Are McCain and Bush Foreign Policy Really Different | Letter to NY Times


Your article’s title "Bush and McCain Seem to Diverge on Foreign Policy" is telling.  Use of the word "Seem"
means that you do not know for sure whether their foreign policies in fact diverge at all.
Focusing first on Iraq, the media, assisted by the always murky Barack Obama, have tried to make an issue out of whether or not the candidates, and now the administration, are making a case for withdrawal from Iraq under a fixed timetable.
The differences between the policies of McCain and the administration on the one hand are in fact quite distinguishable from that of Senator Obama on the other hand.  Regardless of the fuzzy comments that
are made by Senator Obama regarding a withdrawal date, in his heart of hearts he still wants to set a fixed withdrawal date for the combat troops from Iraq.  On the other hand, both the administration and McCain base that withdrawal date on the facts on the ground and the advice of our military commanders. As the advice of the commanders and the facts on the ground start to set a time horizon for withdrawal, it by coincidence is approximately the same timetable that Barack Obama and the Maliki government have in sight. Still remains the defining difference between the administration and McCain on the on hand( that is the facts on the ground and advice of military commanders) and the fixed timetable that Barack Obama favors. 
Obama has muddied the waters enough that if he does become president, and cannot withdraw the troops on a fixed timetable, that he can  fall back on weasel words that he has stated regarding his version of a withdrawal date.
As independent a thinker as McCain is and the more that it benefits his case to distance himself from  
the Bush administration, the more it will strengthen his chances for success in the general election.  Obviously this is a nation that is in the vast majority displeased with the policies of Bush, and Obama’s campaign has been attempting to portray McCain as simply delivering more of the Bush agenda during McCain’s first term in office. Now even the NY Times is postulating that McCain and Bush may be diverging on foreign policy.  That is bound to help McCain if readers believe that.
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