BLITZER: But, Senator Edwards, Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, he supported the surge from the beginning. I think all three of you opposed the surge from the beginning. He says now the surge is working, there’s military progress, the level of violence has gone down, and that the United States must not surrender in Iraq. It must win that war in Iraq.
Why do you believe Senator McCain is wrong?
EDWARDS: He’s wrong because George Bush himself said the entire reason for the surge was to create an environment for political progress. Everyone from the Iraq Study Group, to even Bush recognized — and if Bush recognizes it, man, it’s really got to be out there.
EDWARDS: Even President Bush recognizes that unless the Sunni and Shia reach some political reconciliation, there cannot be stability in Iraq. And the problem with this definition and evaluation of where the progress has been made is that there has been no meaningful political progress.
There has been a little bit, in fairness. A little bit, but very little. And I don’t think it changes anything.
The one thing I would say is — and I would actually like for both of them to have a chance to respond to is this — what I have said very clearly, all of us has said, we would end the war. And I don’t have any doubt that all of us are committed to that, I don’t doubt that. But how aggressively and how quickly is an important question.
And I have said in the first year that I am president, I will have all combat troops out of Iraq. All combat missions will end in Iraq, and there will be no permanent military bases in Iraq.
Juan Cole’s Informed Comment blog is a great read on a regular basis. Here’s a link to it, where he’s pulled just the Iraq portions of last night’s debate.