The Three Amigos who pushed the invasion of Iraq are at it again, now claiming that we must escalate the war in Afghanistan if we want to avoid another 9/11—the same claim they used before to urge us to take on Iraq in 2003, Frank Rich writes. Rich finds it bizarre that anyone listens to John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham as they dust off and repurpose the talking points on Iraq, conflating the Taliban with al-Qaeda the same way they did Saddam Hussein's regime.
They ignore the political differences between Iraq and Afghanistan as they urge a repeat of the "surge" they say brought "victory" in Iraq, and they're hectoring Obama to make a decision immediately, despite the potentially game-changing recent election. "While McCain and company remain frozen where they were in 2001, many of their fellow citizens have learned from the Iraq tragedy," Frank writes in the New York Times. "They voted for Obama not least because they wanted a new post-9/11 vision of national security, and they will not again be so easily bullied by the blustering hawks’ doomsday scenarios." He urges giving the president "both the time and the political space to get this long war’s second act right."