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John McCain was probably pretty psyched when a new poll said a majority of Americans believe, for the first time in years, that success in Iraq is achievable. But is this sudden binge of violence—particularly in Basra—an ominous sign for GOPers dreading the possible resurgence in discontent with the Iraq war before the November election?
President George Bush of course says no way, casting the pipeline bombings and running street battles as “a very positive moment” because it essentially means Iraqi forces are now confident enough to crack down on rogue militias—try to, anyway. Naturally, former Bush flack Tony Snow agrees, arguing that the fighting in Basra is actually one of the reasons why Iraq won’t be a drag on McCain’s White House bid. Others aren’t so sure: less optimistic forecasts about what may lie ahead can be found here, here and here if you’re interested. Or, you can just listen to a government Iraq analyst who advises Radar that “the ISF [Iraqi Security Force] is getting the shit kicked out of it down there [in Basra]” and speculates that “McCain is now shitting his pants” given the strong likelihood of increased violence in the coming months. On the plus side for McCain, this pants-crapping thing could give him yet another huge boost as he works to lock down the coveted senior citizen voting bloc.