Senator Obama, in his visit to Iraq, outlined a withdrawal plan that would see American troops out of Iraq in sixteen or so months. Leaving aside whether that speedy a withdrawal is even logistically possible—others have said that it would take at least two years to get everyone and all the equipment out of Iraq—this was praised by the Prime Minister of Iraq as a reasonable and desirable timetable.
Senator McCain and his substitutes have claimed that doing this would amount to defeat and that Obama is willing to sacrifice victory in order to win a political campaign.
Whether such a withdrawal would amount to victory or defeat, it may be time to ask ourselves whether America really believes itself when it claims that Iraq is now a self-governing, sovereign nation. Because, if it is a sovereign nation that we are merely—at this point—helping to stabilize, then we must respect the wishes of its leaders. And if its leaders, such as the Prime Minister of Iraq, say to leave, we must leave. If, on the other hand, we are going to stay until we think the job is done, the government of Iraq be damned, then we really have just created a client state and we ought to admit that.