Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Convergence" is hypothetical

As the situation in Iraq continues to improve, some would have you believe that the Iraq policies of McCain and Obama are converging. Yes, in both instances there are scenarios where most of our troops are out of Iraq within the term of the next President, but this theoretical convergence is dependent on conditions largely outside the control of any American politician.

The fundamental difference of priorities remains. McCain's priority is to win, meaning roughly to leave behind an Iraq that is more or less democratic and not militarily hostile to us or to its neighbors. If we can win and get the bulk of our troops out, that would be great. You might even say that's the plan: Return on Victory.

Obama, on the other hand, has prioritized "ending the war". Roughly, again, this means getting the bulk of our troops out of Iraq, and if we happen to pull out some sort of winning scenario, all the better.

The convergence theory breaks down in case things start heating up again. McCain will keep us there, and Obama will walk away, to "end the war" one way or the other.

All of this convergence talk is in my estimation a very artificial narrowing of the candidates' positions, and by extension their ability to be Commander in Chief. Their strategies (in the strict sense of the word) are very different and those differences should not be minimized.

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