The Courage to Continue


When it comes to the war in Iraq, Senator John McCain demonstrates once again that he is a leader of courage and conviction.

War is inherently an ugly business. Wars of a long duration, like Iraq, understandably strain the public confidence. Just as understandably, promises for an early withdrawal provide relief for this national anxiety. Logically, such promises have become a seductive platform for political aspirants at all levels.

But calls for an early withdrawal are false and dangerous promises and, despite the political risks to his presidential campaign, John McCain is not afraid to say so.

Instead of pandering to public anxiety, the senator stands fast by his conviction that the war in Iraq is just and necessary. Instead of painting a rosy picture, the senator faces up to mistakes, addresses them head-on, and warns of more difficult, deadly days to come. Rather than succumbing to the horrors of the moment, John McCain firmly reminds us that staying and winning in Iraq means stability for America and the Middle East far into the future.

Vision, conviction and courage, particularly in the face of adversity and uncertainty, are markers of great leaders. On Iraq, John McCain offers us this rare kind of leadership. And, where would we be otherwise? A nation foundering blindly in an endless cycle of aborted initiatives and failed hope.

Matt LaPlante of The Salt Lake Tribune writes about McCain’s thoughts on Iraq on Saturday, March 3, 2007.

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