, a Mormon, sends along this link, and this e-mail:
I am a reader of your blog and follow much of your good work. First became
familiar with you when you did the PBS series with religious leaders in
America, including Neal Maxwell of the LDS faith (I am a member).
Just thought I would drop your attention to this news item today of John
McCain’s effort in Mesa, AZ, an LDS stronghold, to “shore up” his support
there among prominent Mormon business and political leaders. The URL
I have no idea of what kind of support McCain has gotten traditionally from
that part of his financing and political support base in AZ, but as someone
who is still uncommitted and looking at 2008 candidates, I can tell you this
makes me pretty upset. Why? A couple of reasons:
* Mitt Romney gets slammed in the media for approaching Mormons in any
way, but McCain gets kid glove treatment for a blatant political pitch to this
* If McCain wants to have the support of LDS voters, then he damn well
ought to tell his campaign staff and supporters to stop the asinine, below-
the-belt, and anti-Mormon whispering campaigns that have been going on in
Iowa and South Carolina. I don’t know if he condones it or not, but I’m sure
that he knows about it. To plead for their support on the one hand in AZ and
then let his campaign staff mock their religion and use it as a political
weapon on the other hand in early primary states is about as low as it gets
politically. If that’s the real McCain, I want nothing to do with him.
Just a thought.
A Fan in North Dakota
Although one bit of anti-Mormon theater in South Carolina has been linked to a long time McCain activist, I have not read any reports about such “whispering campaigns,” but it would be good for both Senator McCain and Mayor Giuliani to make early and frequent denunciations of anti-Mormon bigotry.