It seems that Republican candidate John McCain is planning on following directly in President Bush’s footsteps. At least where the war is concerned he is. He was a very vocal advocate of the troop buildup and now he is proclaiming it to be a huge success. In either Hillary or Obama he will face an adversary who will dispute the success of the buildup and both seek a swift troop withdrawal.

The debate will intensify this week as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker testify in front of Congress. Overshadowing their testimony is the fighting that erupted late last month as U.S.-trained Iraqi forces attempted to oust Shiite militias from Basra in southern Iraq. When McCain visited Iraq he claimed the violence fell by 90 percent, and deaths of civilians and coalition forces fell by 70 percent. Despite the positive numbers he cited, 2007 – the year of the troop buildup – was the deadliest yet.

I myself am scared of too fast a troop withdrawal turning into something reminiscent of Vietnam in its last days. Chaos all around as we fled the country with our tail tucked between our legs. As much as I am against the war – and feel it was a mistake to believe the lies that got us into it – I would hate to see our exit turn into that type of debacle.

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