Looks like it's time to add a new chapter to the McCain-Obama grudge that Mike wrote about in the current print issue. Here are some choice bits from a very aggressive statement that the McCain campaign has emailed out in response to Obama's big Iraq speech from earlier today:

Senator Obama says that ending the war will not be easy, that 'there will be dangers involved.'  Yet, in that patented way of his, he declines to name those dangers.  Let me enumerate a few: al Qaeda, which is now on the run, will survive, claim victory and continue to provoke sectarian tensions that, while they have been subdued by the 'tactics' of the surge, still exist and are ripe for provocation by al Qaeda, which would almost certainly ignite again civil war in Iraq, a civil war that could easily descend into genocide.  To say that invading Iraq was used as a recruiting tool for al Qaeda is one thing.  To pretend that our defeat there won't provide an even bigger one is foolish supposition.  Iran, which trains Shia extremists and is known to arm and equip Sunni extremists, a fact Senator Obama is apparently unaware of, will also view our premature withdrawal as a victory, as will other countries in the region, and the biggest state supporter of terrorists, a country with nuclear ambitions and a stated desire to destroy the State of Israel, will see its influence in the Middle East grow significantly.  These are some of 'dangers,' that our premature withdrawal from Iraq will engender, and they all have the potential to destabilize the entire region.  A realistic plan to prevent them from occurring is what people with experience in statecraft call 'strategy,' something Senator Obama has not offered yet. [Emphasis added.]

Wow, the contempt is so thick it's dripping off the page (or, uh, the computer screen). The statement is written by McCain aide and wordsmith Mark Salter--who, as Mike notes in his piece, is the suspected author of the blistering letter McCain sent Obama over lobbying reform legislation that kicked off their grudge. If nothing else, a McCain-Obama contest in the general election would provide for some pretty memorable debates--or at least press releases.

--Jason Zengerle