The Hobson's Choice

Is it me, or does anyone else see the irony of the McCain in McCain-Feingold having severe campaign fundraising problems? And also the irony of his being in such miserable shape because of his unwavering support for some of the least popular policies of his erstwhile nemesis, George W. Bush?

But there he is ... out there on the limb on Iraq, supporting a war that so many others say is unsupportable. But the very arguments he and the president make about staying the course, and the opposite "get-out-while-we can" arguments made by their adversaries, point up the real dilemma here: There are only lousy choices.

Stay-the-course argument: If the United States pulls its troops now or at some predetermined time in the future, Iraq will dissolve into a bitter war between segments of its population that could draw its neighbors into regional conflict. Frankly, that sounds like that's probable.

Get-out argument: U.S. troops are dying and suffering grievous wounds fighting for an impossible goal, an Iraq that will be stable and democratic; and thus staying is futile. Also probably true.

So, as the politicians jostle over choosing which road to take to disaster, they will surely spend lots of time arguing who put the country on this path. How about some discussion on how they will be held accountable and maybe what lessons can be learned as the United States tries to recover? Maybe John McCain will have some answers. Presidential candidate McCain has become one of the war's casualties.