It's pretty difficult to find anyone with a shred of knowledge of the military surge who would suggest that it hasn't been an extraordinary success. I frequently interview Gen. Rick Lynch on my radio show, the commander of the 20,000 troops who have constituted the much-discussed "surge." He proudly recites the names of neighborhood after neighborhood that he now walks through without any bulletproof gear, neighborhoods that were hotbeds of violence and insurgency just a year ago. And he shares the countless stories of soldiers under his command who are so proud of their effort to install democracy in a troubled region of the world and advance the process of turning the security of Iraq over to the Iraqi people.
In other words, the men and women fighting the good fight understand why they are there and how much success is being achieved in what is an amazingly difficult mission.
Barack Obama does not.
Sen. McCain knocked it out of the park when he publicly invited Barack Obama to join him during one of his many visits to Iraq. I can picture it now: Sen. McCain showing Sen. Obama the ropes, saying things like, "Now that's what we call a Marine" and "See, young man, that's a tank." And so on.
For obvious reasons, the Obama camp declined McCain's offer, calling it a "cheap publicity stunt."
But there's no stunt behind the expectation that Obama should be wanting to go to Iraq. He owes it to the American people to have a detailed, private, thorough conversation with Gen. Petraeus. One would think he would be seeking answers and finding out for himself just how much progress we're making there.
But of course that doesn't fit into his stated goal of declaring the U.S. the loser and pulling all the troops out should he be elected. He would find the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal a cakewalk compared to trying to explain to the American people why he's so hellbent on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Perhaps he figures if he sticks his head in the sand long enough and pretends not to hear all the stories of the successful surge, it'll all go away and he can still wave the white flag of surrender to the terrorists, inviting them to return to the United States and make 9/11 look like a minor blip.
If John McCain continues to remind voters the difference between the two men in this way, he'll win.
Because this week, while a scoundrel like Scott McClellan enjoyed his newfound fame, Sen. McCain found his voice in this presidential campaign.
If the American people are paying attention, there may be hope for this country yet.