When I saw McCain, he had not yet read James Fallows's cover story in the December Atlantic magazine, titled "Why Iraq Has No Army." In an amply documented and deeply disturbing account, Fallows shows how hollow has been the administration claim to "standing up" Iraqi security forces capable of replacing the U.S. troops. Fallows also argues that doing so at this point would require fundamental shifts in Pentagon priorities -- on everything from troop rotation to the allocation of weapons budgets -- that are not likely to come from Rumsfeld or Bush.
One, I love the chattering classes' love affair with the Senator from Arizona. The idea of McCain as Our Moderate Republican Savior ranks right up there with the idea of being welcomed as liberators by the Iraqis.
However, I have to acknowledge the tiny but disturbing voice in my head which suggests that we ought not pin too many hopes on Senator Stay-the-Course considering that James Fallows has better intel.