Pronounced dead only a few weeks ago, Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign is now said to be "surging." Under a new slogan, "No Surrender", McCain is trying to capitalize on the apparently successful ("No, not apparently — it’s working") troops "surge" in Iraq, at least in terms of the improved security situation in certain parts of the country.
Having made himself a hostage of the Bush administration’s conduct of the war, McCain has no other choice as to hail the whatever progress he can find in Iraq. "This strategy is working, it is successful, and it must be given a chance to succeed", McCain was quoted as saying in Iowa.
Old and obviously not stupid, McCain simply cannot believe in what he’s saying. No improvement in security would be sustained without finding a political solution to the Iraq debacle, and none has emerged during lengthy Congressional testimony of the two top American officials in Iraq, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker.
McCain thus is hedging his bets. His best chance to distance himself from the inevitable collapse of the Bush’s "strategy" in Iraq is to portrait the "surge" as not sufficiently big or long. Hence his "concerns" about General Petraeus’ plans to begin withdrawing some troops ("I’m a little nervous about it"). In fact, the increase in violence in Iraq following troops reduction is McCain’s only chance to save his face and reputation, if not the doomed presidential run.
McCain’s problem is not in accidental "lapse of judgment." His major problem is that he’s a man of the past, and, as such, is unable to correctly identify real threats to the U.S. security. Having spent 5 1/2 years in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, McCain has remained a prisoner since then. A prisoner of Cold War. He fought Communism in Vietnam, was defeated, and still fights Communism everywhere he sees it, and he sees it everywhere.
To handicapped by his clouded vision McCain, "the most direct challenge … to Euro-Atlantic security" comes not from Islamofascists, as one would expect the Commander-in-Chief-to-be to believe. No, it comes from what McCain calls the "cynicism and Napoleonic delusion" of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a world full of failed, failing and rogue states, McCain sees no more serious danger to the "Euro-Atlantic community" than "revanchist Russia." Those are the words McCain choose to describe recovering from her Communist past Russia in a recent article in Financial Times.
McCain has been running for presidency for the past eight years, and that’s enough. He won’t be the next president of the United States. Not because of his unwise support of the unpopular war, or bad relations with the conservative base of the Republican Party, or lost support among the independent, or lagging fund-raising, or inability to supervise his campaign staff.
He won’t be the next president of the United States because he has nothing to say to the American people in the 21th century.