On Friday, Charlie Sykes -- in the midst of talking to a liberal caller (before hanging up on him after he made a gaffe Charlie led him into) -- declared that we've won in Iraq.
This is a remarkable statement, one that nobody with a passing familiarity with the situation would say. Certainly Gen. Petraeus wouldn't say it. No one who lives there would say it -- though if you discount the occasional running gun battle or sniper attack or bombing, it's not that bad! And with gun-toting members of the Sunni Awakening increasingly unhappy over their treatment under the Shia-dominated government, things could go south there real quick.
Why would Sykes say we've won -- which takes the claim the surge worked and stretches it like a heavy metal T-shirt from Rummage O Rama?
In the short term, sure, it provides cover for McCain. He supported the surge, so McCain won the Iraq war. Got it.
But really the hyping of the "victory" in Iraq actually is a perfect set-up to attack the future President Obama. Casualties go up (which they would regardless of who becomes president)? Obama lost the war because the Islamofascists want to test him. Pulling out (with the support of the Iraqi government and people) with the situation still in flux? Obama's cutting and running and he's failed the test.
Obama, according to the future Charlie Sykes narrative (no doubt already scripted) will be the President who lost Iraq. The fact it will be a bogus argument won't stop Sykes and his ilk from repeating it.
It should be noted that Sykes nor any of his colleagues on the right ever defined what victory in Iraq looks like. That's because it's fluid. Whatever a Republican president does=win. Whatever a Democratic president does=Fail. It's that simple.