Three weeks ago -- fresh off of his re-election battle -- Arizona Republican Senator John McCain turned up (surprise!) on NBC's "Meet the Press." That weekend, the talk in Washington had turned to the future in Afghanistan. And in arguing about the way forward in year 10 of that war, Senator McCain held up the U.S. experience in Iraq as the model that needed to be followed:
DAVID GREGORY: You just heard David Axelrod say any withdrawal will be conditions-based. Is that not enough to satisfy you?
SEN. MCCAIN: Well, I'd like to see the president say that it's only condition-based. According to Mr. Woodward's book, his problem is the political -- the left -- the base of the Democrat Party. You don't fight and conduct wars that way. You win, and then you leave. And that's what we've done in Iraq.
"You win, and then you leave." For the record, this is apparently what "winning" looks like. Courtesy of Reuters, the report from December 7, 2010, in Iraq:
FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Dec 7
Dec 7 (Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq as of 1830 GMT on Tuesday.
.. ABU GHRAIB - Armed men opened fire on a police checkpoint, killing one policeman, in Abu Ghraib, on the western outskirts of Baghdad, police said.
.. ABU GHRAIB - A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol killed two soldiers when it went off on the outskirts of Abu Ghraib, police said.
.. MOSUL - A security guard and two teachers were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near the entrance of a private school in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, a source from the provincial police operations room said.
.. TAL AFAR - One person was killed and three others wounded when a bomb hidden inside a computer exploded at a repair shop in Tal Afar, about 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.
.. BAGHDAD - Two mortar rounds landed in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone government and diplomatic enclave, a source in the Interior Ministry said.
BAGHDAD - Two civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the southern Baghdad district of Doura, police said.
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb exploded near a car carrying three agents of the interior ministry's intelligence department, wounding all three, in central Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol went off and wounded three policemen in the Saidiya district of southern Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.
BAGHDAD - Gunmen shot dead Sameer Esmail, a manager with the Baghdad municipal government, and wounded his driver in the Amiriya district of western Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.
BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb went off and wounded four civilians in central Baghdad, an interior ministry source said.